In this short article we discuss why proper Floor Surface Preparation is important and the three vital steps to making sure your concrete floor is fit for purpose.
Why Floor Surface Preparation is important
It might be something, that is rarely thought of but “what is the state of our floor?” is an important question. Not least because once you have installed all your equipment, machinery, and employees it is a very difficult thing to do retrospectively. So, the place is empty, time to undertake some Floor Surface Preparation.
Additionally, the correct functioning of machinery and in particular, robotic equipment requires that the floor is unmarked and smooth.
But perhaps the most important factor is the minimisation of dust in the operational environment. Poorly prepared floors create more dust and dust is the enemy of smooth operation. Dust damages machinery, ruins products and, most importantly, will damage the health of anyone working there.
A well prepared floor is smooth, damage free, scratch resistant and dust free.
The three steps in Floor Surface Preparation
Step 1. Removal of bolts, fixings and markings.
Industrial and commercial facilities often require require storage shelves, heavy production machinery and movable elements to be securely fixed to the floor.
Quite often, if your building had a previous tenant, they left in a hurry and with little concern for the next user. This will result in many bolts and anchors left in the floor. These are unsightly and are a potential safety issue as a person could be injured or a tyre punctured if left as they are.
Therefore, it is essential to undertake the correct repair of these defects before starting any renovation works. This is normally done by drilling the protruding bolts and fixtures away leaving holes that will be later filled.
Lines, patches, and signals; they are all elements of industrial floor marking. This marking is essential to delimit work zones, transit zones and provide guidance for workers and robotic machinery in a factory or a warehouse.
At BECOSAN we do not use any toxic chemicals in the process – the markings are simply ground away.
Step 2. Filling holes, cracks and expansion joints
After bolts, fixtures and markings have been removed an inspection of the floor will probably reveal a host of cracks and holes. Additionally, pre-existing expansion joints will be worn and full of dust and dirt.
The sealing of cracks, holes and expansion joints consists of milling, cleaning and sealing.
Milling ensures that the surface of the fissure is clean and large enough to allow the sealant to reach the bottom of the fissure easily.
A vacuum cleaner is used to remove all detritus, dust and dirt from the fissure. This allows the sealant to adhere well to the concrete.
Finally, the fissure is filled with adherent filling materials, usually epoxy filler which guarantees a degree of flexibility in the repair. Note that the filling material is colour matched to the colour of the surrounding concrete. The fissure is over filled, left to dry then ground down to leave a smooth level surface.
Step 3. The final step in floor surface preparation
A concrete floor can be one of the biggest sources of dust as feet and machines can make the surface of the floor crumble with wear. The best way to minimise dust creation is treat the floor with the BECOSAN® Industrial floor treatment.
The BECOSAN® System involves grinding away the micro roughness to leave a smooth finish, treating the floor with the BECOSAN® concrete densifier which binds with the free lime in the concrete to create a more durable finish. Finally, the BECOSAN® concrete sealer is applied to make the surface of the floor resistant to absorption of spilled liquids. The BECOSAN® System produces a reduced dust solution that, unlike an epoxy coating, will last for many, many years.