Selecting the Right Floor for a Mechanical Room

July 27, 2015

Mechanical Room Floors are very unique in their use and conditions. You have to consider the installation environment and the function of the floor. Our Mechanical Room Floor will protect the concrete, and contain any liquids that spill.

Systems used in mechanical rooms should be zero VOC. You do not want solvent evaporating from your material. Evaporated solvent could be picked up by your air handling unit sending it through your building. The best way to prevent this is with a VOC free 100% solids resin system. A resin system that is 100% solids has no solvent (or water) in it. It also means when you spread a gallon of material on your floor after it hardens you still have a gallon of material. With water-based and solvent based materials you lose half the material to evaporation.

Mechanical rooms should be chemical resistant. Typically they are top coated with Epoxy.com Product #2 Chemical Resistant Epoxy – www.epoxy.com/2.aspx. If it is a chemical feed room you can supply a list of chemicals and concentrations to the technical support department so you can make sure the #2 is chemical resistant enough.

The systems used for mechanical rooms are impact resistant. The limiting factor is the strength of the concrete substrate. Properly installed the epoxy will stay bonded to the concrete. The only way the epoxy can chip is if you chip the concrete from underneath the epoxy. You can install a thicker epoxy floor for an additional cost if you think you need still additional protection.

The systems recommend for mechanical rooms are highly abrasion resistant and will easily handle traffic up to heavy fork lift traffic. The system can be made even thicker if you have an unusual amount of abusive traffic.

When the mechanical room is over a finished space, it is suggested that a crack isolation membrane be integrated into the system. This can be done with Product #32 Epoxy Membrane System. The advantage of #32 Epoxy Membrane Resin as part of the system is 100% solids and has zero VOCs.

If the mechanical room is shut down and you can handle solvent and want something still more flexible you can use Epoxy.com Product #459 a two component, high solids, elastomeric urethane instead of or in addition to the Product #32 Epoxy Membrane above. Product #459 exhibits excellent elongation properties along with high tensile strength and tear resistance to make it an ideal crack resistant membrane for use under Product #2 and all of our other epoxy mechanical room floor coatings.

One of the primary reasons you need a mechanical room floor over finished space below is to waterproof it. The above methods accomplish the waterproofing in the center of the floor. The edges of the floor can be protective with a coving material up the wall and around pipe penetrations. That can be accomplished with Product #720 Epoxy Coving Resin System which can be used to install an integral cove base for all of our epoxy based mechanical room flooring and most of our other epoxy flooring and coating systems. This provides seamless wall to floor protection.

For more information on seamless water and chemical resistant mechanical room flooring, contact Epoxy.com Technical Support Department at 352-533-2167, or email me at norm@epoxy.com.

 


New Epoxy Seamless Flooring Calculators

August 15, 2013

Chip Flooring Calculator


A new calculator has been written to give you and estimated list of materials that you will need. All you do is type the number of square feet you want to do and click calculate. You will then have a list of Epoxy.com Materials that you will need to use for your floor. The Epoxy.com Flooring calculater is located at: www.epoxy.com/


Epoxy Coating and Flooring Installation Job Supplies

November 20, 2012

Here is a suggested list of the materials that you will need for most typical epoxy coating systems.  This list is also useful for installing roller applied coating systems like Epoxy.com Chip Flooring.

  • 1 roller pan
  • 6 inserts for roller pan
  • 15 stir sticks
  • 12 (5 QT) plastic pails
  • 3 (5 G) plastic pails
  • Roll of Duct Tape
  • 5 heavy duty 9″ roller frames
  • 6 (3/8″ nap) roller covers *be sure the roller nap doesnot fall apart in hands*
  • Roller handle extension poll
  • 4 Hard Plastic Body Filler type Squeegees
  • Paper 6oz Dixie cups
  • 2 (2 blade) mixing paddles – should be at least 5 inches in diameter and capable of being used in a heavy duty drill
  • Heavy Duty Drill for mixing paddles above
  • 6 (2″) paint brushes  *check bristles to be certain they CAN NOT be pulled out*
  • Latex (or non latex) rubber gloves
  • Vacuum (Shop Vacuum Quality)
  • Stiff Bristled Broom *check to make sure bristles do not fall out*
  • Chalk line or laser to set lines that need to be masked
  • Roll of plastic to keep buckets on to avoid drips onto floor
  • Go Jo Hand cleaner or fast orange for hands and skin

*Note – Epoxy does NOT come out of fabrics*

For more information visit www.epoxy.com.


Epoxy Products used to Repair Plant and Shop Floors

November 7, 2012

Industrial Floor Maintenance with Epoxy

Preventing and Fixing Deteriorating Floor Joints and Potholes

It is said that there are two types of concrete floors, those with cracks and those that are going to crack. Cracks and potholes in plant and shop floors are a major problem to safety and aesthetics. Here we will discuss what causes them. We will also discuss how to repair them quickly and economically. For those floors that have not cracked we will discuss how to minimize or prevent the cracking and potholes.

