You would think after being in this industry for over 25 years you wouldn’t have much to learn, but the old saying “you learn something new every day” is more than a saying! It is a fact. In thinking through some of our recent projects I spent time focusing on things that we needed to look out for on future floor installations and things we did that can be implemented to help us solve problems for other customers. The goal is to always correct the mistakes and utilize new techniques more than once.
The lessons we’ve learned so far in installing epoxy coatings are:
Part 1 – inter coat delamination
Part 2 – new construction and coating
Part 3 – white floors
Part 4 – Coating over ceramic tile
Inter Coat Delamination
We recently completed a 3,500 sq ft project in Savannah, GA. A month and a half later we get a call that the topcoat is delaminating from the base coat. I am scratching my head on what is causing this. I was on site, the floor was thoroughly sanded, thoroughly cleaned and we coated within the recoat window. I called a couple of other installers to talk through the project. I quickly found out the problem.
This customer had a hard deadline in December that we had to finish by. The building was not heated and when we showed up to install a cold front had moved in. We explained that it was too cold to install but they insisted. In trying to put the customer first we got a torpedo heater and heated the area so we could get the product to cure. Apparently, the diesel and propane heaters create a bond issue due to contaminants and/or condensation. I am not sure exactly, but it sounds like the fumes that are blown out are more than fumes and an undetectable film will settle across the floor.
I learned a couple of lessons on this install with delamination. Never use a torpedo type heater on your epoxy coating projects. If the ambient temperature is not warm enough to coat, the heat needs to come from a HVAC system in the building or a portable HVAC unit. The second lesson I learned is that if the conditions are not right to coat don’t let the customer push you into something. It is their responsibility to provide the right environment to coat. If you explain the problems that can arise and put the additional cost on them a lot of times, they can work the schedule for you to coat when conditions are right. This lesson is costing me thousands of dollars and is an inconvenience to our customer.
Our Mistake is Your Benefit
We learned our lesson and know exactly how not to repeat. We’ll follow up on our next blog posts about the other lessons learned. We never stop learning and growing to guarantee that we offer our clients the best.
Liquid Floors, Inc. offers epoxy coating installation, wet and dry polishing and will help you find the solution that is best for you and your industrial needs. Just give us a call at 704-543-7565 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up a free consultation to go over price ranges and enhance your concrete surface and floors.