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MAPEI Tech Talk is a blog devoted to the flooring and construction industry. It is updated on a regular basis by the social media team at MAPEI Americas, and it will feature guest bloggers occasionally as we provide you with viewpoints from across the industry.
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Since December 2017, Alain has been MAPEI Inc.’s Industrial Flooring Business Development Leader for eastern Canada.
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Water is not the enemy: Monolithic systems for wet environments
by Alain Pomerleau
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October 25, 2019 - 17.36
Water is not the enemy: Monolithic systems for wet environments
by Alain Pomerleau
Why is water always considered to be the enemy in wet environments? Well, how often do we see premature deterioration of walls and floors due to water infiltration? We know that water infiltration happens when joints and cove areas have insufficient protection or simply the wrong design. So, the idea of a monolithic system was born from need after many projects showed the same signs of early deterioration in precisely the same areas.
 
A monolithic system can be constructed using either an epoxy system or a cementitious polyurethane system, creating a waterproof finish without caulking. The final coat is merely covering everything at once – beginning as far up as the ceiling and continuing down to the intersection of the wall and floor without any joints or seams.
 
To create such a system, walls need to adequately support the coatings or systems. Walls need to be made with concrete or fiber cement panels for maximum strength in order to resist a minimum of traction from cementitious polyurethane (CPU) systems. As for the epoxy system option, a good back base is required for only the cove area. For proper floor preparation, a concrete surface profile (CSP) of at least #3 is needed for epoxy and a CSP of #4 to #5 is needed for CPU.
 


Walls made with fiber cement are glazed with MapeWrap®12 to hide cracks and screws before applying Primer SN




A drain is prepared with MapefloorCPU/HD screed for maximum resistance to impacts.

 
For the creation of the cove, an epoxy gel such as Mapefloor EP 20 or a CPU product such as Mapefloor CPU/COVE can be used to create a base radius joining floor and walls. MapeWrap 12 can also be used as an epoxy gel to fill the spacing between wall units and also use to cover screws.
 
The other key element is the drain area, which is a critical point in the early deterioration stage of a facility. To protect the area around the drain, choose Mapefloor CPU/HD screed if you are using a cementitious urethane system or Mapefloor EP 20 if you are using an epoxy system. Make sure you cover at least 4" (10 cm); this will ensure an outstanding barrier for water infiltration.


 
 
 
When the cove and drain are complete, two options are available when it comes time to complete the final look of the project. These options are detailed below.
 
Option 1Mapefloor I 302 SL: When using Mapefloor I 302 SL epoxy resin, it is necessary to first prime walls 4 to 6 mils and floors 8 to 10 mils with Primer SN; broadcast floors with silica – size 24 or 32 mesh – for anti-slip purposes. A mockup or test patch is always recommended for client approval before the final project. After removal of excess silica by broom and/or vacuum, apply Mapefloor I 302 SL 4 to 6 mils on walls and 12 to 15 mils on floors, creating a seamless coating without joints. The application of Mapefloor I 302 SL is so versatile, it can be applied vertically without the addition of a thickener.
 
Option 2Mapefloor CPU system (cement polyurethane): When using the Mapefloor CPU system, it is only necessary to prime walls 4 to 6 mils with Primer SN. On the floors, Mapefloor CPU/RT or Mapefloor CPU/SB screed can be used and then the broadcast is done on top. On the next day, Mapefloor CPU/TC coating is applied on walls 4 to 6 mils to floors 12 to 15 mils; this step creates the seamless system.
 


Mapefloor CPU/TC coating was applied from wall to floor in this room, making it sealed tight.




The room is now ready for a washing-station crew.


The room is now sealed tight and anywhere that water is dispersed, it will go down the drain – diminishing the risk of water leakage and infiltration. The choice of epoxy or polyurethane will depend on the exposure to various stresses and extreme conditions, such as thermal shock, heavy detergents, chemicals, resistance to abrasion, etc.
 
As always, proper cleaning, maintenance and repairs should be done to maintain an optimal system.
 
Please feel free to contact me or my colleagues at MAPEI Canada for any information on this system and other projects that you may be working on currently.
 
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