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
New Construction and Coating
There are a lot of things going on with new construction and the building of them. A general contractor is tasked with building the building. He picks the best subs for the project that he can find and then the project takes off. There is no way they can know everything about every trade on what will or will not affect your work. We can’t assume anything.
We completed a 12,000 sq ft new construction and coating installation with epoxy flooring last April. The floor was beautiful. The customer loved it, the general contractor loved it and so did all of us at Liquid Floors that worked on it. Six months later we get a call that the coating is peeling up in places that tooling is dropped or where it gets scratched.
When I go to look at it, I quickly determine that moisture is not causing bubbles but, if the coating is scratched the edges are chipping away. I perform a quick bond test with duct tape and find out that the floor is bonded but not as good as it should be.
We are quick to make things right, when something goes wrong, so I tell the customer I will take care of it and correct the problem immediately. We then set forth because we need to take it all off and reinstall the new construction and coating. I am dumbfounded as to why it’s not bonded well and ask to install a couple of test areas with different primers first to make sure we can get a great bond.
I then reached out to the general contractor and requested the mix design for the concrete. When he sent me the mix design, I found the problem. The concrete contractor had applied a coat of ashford formula to the concrete! Densifiers are huge bond inhibitors. It needed to be fully removed.
We had assumed that the slab had been water cured. I learned that we cannot assume anything, and we need to be diligent on every job of verifying the conditions of installation. We need to discuss in detail requirements for a successful installation. If we had asked the simple question before the concrete was placed of how they were planning to cure the slab and were they planning to put any sealers on the slab this would have been avoided. Most of the time we are asking these things but this one just got overlooked.
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.