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Why diamond prepared floor marking is so much more durable and why asking for a guarantee from the contractor is not the conversation to have

Diamond shaved floor line marking provides significantly more durability than diamond ground or vacuum shot blasted line marking and in the article we’re going to explain the simple reasons why.

The other question we are frequently get asked is how long a guarantee we offer. Why is this a problematic question that won’t give you the answer you are looking for?

The durability answer is actually quite logical. The more of the floor’s surface you remove and replace with resin the longer it will take your floor to wear down to the point at which the resin has keyed to the concrete.

A 3 phase diamond floor grinder weighs a significant amount and with a decent motor driving the 40 or so floor saw blades will remove 2-3 mm from the top surface of the concrete with relative ease. The depth is controlled by the operator who lowers and raises the blades as the machine drives forward depending on the tone of the grinding which fluctuates with the slight undulations of the floor.

As long as the concrete slab has a relatively low humidity (the floor is not normally newer than 3-6 months old) a good quality high build solvent-free resin will wear down at the same rate as the concrete without the need for primers. Even with significant volumes of forklift traffic this will last many years.

In fact one of the first jobs we did in 2003 was still being used in 2015 and may still be used today. Not a small site either. 250k square foot distribution centre for COOP. Approx 150 trucks and LLOP’s.

Vacuum shot blasted preparation works in a very different way and has 2 significantly different outcomes.

  1. As a spinning wheel throws thousands of small shot at the floor at a slight angle, neither side of the prepared line or the middle of the line is consistently prepared nor does it remove anywhere near the same depth of concrete in the same time frame. We actually view shot blasting more of a technology for cleaning a surface than penetrating into it. So when the line is then painted the depth of the resin is around 5 times thinner. So as the floor wears down the point at which the joint between the resin and floor is reached much quicker.
  2. As the edge of the preparation is not constant the edge of the resin is more susceptible to impact, wear and bleed. This edge also makes laying masking tape much more difficult and lead to edge flake and unsealed concrete.

Too many people looking for lines to be installed are looking to pay a minimal amount of money and get concerned that the work may fail, so ask the contractor for a guarantee. We frequently hear 3 years and 5 years banded about from contractors who are more than happy to say what they need to say to secure the order.

What the contractor very often means is that they will guarantee the materials and workmanship and are happy to leave the client assuming they mean they are guaranteeing the lifespan of the lines for their operation. The line fails or wears out and the contractor explains that there is nothing wrong with the work they did or the resin they used and the client has simply worn it out or damaged it with pallets or trucks. This guarantee is misunderstood and the client doesn’t get what they expected.

So ask your potential contractors this question instead. Please can you explain to me how long your line marking is likely to last in my facility and why?

This question will start to show you which contractors understand how to make line marking durable and which ones just want to win the work.

One of the real benefits of floor shaving is that we can actually alter the depth and increase the durability depending on the requirement.

About 7 years ago we did some work in a yard in Manchester and we took the prep down to 10-15 mm. It was about as harsh an environment you can get for line marking. This work is visible from Google Earth and is testament to the technology, resin, workmanship and client’s commitment to getting a brilliant ROI.

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