Mitigation of Concrete Slab Chemical Vapors

January 29, 2020

How do I stop chemicals gas vapors from contaminated soils passing though a concrete slab? This is a question I get frequently from owners and environmental mitigation experts.

Background

Chemical contamination vapors tend to pass though a concrete slab and get into the air above. Stopping the migration of the gas through a slab is frequently a requirement of repurposing a space.

The following steps can be used to mitigate chemical vapors into your space above it. Without the right tools these vapors in the air from contamination under that slab can be quite pervasive.

Each job needs to be evaluated on an individual bases. The tools below make the solution less evasive.

Cracks through the Concrete Slab

The most direct way for soil contamination gasses to get in is through cracks. Cracks are the path of least resistance, so most of your vapors come through cracks in the floor. That is a very easy fix Product #684LV – Methyl Methacrylate Crack Healer and Sealer.

The #684LV has about the viscosity (thickness) of diesel fuel. That makes it easy to gravity feed into small cracks small porous areas of the concrete. It welds the cracks back together with a bond strength that is greater than the tensile strength of the concrete. In other words structurally you have the monolithic structure that the concrete was intended to be.

Expansion Joints

Expansion joints are the also a very direct route for vapors to come in. To seal these joints use Product #632 – Chemical Resistant Joint Filler. This is a highly chemical resistant joint filler. It will not only keep the vapors out. If there is going to be a chemical exposure to the surface there will it will stop the chemicals from attacking your concrete and further contaminating the soils below it.

Sealing the Surface of the Concrete Slab.

The next step is to prime the concrete with Product #12 Chemical Resistant Primer / Sealer.

This is where there is a couple of ways to go. You can apply an additional coat or coats of the #12 or go on to Coating the Concrete Slab below. Our optional translucent Synthetic Anti-Skid Fine may be added to the #12 if it is used in additional coats as a clear sealer.

The Product #12 Primer Sealer can also be mixed with silica sand and used as a patching material for potholes and otherwise damaged concrete if required.

Coating the Concrete Slap 

In many cases you will want to install a coating over the concrete slab.  There are a number of options for doing this but here are a few of the most common ones.  The biggest difference between these coatings is the chemical resistance. Please See Chemical Resistance Chart for a comparison of chemical resistance of the products below. All of these products are 100% solid, zero voc.  All of the coatings in this section are highly durable and resist the abrasion of traffic. 

UV Resistant Top-Coating

For jobs that will see direct sunlight.  It may be desirable to add an ultra violet (UV) Resistant top coating for the systems above.  


Extending The Epoxy Install Season

October 17, 2017

Cold Temperature Epoxy

Installing Epoxy on Garage Floors in Cold Temperatures

Extend Epoxy Installation Season into Winter

It is that time of year again when I start getting  a lot of calls and emails about installing epoxy in cold temperatures. epoxy_color_chart_s

The best time to protect your floor is before it sees any salt at all. If you have a new garage floor now is the time to protect it.  It is still possible to do older floors but the more salt it sees the more difficult and expensive it can be.

The night temperatures are dropping this time of year. It is still possible to coat your garage floor before temperatures drop too low. Our cold temperature epoxies will cure with substrate temperatures as low as 35 degrees F, although it will set a lot faster at 40 degrees F.

Protecting your garage floors is especially  important in areas that will see salt from roads or ocean spray.  You will want to protect your garage from the ravaging effects of salt deterioration. Without protecting your floor salt will damage your garage floor and make for very expensive repairs later if it is not well protected.

It is not too late to protect your floor even in cold climates if you move quickly now.  Without this protection your garage floor will not be as nice come spring as it is now.  The damage that takes place is not only aesthetic but structural.

Cold Temperatures Epoxies

Cold Temperature Cure Epoxy Resins allow installation to be done at low temperatures as low as 35°F., (although it sets a lot faster at 40°F) expanding your epoxy coating and epoxy flooring installation season. Epoxy.com Cold Temperature Cure Epoxy Resins can also be used in cold storage areas like food processing areas, where the temperature cannot be raised higher than 35° F or so. Normal cured epoxy typically requires 50°F or more.

Depending on how you mix the aggregate into the products below, they can be used as a mortar for overlays, or a grout for sealing between other hardened construction materials.

Commonly Used Cold Temperature epoxies

Product #1 Cold Temperature Cure Epoxy Coating is 100% solids and specially formulated coatings for cold temperature applications. Cold Temperature Epoxy Coating #1 is able to cure at temperatures as low as 35°F. It has Zero (0) VOCs. Since it has no VOCs, it has no solvent so it meets the strictest possible standard for a low VOC coating. It is often used in coolers and food preparation areas that require constant low temperatures. Product #1 Cold Temperature Cure Epoxy Coating is also frequently used in room temperature applications to meet super-fast cure, limited shutdown needs.

