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Decontaminating Resin Flooring

Martin Wroe, commercial director at Resin Surraces Limited (RSL), explains what happens if surface preparation is poor: 
RESIN floors are the most robust flooring systems available and are widely used across industrial, chemical and manufacturing environments, but the most durable floor surfaces of any type can only be achieved when the substrate is properly decontaminated and prepared. This is so that a new system can bond mechanically to it.
Here are our top tips for decontamination and surface preparation:
1. Decontaminate first: Contaminated floors are commonplace in industrial and engineering environments where customers want to install an epoxy coating over an old floor.
All oils, greases and other residues must be properly cleaned before applying any type of resin system. First mechanically prepare the surface using vacuum assisted shotblasting or grinding. Then use specially designed removal products to penetrate and break down the enzymes of the contaminants within the surface.
If you don’t fully decontaminate the floor the result could be surface debonding.
2. Clean, Clean, Clean; you must clean the surface thoroughly using a proven product such as RS Industrial Floor Cleaner. Several cleaning cycles may be required to achieve the necessary level of cleanliness. Concrete surfaces must be prepared by scarifying, vacuum shotblasting or planing before cleaning. All traces of concrete hardeners or other contaminants must be removed. Once cleaned surfaces must be dry and dust-free.
3. Always use a primer: When customers specify a resin floor they want it to be hardwearing. Every manufacturer and most experienced contractors say that to get the best finish you must use a primer to get the best bond and ensure it is compatible with the coating to be applied.
If you have decontaminated a floor always ask your manufacturer about the best primers for use. Primers help seal the surface and ensure that the top finishes achieve good coverage rates. When accompanied with correct preparation, priming will ensure that a mechanical and chemical bond is achieved.
4. Humidity levels affect bonding: Ensure the surface is completely dry with no rising humidity from beneath the ground before you apply any coatings.
5. Don’t forget the after care: This is vital especially where the flooring needed a process of decontamination. Hand your customer a cleaning regime guide for their new floor and a sample of industrial cleaning products. This will help them understand the importance of a proper cleaning regime to maintain a resin floor.
Resin floors are highly durable products that can provide great benefits to industrial and commercial companies. However, if not applied correctly, the installation could fail. And this can cause severe operational problems and headaches to the end-user.
We work closely with our installers and provide technical training guides and demonstrations to help contractors achieve the best results.

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.