Why Epoxy Flooring Systems are Ideal for the Healthcare Industry
Hospitals are the world’s most unique environment. In the U.S., a hospital has about 640,000 square feet, and, what covers this area is a crucial component of a healthcare center’s viability. Across this vast surface area, facility managers, designers, and specifiers must consider a broad range of factors when designing new or renovated medical facilities, hospitals, and centers. A flooring system affects productivity, health and overhead expenses related to compliance and safety standards that can result in fines or legal action. Everything from human demands to patient safety demands, to aesthetics, functionality, and durability must be considered. These are the non-negotiable demands of flooring systems across the medical industry:
As the nation’s leading epoxy supplier and provider, we have built a portfolio of healthcare facility projects due to the high suitability of epoxy flooring systems for the industry. This article explores a few reasons why epoxy is ideal for healthcare facilities.
Strength, Durability, and Longevity | Epoxy is the strongest of flooring systems. The chemical process bonds diamines and epoxies resulting in a hard, strong, dimensionally stable, seamless surface – completed bonded to the substrate – that is impact resistant. This means that epoxy can withstand repetitive use under heavy equipment and machinery without cracking. It supports the traffic that occurs daily in a medical facility, including human traffic and significant weight loads of wheeled apparatus and machinery. It withstands spills, collisions, impact, and corrosive elements for years without cracking or chipping, a consequence that can result in contamination. Epoxy is also temperature resistant and has higher resistance to radiation up to 10 MGy and 100-150 MGy (for hardened compositions and non-reenforced composites respectively). Its strength lends an epoxy floor unparalleled durability and longevity, lasting an average of 25 years.
Comfort During Prolonged Use | Employees in medical facilities stand/walk up to 12 hours per day. Poor flooring can impact comfort or complicate musculoskeletal conditions. Solutions like flexible epoxy polysulfide with rubber aggregates or ergonomic systems create a cushion effect on surfaces while still offering ease of cleaning. These formulas can be custom designed by the REDRHINO epoxy experts to meet any of your needs.
Ease of Maintenance + Sanitization | Medical facilities require flooring systems that will improve health outcomes for both patients and employees. They must withstand harsh chemicals, rigorous cleaning and sanitizing procedures. Not only are epoxy coatings impervious to chemical degradation, they do not require waxing, buffing or any extra maintenance. From a financial standpoint, epoxy flooring offers lower life-cycle costs, due to having a greater ease of maintenance than that of any other flooring system, with the longest life cycle of current flooring options.
Slip Resistant | There is myriad reason that medical facilities require slip resistance flooring. There is constant traffic, sharp corners, equipment, charts being read in transit, etc. at all times. Trips and falls occur often, jeopardizing varying complications and mobility impairments of both patients and employees. Epoxy flooring systems offer excellent slip resistance coating exceeding ADA recommendations for slip resistance on flat surfaces. Textured surfaces, no-skid waxes, safety stripping, and the aforementioned flexible epoxy polysulfide with rubber aggregates all make surfaces safe. Because epoxy flooring systems are easily customized, both in formulaic considerations and application area, a facility’s design can accommodate each space with the appropriate slip resistance to maximize health outcomes. The epoxy experts at REDRHINO can work with facility managers, contractors and designers to build a flooring system that meets your exact needs.
Seamless + Sterile | Operating rooms, emergency rooms, labs, storage facilities, etc. are all regularly exposed to pathogens, bacteria, and biohazards. To mitigate this risk, seamless flooring bonds, the type that only epoxy can offer, is recommended. Epoxy floor coatings bond completely creating a non-porous, seamless surface that’s impenetrable by pathogens, mold or bacteria. In contrast, permeable substances like grout or fractional cracks in vinyl or tile flooring allow the proliferation of pathogens and limit sterility. Further, only epoxy bonds to the surface allowing no room for glue or moisture to become trapped, compromising sterility. Seamless flooring is more effectively cleaned/sterilized increasing hygiene and inhibiting pathogens. To further restrict the potential spread of infectious disease, antimicrobial additives are available to add to epoxy resin formulas.
Aesthetic Appeal | Healthcare Facilities Today has presented industry evidence that supports the important role of healthcare facility design in a patient’s healing process and experience. When considering design values – like those that a color has on a patient’s mood – epoxy is a compelling option with resins spanning the complete color spectrum. This design is customizable by color or in application to maximize aesthetic values in various areas of the facility.
