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.  


Secondary Chemical Containment

February 7, 2017

You can easily build containment in the middle of an existing slab

Building a secondary containment structure in the middle of an existing facility is very common and effective way to protect the facility structurally as well as protect the environment.  It is very easy to do.  Here is how:

  1. Grind the area where the curb will go to bare concrete – www.epoxy.com/surfaceprep.aspx.
  2. Drill holes into the concrete and fasten #4 bar into the concrete with Epoxy.com Product #2006 – www.epoxy.com/2006.aspx – Gel Adhesive. Allow Epoxy to cure overnight.
  3. Form the area to receive concrete curb.
  4. Coat the floor area in the bottom of the forms to receive the concrete for the curb with Epoxy.com Product #2007 – https://www.epoxy.com/Epoxy_Fresh_Concrete_to_Hardened_Concrete_2007.aspx – Wet to dry concrete adhesive. Pour your concrete before the #2007 becomes tack free. That will make it as if the curb and the concrete floor had been poured at the same time.
    1. An alternate method to this is to install concrete brick around the area bonding in place with Product #2006. This will help to reduce waiting for the concrete to cure if you use the poured concrete method above.
  5. Allow the concrete to cure – www.epoxy.comsurfaceprep.aspx.
  6. Cove the inside of the containment curb with Epoxy.com Product #720 – https://www.epoxy.com/720.aspx – coving resin allow to cure overnight.
  7. Prime the inside of the containment area with Epoxy.com Product #12– www.epoxy.com/12.aspx  – Chemical Resistant Primer, and allow to cure overnight.
  8. Install 2 coats of Epoxy.com Product #633 – www.epoxy.com/633.aspx – Chemical Resistant Novolac Epoxy Coating.

Summary

Doing an effective job of building secondary is easier than you may think. For more information visit our website at http://www.epoxy.com, call our technical support department at 352-533-2167 or email us at info@epoxy.com.


Care of Epoxy Floors

November 1, 2016

Epoxy Flooring Systems and Coatings

Daily Maintenance of Seamless Flooring and Floor Coatings

  • Sweep the floors daily.epoxy_chip_flooring_263s
  • If abrasive particles  are present they should be removed by mopping with common household detergents and rinsed completely.  Be sure not to use the detergent at a concentration higher than that recommended by the manufacturer of the floor cleaning material.  Be sure to test any cleaner that you haven’t used before on a sample of the Seamless Flooring Material or Seamless Floor coating.  You may want to be sure to prepare these samples as you are installing the floor so they will be available to you at a later time.
  • Promptly remove grease, and other contaminants from the surface of the floor
  • Be sure to rinse off all chemical solutions that may attack the surface.

Weekly Maintenance of Seamless Flooring and Floor Coatings

Smooth Systems

All seamless flooring and floor coatings should be mopped on a regular bases with a neutral soap or detergent, and completely rinsed. Be sure not to use the detergent at a concentration higher than that recommended by the manufacturer of the floor cleaning material.

Be sure to test any cleaner that you haven’t used before on a sample of the Seamless Flooring Material or Seamless Floor coating.

Mop should be rinsed often. Synthetic mops tend to work better on textured surfaces than cotton mops. The water should be changed frequently as well. Smooth floors are easily cleaned this way. It may be necessary to give extra care to areas that are subject to heavy traffic, hard rubber wheels, and steel wheels that leave marks. In these situations you can use the methods used for textured floors for these more difficult to remove contamination.

Textured Systems

Textured systems may require the use of a stiff bristled brush or floor scrubber to reach to bottom of the anti-skid texture.  Severe problem areas can be treated as follows:

Grease Removal

Grease is typically removed by Tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) or other commonly available biodegradable cleaner. Contact Epoxy.comTechnical Support Department with your specific questions.

Removing Dairy Products

Dairy products should be removed immediately as they may cause staining on some types of seamless flooring and seamless floor coating systems.

Tire Marks Removal

Scrub the area(s) with a stiff bristled brush and using the same biodegradable floor cleaner that you are using to mop with.

Stubborn Dirt or Stain Removal

When you are trying to remove stubborn dirt or stains,allow the biodegradable cleaner to set in the area for a little while longer and do the work for you. Then completely rinse to area to remove the cleaner and the dirt.

Chemical Spills

You should always rinse strong chemicals as quickly as possible completely from the surface. Chemicals allowed to dry on the surface typically become more concentrated as they dry.  That may cause the chemical to get concentrated enough to stain or even attack the seamless floor or seamless floor coating.

Waxing and Polishing of Seamless Flooring and Seamless Floor Coatings

Epoxy.com Epoxy and Urethane Seamless Flooring and Seamless Floor Coating Systems are very shinny and so waxing or polishing are not necessary.  If a floor is very old, or has seen extremely high traffic this shine may dull.  If it does then you can wax or polish the floor with standard commercial products that are designed for that purpose. Better yet, if this happens, you may want to renew or refinish your system – see below.

