General Advice for Application & Maintenance of FS Floor Coatings

It is essential that you read the relevant data sheets and follow the instructions. We also recommend you read the following before proceeding with coating your floor. If you require assistance please don't hesitate to contact us.

Preparation Advice

General Notes: It is essential that all areas to be coated are thoroughly clean and do not have any flaking paint prior to coating. It is always preferable to mechanically prepare surfaces prior to coating them.

The recommended methods are:

1. STR machine with carborundum blocks attached

A vacuum can be attached to the STR machine to pick up the dust but as the machine head spins slowly the dust is not thrown in the air but sits on the floor. The dust can be vacuumed up later if preferred, and even if a vacuum is attached the floor should be vacuumed in any case. (Sweeping with a brush will make the dust airborne, unless you are extremely careful.) STR machines can be hired from many hire shops. Not all branches have these but the national companies can generally source from another branch. You will require the 110 volt version (not petrol) plus a vacuum, 10kva transformer and power cable. These machines are ideal for smaller areas or for light preparation over existing epoxy coatings.

2. Diamond Grinders

Single head and Two headed machines are available. A vacuum must be attached. These are ideal for removing existing coatings and adhesives left following the removal of vinyl tiles or sheet. Do not operate in a single spot or you will create swirls in the floor. Machines and suitable vacuums are available for hire from some hire shops or for larger areas we can arrange for a specialist contractor to carry out this preparation for you. These are 3 phase machines and you will require a suitable power source and cables

3. Blastrac Machines

These are large enclosed machines that blast steel shot at the floor and recover the shot to prepare concrete, remove coatings etc. These machines are not available for hire but come on a lorry, complete with operators, power source and vacuums. We can arrange these for you, generally at a better rate than you could do yourself. The minimum charge is around £800 so you will require a reasonable size area for this to be a viable option. Contact us with details of the project and we will arrange for a quotation.

To ensure the best performance note the following information on various substrates

Sealed concrete:

Drip a small amount of water onto the surface. If the water beads a sealer is present and paint may not adhere properly.
Solution: Mechanically prepare the floor.

Moisture in the concrete:

Apply a sheet of plastic to the floor. Tape the edges down and leave for 24 hours. Check to see if there are any water droplets or if the concrete appears wet in colour.
Solution: Use a liquid DPM - FS Epoxy DPM Primer prior to coating.

Loose concrete or concrete dust:

If the concrete is loose or breaking up and concrete dust is present, the coating will not perform properly.
Solution: Remove all loose material, vacuum to remove dust and repair with FS Epoxy Patch Repair Mortar, Rust-Oleum 5150 Speed Patch (cementitious material) or similar.

Latex and Anhydride Screeds:

Do NOT coat floors with a latex levelling mortar or anhydride screeds.

New Bare Concrete:

New concrete should generally be prepared by mechanical means prior to coating as when concrete is laid a laitance is left on the surface. This laitance can prevent the coating from adhering properly. Some sealers will also prevent adequate adhesion of coatings. Suitable preparation methods are detailed above. In addition new concrete should generally be left for 4 to 6 weeks, or more, before applying a floor coating, FS Epoxy Sealer can however generally be applied after only 7 - 10 days.

Older Bare Concrete – not sealed:

It is definitely preferable to mechanically prepare the surface prior to coating, however a successful application will often be achieved by thoroughly sweeping / vacuuming and cleaning the concrete with Rust-Oleum Cleaner/Degreaser. Allow the product to be left in contact with the floor for a few minutes before picking this up. Following cleaning the floor once, it should then be cleaned a second time with clean water only. For larger areas cleaning is best carried out using a scrubber drier, initially using the scrubbing action only, and then again using both the scrubbing action and vacuum. For very oily or contaminated floors a second application of Rust-Oleum Cleaner/Degreaser may be required. Again, follow this with cleaning with water only. The floor must be allowed to dry fully prior to coating.

Power-float Concrete:

Concrete Power-float slabs should be prepared as normal, however by using FS Epoxy Primer or Rust-Oleum 3333 Super Adhesion Primer you may be able to reduce the preparation required. These products adhere well to nearly all clean and dry surfaces. We would suggest carrying out a trial prior to completing a large area. It is recommended that no sealer is used for new power-float slabs as some products, such as Proseal, will not accept coatings and need to be ground off prior to coating with any floor coatings, including both epoxies and concrete floor paint. If in doubt fully grind off the sealant, shot blast the slab, or contact us for further advice.