Epoxy coatings are excellent flooring choices for hospital and medical facilities because they offer unparalleled strength, durability, safety and sterility while being completely customizable and providing aesthetic appeal. Every REDRHINO project undergoes thorough consulting to determine your needs and match them with our superior, quality products and experienced, comprehensive installation. Contact REDRHINO to discuss your needs how epoxy flooring systems can meet the needs of your project.
Half of the country is in the throes of the first winter weeks and the epoxy and building industry is coming upon it’s traditional slow season with outdoor projects being delayed between December and April. This decrease is due to the substantial impact that temperature has on epoxy installation due to its chemical makeup and potential reactions that occur at respective temperatures. These reactions are subject to both the ground temperature and the air temperature.
A standard epoxy has a benchmark of 55 degrees to kick off a a chemical reaction – called an exothermic reaction – that releases heat. While warmer temperatures acerbate this reaction, colder temperatures decelerate exothermic reactions and molecule cross-linking is reduced, thereby decreasing the dependable strength of the bonds. Complications of winterization of epoxy installations include epoxy that:
Our decades of epoxy experience have allowed us to cultivate expertise on epoxy’s performance throughout a wide variety of conditions – including winterization. Though we see a slow down in flooring installation during winter, there are occasional projects that come online or repairs that demand immediate attention. So can you complete your epoxy installation during the winter months? Obviously, during winter months, epoxy installers don’t have the benefit of mild temperature and though we always prefer installations under ideal conditions, there are adjustments that can facilitate epoxy installations in a winter climate.
One adjustment is to manipulate the epoxy itself, formulating a solution which cures in less than ideal conditions. This formulation will utilize a unique combination designed to enhance epoxy performance at temperature variances under the benchmark of 55 degrees (as low as 30 degrees). Hardeners – like poly aspartic flake – from the polyuria family – can be added to augment cold weather epoxy projects. Its gelatinous texture offers greater chemical resistance, curing harder than traditional epoxies. It is more expensive but has much higher temperature resistance. However, chemical manipulation to enhance hardening properties will not guarantee that you will get dependable bonds in cold weather and dependable bonds are what gives epoxy its strength. Other factors that impact bonding in cold weather include floor and ambient air temperatures.
Epoxy immediately mirrors the temperature of any substance on which it is applied. Therefore, the floor temperature is of paramount importance. In cold weather, concrete is typically cooler than the ambient air temperature. Both the floor and the ambient temperature must be higher than 55 degrees for 100 percent solid epoxies to harden with a chemical reaction that maximizes strength, hardness and longevity. Any colder and the solution will stay “soupy” and fail to harden or – hardens less quickly and risks underperformance, cracking, peeling and bubbling. Propane heaters can be used to heat the ambient air in smaller spaces; however this process takes days. Heat guns or heating blankets have proven to work well, but if the floor temperature is too low and the project can be delayed, it should be to lower costs and increase the efficacy of the installation. Ambient temperature similarly effects the rate and degree of epoxy cure. Temperature can impact epoxy resin by changing it’s viscosity, which can thicken drastically – impacting flow – in colder temperatures. This causes:
If the resin and hardener are not mixed well, disregarding either the ratio of resin:hardener, or not mixing the material a long enough period, then the resin will remain in a sticky or soft state for longer than needed, allowing dust and damage to be done.To mitigate these complications, epoxy liquids should be stored at room temperature 70-78 degrees) for 12 to 24 hours before use. Liquids can be placed into a warm water bath to bring their temperature up. It’s also imperative to have a team of experts, like REDRHINO’s Because application and cure time is longer, mixing, spreading and curing require additional time offline and without foot traffic.
Another winter complication is moisture, which is prevalent in winter air as mist, snow or runoff water. If this moisture seeps into concrete or is present in the air, the epoxy installation could fail. Moisture tests are run and if detected, the concrete is ground with 800-pound grinders to expose the pores in the concrete creating capillaries allowing the trapped moisture to come to the surface. If the moisture amount is still too high, a vapor barrier will be laid to seal the moisture in to prevent it from coming up to the surface. Similarly, if the surface is not dry, or if there is a pipe dripping, it will severely devastate the epoxy. RED RHINO checks and double checks humidity levels, making adjustments based on the levels. Epoxy should not be applied in environments with <85 percent humidity, projects scheduled with humidity levels this high should be rescheduled.
It’s important to understand potential consequences of winterized projects and to know that longer completion rates and higher expenses might be a reality. Having an expert team, like REDRHINO specialists can mitigate some effects of colder temperatures to proceed with winter flooring installations.
