Advantage Chemical Coatings.

InstaDrive coating, a self-priming system. Kamcrete in Mesa, AZ

Polyaspartics (a type of polyurea) are the newest coating products to hit the market, and they are gaining in popularity because of their super-fast setting times. In fact, some manufacturers claim that their polyaspartic floor coating systems can be installed in less than a day, from start to finish, including the addition of decorative effects.

Although polyureas have been available commercially since the 1980s, polyaspartics are a more recent innovation with enhanced performance characteristics and easier installation (see What Are Polyaspartics?). Beyond the obvious advantage of allowing projects to be completed in record time, these fast-track floor coatings offer many other benefits as well, including the ability to be applied to full thickness in one coat, greater abrasion and impact resistance than epoxy or urethane coatings, the ability to be applied at high or low temperatures, excellent bonding characteristics, and UV stability. They are suitable for both residential and commercial applications and are especially popular for garage floors, driveways, retail facilities, auto showrooms, warehouses and other slabs subject to heavy wear and tear.

One of the few drawbacks of these coatings is the cost, since they tend to be more expensive than other concrete coatings. However, when you factor in the reduced labor costs and downtime, the extra expense can often be justified. Below is a sampling of some of the products available. Most of these are sold as complete decorative floor systems that can be tinted onsite during mixing and embellished with decorative vinyl chips or quartz beads in a broad array of color combinations.

Roll on Rock, installs in only 3 to 4 hours. Versatile Building Products in Carson, CA

InstaDrive from Kamcrete: This self-priming system can be used as both primer and finish coat and can be installed year-round, with an application temperature range of 20 to 150 degrees F. Floors can be walked on 2 hours after installation and parked on after 24 hours.

The Stamp Store One-Day Floors: A three-coat decorative floor system for garage slabs, patios, walkways, driveways and pool decks. It is said to have excellent penetration and bond strength to properly prepared surfaces and is resistant to hot-tire marks, commercial and household cleaners and swimming pool treatment chemicals.

Rapid 1000 from Rapid Coating Systems: This spray- or roller-applied high-build coating dries tack-free in as little as 45 minutes to a high-gloss, abrasion-resistant finish. It can be applied at temperatures as low as 0 degrees F and achieves a tensile strength exceeding 7000 psi.

Citadel Floor Finishing System: This fast-curing system allows installers to apply multiple coats within just a few hours. It's ready for foot traffic in 2 hours and vehicle traffic in 24 hours. Suitable for commercial use as well as residential garage floors, the coating is highly resistant to oil stains, deicing chemicals, gasoline and other contaminants.

Roll On Rock from Versatile Building Products: A decorative seamless flooring system that installs in three steps in as little as 3 to 4 hours, including primer coat, tinted body coat and high-gloss clear topcoat. The nonyellowing coating can be used on floors or outdoor slabs and resists chemicals, abrasion and hot-tire marks. The water-based system is nonflammable and low in odor and VOCs.

Limitations

All polyaspartics are two-component products and will require mixing before use. The potlife of some systems is as short as 20, which could limit their use when you need to coat large areas.

It's also important to be aware that polyaspartics are impermeable and don't transmit water vapor, so new floors should be allowed to cure for at least 28 days before application. Some manufacturers recommend testing both new and existing floors for moisture-vapor transmission. For the best coating adhesion and performance, the moisture emission rate shouldn't exceed 3 pounds per 1,000 square feet for most systems. However, Versatile Building Products says that its Roll On Rock can withstand emission rates exceeding 5 pounds without losing bond.

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