YESChef! Blog

Coating Concrete Floors - Safety & Comfort

Jack Josephsen

Coating a concrete floor not only makes it look at whole lot better, as discussed in our previous post (Looks Better), it can add another dimension to its functionality. With the help of coatings, a floor can play an active role in making life easier, safer and more efficient for those using it.

No more concrete flooring slip-ups

The most common example of the type of thing is the anti-slip coating. As everyone knows, many accidents in a workplace environment are caused by slips, trips and falls, and companies have a lot to gain by safeguarding their employees. Coatings are a very popular choice in this pursuit for a number of reasons, however their ability to cater for the full spectrum of anti-slip demands is perhaps the standout; for example, the degree of anti-slip required in an abattoir will be vastly different to the area surrounding a swimming pool.

Concrete floor with a coating that has anti-slip and glossy sections.

Visibility is also a highlight

With sure footing taken care of, coating a concrete floor will also improve safety by enhancing visibility and even communicating instructions to workers. Bright line marking and colour coding clearly defining steps, thoroughfares, danger zones etc. are universal features on workshop floors for that very purpose.  The visibility benefits also extend to the quick detection of spills and other slip hazards. A spill that has been partially soaked up by dirty, dull concrete flooring will be much harder to deal with than one sitting on top of an impermeable, easy-to-clean surface.

Concrete flooring with line marking that improves worker safety.

A bit of comfort, please!

It may come as a surprise to some to hear comfort thrown into this mix as well, however it’s a very real thing. Ask any factory worker who’s on their feet all day in the middle of winter and they’ll tell you a coated concrete floor can make a big difference to the draught chill factor. They’ll also probably tell you that putting down a coating, even a plain, solid colour, has brightened the workplace considerably. Best of all, they’ll probably be happier and more productive because of these things!      

If you have any questions about safety and comfort of concrete floors, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Keep Smiling,

Jack Josephsen
Head FLOORChef

FLOORChef's Chef Hat.

Coating Concrete Floors - Looks Better

Jack Josephsen

The next incentive for coating concrete floors differs slightly from the rest because it tends to make money rather than save it. Forget all the technical shortcomings, when you really think about it most people cover concrete to “jazz things up” and thereby add value to their properties.

Concrete floors want to be noticed

I think you’ll agree that a drab, grey concrete floor generally doesn’t “cut it” from an interior design perspective. Homeowners and the like want to enjoy their floor on a higher level than just a stable platform to walk on. They want it to set the room alight and make a visual difference. When you think about it, the whole flooring industry exists to make what we walk on more attractive.

Concrete flooring with a plain colour coating that improves the look dramatically.Concrete flooring with a wild metallic resin flooring on top.

Fewer stains are a good start

There are two ways coating a concrete floor can do all this. As we explained in the previous post (Easy To Clean), coatings can have a big impact purely through the protection they offer. An impermeable coating can greatly reduce damage, stains, blemishes and various other risks, all of which add up to a more valuable flooring surface.

Designs limited only by your imagination

The other way is obviously through the design of the coating itself. Historically, designers were forced to be creative indoors with the walls and general fit out because flooring options were quite conservative and limited. A real strength of modern resin-based flooring, however, is the creativity and freedom they allow. Concrete floor coatings can be customised to every client’s taste; from an eye-grabbing feature floor to a basic makeover that complements the existing decor beautifully. In other words, they offer a real “X factor” when it comes to valuation.

If you have any questions about better looking concrete floors, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Keep Smiling,

Jack Josephsen
Head FLOORChef

FLOORChef's Chef Hat.

Coating Concrete Floors - Easy To Clean

Jack Josephsen

If you weren’t already, you’d now be aware the porous nature of concrete isn’t ideal for flooring. That notion is supported even further when you consider how hard it is to clean and keep clean.

Left in its natural, open state, a concrete floor acts pretty much like a giant sponge – whatever spills onto the surface will quickly absorb into the slab and be very tricky to remove. This characteristic is bad news on a couple of levels.

Goodbye fresh, clean concrete floor

Firstly, the “one-two” punch of rapid staining and stubborn removal is a blow to your hopes of maintaining a pristine concrete floor. Everyone’s seen the dark, dingy garage with oil stains everywhere, however the scary part is that it doesn’t need black gunk to look bad. Just about any liquid will soak into concrete flooring and create a colour difference that’s hard to ignore.

Concrete floor in a garage with ugly oil stains ruining the appearance.Concrete flooring with a coating that looks much better and is resistant to oil stains.

