Sanitary floors are foundational to a clean, healthy facility. Hard working industrial floor coating systems, with their seamless, high strength surfaces and outstanding chemical resistance, offer waste management facilities the innovative solutions they need.
By Sophia Daukas
Maintaining a clean facility is especially important where the risk of hazardous exposure is higher. For organizations in the waste management industry, stringent disinfecting and cleaning protocols help ensure the health and safety of employees and can influence operational success. Custodial teams are likely to have robust processes in place for cleaning and sanitizing equipment. However, floor surfaces can sometimes get overlooked. Spills and runoff from waste collection, sorting and recycling can often contain pathogenic microbes that end up on the concrete floor. By turning to high concentration disinfectants, increased surface agitation, powerful sprayers or steam cleaning, managers hope to mitigate the dangers. However, surface contamination is only part of the story.
Concrete is porous in nature. Bare slabs, as well as treated surfaces with open seams, failing grout lines or cracks, give noxious particulate and liquids the opportunity to enter the concrete matrix. Inside the dark, moist slab, pathogens can find an ideal setting in which to grow and spread. Alternatively, toxins can flow through the porous concrete to contaminate the soil and groundwater below.
For recyclers and waste processors, the answer lies in being able to use the targeted sanitizing chemicals and techniques needed, while being assured that potential hazards either stay isolated on the slab surface for cleanup or flow unimpeded to the floor drain when appropriate. Selecting the right seamless concrete protection to meet these requirements starts with understanding industrial floor coating basics.
Aggregate-Filled Epoxy Flooring
Flooring comprised of high solids epoxy and fine sand aggregate can be an economical industrial grade option for facilities with heavy foot and handcart traffic as well as moderate forklift traffic. The 1/16-inch to 1/8-inch thick surface offers good impact resistance and durability. Depending on the cleaning methods and disinfectants being used, a variety of chemical resistant urethane topcoats are available to provide additional protection as needed.
Epoxy Mortar Flooring
Epoxy mortar is a heavy-duty concrete re-surfacer that offers impressive impact resistance and compressive strength. Power-troweled onto the floor at a quarter-inch thickness, this industrial flooring is ideal for busy facilities with ongoing forklift traffic and heavy loads. The mortar can be applied seamlessly over curbs and used to correct floor slope for proper drainage. For floors regularly exposed to extreme pH sanitizers, novolac epoxy mortar, which offers excellent resistance to acids and alkalis, is available from some manufacturers.
Epoxy Steel Mortar Flooring
Epoxy steel mortar takes quarter-inch epoxy mortar flooring to the next level with its steel aggregate content. This extremely durable quarter-inch thick re-surfacer provides outstanding abrasion and impact resistance in abusive environments, such as dumpster pads and offloading areas. The high strength surface helps protect concrete slabs from breaking down and allows for a variety of cleaning and disinfecting techniques.
Cementitious Urethane Flooring
Available in various thicknesses and formulations, cementitious urethane flooring furnishes a unique set of benefits to facilities requiring frequent disinfection. It can also stand up to nearly all cleaning methods, including steam-cleaning. Some of the key characteristics of urethane mortar flooring include:
• Excellent performance in continuously moist, wet conditions
• Can withstand exposure to extreme pH chemicals
• Highly resistant to thermal shock and thermal cycling
• Tenacious bond to concrete substrates
• Low odor installation
• Quick curing at room temperature
Urethane mortar flooring is a strong choice for industries with tough disinfecting and sanitizing procedures.
Decorative Floors with Industrial Grade Resins and Outstanding Strength
Offices, locker rooms and employee cafeterias subjected to stringent disinfecting routines can benefit from decorative floor coatings comprised of industrial-grade resins. With a nearly unlimited selection of colored quartz, multi-colored flake and metallic blends to choose from, these aesthetically appealing floors can withstand exposure to a range of harsh chemicals and detergents. Decorative resinous floor coatings can:
• Withstand high levels of foot and cart traffic
• Be easily and economically maintained
• Include performance enhancing topcoats
• Be customized for slip resistance
• Stand up to a wide range of harsh chemicals
When aesthetics and durability are a must, decorative resinous floor coatings offer an array of options.
Seamless Protective Flooring Solutions
Sanitary floors are foundational to a clean, healthy facility. This is especially true for operations that process municipal, institutional or industrial waste and recycling materials. Ensuring that pathogens and toxins on the floor can be isolated and properly disposed of, rather than allowing them to seep into porous concrete floor slabs, is critical to the effort. Hard working industrial floor coating systems, with their seamless, high strength surfaces and outstanding chemical resistance, offer waste management facilities the innovative solutions that they need. | WA
Sophia Daukus is Marketing Communications Manager for Florock Polymer Flooring. Manufactured in Chicago, IL since 1952, Florock offers one of the most complete lines of epoxy flooring and concrete floor coatings on the market with decorative, high performance solutions to address the unique conditions of nearly every application. From manufacturing to food processing, from education to retail and beyond, Florock provides facilities across a broad spectrum of industries with optimal protection and outstanding flooring value. For more information, call 800-FLOROCK (356-7625) or visit www.florock.net.