Big Batch Mixing Tips for Large Floor Coating Applications
Whether coating a front porch or pool deck, a front office or warehouse floor, the application process can be dramatically different when done on a larger scale. The following tips will help you manage large projects successfully:
The Field Mix (Cementitious Coatings)
When mixing cementitious products for larger projects, it would be almost impossible to mix batches in individual five-gallon pails. You would be making 20 different mixes for one floor in some cases, which creates more room for human error and color inconsistency, and increases labor and downtime.
The solution for this is the field mix. To accomplish this, use a 30 or 55-gallon drum atop a drum cart or dolly, which makes it easy to maneuver your mix around. The drum will allow you to mix multiple bags of material at once. You can then scoop the material out of the drum using a five-gallon pail and pour it directly onto the floor without needing to continuously make mix after mix.
You have a lot of material at your disposal with this method, so don’t strain yourself by filling and lifting the entire bucket. Just pull out half of a pail at a time and wear proper back support.
Consider Mixing from Scratch
Ready-mix bags are convenient and easy to use, but they are better suited for smaller projects. Ready-mix material does reduce the amount of error, but you can save a lot of money by using our S-1100 Liquid Concentrate and mixing your own cement and sand on site, from scratch. The S-1100 Liquid Concentrate has unmatched performance in the field and can make the application process very forgiving, allowing you to add more water and keep your mix workable in all sorts of climate conditions.
The Field Mix (Resinous Floor Coatings)
When applying other types of floor coverings, you can use a similar method for mixing larger batches. However, you must be aware of the workability and pot life of the material you are using. The application process for these coatings requires a little more finesse for large projects, but it can still be done.
The Super-Krete® Products line of ready-mix and cementitious field mixes can also be very forgiving, allowing for prolonged workability during application. On the other hand, when working with resinous floor coatings such as epoxies and polyaspartics, you have to abide by strict time constraints to apply the material. Some materials may have more workability once laid onto the floor, while others have a greater pot life when kept in mass form in the container.
When mixing large kits of material, it is imperative that you do not mix more than you can handle. Make sure that you familiarize yourself with the products you are working with to avoid any pitfalls during application. This will help prevent any loss in material and potential coating failure. Always be aware of the mixing ratios, mixing time, pot life and application.
Preparing for Application
Before any material mixing begins, make sure that everything is ready for the application. Since time is of the essence, you will want to make sure that all areas are properly masked, and equipment and tools are ready for application, including placing roller covers on roller handles, etc.
If applying anything by paint roller, I recommend pre-shedding your roller covers prior to application. This can be done by wrapping the roller cover with masking tape and pulling it off. Even “non-shed” rollers tend to shed when applying very sticky materials. You will notice all the fuzzy debris that you just prevented from ending up in your finished floor. The same thing goes for paint brushes. Gently pull on the bristles to remove any loose ones and prevent them from getting permanently sealed into your finish.