Bacteria and mould love concrete floors

Further up the scale of alarm from visual staining is what might be taking place on a microscopic level in wet areas on a concrete floor. By trapping all sorts of grime and moisture, concrete pores provide the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and mould (think shower bases). This can be a health concern for anyone exposed long enough and clearly unacceptable for food processing facilities, hospitals and the like. In a work environment, this type of thing has long been linked to employee illness and a measurable loss in productivity. Affected areas can be treated, however even this has its risks due to the harsh chemicals used.

Get rid of your sponge

The best way to get an easy-to-clean, hygienic concrete floor is to put something “contamination proof” over it. An impermeable coating will act as a barrier to stop spills, splashes and other junk from soaking deep into the slab. As a small side note, if these wet areas are subjected to freeze/thaw cycles, such as cold rooms, coatings will also help reduce the surface fracturing that often takes place from the expansion and contraction of water in the slab. 

If you have any questions about easy-to-clean concrete floors, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Keep Smiling,

Jack Josephsen
Head FLOORChef

FLOORChef's Chef Hat.

Coating Concrete Floors - Dust-proofing

Jack Josephsen

We follow up our first post on one of the more obvious reasons why coating concrete floors will save money (Protection) with one of the least recognised – dust-proofing. It mightn’t sound like a big deal, but I guarantee those with an uncovered concrete floor would attest otherwise!

It’s on for young and old

The reasons why concrete floors dust vary with age. For new concrete, the biggest source is a fine, loose by-product of the hardening process called laitance; for older slabs, abrasive traffic is the main problem, especially on rain-affected or poorly applied concrete floors that are typically more fragile.

Concrete flooring with laitance easily seen sitting on the surface.

Why all the fuss?

The problem with concrete dust is how fine it is and, therefore, its uncanny ability to get EVERYWHERE! It can contaminate and damage a whole host of valuable things; food, stock, electrical gear, processing systems...the list goes on. It’s also quite tricky to clean up and very abrasive, which may cause trouble in other sensitive areas, including human lungs for example.

With consequences like these you can see why not dust-proofing can quickly become very costly. So, what’s the best way to avoid a dust storm on your concrete floor?

What are concrete floor dust-proofing options?

A popular choice is the specialist penetrating “densifiers” that promote the dual action of sealing the surface and strengthening the slab below. These can work, however their effectiveness is hard to gauge and some are based on compounds that can hamper future coating efforts.

Another method is to seal off the surface with a low-viscosity coating, e.g. an epoxy. This type of product will penetrate into the slab and help stabilise weak or porous concrete flooring as well, however it won’t throw a spanner in the works should further coating be needed (although it will make the slab darker to the eye, so keep that in mind if colour is critical).

Concrete flooring having a clear sealer applied as a form of dust-proofing.
If you have any questions about dust-proofing of concrete floors, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Keep Smiling,

Jack Josephsen
Head FLOORChef

FLOORChef's Chef Hat. 

Coating Concrete Floors - Protection

Jack Josephsen
We kick off our series on why coating concrete floors will save money by digging straight to the core. There are many compelling reasons, but few compare in importance to the protection coatings provide.

Pore concrete floors!

While concrete flooring is hard and strong, it has a weakness or two needing attention. The most troublesome of these is a vulnerability to liquids stemming from its porous nature.

The main bad guy here is plain, old water. In some slabs, water and other matter like carbon dioxide may penetrate through these pores and set off a chain reaction that can lead to spalling, which is the appearance of deep cracks and rust (from the steel reinforcement within). Fully repairing badly spalled concrete flooring is tough and you’ll face an uphill battle just to keep it intact.

Concrete floor suffering from bad spalling and showing rebar.

Aside from the possible destruction occurring within, uncovered concrete also has poor resistance to chemicals in general and can be chewed away at the surface by spills and splashes. If there’s a chance your concrete floor will handle aggressive chemicals then coating is a must!

Get in early and block it out

With those points in mind, applying an impermeable coating layer with superior chemical resistance is a great financial investment. It’ll not only stop the “nasties” from wreaking havoc, it’ll also stop contaminants such as oil and silicon (e.g. tyre spray in garages) from interfering with attempts to coat it. It’s the classic case of prevention before cure and why acting immediately is preferable to the “wait and see how it holds up” approach. A good tip is to resist using water-repelling products in this endeavour because, like oil, they limit your ability to cover the concrete floor in the future.

Help with the physical stuff

Finally, there’s also a distinct physical element to the protection a coating adds. Concrete flooring doesn’t handle abrasion or heavy impact so well either, so high traffic areas and the like will benefit from a more durable finish.

 Concrete floor with a coating on top handling heavy machinery traffic.

If you have any questions about protection of concrete floors, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Keep Smiling,

Jack Josephsen
Head FLOORChef

FLOORChef's Chef Hat.