Renewing and Refinishing Seamless Flooring and Seamless Floor Coating Systems

Epoxy.com Epoxy and Urethane Seamless Flooring and Seamless Floor Coating Systems are designed to withstand heavy traffic and wear.  However, if there is enough traffic and/or abuse to cause the system to loose its shine, or show visible signs of wear, you may wish to restore the floor by “re-glazing” it.  Before re-glazing a flooring system or coating system you need to do the following:

  • Remove all wax, oil, grease and other contaminants from the surface
  • Lightly sand to break the shine
  • Consult with Epoxy.com Technical Support Department for the proper material to re-glaze you floor.  Be sure to follow all directions for installing the re-glazing material.

When in doubt contact Epoxy.com Technical Support at: info@epoxy.com or call us at 352-533-2167. You can also visit our website 24 hours per day at www.epoxy.com


Chemical Resistant Epoxy Selection

October 20, 2016

Requirements for a Chemical Resistant Epoxy or Vinyl Ester


Our Epoxy and Vinyl Ester product lines has extensive uses in Chemical Containment
and Chemical Resistance projects. The kind of product and systems we recommend are
based on a number of factors.  First we need to know exactly what you are doing:

  1. Are you patching concrete that has been damaged already? If so what is the extent
    of the damage?
  2. Do you need a secondary containment coating? If so what kind of traffic (if any)
    will this area see? Many of our systems will handle very heavy traffic.
  3. Are there any cracks that need repairing? If so how many lineal feet of cracks
    are there, what is the average depth and what is the average width. Repairing the cracks
    is the first step in making your project water and chemical tight.
  4. Are you looking to grout tile? We have chemically resistant Epoxy Tile Grout that
    has excellent chemical resistance.
  5. Is there any petroleum oil saturated concrete in the area. If so we have a product
    for that too.
  6. Is there any moisture vapor that is being transmitted through the floor?  We
    have solutions for that so please bring that to our attention when you contact us.
  7. Is this in an area where Static Disruptive or Conductive materials are needed (typically
    only in an explosive environment or where delicate electronics must be protected
    from static discharge).
  8. Total square footage of area requiring Chemical
    Resistant Epoxy or Vinyl Ester.

Then we will need to know some specifics about the chemical you are trying to protect
against:

  1. What is the specific chemical (or chemicals) that you are trying to resist against?
  2. What is the specific concentration of the chemical (or chemicals)?
  3. What is the duration of the exposure, before it will be cleaned up (if ever)?
  4. Is the exposure at an elevated temperature? If so what is that temperature, and
    how long will the chemicals be at this elevated temperature

If you have this information when you contact us, we can quickly help you to decide
what chemical resistant system is best and most economical for you.

Here is some additional reading that might interest you.

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For more information contact Epoxy.com Technical Support at info@epoxy.com or by calling us at 352-533-2167.


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.


Patching Vinyl Ester Floors With Novolac

July 28, 2016

A customer writes:

“We have a dairy processing and packaging facility that was built circa 1994.  At the time of construction we chose to install a flooring system which was vinyl ester based with fiberglass mat.  The floor has held up quite well in areas where it had a good bond.  The failures we have seen are in areas that covered either an expansion joint or control joint in the concrete.  In these areas the flooring has delaminated from the concrete.  Where possible we have made a clean cut through the flooring to an area where we had a good bond and left the concrete exposed.  Other failure areas are around floor drains.  We have made repairs with quick curing epoxies in the past but these don’t seem to bond well to the existing vinyl ester flooring. 

“Having a manufacturing facility with only one down day limits our ability to make substantive repairs.  During a search for low or no VOC  flooring systems I you folks.”

I have personally made many thousands of square feet of floor repairs that sounds exactly like the issues and conditions that you are describing.

Here is what I did to permanently resolve the issue, at least in the patched areas.

  1. Cut back the edges of the delaminated areas back to a point where the vinyl ester is well attached.
  2. Prep the concrete under the failed area and the edges of the old material – epoxy.com/surfaceprep.aspx.
  3. Prime with Epoxy.com Product #12 – epoxy.com/12.aspx
  4. Install a trowel coat of Epoxy.com Product #630 – epoxy.com/633.aspx and
    1. Epoxy Mortar Blend aggregate #82 Mortar Blend Aggregate
    2. Allow to cure hard to the touch and cool.
  5. Glaze with a neat coat of Epoxy.com Product #633 with optional Anti-skid – http://epoxy.com/non-skid-additive-polycarbonate-aggregate.aspx

Please email your additional questions to norm@epoxy.com or visit http://www.epoxy.com .


Are Epoxy.com 100% Solids Epoxy Low VOC

June 23, 2016

A user writes: “I have seen a number of your products that are on a list or marked with a tag that says Zero (0) VOCs.  When I look at the data sheet it says that the Epoxy.com product is 100% Solids, but does not say it is Zero (0) VOCs.”

Norm Lambert > Thank you for pointing that out.  You bring up an excellent question.  Epoxy.com Products that are 100% solids (100% active ingredients) do not contain solvent, that means they have no VOCs making them compliant with the toughest Low VOC Standards. I will start updating pages on the Epoxy.com to reflect that in the future.  Until then please rest assured that all Epoxy.com Products that are 100% solids have no VOCs in them.


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