Repairs or replacement of floors in industrial facilities are usually undertaken in connection with significant damage to the existing floor, with the need to raise the standard or change the company’s business profile. In many cases, modern flooring technologies based on synthetic resins allow one to reduce production downtime to the necessary minimum.
Experts from Flowcrete, a leading manufacturer and supplier of resin floors, suggest:
- On what substrates can resin floors be made?
- What steps should be taken if the substrate needs to be repaired?
- What possibilities do fast-curing flooring systems offer?
Application of resin floors on previous finishing materials
During the modernization of the production hall, related, for example, to the introduction of a new quality standard, often there is a need to make resin floors on the existing floor, without chipping, milling or grinding. The decision depends on the type of the existing floor and the assessment of its technical condition made by the flooring contractor.
In the case of tiles, most often found in older plants, it is necessary to check their adhesion to the concrete substrate, e.g. through the hammer test (a hollow sound indicates their detachment) and checking the grouting condition. Those tiles that are not permanently attached to the substrate and crumbling joints should be removed. Application of a resin floor on this type of substrate requires special preparation, e.g. grinding, filling cavities, and levelling the surface with resin-based mass with quartz sand.
In the case of thin-layer coatings, e.g. self-smoothing resin floors with a thickness of up to 2–3 mm, however, it should be taken into account that divisions will be visible on the surface of the resin floor, e.g. in places where joints were previously located. Resin floors often require laying a glass mat and resin laminate on the surface of the old floor to strengthen the substrate, level it and improve the adhesion of the new coating.
In the case of ceramic tile substrates, a special primer for non-absorbent surfaces should be used, e.g. Peran Primer W from the Flowcrete offer.
In older production plants, as well as, for example, in aircraft hangars, concrete or asphalt floors are often found. It is possible to apply resin floors on them if they have an appropriate bond strength – above 1.5 MPa, confirmed by a pull-off test.
In the case of old resin floors, the method of repair depends on the type of damage to the existing coating and the area affected by the damage. Each type of resin floor can be repaired locally depending on the cause of the damage, but it should be taken into account that the repairs will be visible. With a large number of local repairs, it is necessary to consider laying a new layer on the entire existing floor after removing the factors causing its damage and its proper preparation for new layers (repairs, additions, grinding, degreasing, etc.).
To sum up – the great advantage of resin floors is the possibility of application on existing substrates. This requires the assessment of the substrate by experts and the proper selection of technology. Thanks to this, we eliminate the need to remove layers of existing floors, which shortens renovation time, reduces costs, and minimizes inconvenience, such as longer production downtimes or closure of operations, noise, and large amounts of debris and dust.
When there is a need to repair the substrate
Before installing a resin floor on a substrate that needs repair, it is crucial to identify and eliminate the source of the problems that led to the destruction of the top layer of the floor.
The cause of detachment of the top layer of the floor may be, for example, leaky, improperly designed or installed waterproofing. This is one of the possible causes, for example, of rising groundwater to the bottom plate in an underground garage. Another cause of floor degradation may be the lack of a slope layer, leaks in the top layer, insufficient slopes, or manufacturing faults in the installation of drainage elements, which may cause retention of water and dirt on the floor surface or soaking of moisture into the concrete substrate. In turn, cracks in the concrete substrate may result from excessive scratches related to the work of the building structure. In such situations, the resin floor itself will not solve the problem – it is necessary to plan and take corrective actions by the flooring contractor in consultation with the building designer.
Flooring solutions based on resins and various additives, e.g. quartz sand, can also be used for local restorations. Typical damages that can be repaired with resins include minor cracks, chips caused by intensive, improper use, impacts of heavy objects, mechanical damage and scratches, or thermal damage caused by spinning wheels of forklifts when transporting heavy loads. Resin-quartz masses or permanently elastic masses with high bond strength are used for this type of restoration or seals.
Specialist flooring solutions when time is of key importance
In industrial facilities, the key issue is to adapt the flooring solution to the conditions of use. Industrial floors should be durable so that repairs or replacements are not necessary for many years. Renovations in a working industrial facility are often burdensome, and downtimes of the production line and the shutdown of the entire or part of the facility generate much higher costs than those related to the floor application itself.
When the most important thing is short application time, it is worth reaching for solutions that allow making a new floor in a few days, e.g. during the weekend when the production plant or warehouse is not working, or even in a few hours.
Floors from the Flowfast group, such as Flowfast BC – anti-slip and durable floor based on methacrylic resin (MMA) and coloured quartz sand, work well in the industry. The short curing time of this type of resin makes it possible to complete the entire system within one working day. In addition, this floor is resistant to mechanical damage – it has high abrasion resistance in the AR0.5 class, confirmed in tests by the PN-EN 13892-04 standard. It allows for heavy foot traffic and the use of forklift trucks, and at the same time maintains colour durability when exposed to UV radiation.
For the food industry and other industries where maintaining the highest level of hygiene is crucial, Flowcrete offers seamless, antimicrobial flooring systems from the Flowfresh group, also available in Quick versions, in place of traditional tiles. These floors have the same properties as standard Flowfresh floors, i.e. they are antimicrobial, contain a silver ion-based Polygiene® additive that eliminates 99.9% of microorganisms from their surface, and they are mechanically, chemically and thermally resistant, and additionally, they are also fast-curing.
If it is necessary to repair or replace an industrial floor, it is worth using the support of Flowcrete resin floor experts who, based on the assessment of the existing substrate, will be able to advise the optimal solution.