Temperatures here in Iowa vary dramatically in both the summer and the winter. If you have a concrete floor that gets exposed to temperate changes, you need to take those changes into consideration when you are redoing your concrete or terrazzo floor.

We wanted to share three quick stories of where we applied different coatings or polishing techniques when temperature changes played a factor in the decision making process.

Example 1: Really Quick Temperature Changes

In the shipping area of a manufacturing facility there was a specific room that was blocked off from the facility so it won’t let the hot or cold temperatures into the facility. Sometimes the concrete would be sixty degrees, and then within twenty minutes, the concrete would be twenty degrees.

We worked with this company to determine the best concrete solution for their situation. When concrete is expanding and contracting so quickly a coating will never work. A coating like polyurethane or epoxy won’t have enough time to expand or contract with the concrete so it would create cracks.

The only solution: polished concrete.

A mechanically polished floor can breathe with the concrete. It doesn’t care about the temperature changes.

Example 2: Slow Temperature Changes

In a very large non-heated/cooled warehouse, there was a concrete floor that needed to be fixed up. By having the temperate changes happening throughout the different seasons in Iowa, it is important to consider this when coating the concrete. This client wanted to use a coating in which they could change up the colors over time, so we needed to consider something that could hold up to the gradual hot and cold temperature changes while meeting the needs of our client.

In this case we decided to use a hybrid polyurethane.

Hybrid Polyurethane was used because we needed a coating that could hold up to heavy machinery but could also be cleaned up every year if needed without having to regrind the concrete floor. It would hold up as well to the moderate changes in temperature. Hybrid Poly is more durable than epoxy coatings and is also more flexible, so it can expand and contract at about 20% with the concrete through the seasonal changes.

Example 3: Little Temperature Changes

An auto body shop wanted to have an extremely durable floor. This shop would have momentary temperature changes with the door would open to bring vehicles in or out, so the concrete floor temperature would change very little.

The solution: A base epoxy system with a hybrid polyurethane over the top.

In this case, the concrete temperatures were not as important. The biggest factor was to create a high build system to protect the concrete floor in case any heavy machinery or parts were dropped. It was also important to protect from any solvents.

Side Note:

We don’t like to use epoxy coatings when it comes to quick temperature changes because epoxy coatings are too rigid, so they don’t expand or contract very well with the concrete.

Final Thoughts

You need to consider two important factors when choosing a concrete floor solution. It first depends on how you are planning to use your floor. Then it depends on the temperature changes it will incur. Performance Concrete Polishing can come to your business and give you the best advice on what to do for your unique situation.

Thanks for Reading.

McKinley Schilling

Performance Concrete Polishing