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.

 


Basement Waterproofing with Epoxy

September 4, 2014

Many homes and businesses experience leaky basements year after year. The worse time is in the spring after winter accumulation of snow. There are a number of prudent things that you can do to improve drainage against your foundation like roof gutters, grading and improvement of drainage. The recommendations here do not replace that conventional wisdom. It is designed to augment and improve upon these conventional methods.

The following article will be 1 of 2. This one deals with Block wall foundations. The next one will deal with poured wall foundations.

Waterproofing Block Wall Foundations with Epoxy

One of the nicest features of most of our epoxies are that they are virtually 100% waterproof. Water simply cannot pass through a good healthy layer of properly applied concrete, block, wood etc. Epoxy also has an incredible bond to concrete, cement, wood and many other construction materials. The bond strength of epoxy to concrete and cement is greater than the tensile strength of the concrete. That means on properly prepared concrete, epoxy cannot be removed without pulling concrete with it. The same is true about wood.

Considerations in Waterproofing with Epoxy

All this gives you the perfect combination to make a block wall watertight. There are limitations however:

  1. In an ideal world the epoxy should be applied on the positive pressure side of the wall, the outside. This way the pressure of the water is pushing it into the wall. That helps to mitigate the likelihood that you get so much pressure on the concrete block that you fracture the block. Typically by the time you know you have a leak you are already backfilled and landscaped so 95% of the time it is not practical to do on the outside of the wall. So you do it on the inside instead.

    Water exerts a pressure of less than ½ psi per foot of water depth and most basement walls are only 8 foot high, so you would typically only see 4 psi. So it is unlikely that you have a pressure greater than the tensile strength of the block. So doing it on the inside is typically the only economical alternative.

  2. The Product #1W Epoxy is much more flexible than the concrete block and mortar, but if the mortar or concrete gets any significant cracks in it, it will crack through the coating. On the other hand, the system is very easy to patch if it does crack. We also make a wall grade version of our crack isolation membrane Epoxy.com Product #32 – www.epoxy.com/32.htm – which can reduce the potential for small cracks (which are the most common).
  3. A clean substrate is required for maximum effectiveness – www.epoxy.com/surfaceprep.aspx. For technical support contact me at norm@epoxy.com or 352-533-2167

Installation of Epoxy Waterproofing on Block Walls

Once the wall is clean, you need to point-up (fill) any cracks, bad mortar joints, and larger holes that are in the block. Some people use conventional mortar and wait 28 days for it to cure as per the American Concrete Institute. This is a very inexpensive way to do it, but can be affective if done properly. A more effective way to insure the right results is the use of Product #2005 Epoxy Gel Adhesive – www.epoxy.com/2005.aspx. That insures that you have a tight bond over the cracked areas and have already produced a tight waterproof seal in that area. Also the #2005 Gel Epoxy is semi flexible and allows more movement before cracking that conventional grout. The #2005 allows your coating to be installed the day after the #2005 is applied.

Once the cracks and holes are repaired, much of your work is done. You simply apply 1 coat of Epoxy.com Product #899 – www.epoxy.com/899.aspx – Epoxy Primer and allow to dry overnight.

After the primer has cured overnight you can apply the optional crack isolation membrane Product #32W – Wall Grade, or proceed to the coating below. If you do apply the crack isolation membrane 2 coats of the membrane are best. One advantage of the two coats of membrane is that typically you can reduce the number of coats of top coating that is required to seal the block. As you put on the membrane be sure to check to see that the holes in the block are being filled as you go.

Depending on the porosity of your concrete and if you used the crack isolation membrane above you will want to apply 2-4 coats of 1W epoxy wall coating. As you put on each coat check to see that the holes in the block wall are being filled.

Summary of Waterproofing Basement Walls with Epoxy

In conclusion: Leaking basements are a major problem to many structures in the spring. The easiest time to repair them is during the winter when there is little or no leakage. Epoxy.com epoxy coating systems can affectively and economically solve most basement leaking problems. The final product is a hard attractive ceramic like finish that does not require additional painting or other finishes over it.

Next Issue: Waterproofing Poured Wall foundations with Epoxy.

Additional Information on Epoxy Coatings

Product #1W (Wall Grade)  Epoxy Wall Coating – a general purpose epoxy wall coating

Product #2W (Wall Grade) Cemical Resistant Epoxy Wall Coating 

Product #32 (Wall Grade) Flexible Epoxy Membrane

Where to Start when installing epoxy.


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