If left unprotected, concrete floors can be exposed to a number of damaging elements, such as heavy traffic, chemical, acids, cleaning products and food, which cause the floor to become unsafe, unhygienic, and unsightly. One way to prevent this from occurring is to coat the concrete with a construction resin. Here are the top five reasons why you should coat your concrete floor.
- Chemical resistance
Concrete floors can be exposed to a number of chemicals and acids, depending on the environment.
In commercial kitchens and bars, floors are exposed to hot oils and fats, and harsh cleaning chemicals. Hospitals and school floors are also subject to harsh cleaning chemicals. And garage floors are exposed to dripping oil and petrol.
All of these chemicals and acids are damaging to unprotected concrete, and over time will cause it to corrode, and in some cases permanently stain.
Chris Bauer, Head of Flooring at Hychem, said construction resins are designed to be resistant to chemicals.
“There are a number of construction resins to chose from when coating a floor, with some having better resistance against certain chemicals than others,” Mr Bauer said.
“For example, Hycrete PU is designed to be resistant to the chemicals present in commercial kitchens and bars, while Viasol Elastic SKY is more tailored to public buildings. For areas such as garages, Hychem 100W can be used as it has a high stain and chemical resistance to hydraulic fluid, grease, petrol and lubricants.”
Because construction resins are chemically resistant, they are also very durable.
“Construction resins are designed to be extra resistant and durable as the areas they are applied on tend to be subject to heavy foot or vehicle traffic,” Mr Bauer said.
“For example, Hychem 100W is one of our oldest products on the market and has had over 30 years of success in concrete sealing across the country, including car parks and garages. It is known for being a heavy-duty and long-lasting solution, and outlasts the lifespan of conventional acrylic sealers.”
The porosity of concrete allows it to readily absorb moisture and contaminants, allowing bacteria to build up.
“The porosity of concrete can become an issue in public buildings. For example, floors in hospitals and schools, and commercial kitchens and bars need to be resistant to the growth of bacteria,” Mr Bauer said.
“For commercial kitchens and bars, Hycrete PU is ideal for protecting against the buildup of bacteria on the floor, as it has exceptional resistance to high temperatures and extreme thermal shock conditions, as well as having excellent chemical resistance from cleaning products, oils and fats.
“It is 100 per cent seamless so it’s completely impervious to liquids and contains an additional additive called UltraFresh™ which helps keep floors bacteria free.”
For other public facilities such as schools and hospitals, Viasol Elastic SKY has excellent mechanical and chemical resistance, as well being pore free and impervious to liquids.
“Viasol Elastic SKY is seamless, removing the potential buildup of bacteria and making it easy to clean,” Mr Bauer said.
“Due to its chemical resistance it is resistant to rising damp which prevents the growth of mold and mildew.”
As concrete is one of the most commonly used construction materials for both public and private buildings, it can be found in numerous facilities.
However, because its natural colour is a dull gray it is often seen as unattractive and uninspiring.
Flooring aesthetics play a major role in the overall look and feel of a space, and construction resins provide a solution that is aesthetically pleasing as well asfunctional.
Mr Bauer said there are a number of options available to make floor coatings decorative.
“If you want a solid colour, products like Hychem’s SL20 or Viacor Elastic SKY are ideal for achieving a glossy, impervious, easy-to-clean, hygienic and seamless floor coating. They also come in a variety of solid colours so clients can choose the colour that best suits their space,” Mr Bauer said.
“There is also the option of using a product like HyFlake which gives floors a speckled decorative finish.
“HyFlake’s speckled finish not only looks nice but also hides dirt or grease on the surface as it makes it difficult to spot. It’s also easy to clean, comes in many different colours, and we can customise it to suit whatever look the client may be after.”
- Dust free
Another advantage of construction resins is their anti-dust properties. Dust on concrete floors comes not only from the outside but is also created by the cement itself in the form of a powder that it sheds.
“When you walk on an unsealed concrete slab it is easy to stir up the dust the concrete makes,” Mr Bauer said.
“Dust can cause hygiene issues and also spread inside the building which can be problematic for people with respiratory issues.”
Selecting the right product
Mr Bauer said when sealing a concrete floor, it is important to consult professionals on what the best product will be for your application.
“The fact is, even if you use the best product on the market, it may not be the best product for your environment,” Mr Bauer said.
“At Hychem, we pride ourselves on our market knowledge, and being able to advise clients on what the best products are for their application. We have open communication with both the installation contractor and the end user to ensure that the client gets the product they need and not what they think they need without fully understanding the full range of product solutions we can offer.”