REDRHINO’s approach to epoxy flooring systems is a comprehensive, end-to-end approach. What does this mean for our clients? It means that you are buying the whole package. It means that we are here, doing the work ourselves, every step of the process. It means that we have built teams of experienced professionals whom you can trust to get the job done efficiently and right, the first time. It means that ultimately, REDRHINO’s promise of premium quality puts more money in your pocket. It means your REDRHINO team is the national leader in epoxy flooring.
In order to provide the best product, REDRHINO decided early on that it would install epoxy flooring systems with an “end-to-end” approach. REDRHINO epoxy flooring system installations start and end with REDRHINO. This strategy creates consistency and allows our teams to assess your needs quickly, developing solutions that optimize your operations. Because we control your installation from start to finish, we know every aspect, demand and nuance of the project. Our teams can quickly and effectively trouble shoot issues that might arise at any point during the installation process.
Installation companies frequently outsource their work resulting in a patchwork approach to your epoxy flooring installation. A contractor provides consultation and estimates, then outsource their product orders and installation to the lowest bidder or to sub-contractors with availability. Though certainly not always, outsourced installations can equate to inferior products which can result in damages like cracks or chips that need replacing and repair more frequently (impacting your ability to operate and increasing your expenses). Contrary to many epoxy flooring installation companies, REDRHINO does not outsource any work to sub or independent contractors. We maintain a large bench of fully trained and experienced installers. Each person working your project is a fully trained, experienced professional that is a W-2 REDRHINO employee. You benefit from a cohesive, knowledgeable team who has accrued years of collective industry experience.
An additional, and key, element of our comprehensive approach is internal ownership of our epoxy floor coatings. REDRHINO carries our own line of premium epoxy flooring products and with that comes full, customizable control. REDRHINO has the ability to adjust chemicals, blending coatings to each project’s specifications. This control also allows us to recognize environmental or elemental factors that could jeopardize a project’s outcome and alter the chemical makeup of epoxy to address them in real time. Because we control our products, they are also backed by the REDRHINO warranty. Often, when there is a failure of the installation, the installation company will blame the product and the product representative will blame faulty or incorrect installation. Meanwhile, the client is left in the middle with no definite or immediate plan to remedy the issue. With REDRHINO, it is our product, it is our installation team, it is our problem — we own it. As a result of the “end-to-end” products and services provided by REDRHINO, our warranty is broader in scope and longer in duration than the industry standard.
REDRHINO is compliant with all necessary licenses and insurances as mandated by their respective regional statutes, in addition to national and/or state operations requirements. Our excperience allows REDRHINO to execute epoxy floorings systems of any size. We are equipped to handle virtually any large commercial or industrial project and have proven track records ranging across food processing to aerospace manufacturing to healthcare, automotive services and multiple other industries.
REDRHINO has a simple commitment: put all customers first and do the industry’s best work on every project. With appropriate quality control systems in place, REDRHINO ensures that your flooring is handled the right right, the first time, every time. Our comprehensive approach allows REDRHINO to provide unparalleled expertise, meticulous procedure for consistently excellent finished products when installing floor systems for our clients nationwide.
The Importance of Starting at the Bottom
Flooring selection during construction and retrofitting of an industrial food and/or beverage facility is crucial for productivity, safety and – ultimately – your bottom dollar. Food processing and manufacturing facilities must comply with myriad, strict sanitary and safety standards under the FDA, the NSF, the EPA and the USDA. Facilities are subject to constant scrutiny and compliance checks by federal and state regulators. Floors must be seamless – clear of cracks, divots, and imperfections, hygienic, sterile, and sanitized easily. Durability against corrosive elements and heavy machinery is mandatory as is slip resistance and safety stripping. Nothing provides greater return on investment than the ability to avoid shutdown by health and safety regulators. Other profitability considerations include odors, which can affect the purity and quality of the product, and aesthetic appeal, which is recommended for on-site visits. Additionally, downtime impacts gross profits making quick-drying options appealing. As the nation’s leader in epoxy flooring, we have seen the proliferation in these flooring systems because of epoxy’s ability to meet these demands making them ideal for the food and beverage industry.
Plant, compliance, and project managers need to be educated on both the breadth of the facility’s needs and the elements of various flooring systems to ensure accurate cost benefit analysis and – ultimately – keep the plant operational. REDRHINO experts, recognized as the best in the nation, will assist you in customizing an epoxy flooring system that uses our superior, USDA approved, quality resins and additives and expert installation to meet your needs. Food & beverage industry projects that REDRHINO has worked on include: plants, dairies, food processing plants, meat packing & poultry facilities, bakeries, commercial kitchens – in addition to respective building components like cold storage, freezers, fryer lines, chemical and secondary containment.