It is a common misconception that heavy loads on the floors cause most flooring problems, and so it cannot be prevented. If you are building a new plant or shop floor there are steps that will help to prevent most flooring problems. For existing flooring problems we will discuss how to fix the problems and prevent the problems from getting worse.

Causes of Cracking and Potholes in Shop Floors

Most concrete flooring problems are caused by one of the following:

  1. Improper installation of the concrete, or poor concrete
  2. Improperly cut expansion joints
  3. Steel and hard rubber tires eroding unfilled expansion joints, random cracks and potholes
  4. Chemical attack

Proper installation of Concrete in New Plant and Shop Floors

For new construction make sure you specify and get high quality high strength concrete. Create a box-out form around beams, pipes and other penetrations that go through your floor. Be sure that the corner of your box-outs line up with the saw-cut joints that you will be putting in the floor. Penetrations through the concrete cause a “weakened plain”. A weakened plane is typically created at the shortest distance between the box-outs. That is typically from the corner of one boxed out area to the next closest boxed out area.

Do not allow your concrete finisher to over finish your concrete. Concrete finishers tend to over-finish concrete because they are concerned that if they don’t the owner will not like it. Over-finished concrete does look better than properly finished concrete until the over finished starts to deteriorate. The deterioration cause by over finished concrete typically does not take very long to occur.

The best finishing of concrete leaves it flat, but does not bring up the “cream” in the concrete. It will not look as shinny and smooth but concrete that is not over finished will look more attractive and be more functional over time. Bringing up the “cream” in the concrete is done by over working the mix or adding too much water or adding water to the batch. The “cream” consists of dust from the aggregate and Portland cement.

This “cream” creates a great looking finish at first, because it is so weak, it chips easily. This “cream” has too high a water content so you tend to get micro-cracking in the surface. When your concrete finisher is power troweling your concrete and starts splashing water into the surface as he is finishing it he is about to over trowel the concrete and bring up the cream. It is time to get the concrete finisher to stop troweling.

Water curing of the concrete is what most state highway departments require to cure concrete bridge decks. Wet curing is favored over other methods by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Wet curing will help to stop the top of your concrete from drying out too fast. If you cure with a curing compound instead of water, you will need to remove the curing compound to install high quality coatings and sealers.

Proper curing will help to prevent “curling” of the concrete slab, and help to prevent micro-cracking (crazing) of the surface. Curling is caused when the top dries and shrinks before the concrete underneath dries and shrink. This works much like a bimetallic strip used in a thermostat, the concrete will twist upwards or curl. Proper curing helps to prevent concrete curling and the cracking that will result from it. Another major advantage of wet cured concrete that is not over finished is that there is much less surface preparation required when you go to coat or seal it.

Cut expansion joints often enough, wide enough, and deep enough. Typically the best way to cut concrete down to 16 foot by 16 foot squares or even smaller. The larger the spacing between saw cut joints the more likely you are to get a random crack where you do not want it. The concrete should be cut-up as square as possible. Care should be taken that all the saw cut joints line up with each other in a checkerboard pattern. Be sure the cut is at least 1/3 of the way through the slab, and that the cracks are 1/4 inch or wider. That way all the plastic shrinkage (drying) cracking should occur under the saw-cut relief joint.

Using Epoxy to Protect New Plant Shop Floors

Seal or coat the concrete to protect it against wear and chemicals. Epoxy.com Product #223 Water Based Curing Compound, Sealer and Bonding Agent is a two component water based epoxy curing that is used to both cure and seal concrete. Epoxy.com Product #223 www.epoxy.com/223.htm is an excellent choice for installers that want a long pot life product that is easy to use. Epoxy.com Product #223 is an excellent choice as a sealer where waiting 28 days to seal the concrete is not an option. Product #223 can be installed as early as early as 7 days after the concrete is poured. Giving you early protection.

Allow the concrete to dry for 28 days so that most of the shrinkage at the expansion joint has taken place. Clean the crack thoroughly, then install a bond breaker “rope” in the bottom of the joint. Then fill the joints with Epoxy.com Product #11 Saw-Cut Control Joint Fillerwww.epoxy.com/11.htm. Epoxy.com Product #11 Saw-Cut Control Joint Filler is a 100% solids zero (0) VOC, flexible epoxy joint filler for saw-cut joints of concrete slabs on grade, or to repair existing slabs.Random cracks and improperly filled expansion joints are where the potholes in plant/shop floors are born. As steel and hard rubber wheels pass over these unfilled cracks and joints it hammers the edge of the crack in the direction of the travel. This action cause small chips. As the process continues small chips become larger chips. Soon you have a small pot hole and the damage continues to accelerate.

