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Resin Flooring Has All You Need On A Plate

Helen McGachie, ceo of FeRFA

(explains the benefits of resin flooring in the food prep sector:

SEAMLESS resin floors are the ideal choice for food preparation areas where they have been successfully used for over 40 years. This is the most demanding of environments where the hygienic properties of the floor are the most important factor, followed by slip resistance and the flooring’s ability to be regularly cleaned and maintained.

Three key considerations will affect the performance of the floor in this type of environment:

1 . It may seem obvious, but choosing the correct type of flooring is essential and this can only be achieved if the flooring material satisfies all the mechanical, chemical, physical, biological, and practical requirements of the user:

G Mechanical—to support machinery and to withstand impact and abrasion;

G Chemical— to be resistant to (and protect the substrate from) chemicals to be encountered;

G Physical—to withstand temperature changes (thermal shock) and prevent ingress of contaminants;

G Biological—not to support biological growth

G Practical—to be easy to clean, to be hygienic, to be slip resistant, to be aesthetically pleasing, and to be durable.

Whether the project is new build or refurbishment, pre-planning at the initial design stage is critical to evaluate the environment, the use of the floor and the slip resistance required.

To ensure the causes of slips are minimised, the following criteria should be examined:

Type and concentration of likely spillage

Free draining or flat floor design

Drainage and sumps to be provided

Regular cleaning procedures
Safety footwear

While avoidance of wet contamination is the first approach, there may be occasions when wet or greasy floors cannot be avoided and reliance on adequate slip resistance becomes more important. The floor’s slip resistance in such conditions is assessed by established methods of measurement, details of which are included within BS8204-6 and the FeRFA Guide to Assessing the Slip Resistance of Resin Floors. (available to download from www.ferfa.org.uk)

2 . The second vital consideration is how and when the floor will be cleaned to maintain its characteristics and performance. If an incorrect cleaning regime is used on contaminated floors, a build up of oils and greases may quickly form, thereby reducing the slip resistance of the floor to an unacceptable level.

The use of mechanical floor cleaning machines with advice from cleaning chemical suppliers
should be sought to establish the recommended frequency of cleaning and the most suitable cleaning agents to disperse oils, greases and contaminants and provide the necessary level of hygiene.

Failure to clean floors correctly will affect the slip resistance. It is therefore important to implement an effective cleaning regime in conjunction with the client and this should preferably include regular testing of the slip resistance to ensure that the required performance is being maintained.

3 . The final consideration is of course to choose a trained and competent contractor, such as a FeRFA contractor, who has the specialist skills and experience to both advise on the most suitable resin flooring system and to install it correctly.

Footnote: FeRFA endorses and actively promotes ‘Qualifying the Workforce’ through the provision of National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) for insitu resin flooring and surface preparation.

For more information on the use of seamless resin floors in the food environment, the following guides are free to download from www.ferfa.org.uk

Assessing the slip resistance of resin floors

FeRFA guide to the specification and application of synthetic resin floors

FeRFA guide to cleaning resin floors

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