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Surface Preparation for Concrete Coating Applications

 

Surface Preparation is Key to a Successful Coating Application

Surface preparation is arguably one of the most important tasks of the concrete coatings process. For this reason, we want to take a moment to walk you through why it is so important to prepare a surface for resinous coating adhesion and how we make sure it is done properly.

 

Why is Surface Preparation So Important?

Surface preparation is important because if it is not done right, the coating system could fail. For instance, if the moisture was not tested and there is too much moisture in the concrete prior to coating installation, or the concrete slab was not repaired or leveled, the coating may delaminate quickly. The reason our coatings last longer than other competitor’s is because of the pride and time we take in preparing the concrete surface for adhesion. In addition to this, we also use high-performance materials that may cost more upfront, but will be a longtime investment.

surface preparation

Patching and crack repairs.

How Do We Prepare the Surface for Proper Adhesion?

Our team will ensure that your concrete is prepared and repaired, so that your concrete coating will adhere. Look at the following ways we prepare the concrete prior to resinous flooring application.

  1. Repair the concrete.
    • Fill cracks with flexible joint filler.
      • Cracks generally must be bigger than a credit card width to warrant chasing them and filling them for the integrity of the concrete slab.
    • Level the concrete where needed.
      • Concrete must be as flush as possible for coatings to adhere properly.
    • Apply a cementitious layer and patch spalling concrete areas where needed.
  2. Grind, shot blast, or sandblast the concrete surface.
  3. Acid etch or mechanically prep the concrete.
    • Concrete needs to be a rough, sandpaper finish for the coating to adhere. This can be done either with acid etching or mechanical preparation.
  4. Dry mop the concrete or clean the area surface from dirt and debris.

 

surface preparation

Grinding the concrete with dust control

 

And to Sum It Up…

Once the concrete is prepared thoroughly and to industry standards, it is time to apply the resinous coating system! This is the exciting part because this is the part you get to see the result! One thing to consider before moving on, however, is in this process it is important to do proper moisture vapor testing to make sure the concrete’s moisture level is within industry standards to apply a coating. Otherwise, moisture will affect the coating’s adhesion. Also, we’ll give you our honest opinion if you would be better off replacing your concrete if we do not think we can repair it well enough for a coating to adhere properly.

Thank you for your interest in finding out how surface preparation is an important step to the concrete coating process! When you work with us, you can trust that you are in the right hands. We appreciate our clients and want to give them the best concrete flooring investment! Call us today to learn more at 720-258-6571!

 

 

Industrial Flooring Options

What are your options when choosing an industrial flooring finish?

Industrial Flooring Options

Whether you own or manage a manufacturing warehouse, brewery, food facility, fire station, furniture store, retail store, veterinary facility, or even a pole barn, you want tough floors that will outlast the wear and tear of the daily grind. We’ll explore the various industrial flooring options with you in this article, and hopefully we’ll leave you with more knowledge to decide which flooring application is best for your situation.

 

There are many flooring options to consider, but which one is the best for your business or project needs? Let’s take a look!

Epoxy Floors

Epoxy floors, also known as epoxy coatings, are typically more expensive than overlays, however they are seamless and extremely abrasion resistant. Epoxy coatings are ideal for projects requiring durability, longevity, and chemical resistance. They require minimal maintenance, which makes them popular flooring applications for show rooms, retail facilities, schools and food preparation areas.

 

Our team at Colorado Concrete Repair specialize in epoxy floors, like epoxy chip floors, metallic epoxy floorsflat epoxies, and sand broadcasts. Our epoxy coatings are generally “microtoppings” or skim coats that are flexible and super thin, usually around featheredge to 1/8 inch. We’ve completed projects that range in size from 800 square feet to 10,000 square feet, such as a large tool manufacturing facility that chose a flat gray epoxy flooring to a fire station that requested an epoxy chip system.

We generally recommend epoxy floors if you want to cover up or hide concrete’s imperfections, like cracks and mild spalling. We choose thinner epoxy systems, so that the coating can flex with the concrete as it moves. Take a look here to view an example of a Tuscan Slate overlay system that our peers in Columbus, Ohio, applied for more information on thicker overlays, which are applied thick enough to accept texture and cover minor imperfections in the concrete substrate.

