Business garages and loading docks are almost always poured concrete. Concrete may seem to make perfect sense for these indoor/outdoor utilitarian areas for a number of reasons. It’s cheap, easy to set up, and you don’t have to worry about treating it like a nice indoor floor. Unfortunately, concrete also has some serious downsides that few businesses realize within the first few years of constructing or leasing a new location. However, chances are that you have begun to notice more than a few things that could be better about your raw concrete floor and the simple fact of the matter is that while it might look good at first, over time that concrete becomes bad for business. Here’s why:
1) Cracks and Maintenance
Concrete is not as stable as you might think, particularly when poured into big wide slabs for indoor/outdoor flooring. Here in Minnesota where weather can get extreme, concrete will continuously swell and contract, creating first small and then very serious cracks. Not only are these cracks increasingly unsafe, they also open up your work area to small plant growth and, worse, insect life. There are ways to manage concrete cracks, but is that raw concrete really worth the effort of annual upkeep?
2) Creates an Uneven Surface
Not only are those cracks unsightly invitations for bugs to find a home, they are also a safety hazard for employees and equipment. Even surfaces are incredibly important, especially when your team is carrying heavy boxes or parts and wheeled assistive equipment like dollies and fork lifts don’t much care for the widening cracks either. You can only throw rubber mats over so much and if the concrete level shifts slightly, even these will create a covered but still uneven surface.
3) Giant Heat Sink
Have you ever had to unload a truck or work on your business vehicles in an warm aviator hat and gloves? Most Minnesotans have and your concrete floor is not helping. Concrete is a type of porous man-made stone and when the ground is cold beneath it, it becomes an anti-radiator, a source of freezing permeating cold. Your space heaters and warm equipment can only do so much because the concrete is supplying more cold than you can produce heat. In chilly Minnesota commercial garages and loading docks, this can be a serious issue.
4) Soaks up Spills
In an indoor-outdoor setting, whether you are working on cars or bringing in supplies for a commercial kitchen, spills happen. Gasoline spills, cleaning chemicals, and broken shipment containers can all cause a certain amount of liquid to hit the floor. The problem? Concrete is porous and will soak it up before you can mop away the mess. Now there is lingering gasoline, chemicals, or a gallon of pickle juice that have become a part of your floor and the fumes will come back every time the weather warms up. This not only creates unsightly stains, but it can also pose a serious health hazard.
5) Looks Worse Over Time
Finally, whether it’s the growing cracks and little plants sprouting up, the stains from long-ago spills, or the unpleasant sight of chipping paint, you raw concrete floor isn’t going to look nice forever. In fact, it probably wasn’t perfect when your business moved in and will only look worse with every passing year. As any good business manager knows, appearances do matter both to your employee satisfaction and making a good impression on clients and business partners who get to see ‘behind the scene.
So what is the solution to your increasingly problematic concrete floor? Certainly, we’re not suggesting you rip it up to build something new. Instead, very seriously consider the possibilities of commercial grade garage floor coating. Unlike enamel or paint, polyurea is probably your best bet because it can seal the concrete floor underneath, create an insulating layer, flex with the concrete, and provides a smooth easy to clean surface that will look great and last for both indoor and outdoor business activities. For more information about a polyurea commercial garage floor coating and its benefits over raw concrete, contact us today!