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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had a call from an acquaintance who wants me to Paint the floor in a chemical(moderately corrosive chemicals) mixing room in his warehouse. Approx 2,500sqft, has been previously coated with a Rustoleum Epoxy and topcoated with non-slip aggregate and polyurethane (I assume also a Rustoleum product). I've had the Sherwin rep down there to have a look and he's getting back to me on products but my main question is: Does the previous Epoxy coating need to be entirely stripped or abraded? All the information I've been reading speaks to unpainted & unsealed concrete.

I am also curious if I'm getting way over my head here:blink:. I'm 90% residential so am a bit out of my element. I know it can be complicated but, 1) I am reasonably intelligent. and 2) most of my business growth has come out of Saying "yes we can do that for you Mr.(Mrs). customer." Then running back to the office to research how the hell to do what I've just agreed to.

Any thoughts from veteran floor guys and gals are appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

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If the existing coating is adhering well, a good cleaning and sanding may be all that is necessary, particularly if a waterborne epoxy is going to be applied over it. Once you start removing an epoxy coating with a wheel abrader, or a steel shot recovery system, you have to go all the way. The existing coating rapidly loses its integrity with those methods.

Questions to answer when determining a coating.
Why are you coating it?
1. Discoloration of existing floor
2. Uncoated substrate
3. Existing coating failing
4. Higher performing coating needed over existing
5. What are the coating performance requirements

Try a test area with the recommended material if possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The only sure thing is 100% removal. Anything else, you are taking a chance. What kind of chemicals are being used?

Sodium Hydroxide seems to be the most corrosive and prominent one but I'm not 100% positive. I suppose I should get data on all being used just in case.


If the existing coating is adhering well, a good cleaning and sanding may be all that is necessary, particularly if a waterborne epoxy is going to be applied over it. Once you start removing an epoxy coating with a wheel abrader, or a steel shot recovery system, you have to go all the way. The existing coating rapidly loses its integrity with those methods.

Questions to answer when determining a coating.
Why are you coating it?
1. Discoloration of existing floor
2. Uncoated substrate
3. Existing coating failing
4. Higher performing coating needed over existing
5. What are the coating performance requirements

Try a test area with the recommended material if possible.

This scenario would be ideal. I just don't want to end up with a major callback or lawsuit:eek:.

To answer your ?s:
Several high traffic areas of the floor have been worn, in some places to the concrete. The sheen seems to have degraded over the whole floor and there is an area of newer, uncoated concrete. The coating is required to hold up under heavy foot traffic, forklift traffic and they park the trucks in the warehouse at night as well. It also is exposed to Sodium hydroxide regularly as well as some other less corrosive chemicals.

Am I being a complete idiot to entertain this?:blink:
 

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Sodium Hydroxide seems to be the most corrosive and prominent one but I'm not 100% positive. I suppose I should get data on all being used just in case.





This scenario would be ideal. I just don't want to end up with a major callback or lawsuit:eek:.

To answer your ?s:
Several high traffic areas of the floor have been worn, in some places to the concrete. The sheen seems to have degraded over the whole floor and there is an area of newer, uncoated concrete. The coating is required to hold up under heavy foot traffic, forklift traffic and they park the trucks in the warehouse at night as well. It also is exposed to Sodium hydroxide regularly as well as some other less corrosive chemicals.

Am I being a complete idiot to entertain this?:blink:
If you are not confident about approaching a project like this, it would be wise to decline. There will be other opportunities for you to learn about floor coating applications. Check for product application courses through manufacturers, suppliers, or through memberships like The Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC). Next time you'll be prepared, and confident. Good Luck
 

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I wouldnt dare coat over the exsisting finish. The entire floor needs to be stripped or it is goning to fail. If i was in your position, I would pass on this one. First time I finished a garage floor and didn't know what I was doing I could't sleep for a month waiting for the guy to call me and tell me it was failing. I then decided it was best to stick with what I did best and had experience in, the stress and sleepless nights arn't worth the $$$$ at least for me.
 

· Epoxy Dude
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Do it once... Do it right!

I would suggest subbing this out to a reputable polymer flooring contractor. The thing is that when you are asked to protect against chemicals you really need to actually protect against those chemicals. Failure can mean a lot of liability... Are you willing to lose your house? Do you have liability insurance that will pay when you don't follow the written procedures of the manufacturer?

