Industrial floor paint products are used to protect the flooring of buildings, facilities, warehouses, and loading areas. While concrete materials are tough and durable on their own, they are prone to seepage because of their porous nature. You can see this in auto shops, loading areas, or even in your own concrete driveway as oil spills stain the material.
The porous nature of concrete means that it is also prone to chipping which means that impacts may widen cracks and dents, causing your floor to become even more compromised. A proper industrial floor paint not only seals up the porous surface, it can lessen the impact of scrapes, drops, and bumps that might otherwise damage your flooring.
Three Essential Elements to Industrial Floor Paint
The paint you choose needs to be aesthetically pleasing, but also possess three vital elements for it to work well.
Strong: The strength of the paint is vital because it is facing foot or vehicular traffic that causes scrapes and chipping to occur. The stronger the paint, the more it will hold up against the daily pressure, which means that your floors stay protected. Naturally, thicker coats of paint will help with its strength, but that will need to be balanced with the time and expense of the application process.
Durable: In addition to being strong, it also needs to last for a long time so you get the most value out of it. The durability of the paint means that it should hold up under most conditions for years before it needs to be repainted. This saves you money while causing less disruptions as frequent repainting slows down the operations of your business. Plus, if you should decide to sell the building or facility, having a strong floor paint present is considered a bonus for potential buyers.
Environmentally Safe: Most industrial floor paint products are made up of polyurethane, which is a very strong, durable material that unfortunately also has toxic properties called isocyanates. Studies have shown that while most of the isocyanates toxins are released from the polyurethane before it dries, even in its hardened state it will still give off these properties at a slower rate. This means that over time, the indoor air will become polluted with toxins that may cause allergy issues or in some cases, respiratory problems.
To avoid toxins, you should choose a paint that is low in polyurethane and considered “green” which means that the toxins present are in such low amounts that health issues are highly unlikely.
How Industrial Floor Coating Works
A proper floor coating provides exceptional protection from spills, impacts, and scrapes that otherwise might damage the concrete itself. The coating is usually made from polyurethane, a strong, durable material that is applied wet. When it dries, the polyurethane product seals the surface and provides additional protection that keeps the floor in like-new condition.
Because the substance is durable, your floor coating will last for years under normal use conditions acting as a barrier that prevents staining, cracking, and discoloration due to aging.
Benefits of Protecting Industrial Floors
There are several advantages to using the right industrial floor coating products, especially if your floors are still in like-new condition.
Prevents Staining: While the stains caused by spills create an unwanted discoloration of the floor, the coating provides additional benefits by protecting the concrete itself. Because the coating acts as a barrier, the concrete is not compromised by liquids, dirt, and debris that otherwise would weaken the material over time.
Prevents Cracking and Chipping: Proper floor coating is quite effective in preventing impacts from causing cracking or chipping of the surface. Because of the porous nature of concrete, damage from impacts can be considerably reduced when the proper coating is applied.
Improves Property Value: While no company can promise that their product will improve the sale value of your property. It is true that buyers become more interested when they see the flooring is properly protected. A strong floor coating means less money spent on maintenance and repairs and more confidence that the like-new condition will last for a long time. This makes a positive impact on potential buyers.
Epoxy vs. Urethane Concrete
Concrete is a marvelous substance that is inexpensive, yet highly durable and relatively easy to use for streets, driveways, sidewalks, and flooring. However, with all its attributes, one of the biggest issues about concrete is how porous a material it can be. Over time, the concrete can be easily stained, chipped, and damaged to the point where it needs repair or replacement.
The good news is that you can purchase an industrial floor paint that provides the proper protection from foot and vehicular traffic while resisting stains so that cleanup is easy. Of course, you must choose the right type of floor paint that works best for your needs.
Epoxy: There are many advantages to industrial floor paint products that are based on epoxy. It will stick to the concrete, provide protection against spills, abrasions, and scuffing common with both foot and vehicular traffic.
For manufacturing plants or warehouses that might have harsh chemicals, epoxy is highly resistant which means that some spills may not even discolor the paint, much less remove it. Add to this the fact that epoxy is inexpensive, highly resilient, and even possesses anti-skid properties, and its little wonder that substance is so popular with floor paints.
The two issues with epoxy paints start with not being very heat resistant. This means that in facilities or plants that areas operating at high temperatures, it may not be the best. Plus, standard epoxy contains toxic substances which are often volatile organic chemicals (VOC) which may cause long-term health issues for those working inside.
When wet, the toxins move into the air as the paint dries. However, even after it has fully dried, there will still be some toxins that escape. Without proper ventilation, they can build up and present health issues for those who are there for long periods.
Urethane Cement: If your facility has rooms that operate in high temperature conditions, then urethane cement may be the right product for you. It also does not have the shiny appearance of epoxy coatings and it bonds quite well with concrete. The cement itself is troweled onto the surface and provides excellent protection from moisture, abrasions, and temperature changes.
However, epoxy does have its advantages in buildings, factories, and facilities where it is not exposed to high temperatures or harsh chemicals. Choosing between either epoxy or urethane cement means considering factors such as how you expect it to perform over time, the conditions of your current floor, how it looks, and naturally, your budget.