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- Selecting the proper coating for concrete floors
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- How to apply a garage floor coating
- How to install epoxy terrazzo
- Installing a polyaspartic floor coating
- Reducing bond failures caused by moisture-vapor transmission
- Related Information:
- Epoxy floor coating videos, with Bob Harris
- Using concrete coatings to create images with FloorPix
- HoverTrowel finishes polymer floor coating with ease
What are Polyaspartics Used For?
In exterior structures, especially bridges, corrosion of the embedded reinforcing steel is the number one enemy. If these structures can be sealed so that water can't penetrate, there can be no corrosion. Polyaspartics can play a role in this protection.
On the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge, a 7-mile crossing of San Francisco Bay, all concrete beams and piles received a thee-part coating developed by Hehr International Polymers. The coatings were an epoxy sealant, a polyurea primer, and a polyaspartic top coat that provided additional protection and prevented UV-degradation of the polyurea coating. Not only has this coating system prevented any chlorides from migrating into the concrete, it has remained crystal clear and has even prevented barnacle growth.
Some less dramatic applications of polyaspartics include:Garage floors
This has been the first major decorative use of polyaspartics. Several companies have emerged that are selling and installing pigmented polyaspartic garage floors with embedded vinyl flecks or quartz sand beads, similar to epoxy floors. The big selling point for the polyaspartics is the speed of the application. A polyaspartic garage floor can be completed start to finish in about 5 hours (an epoxy floor typically takes 5 days). While the materials may cost more, since the contractor can theoretically do the job in a single trip to the site, profits can increase. Rob Hanson, president of GarageFloorCoatings.com, however, cautions that polyaspartics may not be the best material for all situations, depending on the condition of the concrete-especially if the floor has high moisture vapor emission rates (see Is It Better than Epoxy/Polyurethane?). Find a Garage Floor Coating ContractorCommercial floors
Kitchens, restrooms, and other commercial applications are great applications for this surface, since it resists stains and withstands heavy abrasion-as much as 3 times the abrasion resistance of epoxy. "We are finding that contractors start with garage floors," says Doug Bannister of The Stamp Store, "but I think polyaspartics have great applications for high-wear commercial use. You've got superior abrasion resistance, optical clarity, and quick turnaround, so you can return to service in hours."Find an Interior Concrete Floor ContractorCountertops sealers
The search has been on for many years for the perfect countertop sealer. Polyaspartics are not damaged by temperatures up to about 350°F and are very stain resistant, even to acidic materials like lemon juice and red wine. Jeff Girard at the Concrete Countertop Institute, however, has tested several polyaspartic sealers and when asked directly if this material is a better sealer than other materials, said, "No. Polyaspartic sealers have a lot of potential but they are fairly new and there aren't a lot of user-friendly versions yet." Click on "Polyasprtics for countertop sealers" to learn more about this application. Find Concrete Countertop ProductsAdditional Decorative Applications for Polyaspartics
Interior Stained or Dyed Floors
The ability of polyaspartics to wet out and penetrate hard concrete surfaces makes them a good choice over traditional polyurethane and acrylic sealers. Most polyaspartics allow for dilution of the first coat with common solvents to create a self-priming system. This is especially beneficial when they are applied over a stain or dye system, as a deeper wetting out of the surface will produce better long-term sealer adhesion. Also, the ability of polyaspartics to go down from as thin as 3 mils to as thick as 120 mils gives an applicator a lot of flexibility in gloss development and abrasion performance.
Exterior Stamped or Stained Concrete
In most cases, high-performance, high-build coatings are not recommended for use in exterior applications due to their impermeability and potential to trap moisture. Polyaspartics can be diluted or applied to thicknesses of less than 6 mils, which make most of them permeable and breathable. With the breathability issue resolved, you now have the option of using this extremely durable coating for exterior stamped and stained work.