That’s where REDRHINO and our expertise in epoxy coatings and urethane cement – among other flooring systems – offer value through both the consulting and decision-making stage to project execution and guarantee. Every contracted REDRHINO project undergoes thorough consulting to determine your needs and match them with our superior, USDA approved, quality products and experienced application. Here is an overview of REDRHINO’s flooring options.
Epoxy Flooring Systems | Epoxy coatings can contribute to a building’s aesthetics and value, mitigate operational hazards, comply with regulatory standards, and even lower total costs for managers and tenant. There are several USDA and FDA approved epoxy flooring systems. Epoxy floor coatings – whether waterborne, novolac, or high-solid – are a great choice for food and beverage facilities that deal with chemical products, alkalis and repeated intense heating and cleaning processes. Cove base, seamless floors and non-porous surfaces eliminate areas that could harbor bacteria. Additional benefits of epoxy coatings include:
Urethane Cement Flooring Systems | REDRHINO is driving the positive trend of the application of urethane cement in facilities across the food and beverage industry. It offers superior longevity, durability and is efficiently cleaned. These concrete systems – applied with a thickness of at least one-fourth of an inch – mitigate blistering and disbondment that can occur in resinous flooring. They also:
Urethane cement flooring systems with a coefficient of linear thermal expansion closer to that of concrete have life expectancies greater than the average 25-year lifespan of epoxies. Urethane cement systems installation is time efficient, completely cured and ready for use within six hours. Decorative options, like colored quartz, add aesthetic value. It’s ideal for meat and poultry plants.
Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) Floor Coatings | MMA coatings are ideal for flooring systems in cold storage facilities and freezers. These coatings are highly tolerable and durable under cold temperatures. MMA is also odorless, a combination that makes them ideal for beverage plants.
Polyurea Floor Coatings | Polyurea coatings are impact resistant, odorless, offer anti-bacterial properties and meet USDA and ANSI-NSF 61 standards of food production. They are physically flexible and very tough with an elasticity that allows tolerance of temperatures between -20° F to 250° F. Polyurea is ideal for substrates and potable water tanks and can be a great options for certain food and beverage facilities.
Installing epoxy as a “Do It Yourself” professional can sometimes become confusing, that’s why REDRHINO is here to help you with those questions that will come-up. As an example, installing epoxy when it’s hot outside invites failure. It can lead your floors to outgassing (bubbling).
Here are some frequently asked questions with answers. It is always best to put down Epoxy in descending temperatures.
My Epoxy cured, now I see bubbles: A few bubbles are normal. This can be avoided by covering the piece with thick plastic, peel-ply, or release fabric. Too many bubbles are commonly caused from the epoxy curing too quickly. Try curing at a lower temperature, or switch to a lower temperature hardener. You can also try breaking the bubbles as the form with a spike-roller or a spreader.
Why did my Epoxy turn cloudy when cured? This is commonly caused by too much moisture either in the air or moisture has gotten into the epoxy mixture. We have also seen this when the Epoxy is heated with a heat gun and dried too quickly. Over mixing or overworking the Epoxy may cause this as well.
Why is my Epoxy so hot? This is a result from two situations: caused by either making too big of a pot too much resin & hardener being mixed together at once, or too much hardener for the resin amount. Make sure your ratios of resin and hardener are correct. You can also mix this in a container that has more surface area (bigger container). Adding more surface area to the Epoxy while mixing will allow for the mixture to stay cooler. The Epoxy should get warm, but never hot.
Take a moment and visit the REDRHINO website at www.redrhinoflooring.com.
Epoxy Cure Times
|Temperature||Pot Life||Dry to Touch||Foot Traffic||Light Storage||Vehicular Traffic|
|70 Degrees||10 to 15 minutes||2 to 3 hours||12 hours||12 hours||72 hours|
|80 Degrees||10 to 15 minutes||2 to 2.5 hours||10 to 12 hours||12 hours||72 hours|
|90 Degrees||10 to 15 minutes||2 to 2.5 hours||10 hours||12 hours||48 hours|
* Numbers are approximate. Do not apply below 55 degrees F or above 90 degrees F.
Designers, architects and highly stylized homes and commercial locations are using Epoxy flooring to enhance the look and feel of a space because not only is Epoxy versatile, durable and sanitary but also can be customized to fit any design style.
We thought we would show you a wide range of design inspirations using Epoxy flooring – Here are some of our favorites, from Houzz.com.