Step one is to get MSDS for every chemical that will be in that area.

Don't deal with your local paint store rep who doesn't know squat about this. Deal with someone from the manufacturer that is technical enough to know what they are doing in regards to both floors AND chemical containment. This is typically a representative who sells Tank Linings. Lots of times the 'floor guy' doesn't really know what he's doing. Get everything in writing from the manufacturer.
 

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Don't deal with your local paint store rep who doesn't know squat about this.

Wow that is a broad statement. While some "local paint store reps" might not be floor coating experts, many are very knowledgible and should be able to help you through a job like this.
 

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Used to do 1,000's of sqft. of floors in plants such as Honda,Chevy,factories,paper mills you name. we just cleaned well then applied 100% solid epoxies. A few troubles now & then but for the most part easy money!!

Same here.... we did some additional prep work, when needed.
My sales rep(s) knew; everything about painting... I can understand having problems with SW, but they have the personnel in there commercial division...to answer your questions.
"Easy Money"
 

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Do it once... Do it right!

I would suggest subbing this out to a reputable polymer flooring contractor. The thing is that when you are asked to protect against chemicals you really need to actually protect against those chemicals. Failure can mean a lot of liability... Are you willing to lose your house? Do you have liability insurance that will pay when you don't follow the written procedures of the manufacturer?

Step one is to get MSDS for every chemical that will be in that area.

Don't deal with your local paint store rep who doesn't know squat about this. Deal with someone from the manufacturer that is technical enough to know what they are doing in regards to both floors AND chemical containment. This is typically a representative who sells Tank Linings. Lots of times the 'floor guy' doesn't really know what he's doing. Get everything in writing from the manufacturer.
I understand what your saying, I know you understand , what your saying, I know the reader understands what your saying.... BUT, does your dog ; understand what your saying ?
 

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Guys, there are different levels of expertise in any application. Most paint companies are "generalists" as opposed to "specialists." Being a generalist means that we are competent in a number of coating applications. However, I agree with Wolverine that there are some applications that really should be handled by a specialist in that application. It goes back to the risk/reward concept we have been exploring lately. The specialist, because its all he does, knows the application more intimately and can better assess the risk and how to minimize it.

Same goes with disciplines like pressure washing. Many paint companies have above average competence levels in washing, but not nearly the equipment, knowledge and skill set of a pw specialist like Ken Fenner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks to all who responded. I appreciate the input and value your suggestions. I have requested the MSDS for all the chemicals and am speaking with an Industrial and Marine Coatings guy tomorrow. Then I'll assess whether this is out of my ability. I'll keep you guys posted.

Thanks
 

· Epoxy Dude
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Wow that is a broad statement. While some "local paint store reps" might not be floor coating experts, many are very knowledgible and should be able to help you through a job like this.
That's the thing about forums and communicating in writing. If we actually wrote out every thought we had then none of us could every read more than a few posts. I think that everyone here knows that the majority of 'paint reps' behind the counter are not very knowledgeable. While there may be a small percentage who might be able to help you... how are you going to know of you don't know yourself?

The local paint rep is typically backed up by an 'Industrial Rep' or a 'Preventive Maintenance' Rep (whatever title your brand gives them)... This level typically has some knowledge but still may not understand the ins and outs of installing a protective lining... which is what you are really doing. So, it's typically the next level that will actually understand the situation and give you the proper guidance.

So, if you are just awesome at finding four leaf clovers or picking needles out of haystacks... THEN... in that case... I would suggest trusting your local rep behind the counter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
FYI guys I passed off the project to a peer that has a bead blaster and more experience with this environment. In compensation I might ask for him to train me on the bead blaster and work through the project. We'll see if he even gets it.

Thanks for all the input :)
 

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FYI guys I passed off the project to a peer that has a bead blaster and more experience with this environment. In compensation I might ask for him to train me on the bead blaster and work through the project. We'll see if he even gets it.

Thanks for all the input :)
Sounds like a wise decision.

Thanks to all the members who provided helpful information, I think this is one of the best aspects of a forum, you guys helped the OP and the client.:thumbsup:
 

· workin
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Soda blasting is also useful, however be careful not to scar the concrete. Epoxy is extremely difficult to get off.. personally, I would grind it off. You may have to grind any areas that the blasting will not work. Personally, I would gring it all off....it's alot of hard work but the only way to get it off IMO.
 
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