Epoxy.com Product #11 Saw-Cut Control Joint Filler absorbs the impact and shock of heavy loads and steel wheeled traffic, preventing erosion of control joint edges. Epoxy.com Product #11 prevents the “jack-hammer” effect on the joint that you are traveling towards. This will help prevent most if not all of the “pot-hole” effect that most plant floors see developing at their expansion joint over time.

If you want to seal your floor using a 100% solids epoxy use Epoxy.com Product #899 – www.epoxy.com/899.aspx for sealing the concrete. Epoxy.com also has a wide variety of shop floor coatings and trowel down systems. Contact Epoxy.com Technical Support Department with your specific needs for a recommendation.

Repairing Random Cracks in Floors with Methyl Methacrylate

Random cracking in plant / shop floors can easily and economically be repaired with Epoxy.com Product #685 Liquid MMA Polymer Crack Repair Resin a penetrating gravity feed crack healer for concrete. It is a two component Methyl Methacrylate resin system that polymerizes in place. The extremely low viscosity will penetrate into concrete cracks as fine as 0.003 inches. Epoxy.com Product #685 welds the crack back together making the concrete as strong as it was before it cracked.Repairing a Shop / Plant Floor with Epoxy After it is Damaged.

For those who have already built their buildings you can still fill all the joints especially in the traffic areas with Epoxy.com Product #11 – www.epoxy.com/11.htm. Filling the joints with Epoxy.com Product #11 will prevent additional potholes from forming in areas where there are none yet. To fill the “potholes” in level areas you will typically want Epoxy.com Product #25 – www.epoxy.com/25.htm. Epoxy.com Product #25 is a 100% solids epoxy resin and specially selected aggregate system. Units are preproportioned for ease of mixing and use on the jobsite. Epoxy.com Product #25 is a flowable, self-leveling grout, with handling and physical characteristics superior to similar grouts. Epoxy.com Product #25 is conveniently packaged and makes “pothole” repair in your shop/plant floor quick, easy, and economical. The Epoxy.com Product 25 is the best material when you are looking for a convenient packaging and is easy to use for small jobs.

For larger projects or surfaces that have a slope so you cannot use a self leveling material should use Epoxy.com Product #10 – www.epoxy.com/10.aspx and Epoxy.com Product #82 Mortar Blend Aggregate. With the right mixing equipment you can put up to 100 pounds of #82 into 1 mixed gallon of Epoxy.com Product #11. That gives you a nice stiff mix, and excellent economy. Epoxy.com Product #10 is a low-mod material, with high strength. That makes it perfectly suited for outdoor patching. Epoxy.com Product #10 is the best material for most large jobs.

If you cannot allow overnight for your epoxy patching material to cure you will want to use Epoxy.com Product #680 Polymer Concrete. Product #680 is a methyl methacrylate reactive resin concrete used for repair of concrete structures with a minimum of downtime. Epoxy.com Product #680 develops strength rapidly. Epoxy.com Product #680 Polymer Concrete can be put in service in as little as one hour even at temperatures below freezing. The Epoxy.com Product #680 polymer concrete produces extremely high strengths and is chemical resistant. Epoxy.com Product #680 is prepackaged for easy mixing and placing at the job site. Epoxy.com Product #680 Polymer concrete cures hard in about 1 hour, allowing for quick turnaround of the area being patched. Epoxy.com Product #680 is the best material when you need the patch to set in about an hour.

If the concrete has a lot of pitting in it, you can apply a “scratch-coat”. A “scratch-coat” is done as follows:

1. Carefully measure epoxy resin and hardener. Mix for 3 minutes.

2. Add aggregate to the mixed resin and hardener above, and mix completely.

3. Pour out the epoxy resin hardener and aggregate blend onto the concrete.

4. Then pull a very tight troweled coat over the entire surface, filling the low spots while scraping as much epoxy resin and aggregate material as possible away from the high spots.

The material for a “scratch-coat” is with Epoxy.com Product #10 – www.epoxy.com/10.htm and Epoxy.com Product #78 Self-Leveling filler. Epoxy.com Product #10 and Product #82 mortar blend aggregate is the best blend for building ramps and smoothing uneven transitions between slabs.

Just because your floor is already damaged by chemicals, doesn’t mean it is too late. Most floors can be saved with proper patching (as
discussed above) and a chemical resistant flooring system installed over the patching system. Contact Epoxy.com Technical Support for assistance.

Additional Related Reading

The installation of these materials above are beyond the scope of this page. Here are some areas to explore this in more detail:

Do with Epoxies

Don’ts with Epoxies

Surface Preparation

Chip Flooring Installation Guide

Coating Installation Guide

Coatings Calculator – for roller applications

Links to popular systems used in residential and commercial construction resin work


Air Plane Hangers and Garages

Coating Systems

Outside Decks and Drive Ways

Product Catalog

Bonding Systems

Waterproofing

Chips Flooring


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