You’ve heard of Epoxy Flooring, the thick plastic like compound great for garages, large showrooms, hospitals, warehouses. But Epoxy is a designer’s top choice when it comes to modern design aesthetic in retail and restaurant locations? Well, besides the fact that Epoxy compound is so versatile and strong it can be used almost anywhere durable flooring. But, designers and architects are even using Epoxy to solve difficult renovations problems, like uneven floor surfaces, that can skyrocket a retail budget and leave very little room for other creative ideas. Epoxy compound is known for its ability to even out surfaces otherwise difficult to deal with. But besides the obvious, durability, and the ability to create floors without any seams; Epoxy offers a modern visual appeal that designers and architects love because of it’s amazing color palettes and finish combinations allowing them to really create their visions and tie all the brand elements of a locations together. (more…)
A lifetime guarantee on epoxy flooring sounds pretty great, doesn’t it? If you’re looking for someone to help you put the right coating on a retail or industrial space, you’re probably going to hear about lots of them.
The only problem? That lifetime guarantee you’re being offered isn’t actually worth a whole lot.
In our articles, we usually try to achieve a few different things: First, we want you to understand the benefits that make REDRHINO an industry leader in epoxy flooring; second, we want you to understand the advantages and details involved with epoxy flooring as a whole; and finally, we want to be sure that you avoid working with the wrong company so you won’t have to regret the decision later.
Although we sometimes get the chance to work with business owners, executives, and facilities managers who are very familiar with epoxy flooring and its uses, we also tend to feel that a lot of calls come from men and women who have heard of it but don’t know the details. In those situations, we are happy to walk them through their options, along with the relative benefits of each.
Epoxy flooring is virtually slip resistant, making this type of flooring the most viable option for fast paced and industrial businesses that need to ensure the safety of their employees and customers. Epoxy floors will create a safe working environment for you and your staff. When you install epoxy floors in your business space, you can rest assured that your customers and employees are as protected as possile from the dangers of slips and fall accidents.
Using a damaged floor is huge risk. You may make the damage more severe, incurring more costs down the road, and you put your health and that of your workers in danger. For these reasons, it is important to undertake repairs as quickly as possible to restore damaged flooring. Here are some products and services from REDRHINO that can help you out.
Heavy Duty Industrial Floor Topping
If you work in an area that is subject to high amounts of physical stress, like a loading dock or other industrial environment, chances are your unprotected concrete floors will be heavily damaged. Over time, impacts can cause scratches, cracks, and even large faults. Heavy duty industrial floor topping is an effective way to restore your floors and protect them from future damage. REDRHINO uses trowel-applied surfaces with a nominal thickness of ¼’’ to resurface badly damaged concrete floors. In addition to repairing your floors and removing any safety risks, heavy duty industrial floor topping will protect your floors from new cracks and scratches.
Mechanical Room Flooring System
Your floors don’t have to be subject to large amounts of physical stress in order to suffer damage. Over time, moderate stresses such as rapid temperature change, constant vibrations, and light impact can also damage your floors. Although the damage might not be apparent at first, neglecting to repair any small issues could land you in more trouble down the road. The mechanical room flooring system is a great option for restoring the integrity of your machine decks, turbine room floors, mezzanines, and boiler room floors. REDRHINO uses a flexible system to protect your floors from the everyday pressures of your work environment.
If your floors are damaged, don’t wait until it’s too late. Call REDRHINO: The Epoxy Flooring Company at (213) 599-8022 and let us help you restore and protect your floors. We are the premier epoxy flooring company in North America and have extensive experience with flooring in residential, commercial, and industrial settings.
The REDRHINO blog is a place where we share information about the epoxy flooring industry, design inspirations, and news & happenings inside our company.
At RedRhino, we are working hard every day for our reputation as your number one choice for epoxy flooring. As part of that commitment, we think it's important to stand behind our products and our work.
You may notice that some of our competitors claim to give "lifetime" guarantees on flooring. But, once you read the fine print, you find that their promises don't really stand up to their marketing. Look a little further into the reviews, and you'll find that you can't be sure they'll stand behind their flooring for more than a few years… if they are even still in business.
Using warranties from epoxy flooring manufacturers can be difficult, as well. Although most do guarantee their products for a certain amount of time, those guarantees depend on very precise (and occasionally, unrealistic) application settings involving temperature, humidity, concrete surface preparation, etc.
We understand the frustration that customers feel when dealing with these issues, which is why we offer a more straightforward warranty package than anyone in our industry. We can do this because we understand the intricacies of epoxy flooring, and make sure that our teams are trained professionally. They won't apply resin until your floor is ready, and won't rush through the job because they know you need it for years to come.
To find out more about our seven-year guarantee, and why RedRhino is different from other flooring companies,
call us today at 800-806-5508.