Previously Coated Concrete:

Most First Solution coatings can be applied over existing epoxy coatings, providing they are well bonded with the concrete. Remove any loose or defective paint. A floor scraper is effective for smaller areas. Well bonded epoxy coatings can be over-coated. It is advisable to remove existing polyurethane concrete floor paints by mechanical means prior to applying epoxy coatings. Smooth or shiny painted surfaces should be lightly abraded to provide a key. Many existing coated surfaces are suitably abraded through wear and tear. Poorly bonded, flaking paint should be removed by scraping, grinding or shot blasting. (If the existing coating is not bonded to the substrate when it lifts it will take the new coating with it!) Most old coated floors include patches of bare concrete. If these areas are significant it is best to prime first with FS Epoxy Primer, FS Epoxy Sealer or FS Epoxy Sealer Clear. We would recommend cleaning the entire area using a good quality general cleaner. For heavily contaminated surfaces a heavy degreaser, such as Rust-Oleum Cleaner/Degreaser, should be used. No coatings will adhere to oil contamination left in the surface. We would generally recommend that 2 coats should be applied, but if only one coat is to be applied to 'rejuvenate' a tired coating, we would recommend applying some of the coating to any exposed patches, and allowing this to cure, before applying the coating to the entire area.

Sealed Concrete:

A surface should generally be slightly porous to allow penetration of a coating. If a surface has been sealed it is advisable to abrade the surface to form a key. If there is any doubt that a surface has been sealed, splash some water onto the floor. If it soaks in the surface it is porous and can be painted. If it 'beads up', some mechanical abrasion is recommended. FS Epoxy Primer is often used as a first coat if minimal preparation is completed. Carry out a trial area before completing large areas. Please also note the section on Power-float Concrete above.

Damaged Floors:

If repairs are required prior to the application of floor coatings or finishes please see our information on 'General Advice for Repairing Floors with FS Repair Products'.

Sand and Cement Screeds:

Sand and cement screeds are weaker and more porous than concrete. Where two coats generally suffice on concrete, three (or occasionally even four) may be necessary to avoid a patchy finish on sand and cement screeds. (Much of the first coat will penetrate into the screed and a significantly reduced coverage rate will be achieved.) For weak screeds FS Epoxy Binder can be used as an initial coating. Providing the screed is not contaminated it is generally in order to sweep thoroughly to remove dirt. For contaminated screeds contact us for additional advice. We would generally recommend priming with FS Epoxy Primer, FS Epoxy Sealer or FS Epoxy Sealer Clear prior to applying our FS Epoxy Coating range. For previously coated screeds, where the coating is fully bonded across the entirety of the floor, treat them in the same way as a previously coated concrete floor.

Granolithic screeds:

Granolithic screeds should be cleaned with Rust-Oleum Cleaner/Degreaser and then with clean water, and allowed to dry. The surface should be prepared using a scarifier or grinder to provide a mechanical key. Large areas can be shot blasted. The floor can then be coated as for concrete.

Metal Floor Surfaces:

Metal floor surfaces can be overcoated provided they are not rusty and are prepared by shot blasting. They should then be primed with or FS Epoxy Primer with a small amount of solvent added (not to be used in food environments) prior to top coats being applied. It is however not generally economic to shot blast these, due to their small size, unless they are part of a much larger area. For manhole covers etc it is probably worth cleaning thoroughly and applying FS Epoxy Primer, followed by FS Epoxy Coating, but there is no guarantee of success. Alternatively we can supply Rust-Oleum CombiColor, Alkythane 7500 or one of the other Rust-Oleum metal coatings for this application.

Wooden Surfaces:

Chipboard, MDF and other wooden surfaces (usually mezzanine floors and ramps) can be treated with most First Solution coatings. The wood should be clean, dry and rigid. Chipboard may require an additional coat to achieve an evenly coloured finish. It would generally be recommended to use FS Epoxy Sealer. Three coats, instead of the normal two, are generally recommended for chipboard. Alternatively use FS Epoxy Primer with a small amount of solvent added (not in food environments) followed by one coat of FS Epoxy Coating Xtra Build.

Ashphalt Surfaces:

Careful consideration is required prior to coating internal asphalt surfaces. Rust-Oleum Tarmacoat can be used, for light to mid use areas. Both this and Rust-Oleum Asphalt Restorer can be used outside.

Timescales

When Timescale is limited FS Epoxy Coating Fast Cure (and FS Epoxy Primer Fast Cure) can be used to apply two coats in one day. If time is particularly short apply FS Epoxy Coating Xtra Build Fast Cure as a single coat system. Temperature is important, at 20°C you should allow 3 to 4 hours between coats.

Line Marking

For line marking we recommend FS Epoxy Line XXB. See separate guide 'General Advice for the application of FS Line Markings'.

