Choose Specialty Coatings Carefully

May 2, 2012

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In today’s competitive business atmosphere, controlling maintenance costs of warehousing and other buildings is essential. One expensive element of building maintenance is care of warehouse floor coatings. If poorly selected, or entirely the wrong coating is installed in the application, the coating may be prone to failure. Even the most expensive and highly touted coating systems such as multi-component epoxies, polymers and powder coatings can and will fail under some conditions. It is critical to choose the correct warehouse floor coating.

Specialty coatings are often installed to meet hygienic requirements for the food industry, safety standards for processing, control of electrostatic discharge, aesthetic, or other specific reasons. Epoxy and urethane systems are essential in some applications, but not all. Seek the advice of your floor coating specialists where specific requirements must be met for the food industry, “clean-electronics” manufacture, or other highly controlled environments.

Advantages of specialty coatings include the meeting of specified requirements, superior performance if applied correctly, and high durability. The main disadvantages of such systems are the high initial cost of the products and processes required for the correct application. Specialty products can be difficult to apply as a retrofit because the penetration and adherence of previous floor treatments resulting in contamination of the new floor coating. The resulting pinholes, fish-eyes and other surface defects may become apparent only after the product is cured.

Concrete Paints

For a simple warehouse that is used only for storage and is not subject to chemical spillage, wet conditions or heavy traffic, simple industrial concrete paints may be suitable. Advantages include lower initial cost, moderately simple application techniques and adequate performance under most conditions. Paints do tend to chip, fade, and peel off if adhesion is not satisfactory. Painted surfaces show wear and eventually must be touched up or repainted. Where there is little or no impact or wear, concrete paints can offer a low-cost alternative. 

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