If you are building a new warehouse or are starting from scratch with new pallet rack shelving, you might want to think twice before you put your pallet rack system or industrial conveyor system in. We know you want to get your industrial shelving up as soon as possible, because that inventory keeps coming in.
But there’s something you should seriously consider before moving forward, and that’s having epoxy floor sealants applied to the floor. And we’re not just talking about the floor paint that you might pick up at a big box store and apply to a garage floor. We mean polyurethane or epoxy floor coverings that will improve the way that your warehouse operates. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages these floor coatings can provide.
One of the most common reasons that floor sealants are applied to warehouse floors is that they can have anti-slip additives applied to the top layer. It doesn’t take much to realize why this would be advantageous; the more traction an employee has, the less likely that they will slip and fall. Slips and falls can bring big problems. Not only is the trained employee out of the equation for a time — making it necessary to hire a less-trained employee or make the other employees work harder — but you also have to worry about lawsuits and OSHA becoming involved. At the very least it’s going to affect insurance premiums in the future.
Anti-slip epoxy coverings can be a great way to protect your employees, including those in (and in front of) forklifts. Spills are something that every warehouse has to worry about, whether it’s inventory that has sprung a leak, the rain blows in, or someone has simply spilled a soda next to the industrial pallet racking. Of course, that brings up another important aspect of anti-slip coatings on the epoxy flooring…
Easy Clean Up
If you’ve even spilled motor oil on an unprotected concrete garage floor, you know exactly how bad it can stain. As tough as concrete can be, it can stain easily because the surface is still porous. The minerals in rainwater can stain concrete easily, and you’re in for a surprise if a pumpkin rots on your concrete porch.
That’s not something you have to worry about nearly as much when it comes to having epoxy floor coatings under your pallet rack system. If the tow motor leaks a bit, you should be able to wipe it up with no problem and never know the difference. Whether your inventory is olive oil, motor oil, or mineral oil, you’ll be able to clean it up without making a permanent stain on the concrete. Oh, and that soda we talked about earlier — you know, the one that caused OSHA to visit you because there was no anti-slip surface applied– won’t stain the epoxy like it would exposed concrete.
Finally, we all know how important control joints are in a concrete surface, allowing the concrete to expand and contract while keeping the main slab in a single piece. Those are great, but they also collect direct, dust, and other grime that can be hard to sweep out. With concrete floor epoxy, you don’t have to worry about that kind of buildup.
Easier To Clean Skid Marks
Tires on forklifts wear down over time. Sometimes it’s because they’re moving under so much pressure, but…we’ll let’s admit it: sometimes employees are tricks on them, racing on them, or otherwise showing off. As much as we would discourage that because of the damage it might cause to your industrial pallets, it’s probably happening when you’re not watching. While you might need pallet repair if they veer off course, at least a protective floor coating will make it easier to clean up the skid parks.
Easy To Repair
A lot goes on in a warehouse, and the constant motion can lead to problems that crack a concrete floor. Inventory might get dropped from the pallet racks, leaving big cracks in the concrete and possibly even removing the top layer. Sometimes all it takes is that first crack in the top to lead to a slew of problems down the road.
Now we’re not saying that epoxy floor coatings are complete impervious to damage, but they are very hard. When you drop something on them, the damage is more localized than the major chips that can be taken out of concrete. Epoxy floor coatings can also be repaired more easily than concrete, because concrete usually has to be get pretty bad before a good repair will “take.”
When you get your new pallet system or material handling system in place, you’ll probably want to have areas of the floor that are off-limits to certain kinds of traffic. For instance, you might put down tape on the floor to remind forklifts that their wheels shouldn’t get any closer to the pallets or they’ll end up hitting them. Other times you might have instructions painted on the floor, such as “hard hat area beyond this point” or “watch out for moving machinery.”
The problem with tape and paint is that they get torn or flake away over time, which causes them to lose their effectiveness. Instead, why not put the delineations and instructions under the transparent flooring, making it impossible to wear away? Epoxy floor coatings can have all sorts of designs, including company logos, embedded on top of one layer of coating but under another.
Oh, and here’s one more useful addition you can consider: glow in the dark elements. If you lose light in the warehouse, the battery-powered exit signs can only do so much. Glow in the dark strips can create arrows that lead employees in the right direction to the doors so that they make their way outside.
And speaking of lighting…
This is the aspect of epoxy floor coatings that most people never even think about: improved lighting. If you paint the floor white before putting down the epoxy, that paint is going to reflect the light instead of absorbing it like concrete does. This can reduce the need for overhead lighting, which is a cost-saving measure by itself. On top of that, dark corners of the warehouse aren’t as dark anymore, and the light reflecting from the floor can make it easier for workers to identify the writing on pallets that are on the bottommost shelves. Plus you’re saving money on electricity. Not bad for floor coatings that you’re already having installed for the other practical purposes we mentioned above.
Sure, you could simply paint the concrete itself white, but the white paint can wear away and white shows every skid mark, dirty footprint, and piece of mud. But if you cover that white layer with and epoxy coating, you could end up needing fewer overhead lighting fixtures and saving on energy at the same time.
Nobody expects a warehouse to look as good as a typical office building, but have you noticed that even the most industrial areas look a lot better than they did in the past? Everyone simply expects a cleaner work environment, even when it comes to the oft-maligned warehouse.
You might not have many people taking tours of your warehouse, but we bet there are a few customers you wouldn’t mind impressing with your operation and how efficient your pallet racks or industrial conveyor system are. And the fact is, epoxy floor coatings just look a lot better than bare concrete floors…partly because they’re not nearly as stained!
Consider Putting Epoxy Under Your Pallet Racks!
If you run a warehouse, you want to make it as safe and efficient as possible, and putting down a transparent epoxy floor coating before your pallet rack system goes in can go a long way to making it look great. And once it’s been applied, DAK can install your new pallet system; check them out right here.