Technology has improved our lives in numerous ways over the last few decades. Automobiles have become safer and more fuel efficient. Medicines, although still expensive, have extended our quality of life beyond anything our grandparents could have dreamed of. In many ways, technology has reached into every aspect of our society and brought about change and improvement. This includes the manufacturing and warehousing sector. The modern warehouse is no longer a dingy and dirty structure floored with a battered concrete slab.
With the development of huge central storage and shipping facilities, warehouse floor coating options have advanced as new materials and new processes have been developed and refined. Creating a safe, hygienic workplace is as important to the warehouse workers as it is to the owners.
These advancements have been developed due to the problems with maintaining a strong foundation for workers and equipment. Concrete floors in warehouses suffer from specific problems:
- Chemical exposure
- Temperature fluctuations
Additional concerns of aesthetics and cost can be factors in deciding which type of flooring to go with, but are similar enough in the two primary types of floor coatings for modern warehouses. These are polished concrete and epoxy coating. Although similar in that both flooring types are easy to clean, stain/mold resistant, and durable, both have distinct advantages:
Polished concrete flooring is durable and environmentally-friendly. It is stain resistant and only needs to be refinished every five to ten years. For the budget conscious warehouse owner, cost alone makes polished concrete a great value. Creating and maintaining a polished concrete floor is also environmentally-friendly. The chemicals used in epoxy hardeners are corrosive and can have a negative aspect on the environment.
Environmental concerns with epoxy coatings, however, are balanced by its advantages over polished concrete. Epoxy coating makes a concrete floor more damage resistant than polished concrete does. It is more durable than polished concrete if heavy equipment, such as a forklift, is regularly used in the warehouse. Epoxy coated concrete floors are also easier to clean and maintain than even polished concrete is – lowering maintenance costs dramatically.
Balancing the problems that the specific floor will face during its lifetime versus the advantages of the specific flooring solutions needs to be researched and discussed by the owners and builders of the warehouse. Although it might be cheaper in the short run to install a polished concrete floor, if the warehouse uses a lot of forklifts or other heavy equipment, the long range costs can be considerably higher than expected.
Conversely, if a warehouse has little heavy equipment the cost benefits of polished concrete can be very attractive. Care must be taken, however, if the use of the warehouse changes over its lifetime.
Both of these materials can be found in many warehouses and shipping facilities. Although they are not identical, both of these warehouse floor coatings will help warehouse owners create a safe and hygienic warehouse space for workers and products that will last for many years.
TCI Striping is a full-service professional contractor specializing in Warehouse Striping & Specialty Coating services. With over 40 years of experience, we have earned a reputation as a trustworthy commercial and light industrial contractor with an extensive range of capabilities, qualified experience, specialized training and equipment, and a workforce that pays careful attention to detail. Give us a call and we’ll take care of your warehouse flooring and striping needs.