Steel shotblasting is the most common and preferred method of surface preparation for the application of sealers, coatings, or polymer overlays. Shotblasting cleans and profiles the concrete by removing dirt, laitance, curing compounds, sealers, or other contaminants in preparation for the application of epoxy flooring.
Shotblast systems produce very little dust or contamination making it an ideal method for dust sensitive environments. In shotblasting, steel shot is propelled at the substrate surface at a very high speed. The impact of the shot breaks up the concrete surface, creating a profile. The shot blast equipment is guided in parallel slightly overlapping paths creating a parallel striping effect.
The spent shot is collected, cleaned, and recycled. Since poor surface preparation is a leading cause of industrial flooring failure, Cutting Edge Installations shot blasts all floors prior to installation of the industrial flooring system.
The installation of an epoxy flooring surface is fairly straightforward process.
Preparation of Surface: Thoroughly clean, vacuum and shot blast the entire surface. A profile of CSP 2 or 3 is recommended which is similar to the texture of 60-80 grit sandpaper. A minimum of 15mils of topcoat is required to hide the profile resulting from shot blasting. All cracks, pop-outs, divots or other imperfections should be filled prior to installation of topcoat.
Joints and cracks: Do not fill expansion or isolation joints with coating. A flexible or semi-rigid material should instead be installed in those areas. Saw cuts, control joints and cracks can be filled in a controlled temperature environment.
Temperature: Epoxy surfaces are affected by temperature. Product installation is best suited to temperatures between 70-85 degrees F to insure proper bonding. The ideal installation temperature is 70 degrees F for proper product flow. It is recommended an infrared thermometer by utilized by installation crew.
Dew Point: If the concrete surface is too cool, moisture will convert to a liquid form and condense on the surface. Moisture present on surfaces will inhibit bonding. Epoxy cannot be installed if temperatures are within 5 degrees of the dew point.
Moisture Vapor: Epoxy coatings will likely fail when excessive vapor is present. Calcium chloride test kits will ensure readers are acceptable.
Priming: Priming is recommended to ensure a good bond between the substrate and coating. Match the prime to installation condition. Generally the fastest curing, lowest viscosity primer is best.
Application: Generally, it’s best to not exceed 20 mm of material per lift. Thick layers are brittle and often form air bubbles. Best results are derived from application with a flat squeegee and back rolling by a short nap roller. Squeegees distribute material evenly and efficiently to cure epoxy material at an even rate.
Recoat window: Follow the same procedures used with primer, filler or topcoat. Recoating is impacted by temperature. If unsure if surface is ready to receive recoating, it’s best to sand surface prior to coating. If resin has not cured enough to support traffic, prints will be left in the material.
Grinding is primarily used to remove coatings, thin polymer overlays, and deposits. Grinding may also be used to create or eliminate concrete profiling. In grinding, rotating abrasive stones or discs impact the surface at a high rate of speed. The grinding stone or disc is applied under pressure and moved across the surface until the desired effect is achieved. The grinder is guided in a circular overlapping paths producing little if any pattern. Handheld right angle grinders are used to remove epoxy coatings around walls, edges, and corners. Cutting Edge Installations utilizes a variety of grinding methods and techniques in order to prep the substrate in the most effective and efficient manner possible.
Cove base is a type of trim that is installed along the base of an interior wall where the wall meets the floor. It is primarily made of epoxy aggregate and formed to protect the base of a wall from damage and to provide a finished look where it is installed.
This process takes place after the floor has been primed and is finished along with the steps the floor is going to have for that type of system.
It also is available in 4", 6", 8" heights to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
Cutting Edge Installations Inc. is a certified installer for a variety of manufacturers, including: