What do you do when a food facility receives a less-than-par coating? When that happened to a client’s floor on the West Coast, the only thing the client and manufacturer could do was move forward together.
The coating system, which was not initially installed correctly and therefore didn’t look right, needed to be fixed. The original contractor decided not to move forward with the repairs, but the client, which wishes to remain unnamed, still needed a functioning floor, so they decided to try again with someone new. That’s where American Restore came in. They were familiar with the area and the coatings, which Arizona Polymer Flooring (APF) rep Ray Gutoski knew.
“American Restore has an excellent résumé,” said Gustoski, who pulled American Restore into the job. “They’re without question a good contractor with good standing…They were able to come in and evaluate what needed to be done.”
The plan was to recoat an 18,000-square-foot (1,672.3 m²) area that had failed (the aggregate came off when you rubbed it with your foot), as well as lay down a polyurethane cement self-leveling mortar with the same coating system in additional areas. It would require feathering, fast work, and a six- to eight-person crew depending on the task.
When American Restore came onto the job in
October, they had a total of about 23,500 square feet (2,183.2 m²) of floor to
cover. “We were under the gun to get these fixed so they could get the
equipment moved in,” explained Sean Turner, executive VP for American Restore,
With a time crunch for the finished
facility, it was time to get the ball rolling!
Split Pea and Ice Blue
passed the lead off to American Restore’s Operations Manager Walt Hede, who
started prep by taping off anything that needed to be protected, including the
parameter of the room and the columns. The crew also set up a 50-foot by 50-foot
(15.2 m x 15.2 m) base area right outside the building using 4-mil (101.6 microns)
visqueen and tape where the crew could get products mixed and ready to go.
Using two teams — one to grind and one to
install — the crew started the recoat by grinding the surface down to the
mortar. That area was going to get two colors: a green and what Turner called an ice blue. The colors were split right down the middle of the room to
demarcate different areas. “That was probably one of the most unusual floors
I’ve ever seen,” Turner laughed. All of the other areas received different
colors as well, including red and gray.
They used two Terrco Inc. diamond
planetary grinders (6200 models with #30 diamond cutters) to
remove laitance and unbonded coatings and to flatten the surface. They also
used seven Metabo dustless grinders with 12-segment diamond cup wheels on all
of the edge work.
Once they vacuumed up all of the dust, the
crew used an epoxy paste to patch any areas that needed fixing. Then, in all
areas, they put down Arizona Polymers Primer at an average thickness of 8 mils
(203.2 microns) and lightly broadcast quartz aggregate into the wet primer. “It
was about 30 percent — just some aggregate presence so there was no slipping,”
Turner explained. “They wanted to be able to clean it. When it’s 100 percent,
After about eight hours, the primer had
cured and the crew was able to come in to sweep and vacuum off any loose
aggregate. On top of the first layer, they installed APF’s Epoxy 600 at 100
square feet (9.3 m²) per mixed gallon (3.8 L). That topcoat ended up being a
thickness of around 16–18 mils (406.4–457.2 microns) and took about another
eight hours to cure. Both the primer and the topcoat were poured, squeegeed,
and backrolled with 18-inch by 3/8-inch (45.7 cm x 1.0 cm) rollers.
Cooks in the Kitchen
crew worked in the evenings to help mitigate any problems that can come with
high temperatures. After all, the work was being done in a new metal building
where the air conditioning and ventilation hadn’t been set up yet, so they had
to pay careful attention to the heat. “It does make a difference,” Turner said
of ambient temperatures.
crew also had to wear proper safety gear for similar reasons. They wore
respirators and used ventilators while grinding the floors and dust masks while
mixing and installing the coatings. The coatings are low volatile organic
compound (VOC) materials, so they didn’t need to use anything heavier.
five days, the crew was able to head home. “Cleanup wasn’t too bad because it
was still a construction site,” explained Turner. So all they really had to do
was “roll it up and go,” he continued.
They finished on a Friday and suggested that
the client wait until Monday to bring the equipment in on the new floors. “It’s
always ‘the longer the better,’” explained Turner.
The overall project — including the work
that took place before American Restore arrived on site — wasn’t without challenges.
“It was tough sledding there for a while,” Gutoski explained. “Everybody has a
story to where things are perfect and has no hiccups, but that’s not always the
case.” But this project certainly has a happy ending.
As far as Gutoski is concerned, this
client now has a “top notch” facility that’s “one of a kind.”