While floor preparation and moisture testing (including ASTM F1869-16a, ASTM F2170-19a, and ASTM F710-19e1) have become standard practice, these critical steps can be overlooked due to tight timelines, limited budgets, inexperienced contractors, uninformed architects, designers, specifiers, or installation subcontractors who lack adequate knowledge or training.
There are two flooring chemistries that have both existed in the United States for more than 15 years but are rarely specified relative to their epoxy counterparts. Urethane cements and methyl methacrylate (MMA) have already been established as viable resinous flooring solutions for a variety of challenges. Urethane cements are one of the best solutions for resisting thermal shock from steam, grease, and other hot contaminants, while MMA can accept a fresh topcoat at any future time without requiring any mechanical preparation.
When specifying flooring, one should consider both sustainability and performance. They are not mutually exclusive, but rather completely integrated. Both are affected by the material science that goes into the product: How are they constructed? Where do the materials come from that make these products?
Adaptive reuse is a process of retrofitting old buildings for new uses allowing structures to retain their historic integrity while providing for occupants’ modern needs. These projects preserve what’s best about historic properties, but develop them in a way that is modern and usable, and infuse new life into historic buildings.
As a part of the living history of construction, archaic floor systems exist in many buildings despite having been supplanted by modern construction methods. As a building manager or design professional, it is important to be aware these systems are in use today, and to recognize one in place before attempting repairs, alterations, or construction to avoid inadvertently damaging the integrity of a structure.
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