An interesting step by step to achieve excellent preparation and application of flooring products.
by Luis Ernesto Cañas*
The general process of surface preparation and selection of protection products must be based on the following international standards:
- ICRI O3732 Guide for the selection and specifications for the preparation of surfaces for sealants, coatings and polymeric finishes.
- ASTM E1907 Standard Practice for determining moisture acceptability of concrete floors to receive moisture-sensitive coatings.
Epoxy systems have different uses within industry and construction.
The concrete must have at least 28 days of application, the surface must be clean and dry superficially, it is recommended to make a surface preparation to achieve a required level of roughness .
If you do not want to wait the 28 days you should apply an epoxy moisture barrier primer for floors that have not completed 28 days of application.
The concrete surface must be prepared mechanically to ensure an adequate adhesion profile, depending on the thickness of the film to be installed, for coatings a minimum CSP 3 profile is recommended and the selection and specification of preparation of concrete surfaces for seals coatings and overlays is recommended, the use of mechanical methods such as: Sandblasting, scarified or shot blasted.
The use of chemicals such as acids is not recommended, since these can attack the substrate causing subsequent pathologies.
Clean the surface by removing dust, grease, loose material, etc. This prevents these contaminants from affecting the adhesion of the system, regularly with a hydrowash is enough to remove dust and dirt; to remove contaminants such as loose paint, grease and others mechanical methods are recommended.
Epoxy coatings require dry surfaces to ensure proper functioning and durability, the floor humidity must be a maximum of 4%, which must be checked with a moisture measuring equipment in case of not having such equipment can be evaluated according to the ASTM E1907 standard.
Treatment of joints and fissures
Expansion joints must be treated with an elastomeric seal of a width greater than the thickness of the joint so that the support does not allow the product to pass to the bottom of the joint.
An epoxy protection provides a barrier against the entry of contaminants and generates a defense against carbonation of the concrete surface thus avoiding various pathologies of the concrete.
It is recommended to apply epoxy products developed specifically for each use.
Below we present the standard procedure for the application of epoxy coatings:
Epoxy products are two-component paints and must be mixed in the proportions indicated by each producer.
a.) Mix the two components until a homogeneous mixture is achieved
b.) Check the reaction time of the product (Pot life) to schedule the installation work of the system.
The system should be applied to the recommended film thickness for each use.
Follow exactly the instructions issued by the manufacturer regarding film thicknesses, drying times for second layers and to give the service.
Following all the instructions of mixing, application, drying times and putting into service of the system is very important for a good quality of the application.
* Luis Ernesto Cañas is the manager of Project Advisors for the Chemical Industry. You can be contacted at the email [email protected]
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