Green Floor Coatings?

Posted by Mike Mincemoyer on May 27, 2015 2:17:30 PM

Stronghold Floors does install green coatings, such as this Avocado metallic epoxy.The title is not talking about the floor being green in color (although we have installed a few of those).  Instead I wanted to answer a recent question about whether we used “green” (or sustainable) products and processes.  Stronghold Floors tries to utilize products and processes that reduce the overall environmental impact of the services we provide and enhance our employee’s work environment.  

We increase our “Green” efforts by:

1)      Using coatings that are low or zero VOCs to reduce personal exposure and ozone damage.

2)      Using products that are made as close to our locations as possible to reduce the impact of transportation.

3)      Reuse and recycling of materials to reduce landfill waste.

4)      Utilizing preparation processes that do not create environmentally hazardous waste or sludge.

5)      Scheduling our crew deployments to minimize driving and fuel consumption.

Low VOC & VOC Free Coatings

Over the past 10 plus years, we have evaluated and selected chemical manufacturers based upon several criteria. Of course, performance of the coatings is extremely important.  But, many coatings available today have very similar performance. So, we also looked for coatings that are low in VOCs – preferably zero. We look for coatings which do not contain harmful solvents and do not require their introduction for application, thereby reducing the exposure of our team.

Recently, we have tested and adopted a line of water based urethanes which provide excellent abrasion resistance for our metallic coatings.  Our operations just completed testing on a new polyaspartic polyurea that has minimal odor and is VOC free. 

Locally Sourced Floor Coating Materials

While it’s unfortunate that we do not have chemical suppliers right at each location, we have sourced our primary coatings from large companies who have distribution locations throughout the United States.  This allows each of our Stronghold Floors locations to minimize shipping distances (vs other companies who use a single source vendor who only ships from one point).  We also utilize the countries largesst vendor of the decorative chips, metallic pigments and colored quartz we use in our coatings systems - who again is more strategically placed than other similar vendors..

We also make every effort to purchase in bulk to reduce the impact of the transportation.

Reuse and Recycling of Materials used in our Processes

To safeguard the area we mix our chemicals, we utilize cardboard that we collect from our own shipments and those of other local businesses. We reuse the 5 quart and 10 quart buckets as often as possible.  For recycling, we collect all the empty metal cans and lids we generate and send them off to our local metal scrapyards.

Surface Preparation by Dry Grinding

Diamond grinding prepares the surface for the garage floor coatings.Instead of acid etching or wet grinding the concrete, which produces EPA regulated slurry (in the amounts we would generate), we utilize a dry grinding method where the concrete dust is collected by our vacuum systems and disposed of in a dry manner.  No slurry is created during the surface preparation for the floor coatings.

Minimizing Fuel Consumption

Since we complete over 500 jobs per year, our managers make every attempt to keep daily jobs as close as possible to cut down on the amount of driving by our 6 vehicle, operations fleet.  Our sales staff also makes every attempt to schedule appointments with minimum driving distance each day. 

In addition, we utilize a class of grinder which has a high production rate and thereby cuts down on the amount of time we need to run our generators.

What about LEED and GreenSpec certifications?

Currently, we are not aware of any topical, thin-mil or high build coatings that are “green” certified.  Several of our manufacturers do as much as possible to protect the environment, create healthy systems and are non-flammible, low or no VAC, and during curing they emit no HAPS (hazardous air pollutants or air toxins). 

Some systems may contribute to LEED points during construction, but that would have to be evaluated on a case by case basis.

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Topics: Residential Flooring, Commercial Flooring, Garage Floor Coatings

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