Why Epoxy Floors are the Best Option for Commercial Kitchens
In order to help you understand why epoxy floors are the best option for commercial kitchens and bakeries, we would like to share a story about a recent project we worked on in Paterson, New Jersey. This particular project was for a famous family operation, Giannella Bakery, which opened in 1927 by the Giannella Family.
CONCRETE EROSION IN COMMERCIAL BAKERIES
We were asked to resurface the proofer box at the bakery because of the erosion that occurred within the concrete due to yeast contamination. Yeast contamination can be a common occurring problem for bakery floors because of the constant heating and cooling. When active (live) yeast has both sugar and oxygen available to it, it 'breathes' by a process called aerobic respiration. This process is what causes the erosion.
AVOIDING SHUTTING DOWN THE BAKERY
The other factor we had to take into consideration was that most commercial bakeries never like to shut down. That being said, we planned ahead and included specifying the correct products and creating a timeline that the client can count on.
After we completed our due diligence and we were able to understand all the contingencies of the commercial bakery floor, we then designed a flooring system that benefited the client and their business needs.
URETHANE CEMENT IS BETTER THAN EPOXY, IN THIS CASE
In terms of suitability, any typical epoxy chemistry would not be appropriate given the need for thermal shock to handle the extreme differences in temperature. Thus, urethane cement seems to be the best fit for this flooring system.
Urethane cement boasts an adhesion rating of 300 pounds and results in sheering of the concrete substrate. This assures the floor remains strong and durable.
Urethane cement is also virtually odorless, thereby removing any concerns with tainted food issues.
SETBACKS TO USING URETHANE CEMENT OVER EPOXY
Like all things, there are some setbacks in using urethane cement. However, none of them are major factors in deciding the appropriate flooring system, but must be pointed out to best understand the selection.
Epoxy slurries typically have a 12,000-pound compressive strength, as opposed to urethane cement slurries which usually have a compressive strength of 6500 pounds plus. Given the nature of most bakery operations, compressive strength is not an important consideration given the lack of use of heavy equipment.
BENEFITS OF URETHANE CEMENT FLOORS
The real benefit of urethane cement is that it maintains a very similar expansion coefficient of concrete thereby causing it to expand and contract similarly to its bonding surface. This allows for superior thermal shock values that is so vital in the food processing industry.
Moreover, urethane cements typically cure for light traffic within 6 hours as opposed to epoxies owning a typical cure rate of 24-48 hours.
QUICK CURING & SCRATCH RESISTANT
Given the tight timeline, a quick curing topcoat can both resist heavy traffic wear as well as resist chemical attack. The ideal topcoat in this scenario as specified was a polyaspartic coating. This product encapsulates the aggregate broadcast that is applied to slurry base nicely, to include higher scratch resistance as well as very solid chemical exposure.
PREVENTING LISTERIA OUTBREAKS IN YOUR COMMERCIAL KITCHEN
Something else to take into consideration is the elimination of any 90-degree corners of bacteria of any sort to exist. A good contractor will install cove base to integrate with the flooring. This will result in a seamless floor that will both mitigate any bacteria concerns as well as make cleaning quick and easy to maintain. Click here to learn more information on why cove base is important in the food industry and how it helps with FDA and USDA certification and approval
High Performance Systems Corp. 732-384-5577
For all the above reasons, we strongly urge any serious concerns a baker or business owner may have to seek out a commercial kitchen flooring contractor (like High Performance Systems) that is well versed in all that the food service flooring requires.
For a more in depth understanding or a free consultation please do not hesitate to contact us where customer service is paramount in our process.