Best Practices-Concrete Floor Preparation

Concrete flooring failures are a major problem for facility owners. Typically installed prior to moving fixtures and equipment into place, epoxy floors require proper preparation of the concrete to avoid failures and expensive repairs and downtime to do so. The International Concrete Repair Institute and ASTM have developed criteria for the proper preparation of epoxy coated floors.

Central Coast Waterproofings best practices for flooring preparation make flooring failures an unlikely occurrence.

Concrete must be prepared for epoxy coatings by one of several methods.

One is acid washing the concrete. Muriatic acid diluted to a workable mixture can be applied. Runoff can cause problems with lawns, plants and streams. As it has to be rinsed after working, the concrete needs to dry, often for several days.

 Pressure washing at 3500 psi+ is also an acceptable concrete preparation method. Again, water injected into the concrete needs time to dry out.

A third method, now the preferred method of top applicators, is shot blasting. Shot blasting uses small metal beads that are fired at the concrete through a very fast moving spinning wheel. The high velocity shot removes the smooth concrete surface, leaving behind a roughened up concrete. Using a blower or vacuum, the dust is then removed and the floor is quickly ready for epoxy application with little downtime.

Central Coast Waterproofing uses shotblasting as it’s preferred method of concrete floor preparation. It is considered a “Best Practice” to do so. See the pictures above demonstrating the difference.

After shotblasting, the floor can then be examined for cracks. Shotblasting reveals smaller cracks that may be missed on a dirty/dusty floor. Cracks are chased with a “crack chaser” wheel that opens them in a V. After blowing out the cracks, they are filled with a 2 part epoxy crack filler and allowed to dry for 4-8 hours.

Best practices demand that floors have enough control joints in them, typically every 10′ x 10′ in the field. Even then cracking can occur and we recommend that control joints be cut to relieve stress on the slab.

While these steps take time and cost some money for the labor and a little for materials, the result will be a floor that performs as intended for years.

When your flooring project demands best practices, call us.  Dial 805-545-8300 and ask for Bill Leys.

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