Concrete is a very stable and durable structure when used and maintained properly. Unfortunately, concrete is also very porous, and it is susceptible to water, chemical, abrasion, salt attack, and even UV damage from sunlight.

 

When installing concrete in high traffic or outdoor areas it is very important to consider using a traffic coating. BNE can recommend when you would need a coating and which type of coating for:

 

  • Parking garages

  • Parking decks and ramps

  • Stadiums

  • Arenas

  • Footbridges

  • Walkways

  • Mechanical rooms

  • Plaza decks

  • Balconies

  • Roof top terraces

 

BNE can protect your concrete floors in high traffic areas or outdoor spaces.

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Protecting your investment is very important. You can increase the longevity and reduce replacement costs by sealing or coating your concrete slabs to prevent damage. The type of coating you use is important as the coating must be formulated to withstand the type of attacks specific to your installation:

 

  • If the concrete is outdoors, it can be exposed to weather (snow, rain, UV)

  • In the winter, it can be exposed to de-icing compounds and salt

  • Water damage – which leads to corrosion of rebar

  • Heavy Traffic abrasion

  • Oil and Chemical attack

 

Once water or salt reaches the structural rebar it can cause it to corrode and rust. If the rebar is compromised the concrete slab will form cracks or lift in spots. De-icing salt, combined with ice formation on the surface of the concrete can lead to scaling; small chips that flake off from the surface.

Traffic coating being applied by worker.

Traffic Coatings

 

Concrete Floor Traffic Coatings come in a variety of formulations such as pedestrian traffic coatings, vehicle traffic coatings, PMMA or PUMA coatings. Traffic coatings can also be referred to as Elastomeric Traffic Coatings or Traffic Coating Membranes.

 

There are numerous benefits to installing a proper traffic coating which extend the lifespan of the structure:

 

  • It will be waterproof

  • The slab can repel weather and salt

 

  • It protects the concrete substrate from chemicals like oil or gasoline

  • It protects the steel rebar structure

  • Makes the slab resistant to UV damage

  • Fills in small cracks and fractures and is seamless

 

A good waterproof traffic coating protects your investment and can also help make the concrete look nicer with an array of decorative options available. These coatings are also very useful in any area where there is a risk of flooding.

 

The traffic coating will stay permanently flexible so that any minor cracks, less than 1/16 of an inch, that occur in the concrete surface, for example from shifting or settling, would remain sealed and protected.

 

There are several different formulations of traffic coating, each one suited to a particular task.

Pedestrian traffic coating in factory.

Pedestrian Traffic Coatings

 

Frequent pedestrian traffic will cause wear on the concrete surface. Over time, this will affect the condition and the longevity of the concrete slab. Abrasion damage from traffic is just as damaging as weather damage such as freezing and thawing. Walkable areas with day-to-day foot traffic require long-term waterproofing and abrasion protection.

 

Pedestrian traffic coatings are very similar to vehicular traffic coatings except that they are applied thinner and have less chemical resistance. Pedestrian traffic coatings are often applied for safety in high traffic areas to identify walking paths.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vehicular Traffic Coatings

 

Concrete that is driven upon has a unique set of conditions that require a little more protection. First, they may be open to the outdoors – the top floor of a parking structure is often an open-air environment, and the sides of the garage are usually open to the elements as well.

 

Not only is the slab exposed to weather, including changes in temperature. It is also exposed to heavier traffic than pedestrian areas. Cars, trucks, and other motor vehicle deteriorate the surface faster through abrasion. It is critical that your coating has the characteristics to resist load and shear forces and is UV resistant, especially on ramps and traffic aisles vs in parking stalls.

 

Thirdly, garages are prone to multiple chemical attacks as well. Poorly maintained vehicles can leak oil, gasoline, and other chemicals onto the concrete surface further damaging its integrity. Vehicles also track in de-icing chemicals and salt.

Traffic coatings are essentially mandatory if you want to keep lifetime costs down.

 

While costly to install, traffic coatings can save you a lot of money in structural repairs, replacement of concrete and rebar) in any garage type environment – whether it is a mechanic shop or a parking structure. These coatings not only help with protecting the concrete from attack, but they also improve visibility by reflecting light sources, and improve slip resistance by increasing traction.

Parking garage.

Installation

 

Once properly applied, and with regular maintenance, a traffic coating will give high performance protection for years to come extending the life of your concrete slab and saving you expensive repair or replacement costs.

