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Contaminated Cement can be Controlled by Encapsulating With Epoxy
by: Harvey Chichester
Remediation of pollution can be expensive and technically difficult. Many state and local pollution control agencies have found that encapsulating contaminated concrete is the most economical and long lasting solution for existing contamination. 100% solid epoxy can seal contaminants into the concrete with layers of 10 to 100 mils thick. In effect, the encapsulation works like an insect trapped in amber. Solids, gasses, and liquids are all trapped inside a solid hard capsule. Contaminants are thus able to be left in place, with no danger to crews that might have had to work in close proximity to remove them.

It is advisable to choose a white, yellow, or red color for the first coat, or "seal coat." Subsequent topcoats are a contrasting color like gray or brown. In this way, workers moving around the contaminated surfaces are alerted when wear has made re-coating necessary. The contrasting colors thus provide a "wear meter."

100% epoxy has no odor, can go on as thick as needed, and comes in colors as well as clear. When applying floor seals that can be 20 to 500 mils thick as they repair and level imperfect floor surfaces, it is critical to consider the height of the coating in addition to the length and width issues of normal roll-on applications. When water is poured on glass, it protrudes above the surface at the edges. Pulling a finger though the water, one sees flattening at the entry and exit points due to its surface tension. When leveling floors, these same effects of the epoxy's surface tension must be dealt with. In other words "self-levelling," which is incomplete even for liquids like water, will not produce a flat top layer of epoxy.

100% epoxy coatings do not shrink and will harden at any height it is left at after being catalyzed. But special procedures are needed in order to assure a flat surface while filling uneven anomalies in the substrate. Experience has determined that using a squeegee-like motion with a very short nap roller (3/16") creates a pool of epoxy that can be pulled towards you to leak into low spots while keeping the surface flat. Care must be used to apply an even coat at the surface, and too much rolling can cause the surface to try to contour along the floor's imperfections.

A good source of 100% epoxy floor coatings is Durall Industrial Flooring of Minneapolis, MN. Durall provides customized kits specially constructed to include every item needed for the specific project of the customer. Durall delivers these kits directly to the job site and provides factory-direct support during the application process. Web visitors can obtain free, job-specific quotes on materials or nationwide turnkey installations by completing a simple questionnaire at This full-service concept allows anyone to enjoy the benefits of industrial strength floors.

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For more information, contact Harvey Chichester at
Phone: 800-466-8910 or 952-888-1488 (24/7)

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About the author:

Harvey Chichester is a principal of Durall Industrial Flooring, a company with more than 40 years experience in developing special flow-coatings for industrial and residential floors. For 15 years, he has overseen product development and field testing for the company. He has personally directed the installation or restoration of more than 6,000 floors.

During that time, his team of chemists have produced continual improvements to over 500 products, including the acclaimed Dura Seal and Dura Poxy lines of epoxy floor coatings. He has managed installations in all 50 states, 5 Canadian provinces, and 7 countries.


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