Polyures and epoxy coatings are a new breed of concrete coatings with extraordinary benefits when properly applied with the highest quality blends. They are being applied by a small but growing network of highly skilled flooring entrepreneurs around the country. The highest quality polyureas are not massed produced. They require an investment in specific equipment and mastery of the application system.
The Application System
The first step is to acquire high production concrete grinding equipment. These are high torque grinders that cut the concrete easily. They have specialized dustless vacuum systems minimizing airborne dust. Surface preparation is critical to successful application. High spots throughout the floor are leveled, including along expansion joints, which typically are higher than most areas of the floor. Polyureas are not a self leveling product like epoxy. Epoxies tend to have varied thickness throughout the floor. Polyureas perform best with a smooth level surface resulting with a consistent coating thickness.
Once the floor is ground smooth, cracks and damaged areas, including expansion joints, are repaired with a filler compatible with the coatings. These repair products are solvent free, do not shrink, are flexible and impact resistant.
Once the floor is ground and cracks, expansion joints and damaged areas repaired, the floor can be coated. Polyureas are fast curing, avoiding downtime between repair and application.
- Increased Adhesion – Grinding opens the pores of the surface allowing the first coat of the polyurea to soak into the concrete. This is typically a coat of approximately 4-5 mils thick. There are no solvents and therefore no shrinkage. The second coat is 11-12 mils thick. The combined coats become part of the floor capping off moisture pressure.
- Delamination Resistant – Polyurea ingredients are high quality and expensive to blend. The cross linking strength is extraordinary and will not break down due to efflorescence in the concrete. The ability to soak into the surface means the coating is part of the floor, not stuck to the surface. In most cases the concrete will break before the coating comes off.
- Bacteria Resistant – The highest quality polyureas are engineered to resist scratching. Micro scratches that do appear, have straight edges, not frayed. A straight edge will not harbor dirt and trap moisture that causes bacteria growth. Frayed micro scratches trap moisture and dirt creating bacteria growth and making floor difficult to keep clean.
- Floor Types – Polyureas are excellent for all concrete flooring. They are applied with exceptional performance for all industrial floor types including, warehouses, laboratories, distribution centers, restaurants, retail stores, dog kennels and medical facilities.
- Low Maintenance – Being scratch proof prevents dirt buildup. Floors are easy to clean with neoprine squeegees and look great for years. If they do start to fade, they can be lightly sanded, and a single, fast curing new coat can be applied. Service can be restored the following day.