Why do floor coatings fail?

In over a decade I have seen many different issues with concrete floors.  Salt damage is a big problem, travelling on roads and highways where local authorities use salt to control ice, can cause pitting and premature surface wear.

Poor workmanship when the slab is poured, overworking the concrete can cause a weakened surface which can lead to the surface delaminating from the slab.

Too much water compared to the cement ratio is another issue.  Sometimes the concrete contractor will ask the ready-mix company to add more water to make the concrete easier to work with.  This can result in a poor mix and over the years will cause the surface to delaminate.

Pouring when the weather is super hot, this can cause the concrete to dehydrate to quickly causing shrinkage cracks. 

Settlement cracks are another issue that cause headaches.  The contractor should put expansion joints into the concrete slab, and this is where the concrete should crack, however, concrete cracks where it wants to.

So far, we have only dealt with the problems with the slab and not with the coatings itself.

The number one reason why coatings fail is poor preparation of the surface.  Any coating application should be prepped properly.

So, what is good prep?  Good prep begins with a thorough examination of the floor surface.  Checking for loose surface material from the issues listed above is a great place to start.  Checking the surface for oil stains, which can be a bond breaker for most if not all coatings.

At a minimum acid etching the surface with muriatic acid is a good place to start.  However, be careful as muriatic acid is well acid, it can eat through metal and your skin.  Proper PPE is a requirement.  Following the manufactures directions is key.  Once the surface is etched the acid must be neutralized using ammonia is the best way.  Thoroughly cleaning the surface is a must as well.  Allowing the surface to completely dry for a day or 2 is required.

The way we prep floors is with a floor grinder with a heavy cut diamond.  This is done dry and we have a vacuum system that collects all airborne dust.  This is truly the best way to prep a floor.  No chemicals are added to the surface.  No water is added to the slab.  The prep is done with virtually no dust.

Once the surface is prepped with the proper profile, then the floor needs to be thoroughly vacuumed and cleaned.  Any cracks that need to be addressed need to be filled.  Any surface repairs need to be done as well.

Finally understanding the coating, you are applying is key as well to ensure that a good strong bond will happen.

When its all said and done hiring a reputable contractor is key to having a successful application.  It is not difficult to have a successful installation if you take your time and make sure you do the work properly.  Hiring a professional with good references, WCB, proper insurance is important to the project’s success.

Why Does Road Salt Damage Your Concrete?

In Canada road salt is used to control ice on roadways. At the right temperature range the salt melts the ice. Pretty simple concept. Here’s the problem.

When the ice turns to water, as in your garage, this salty brine get absorbed into your slab.

When the brine gets diluted enough from the water than the water freezes inside the slab which causes the surface to ‘spall’ . Once the surface is opened to the elements, your concrete can deteriorate very quickly, and what was once a small problem can turn into a big problem in a season or two.

salt damage beside garage door
Salt damage beside garage overhead door

So what can you do? Seal your concrete with a high build sealer, or better yet seal your concrete with flake system like our 123 flake system.

By putting down our flake system you create a space that is very attractive and it protects your concrete from further damage. In addition you create a much safer surface to walk on and thus helps prevent falls.

Depending on how the space is used a 123 flake system can last for many years. The great thing is that you can recoat the surface to regenerate it.

Best of all the price is very reasonable. When you factor replacement costs of a concrete slab the cost to seal and protect your floor is well worth it.

Top 6 Reasons Why You Should Consider Polished Concrete

Top 6 Reasons Why You Should Consider Polished Concrete

1.    Zero impact on the environment

Well maybe not zero, but very little.  Imagine you bought a warehouse that you are going to convert to apartments.  Very cool idea and gaining ground in urban areas.  After figuring out your budget, you decide on how to divide up the space, you pick out finishes, and do all of the things that you need to do. 

Everything that is going to go into that remodel will have some impact on the environment.  Drywall must be manufactured, as does paint, nails, and screws.  How about the lumber that needs to be installed?  Trees needs to be harvested for that.

Then what to do with the floor.  Carpet? Tile? Hardwood?  These choices all have an environmental impact.

If you consider the impact that polished concrete has it is very minimal.  Polished concrete is using a machine to process the concrete slab until the desired finish and gloss is achieved. 

You can create a focal point with your floor without installing anything.  Best of all the floor will last for years.  Experts agree, that it is a 20 year floor.

2.    Basement Flooring

When considering flooring for a basement you have to consider the possibility of a water or sewer break or flooding from heavy rains. 

Polished concrete is a breathable floor.  This floor will dry out from these types of events.  With polished concrete there is no worry about having a musty smell associated with a lot of basements.

Dye can be added to the slab during the polishing process and a splash of colour can soften the grey floor.

3.    Warehouses, grocery stores, box stores

Have you ever noticed the flooring at your local box store?  These stores have polished concrete because of the incredible savings over other types of flooring options.  Plus, there is no installation waiting time.

This type of flooring has the added benefit of tightening up the floor surface to stop concrete dusting from happening.

We did the Leduc Food Bank new warehouse location in a simple cream polish and they love it.

This is a great solution for warehouses that have forklift traffic because there is no danger of a topical coating getting damaged from surface traffic.

4.    Maintenance is a breeze

With polished concrete there is no stripping or waxing to keep the shine.  In many cases an auto scrubber can be used to do the daily maintenance of the floors.

5.    Safety

Polished floors are the safest floors for pedestrian traffic.  Even though the surface looks slippery polished concrete has the highest coefficient of friction.  Simply put this floor is not slippery.

6.    Cost

It always comes down to cost.  I tell my clients that like everything you get what you pay for.  Polished concrete will have a high up front cost, but when you weigh that over the life of the floor (for example 20 years), the cost can be minimal.  That combined with low maintenance costs, polished concrete is one of the most economical choices that there is.

Edmonton Alberta Floor Coatings

Edmonton Alberta Floor Coatings

Decorative Epoxy Floor Designs

Custom epoxy floors can include prints, textures, and special materials. We specialize in many types of decorative flooring and can work with you during the planning stage of your floor to help suggest design ideas and select the best materials for the job.

Along with epoxy floor coatings, we also have other resin floor products which can add practical features like non-slip, and stunning beauty like metallic shine. These floors are tough.

Depending on your structure and facility requirement, floor finishing systems can be more than 1/4″ thick. They offer impact resistance, compression strength, and are the strongest heavy-duty industrial epoxy coatings.

Perfect Concrete Floor Coatings with No-Charge Non-Slip Additive

Talk to us about your commercial or industrial floor repair or new floor coating today.

(780) 361-8044