Why You Need Epoxy Flooring For Your Cannabis or CBD Facility
Updated: Jul 2, 2020
More and more states are legalizing cannabis for both medical and recreational use. Accordingly, there is increased consumption and production of it.
Cannabis grow rooms, or greenhouses, are driving a need for large temperature and humidity controlled indoor environments that can support the production of a variety of cannabis products.
Why Concrete Alone Is Bad for Your Cannabis Growing Facility
To save on initial cost, the majority of cannabis growing facilities have concrete floors. Despite the many advantages of concrete floors, when left unprotected, they can present significant challenges specific to cannabis grow rooms.
Typical substances found in grow rooms, such as fertilizers, fungicides, and other chemicals, can leach through the porous concrete floor slab into the soil and groundwater thereby contaminating the surrounding environment. This scenario is ideal for an epoxy flooring system.
While warmth and moisture are ideal for cannabis growth, they also provide the ideal conditions for the promotion of bacteria and fungus. Additionally, the warm temperatures, from regular watering of plants, and high humidity common in grow rooms weaken the structural integrity of untreated concrete.
Poor selection and compromised protection of concrete slabs can end up wreaking havoc with profits and yields over time. Few facilities can afford the inconvenience and expense of an otherwise unnecessary floor repair or replacement.
Adding to these challenges, many cannabis grow facilities are producing products for either pharmaceutical or nutritional purposes. Therefore, marijuana producers must adhere to strict regulatory standards similar to the pharmaceutical and food processing industry.
Public Health Guidelines for Cannabis and CBD Floors
Public health guidelines for cannabis cultivation facilities in various states are increasingly mirroring those of the food and beverage processing and pharmaceutical manufacturing industries.
Typical requirements include having smooth, durable, non-absorbent floor surfaces that are easy to maintain. Moreover, most should have proper floor sloping towards a drain to streamline cleaning procedures.
A resinous flooring system with an integral floor-to-wall cove base is the best way to meet strict facility regulations.
Epoxy Protects Concrete
Epoxies are the perfect solution to protect concrete slabs in grow room facilities.
Epoxy flooring systems provide a monolithic and virtually seamless surface to help eliminate cracks, grout lines, and other locations where dirt and microbes can hide.
Epoxies are durable, eco-friendly, and do not contain harsh solvents that the plants can absorb. Grow room floors need resinous flooring that is impervious and non-porous floor, to adequately isolate toxic materials on the surface for proper clean-up.
Additionally, an epoxy flooring system should be installed with an integral floor-to-wall cove base for easier wash-down and sanitation.
Optimally, the flooring system should include a urethane topcoat, due to benefits such as high tolerance for very moist conditions and thermal shock resistance, enabling the floor to be steam-cleaned.
In particular, for very moist and humid grow rooms, a cementitious urethane mortar is a necessity to mitigate certain undesirable site conditions, such as Moisture Vapor Transmission (MVT).
Reflective Flooring Reduces Lighting Costs and Increases Yield
An additional benefit of a resinous flooring system is their reflective qualities, which enhances the available light in a facility. Moreover, highly reflective floor surfaces enable light entering the space from overhead to bounce back upward, exposing the underside of leaves to the light and potentially increase yields.
Anti-slip Floors Make the Workplace Safe
Resinous flooring systems also can have aggregates added to them to make them slip resistance, which is imperative for worker safety in a grow room facility.
In larger facilities with heavy vehicle traffic, it is helpful to also have line striping to demarcate areas where workers can safely work.
There are even antimicrobial additives that can be included in the flooring system for highly sensitive locations of the facility.
Your Flooring System Will Not Affect Your Growing Process
It is best to install a resinous flooring system before equipment and plants are brought into the facility. However, there are a variety of resinous flooring products available with low VOC, low odor, and low emissions properties that will not interrupt the growing process or negatively affect the plants.
Also, for multi-story facilities, a waterproofing underlayment may be necessary. A properly specified grow room floor should have a low VOC chemistry to meet EPA and similar regulations and also contribute to LEED Green Building Credits, if desired.
Choosing the right flooring solution for a given cannabis cultivation facility may be one of the most important decisions a facility owner or manager makes. The best way to ensure your grow room has the optimal flooring system is to get a professional to come to evaluate your facility.
A resinous flooring expert will be able to check for potential flooring concerns such as moisture in the concrete slab or damaged areas that need patching.
They can also assess the needs of each area of the facility to specify specific products and overall flooring system that addresses the conditions it needs to withstand.
A well-specified floor should demonstrate excellent resistance to a broad range of chemicals, fertilizers, and extreme pH substances. A professional-grade resinous flooring system can present cannabis cultivators with significant long-term value.