Line marking tape can also be used. We have FS Permastripe, which is 1mm thick and is probably the best tape on the market or FS Resilient Line Marking that is also very durable.


Application of Coatings

It is essential to read and follow the instructions for the relevant DATA SHEET.

Notes to assist with a successful application:

Temperature Considerations

When products are delivered store them indoors, ideally at a temperature of 15 to 25°C as this temperature range is the best for application purposes.

Coatings should not be applied in very cold conditions, as they will be more difficult to apply, and if the concrete slab is too cold may take a long time to cure, or even not cure at all.

Water based epoxy coatings (e.g. FS Epoxy Sealer) should not be applied below 10°C.

100% solids, solvent free, epoxy coatings (e.g. FS Epoxy Coating), should not be applied below 5°C (Fast Cure below 3°C).

The lower the temperature the longer the time it will take for ALL coatings to cure. Bear this in mind when planning a project.

In cold conditions materials may not achieve the normal coverage rate. If you have to apply coatings in these conditions contact us for advice. You should also refer to the relevant data sheets.

The product temperature, the slab temperature and the air temperature all influence application.

The product temperature is probably the most critical and also the easiest to control as the product can be kept at a reasonable temperature by keeping in a warm room prior to application. It is also fairly easy to heat smaller areas, although a dry heat, such as produced by electric heaters is preferred. Large areas are more of a problem! Slab temperature is the most difficult to control as the slab will take a long time to heat up.

It is essential that the area to be coated is completely dry, and any water or oil leaks are sorted prior to application of the coatings. Following preparation of the floor use masking tape at doorways and termination points to ensure a neat job. (Note: the tape should be removed immediately following the application of the coating.) Organise the product and mixing station.

You will require the following:

  • Plastic sheeting or cardboard to mix on
  • A slow speed drill and mixing paddle
  • 12 inch roller frame and rollers
  • Paint brushes for edges (these are not re-useable)
  • 15 inch tray (not essential)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Safety glasses for the person mixing
  • Solvent or white spirit for cleaning up spills of FS Epoxy Coating range. (Copious water for FS Epoxy Sealer range and other water based products)

Use a slow speed drill and paddle to mix materials. A stick is not suitable! The product should be mixed until a homogeneous solution is obtained.

NB: Inadequate mixing will mean that the product will not cure.

Once mixed the product should be applied to the floor as quickly as possible as there is a short usable time or 'pot life' - this time will be less the higher the temperature of both the product and the work area. (Data sheets give an indication of the pot life at 20°C.) Application will generally be with a 12 inch roller, with paint brushes being used at junctions with walls. Where there is a lot of edgework it is necessary to have sufficient people to ensure that the coating is applied before it cures.

After Care

To ensure the best life out of your new floor it is important to look after it properly. Dragging pallets etc across the floor will significantly shorten its life. Use of heavy duty cleaning pads will also abrade the floor. White or red pads should be used for daily maintenance. Green pads can be used on an occasional basis where there is heavy marking or soiling. Black pads should not be used. Please refer to our separate instructions on cleaning resin floors for further information. If possible new floors should only be cleaned with water for the first 7 days. After this time a good proprietary floor cleaner should be used.

Storage

Products should ideally be stored between 10°C and 25°C. It is essential that products are not affected by frost. If products are affected they should not be used.

Disposal of Containers and Unused Product

Please ensure that containers are empty, and that if there is any unused product that you need to dispose of, that this is mixed to render it inert prior to disposal.

The above notes are for guidance only and First Solution Online cannot guarantee a project's success due to situations beyond their control. Any advice given is based on the information we receive and therefore it is essential that you provide as much information as possible.

WE CAN ARRANGE FOR CONTRACTOR APPLICATION FOR ALL RESIN FLOORING PROJECTS (INCLUDING SL AND SCREED SYSTEMS), ALTHOUGH THIS CAN WORK OUT EXPENSIVE FOR SMALL JOBS OR IF A PROJECT NEEDS COMPLETING IN A NUMBER OF PHASES. FOR LARGER PROJECTS (GENERALLY OVER 500 SQUARE METRES) WE CAN ALSO ARRANGE FOR A 'PREPARATION ONLY' CONTRACTOR TO COMPLETE THIS ASPECT OF THE WORKS.

We can also supply repair mortars, single pack floor paints, anti-slip GRP for interior and exterior use, metal coatings, wall coatings and roofing products.

First Solution Online

10 Bailey Lane, Wilton, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2 0FS

Tel: 01380 831299 Email: tech@firstsolutiononline.co.uk Web: www.firstsolutiononline.co.uk