Product #10 Cold Temperature Curing Epoxy Mortar Resin – This product has a low modulus of elasticity (flexibility) and is Low Viscosity. The low viscosity allows heavy loading of the right fillers. The heavy filler loading helps not only to save money, but helps to maintain better thermal coefficient with respect to concrete and steel. The low modulus of elasticity prevents it from being brittle making it less vulnerable to thermal coefficient differences. It also gives it better impact resistance.

You can find more information on cold temperature cured epoxy at: http://www.epoxy.com/EpoxyColdCured.aspx.

Please send me your questions to me by email to norm@epoxy.com


Cold Temperature Epoxy

November 18, 2016

Installing Epoxy in Coolers and Cold Temperature

Extend Epoxy Installation Season into Winter

I have spoken on this subject here before but this time of year I get a lot of calls and emails about installing epoxy in cold temperatures. Our company started out as an installation company in Vermont. Summers are very short and winters are very long in Vermont. To stay a viable company, we had to figure ways of working through the winter.

Tenting and heating areas during the winter is time consuming and expensive. The solution is found in resin products that will set in low temperatures. The most durable and cost effective options of installation at cold temperatures is Epoxy and Methyl Methacrylate.

Cold Temperature Cure Resins can also be used as a super-fast setting Resinous Mortar or Coating at normal temperatures. Our Cold Temperature Cure Resins used at normal temperature give you quick turnaround time for small jobs, or larger jobs that require a short turn-around time.

Cold Temperatures Epoxies

Cold Temperature Cure Epoxy Resins allow installation to be done at low temperatures as low as 35°F., (although it sets a lot faster at 40°F) expanding your epoxy coating and epoxy flooring installation season. Epoxy.com Cold Temperature Cure Epoxy Resins can also be used in cold storage areas like food processing areas, where the temperature cannot be raised higher than 35° F or so. Normal cured epoxy typically requires 50°F or more.

Depending on how you mix the aggregate into the products below, they can be used as a mortar for overlays, or a grout for sealing between other hardened construction materials.

Commonly Used Cold Temperature epoxies

Product #1 Cold Temperature Cure Epoxy Coating is 100% solids and specially formulated coatings for cold temperature applications. Cold Temperature Epoxy Coating #1 is able to cure at temperatures as low as 35°F. It is has Zero (0) VOCs. Since it has no VOCs, it has no solvent so it meets the strictest possible standard for a low VOC coating. It is often used in coolers and food preparation areas that require constant low temperatures. Product #1 Cold Temperature Cure Epoxy Coating is also frequently used in room temperature applications to meet super-fast cure, limited shutdown needs.

Product #10 Cold Temperature Curing Epoxy Mortar Resin – This product has a low modulus of elasticity (flexibility) and is Low Viscosity. The low viscosity allows heavy loading of the right fillers. The heavy filler loading helps not only to save money, but helps to maintain better thermal coefficient with respect to concrete and steel. The low modulus of elasticity prevents it from being brittle making it less vulnerable to thermal coefficient differences. It also gives it better impact resistance.

You can find more information on cold temperature cured epoxy at: http://www.epoxy.com/EpoxyColdCured.aspx.

Please send me your questions to me by email to norm@epoxy.com


Seamless Epoxy Flooring Systems Explained

August 15, 2016

Epoxy.com offers many different types of seamless flooring. We offer so many kinds that sometimes it confuses people. The purpose of this article is to explain the differences, and to help you choose the right epoxy seamless flooring system for your application. In some cases the right seamless flooring system will not even be an epoxy. It may be polyurethane or Methyl Methacrylate (MMA).

Epoxy.com Epoxy Chip Flooring in VT rest area.

Epoxy.com Epoxy Chip Flooring on a VT Interstate Rest Area – Taken over 15 years after installation.

Epoxy Floor Coatings

Epoxy coatings can be effective flooring systems. When choosing epoxy as a flooring system choose a 100% solids (zero VOC, hard durable coating. You also want a coating that is available in multiple colors. These floor coatings can last for decades, so you want to pick a color that you like. Properly installed you will be looking at this floor coating for a very long time. This kind of flooring system is available in the following options:

