The National Institute of Standards and Technology has unveiled a new online tool that allows users to compare the sustainability performance of a building type as the energy efficiency design of that building type is increased.
One of the most critical factors in having a successful industrial floor coating installation is to have a quality Contractor.
Qualify your Contractor by verifying the following:
License – Verify the Contractor has all the necessary licenses, bonding and insurances required by the State, or local governing body.
References – A good Contractor is going to have many references where they installed similar industrial floor systems, in similar conditions.
Manufacturer Approval – All credible floor coating manufacturers have a method through which they qualify Contractors. Although many concrete coating manufacturers are hesitant to endorse Contractors, it is standard in the industry for floor coating Contractors to provide a letter from the coating material manufacturer, stating the Contractor is in some way acceptable to the manufacturer and that the manufacturer will guarantee their material when installed by said floor coating Contractor.
Workers Compensation – Verify the Contractor has current and valid workers compensation.
Multiple Bids – Don’t forget to obtain multiple bids in writing from 2-3 qualified Contractors to insure the best value.
San Diego International Airport Terminal 2 Mechanical Equipment Flooring
Last year when Gensler Architects were looking for a waterproof industrial floor system for the mechanical equipment rooms for the Terminal 2 Expansion at the San Diego International Airport, they selected Dex-O-Tex M-E Flooring.
Dex-O-Tex M-E Flooring Installed by Magnesite Specialties, Inc. San Diego, CA
Expertly installed by Magnesite Specialties, Inc. out of San Diego, CA, the M-E Flooring is a multi-layered, trowel applied, waterproof flooring system, designed for use in mechanical equipment rooms above occupied space.
The mechanical equipment flooring is designed to be waterproof, durable, and includes an integral cove that turns up the base of the walls and equipment pads.
Decades ago anti-static flooring was created for use in facilities that manufactured and stored munitions and explosives. Following that, electrostatic flooring was used in electronics manufacturing to prevent harmful electrostatic discharge damage to electronic components. While still widely used in these applications, and many other electric shock sensitive enterprises, Electrostatic Dissipative flooring has found a new flourishing niche in the large server farms of today’s data centers.
Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) is the transfer of static charges between objects (or bodies) at different electricalpotentials. This could be caused by either direct contact or induction of an electrostatic field. The ESD event created when you get zapped by a door knob is about 35,000 volts moving from you to an electrical ground. Static charges are generated by a process called “triboelectric generation”, when two ungrounded materials are rubbed together.
People can carry charges that cause damage to electronic components, thus static control is risk management. Static Control can be accomplished by either providing a way for static charges to safely dissipate to ground, or by reducing the level of static charges in a work place.
The largest producer of static charges in a work place is the motion and contact of footwear with flooring. That’s where Electrostatic Dissipative Flooring comes in. Electrostatic Dissipative Flooring is a floor with a specific amount of resistance which is connected to ground. After installation Electrostatic Flooring must be tested with a meter to ensure it is within the specified range.
Static Control takes more than static dissipative flooring alone. A Static Control Program should be implemented.
Static Control Program:
• Train Employees
• Provide Cost Effective Equipment
• Employee Responsibility
• Document Program and Enforce the Rules
There are many factors to consider when choosing the right type of commercial or industrial flooring. The best flooring is going to be the one that meets the needs based on the use of the floor. The following 12 basic factors should be considered when selecting flooring.
While cost is a factor to consider, far too often it outweighs much more significant factors. Time and money are wasted when a floor fails because it met the budget, but not other more critical factors.
A seamless industrial floor coating can have a clean opaque look, or often times multi-colored aggregates are used to create a more decorative appearance.
Will the concrete floor be exposed to pedestrian or vehicular traffic? Is the traffic light, medium, or heavy? The requirements for a resinous floor with light pedestrian traffic is greatly different than one subject to vehicular traffic, and exposure to steel wheeled carts or forklifts.
Industrial floor coatings are exposed to a myriad of different chemicals, and Manufacturers and Suppliers of concrete floor coatings have varied definitions of the term “Chemical Resistant”. Industrial flooring basically has a good degree of chemical resistance, but some floor coatings are more resistant to certain chemicals than others.
Heavy hard objects, such as mechanic’s tools, falling on to the concrete floor can damage it. Thicker, stronger floor coverings are required in these areas.
Resistance to high temperatures means more than not melting. When commercial industrial floor coverings are exposed to high temperatures, thermal shock occurs, which can cause a floor coating to delaminate.
Fast Installation Time:
How much time can be allowed for the flooring to be installed? Areas in operation may not be able to shut down for long, and different floor coating materials and systems have varying installation times.
Some floor coating systems, most notably epoxy flooring, are not U.V. stable. As long as they are not exposed to ultraviolet light, they function extremely well. U.V. Stability should be considered during design and product selection.
What is the expected life span of the commercial industrial floor covering, and how important is it to you? Does the expense of a 40 year floor justify itself, or do you expect to expand into a new building in 5 years?
Do you need a floor that can bridge cracks and prevent water or chemicals from intruding to areas below the floor? A general rule of thumb is if the floor has a drain, it should have waterproofing.
Other considerations :
There are lots of factors to consider when selecting the right concrete floor system for your facility. The factors listed above generally meet must situations; however they don’t cover every scenario. Consider all of the environmental factors that could affect your floor. Other factors, such as slip resistant, easy to clean, and anti-microbial, are available options on most seamless floor systems, regardless of the type of material used.
Worksheets like the one below can be used to help determine the best floor for the area it is being installed:
We live in a concrete world. Concrete as a building material is strong, durable, and relatively cost efficient. It has become the building block of the modern world and is literally the foundation upon which our modern society is built.
While concrete is strong, it can only stand the test of time when it is properly protected. Concrete floors are traditionally porous, difficult to clean, prone to dusting, susceptible to wear from pedestrian and vehicular traffic, and vulnerable to chemical attack.
Thus leading to the primary reasons for coating concrete floors:
1. Enhanced Surface:
Poured in place concrete floor coatings are often installed to be decorative, easier to clean, add reflectivity, conductive, and increase slip resistance or other physical properties.
2. Chemical Resistance:
Even the mild chemicals in tap water can deteriorate concrete surfaces, let alone the multitude of chemicals found in harsher commercial and industrial environments.
Concrete is naturally porous and brittle. The porosity of concrete as well as joints and cracks can allow destructive water intrusion. Some coating systems can waterproof, damp-proof, or protect concrete from freeze thaw conditions.
4. Impact Resistance:
High build resinous flooring and overlays can protect concrete surfaces from damage caused by physical impact caused by heavy tools and equipment.
5. Wear Resistance:
Commercial and industrial floor coatings can protect concrete surfaces from wear created by pedestrian, fork lift, automobile or other vehicles.
There are no limits to the reasons and benefits of coating and overlaying concrete floors and even walls, with industrial floor and wall coatings; however it is of the utmost importance the correct type of industrial floor coating be applied as determined by the use of the floor. Further, to gain the longest life of the concrete floor coating, proper maintenance of the floor coating should be observed.
All businesses have floors, and the requirements of those floors range about as widely as the different businesses themselves. The best commercial industrial flooring is going to hold up appropriately to the use of the floor. It should be determined not only by price, but how it will hold up in the environment it is exposed to.
his blog is intended to provide an objective overview of the commercial industrial floor coating industry, including new trends and technology, traditional industry standards, as well as detailed accounts of specific projects, problems and solutions.
By reading this blog, Business Owners, Managers, Designers, Architects and Others will be able to learn about flooring for industrial and commercial applications.