Shop Floor Prep
THE life of the technical support consultant can be varied – one week we might be dealing largely with queries about, say, best practice for priming and the next with a certain type of floorcovering.
One call we’ve had a few examples of recently is on discolouration of flooring that has been fitted in wet room areas.
Especially in healthcare buildings such as hospitals and hospices, a wet room style shower is often fitted, with the drain installed as part of the floor rather than in a separate tray.
This was the case in a nursing home I visited in the North West recently. Because the floor is shaped to drain to this area, it’s unwise simply to rely on regular acrylic adhesive and the quality of the weld to withstand the volume of water likely to pass over it.
Instead, an epoxy adhesive is often chosen to provide extra strength and durability.
However, I’ve seen several cases where after a few months some discolouration has appeared around the area.
Whilst not a health hazard, it’s unsightly and creates extra work for the contractor returning to investigate the problem.
There are a few potential causes of this, and it pays to remember the basics – especially if further work to rectify the problem is involved. After all, wet rooms like this are subject to much higher and direct levels of moisture than other areas, with any imperfection in the floor likely to cause more problems than you generally expect.
Firstly, it’s important to check that the adhesive has been mixed properly – ensuring that the components have been thoroughly blended.
If they haven’t then the adhesive may not cure properly, allowing moisture in and over time discolouration to form.
Another potential issue is the subfloor and its preparation.
A common problem here is the DPM; ensuring it has formed a completely watertight barrier is crucial, as any problems here could affect the adhesive and cause delamination.
Again, the effects of this are likely to be amplified because water regularly flows over that area of flooring.
Due to conditions the floor will be exposed to, it’s also worth being strict in terms of technical specification.
If unsure check with manufacturers that the combination of products you’re using is suitable for the task in hand.
This should help to ensure you don’t have to make any repeat visits or extra work later down the line.
John Alcock is technical specifications manager at Bostik
T: 01785 272727
This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.