Taking a one-size-fits-all approach to concrete floor coatings is not the best approach. First, there are different types of coating application styles. Second, there are all kinds of budget and/or regulatory requirements you may have to adhere to. Then, there’s the amount of foot and vehicle traffic in your facility. Installation timeframes and weather are other factors. Further, the types of solvents, chemicals and moisture levels can affect the durability of the flooring you select. You'll also want flooring that's easy to clean. It's a lot to absorb - literally. Hence, finding the right flooring solution can require careful planning and work with a flooring specialist.
A flooring system is a protective and smooth layer over your concrete floor. This specially treated coating might include a urethane cement or epoxy coating. These can help to minimize concrete erosion for your facility. It can help reduce incidents of "slips and falls" and hazardous contaminants.
When selecting new flooring, keep safety and durability top of mind. According to recent OSHA findings, 164 "willful" fall protection violations occurred. These are for facilities that intentionally disregard OSHA standards. In addition, 5,677 "serious" violations occurred. These are areas where death or serious harm could occur due to facility negligence. Hence, protective flooring is vital to worker safety.
Here are a few flooring tips to help with your manufacturing facility. These can promote worker safety, lower operational costs and improve workflows.
You might not think that your flooring needs a makeover but heavy machinery, high foot traffic and lift trucks can do a lot of damage. Steel- and rubber-wheeled carts, forklifts and pallet trucks can leave scuffs, scratches, cracks and holes. These can all affect the integrity of your floors. Furthermore, they can slow production, damage vehicles and raise housekeeping costs.
Key questions for your managers and facility managers to ask include:
Reducing accidents and fines is a top priority for every facility. OSHA reported that about 36.5% of fatal workplace accidents occur from falls (improper walkways, working surfaces). Hence, to meet fall protection guidelines (1926.501), color coating your facility with clear markers can help ensure you seamlessly direct traffic.
Your employees, visitors and vendors can have designated areas. And, you can improve workflows and take the "guesswork" out of what's in a specific location. For example, specific color schemes can separate storage spaces from your warehouse location.
Color schemes to explore include:
Another area to address is the type of finish for your flooring. As your business grows and thrives, your facility is the lifeblood of your business. Because you have special parts that require careful attention, it's important to explore how any spills or dropped items might damage your flooring. It's also important to protect workers from contaminants and falls to ensure a safe working environment.
Key questions to ask include:
Unsure if your commercial floors are salvageable?
Concrete flooring naturally erodes if left untreated. Subject to foot traffic, spills and machines, over time the rough concrete becomes unsafe. Additionally, if your business manufactures food or medical products, erosion can lead to harmful bacteria. This can lead to inspection problems and costly fees, fines and repairs.
Depending on your facility, you may have a new or existing floor coating in place.
Newer facilities may include different types of resinous floor coatings. It’s also possible to find a multi-layered covering that includes different resins. Talk to your flooring specialist to address if the current flooring will meet your specific needs or if a customized approach is a better option.
Worn or cracked flooring is a cause for concern. Further, if chemical leaks or other solvents occurred, these can lead to contaminants and hazardous conditions.
Key questions to ask include:
Allocating money for new flooring isn’t always within every budget. However, to avoid hazardous conditions and more costly repairs, keep flooring repairs and upgrades at the forefront. Dozens of flooring coatings vary according to coating, style and thickness. Furthermore, some manufacturers layer their flooring. They might apply a layer of epoxy and add a layer of urethane on top for added protection.
A few questions to ask include:
Deciding on the lifespan of your flooring is another area to address. With a host of epoxy blends and urethane cement to select from, you can find the right coating that fits your budget and operational requirements.
A few questions to ask include:
Are you thinking about purchasing a new manufacturing floor coating? There are different types of floor coatings that include epoxy and urethane. Other points include the level of gloss or color that you want your flooring to have. And, will you require special floor markings or want to add your business logo?
Common floor coatings include:
Epoxy Coatings (Broadcast, Mortar): This is a layered coating of wet epoxy with the strongest adhesive properties. It’s applied in several layers and can sustain high foot traffic. It can also help prevent chemical and contaminant spills in harsh chemical environments. Epoxy flooring is non-porous and won't let in dirt, mold or water. Epoxy coatings can include quartz, sand, mineral chips and synthetic flakes. Hence, it can come in different aesthetic and color schemes. Installation can include 1/16” to 1/8" in thickness. Aside from flooring, mortar is useful for potholes and drainage floor slopes.
Urethane Concrete (Mortar, Slurry): This is a durable coating. It’s found in kitchen manufacturing plants, pet kennels, dairy farms and food processing plants. Installation can include 3/16” to 1/4" in thickness.
Other Flooring Types: Novolac flooring is another type of coating that uses epoxy. It can help to protect your floors from corrosion and spills. Polyurethane flooring is an additional option. Similar to epoxy but more flexible, it's highly resistant to solvents and abrasions.
Limited on downtime and need your flooring fast? Have urethane mortar flooring installed while you work.
Creating an environmentally-friendly workspace is important to your business success. Having a floor coating that's Green and Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) compliant can help you meet any safety and USDA guidelines.
Think about using non-toxic sealants and ask your flooring specialist about densifier additives. Select floor coverings that are low in clean-up and maintenance to reduce the need for chemical cleaning solvents.
Knowing when to have your flooring installed is important as temperatures can affect curing time. Keeping your facility floor cool is another concern in some regions. With the dog days of summer, temperatures can rise. However, it's important to take steps that keep your floor temperatures down. Excessive heat can affect worker safety and it can cause parts to malfunction. Additionally, if you work with special chemicals, they need to stay at specific temperatures.
Here are a few tips
Post-flooring installation in hot weather conditions:
Depending on the floor coating you select, it can react to traffic types in different ways. No one wants flooring that’s difficult to clean-up or leads to costly repairs. Hence, a high-quality coating can ensure you find a cost-effective solution that helps you meet safety guidelines. For assistance, let Concrete Coatings help.
Concrete Coatings of the Carolinas provides commercial concrete coatings. Industries we cover include Hospital/Medical, Manufacturing, Food/Beverage, Airline/Travel, Warehouse/Storage, Museums, and Vehicle Storage/Racing sectors. With decades of experience, we back our industry-leading flooring products with excellent workmanship and attention to every detail. Learn more about our flooring solutions by scheduling a consultation. We'll floor you with our ideas!