  1. Epoxy.com Product #1 – www.epoxy.com/1.htm – meets all the criteria above. It has good chemical resistance, and excellent cost to benefit ratio. Great for warehouses, in areas with high traffic and only modest chemical exposure.
  2. Epoxy.com Product #1ESD – www.epoxy.com/1esd.aspx. This is the same as product #1 above but has conductive filler in it. Depending on the primer you use under this system it can be conductive (100,000 – 1,000,000) ohms of resistance or Electro-Static Dissipative (ESD) which is 1,000,000 to 1, 000,000,000 ohms. Used in plants that produce explosive materials like ammunition, fireworks, flairs, or explosive solvents, and used in areas of sensitive electronics, like computer server buildings, avionics, electronics assembly and electronic production areas.
  3. Epoxy.com Product #2 – www.epoxy.com/2.aspx. This is similar to product #1 but with a much higher chemical resistance. This major increase in chemical resistance is offset by only a small increase in the cost of the #2 over the Product #1. The product #2 is well suited for applications like garages, machine shops, sewer tank floors, battery rooms, cooling towers, grooming shops, dog kennels and all areas where an economical chemical resistant coating is required.
  4. Epoxy.com Product #633 – www.epoxy.com/633.aspx – is a highly chemically resistant epoxy floor coating and flooring system. Like Product #1 and Product #2 is extremely durable. Product #633 is typically used in areas where containment of aggressive chemical is imperative. For example Product #633 will hold up to continuous exposure of 98% Sulfuric acid for a period of at least 6 months without loss of structural integrity. Great for secondary containment for a large number of chemicals.

     

All the systems above can go over many different types of substrates with the proper surface preparation. All of the products above are available in 17 colors and can be color matched for an additional cost. The systems above can be combined with various anti-skid materials or broadcast with silica broadcast aggregate to produce a thicker floor.

 

Chip Floor

Epoxy.com Chip Flooring – www.epoxy.com/chips.aspx – is the perfect blend of economy, durability, low maintenance, and gorgeous appearance. It uses a 100% solids pigmented epoxy base coat, a full broadcast of plastic chips, and two coats of chemical resistant clear glaze. The chemical resistant glaze also makes this easily the most non-yellow epoxy top coat available today. This easy to clean chip flooring system is best for high traffic areas where appearance, durability and low cost of ownership is a must. Chip Flooring is great for commercial and residential kitchens, bathrooms, showers, grooming shops, kennels, veterinary clinics, garage floors, show rooms, rest areas, and much more. This product can be installed with an integral cove base. Epoxy.com Chip Flooring can be installed by a contractor but easy enough to be installed by a home owner. Epoxy.com Chip Flooring can be installed in a residence but is rugged enough to be used in the most demanding commercial applications.

Quartz Flooring

Quartz Flooring Product #15 – www.epoxy.com/15.aspx has a long history of being durable, attractive and non-yellowing. I personally installed this product on high school bathroom floors in the mid 70s. These floors have held up to the test of time with little or no wear, little or no loss of shine and little to no yellowing even under the urinals. This is also available with an integral cove base

Solid Colored Flooring

These solid colored floors are based around self leveling, trowelable or double broadcast application techniques. These floors are sometimes called shop floor. They are made to be thick and extra durable under extremely harsh environments. They can be top coated with any of the systems above under coatings. This kind of flooring is available in 3 speeds of cure: normal, fast, and cold cure. Solid colored flooring is also available with an integral cove base.

Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) Flooring

The big advantage of MMA is speed of curing. Each coat of MMA will cure hard to the touch in 1-2 hours. This allows the next layer to be applied quickly and traffic to be returned to it quickly. You can even build a fast setting integral cove out of MMA resin.

I personally installed MMA on many floors with very tight schedules. One restaurant was only closed for breakfast. The project started with rotten plywood floors. At 10 PM the carpenters came in to work. They removed rotten floor and floor joists. They replaced the floor joists and the plywood. At 5 AM we went in with the flooring installation crew.  We primed the floor and sealed up the joints in the wood and the screw holes. At 6:30 AM we laid the floor. At 8 we put a glaze coating on the floor and by 10:30 the restaurant workers were on the floor prepping for lunch. The floor installation from start to traffic took just 5.5 hours.

Polyurethane Decking Systems

Polyurethane Decking – http://www.epoxy.com/elastomeric.aspx – is the system best used in areas where maximum flexibility is necessary. This is typically outdoors, waterproof applications like balconies.

Specialized Flooring

We have a number of systems that are specialized flooring like conductive and ESD (Electrostatic Dissipative) flooring – www.epoxy.com/conductive.aspx – and various hybrid systems. If your project does not seem to fit in the categories above email me at norm@epoxy.com or call us at 352-533-2167.

 

In conclusion we offer many types of seamless flooring systems, they can be used for commercial and residential applications. These systems are durable, economical, and easy to install even by homeowners. These seamless flooring systems may be made out of epoxy, polyurethane, or methyl Methacrylate (MMA). Seamless flooring systems are available in multicolored or solid colored. They range in chemical resistance from very good to resistant to aggressive chemicals. When in doubt what is right for your project send me an email at norm@epoxy.com or give me a call at 352-533-2167.


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