Concrete Grind and Seal

Concrete grinding is a more affordable option than ripping out and replacing concrete, and in addition it gives you a smooth finish, removes trip hazards, removes coatings from concrete, and prepares the surface for other flooring systems.

We have state-of-the-art concrete grinding and polishing machines and have used them to grind thousands of square feet for clients, who simply wanted a smooth and sealed surface to store and move boxes all the way to clients who wanted to remove trip hazards for foot traffic safety. It is best to choose a concrete grind and seal if you are satisfied with the look of your existing concrete. We will guide you through and help you decide when we do the initial walk-through, but generally you must be okay with seeing cracks, the existing color of the concrete, and areas where it is spalling.

 

Grind the concrete, then Seal it!

Furthermore, once you choose the concrete grind and seal option, you will then choose a sealant. We recommend acrylic sealers for most projects, but you can also choose a penetrating sealer, which chemically reacts with the concrete, or an epoxy-type thicker coating. Acrylic sealants are applied both on interior and exterior surfaces to form a thin, protective film that protects against water and chloride intrusion, as well as allows the moisture in the slab to escape. They are UV-resistant and non-yellowing. They also come in a variety of sheens and can enhance the natural floor.

 

Finally, keep in mind that acrylic sealer is a fast-track option, meaning it dries to the touch within an hour usually. You also will have to reapply more often since it is much thinner than epoxy and urethane finishes. You will also want to maintain the floor with several coats of floor finish or wax to prevent wear.

 

Polished Concrete Floors

Polished concrete is ideal if you want a no-wax, no-coating flooring option with a satin or high-gloss finish. This flooring option has superior durability and high performance. Almost all structurally sound concrete floors, whether new or old, can be polished, with some exceptions. As long as the concrete has been in place 28 days or more, and is not wavy, extensively porous, or needs patching, then polished concrete could be a good option for your industrial flooring needs. If you are having new concrete poured, it is best to specify as smooth of floor as possible to minimize the polishing steps required.

In conclusion, existing floors usually require cleaning to remove the dirt, dust, coatings and grime prior to polishing. Then when we polish the floor, we use the traditional floor polishing system, using different grit diamond heads with our high-performance grinding machines to smooth surface to the sheen you desire, with 800 grit being the most traditional level. During this process, we apply a penetrating hardener to the concrete, which solidifies and densifies the polished concrete.

 

The benefits of a polished concrete floor over a coating make polished concrete the more superior choice in most cases:

  • Lower costs to maintain: Using the pre-existing slab on grade is more cost effective and you will have lower maintenance cost savings
  • Less maintenance and service life: Polished concrete floors are easy to maintain and do not require the laborious hours and time it takes to reapply wax or coatings. They glossy surface resists heavy forklift traffic and chemical and oil stains.
  • More resistance to high foot traffic
  • Resistance to moisture transmission issues: Polished concrete allows the floor to breathe, eliminating issues that come along with other flooring types, like tile.
  • High light reflectivity: Polished concrete creates a brighter space, saving costs on lighting; it also gives a bright, clean, professional image, which is why grocery stores, retail centers, public facilities and office buildings are opting to install polished concrete.
  • Sustainable flooring alternative: Polished concrete does not require hazardous cleaners, coatings or adhesives.

Other Industrial Flooring Options

When you are in the market to repair your concrete floors, you also have options to cover up the floor. In some cases, this is ideal and understandably so, such as if the concrete is not in good enough condition to coat or polish, or if you simply want a different look that coatings and polishings cannot give you. Some of these flooring types are as follows:

  • Laminate
  • VCT
  • Tile
  • Marble
  • Granite
  • Linoleum

 

Hence, when looking at your different options, consider how easy they will be to clean, how long they will last, are they sustainable and how much traffic can they handle? If any of these answers make you wonder if you should find an alternative route, it might be ideal to talk with a flooring contractor who is the expert in concrete flooring solutions.

 

Contact us today for your FREE ESTIMATE at 720-258-6571.