 

 

Proper Installation

To be installed properly, the coating does require a properly installed and prepared substrate. Not only does the coating have to be mixed properly, but the surface also must be:

 

  • Prepared by routing and sealing cracks
  • Patching any voids
  • Repairing any delamination
  • Shot-blasted
  • And ground to create a dust-free surface

Installation Environment

If a traffic coating does fail, it is usually because the installer has made a mistake during the installation process or due to excessively heavy traffic. Your installer needs to check for moisture and ensure that the temperature and environmental conditions are suitable for proper installation. It is critical that the company you work with has the expertise to work with the type of coating that you need for your specific job.

Installation Products

BNE are experts in all the products we use, in fact, the manufacturers will often come to our job sites to see how we’ve applied their products. It’s important that the type of coating that is applied is the right coating for that specific usage. Other factors that can influence the type of coating to use would be aesthetic concerns about the look, water mitigation or re-direction, and chemical resistance.

The Installer

Not only should you learn which product is best for your application, you should also research your installers thoroughly. Ask to see references and call those references! Your contractor should be an expert in installation and maintenance of the product, just like BNE.

MMA, PMMA and PUMA Traffic Coatings

 

MMA or Methyl-Methacrylate coatings have a very fast cure time which will reduce the downtime waiting for the coatings to dry. They also have improved performance features, like being able to re-coat when maintenance is required.

 

PMMA or Poly-Methyl-Methacrylate coatings have been experiencing a growing demand due to the speed of turnaround in operational garages their durability, high chemical resistance, and warranties. These coatings are just chemically stronger. In fact, the same chemicals are used in dental fillings, road markings and glass.

 

Their fast cure times means downtime is usually less than 8 hours, including in extreme temperatures, before traffic can be reintroduced. This means businesses can re-open faster reducing costs due to lost revenue.

PUMA or Poly-Urethane-Methacrylate is a cold-applied membrane system that offers superior elongation over MMA/PMMA and is ready to use 1 hour after application. PUMA coatings are ideal for split-slab, paver systems, planters, and vegetated rooftops. PUMA coatings can be used as both traffic coatings and below grade applications.

Not sure which product is right for your project?
 

Speak with our expert team at BNE and we can help advise you on the perfect product to meet your needs.

CONTACT A BNE EXPERT

Mechanical Room Waterproofing

 

Mechanical rooms are found in commercial, industrial, high rise, health care and just about any large building.  Mechanical rooms house some of the buildings most valued mechanical equipment included electrical panels, chillers, boilers, and HVAC equipment. 

 

The growing demand for energy efficient buildings has increased the need to ensure the concrete floors that house the equipment in these rooms will provide protection against water and moisture. 

 

Mechanical equipment is expensive and essential to the daily building operations. So, selection of the right floor in these environments is critical to avoid costly damage and downtime caused from unexpected water leaks.

 

Consideration for selecting the right fit floor for your mechanical rooms should entail:

 

 

Wear and Tear

Care must be taken to study and understand traffic patterns and load.  Mechanical equipment can weigh hundreds to thousands of pounds so it is critical in the design process to ensure the system can withstand the abuse without puncturing or becoming compromised. 

Safety

Facility management need piece of mind that mechanical room floors are safe.  Providing a slip resistant floor with the addition of aggregates will ensure you have a safe work environment.

Creating the Bathtub Affect

Any penetrations through the floor must be detailed with caulking prior to installing the membrane. Failure to do so can cause unwanted leaks to finished floors below.

Cost

Always a factor in any construction project, but you shouldn’t cut costs on your membrane system.  Waterproof membranes are your “insurance” against costly floods and unnecessary downtime.

Worker applying concrete sealant.

Moisture Vapour Mitigation (MVM)

 

Controlling moisture vapor transmission is critical to the long-term performance of any slab-on-grade or slab-above-grade flooring. Standard industry practice dictates that your concrete will dehydrate at 1 inch (25mm) per month under controlled conditions.  So, a 6” (150mm) thick concrete slab can take up 6 months to fully dehydrate and be ready to receive flooring. 

 

Failure to wait long enough for the concrete to dehydrate can be catastrophic leading to partial delamination or a full out flooring failure. Application of a proper moisture vapour floor coating system provides assurance the floor system is going to stick and stay bonded.

 

So, whether your project is an operating room in a Health care centre or the Rink tile in an Arena we have a Moisture vapour control solution to look after your needs.