Epoxy topping for floors reduces downtime and saves money

April 27, 2007
As plant flooring ages and deteriorates, facility managers have traditionally been faced with a tough choice: Interrupt production to resurface potentially hazardous patches, or apply a quick fix and hope for the best. Recent innovations in coatings can help plant managers achieve quality results with minimal to no interruption in production.

As plant flooring ages and deteriorates, facility managers have traditionally been faced with a tough choice: interrupt production to resurface potentially hazardous patches, or apply a quick fix and hope for the best. Recent innovations in coatings can help plant managers achieve quality results with minimal to no interruption in production.

Goulds Pumps (www.goulds.com), a division of ITT Corp., is a leading global manufacturer of industrial and residential pumps. The company is systematically resurfacing sections of deteriorated flooring throughout its main facility for aesthetic, as well as safety purposes. Consisting of several hundred thousand square feet, this facility is divided by aisles and painted stripes to define a multitude of work zones including assembly, testing and packaging areas.

To restore rough and uneven flooring, Goulds levels and repairs concrete with a coating system from Rust-Oleum Industrial Brands (www.rustoleum.com/industrial), which is provided and applied by its distributor, CDH Seamless Floors (www.cdhflooring.com). “A lot of contractors want to come in and put flooring down, a lot just want to sell materials,” explains Tom Karlsen, Gould facilities manager.

“We’re interested in someone who can do a turnkey job. CDH provides an application I can trust and offers a product name that stands behind it.”

Facility managers can find substantial benefits in applying an industrial topping rather than a fast, temporary repair. Concrete alone, without epoxy, breaks down and generates dust particles (further perpetuated by forklift traffic) that contaminate work areas. On the other hand, epoxy applied alone, and without a topping, doesn’tt address the potentially dangerous pits and holes that form within the concrete.

A complete flooring system typically consists of a primer/sealer coating, epoxy mortar mix and two applications of topcoat. The application process typically requires about four days turnaround time, but using Rust-Oleum’s 9000 System FlorClad, consisting of 9000 FlorClad Primer, 9000 FlorClad HD and 8200 OverKote TX topcoat, CDH has reduced this to three days. “The last thing we need is flooring to hold up production,” Karlsen says. “If we can have these jobs done in three days, where the flooring goes down on Friday and we go back to work on Monday, that’s very important to my internal customers.”

The FlorClad System requires half the set time, offers easier and reduced application time, and is longer lasting than other brands that CDH had used or considered. Goulds recently called in CDH to redo a surface coated by another flooring contractor. “Most of the surface was delaminated,” says Don Colle, CDH owner. “We had to remove the surface and redo the entire thing.”

Karlsen is especially impressed with the quick application and non-slip features of the topcoat. Requiring one coat rather than the two coats needed by most systems reduced application time by four hours. With the built-in extreme orange peel texture of 8200 OverKote TX, Goulds no longer needs to add sand or grit into the compound to produce a non-slip surface. “Before, with the potential for water from rain coming inside the plant with forklift traffic, we could never leave the topcoat as is, and risked an extremely slippery surface,” says Karlsen. The uniform nature of the textured topcoat provides excellent traction, and also has improved the overall appearance of the plant flooring. “Not only does it make the plant look better, the flooring doesn’t absorb illumination like concrete,” Colle comments. “The reflectivity of the flooring allows for less bright lights and cuts down on electricity.”

CDH, too, has benefited from the reliability of Rust-Oleum products and service. “After applying Rust-Oleum coating to more than 1 million sq.ft. of customer flooring, we have had virtually no failures,” Colle says. “If there’s ever a problem, there’s never a question—and no finger—pointing. Rust-Oleum steps up to the plate and asks what we need.”