The Ultimate Guide To Hygienic Resin Flooring
Now, more than ever, you need to maintain high levels of sanitation and hygiene, especially if you’re in the food and drink industry. Poor hygiene can have a negative influence on your factory’s health and safety, not to mention the quality of the products it produces.
You may be letting hazardous germs such as E.Coli and Salmonella develop and thrive if flooring cleaning techniques are overlooked or not carried out adequately.
However, inadequate cleaning methods aren’t the only cause of poor hygiene control. The type of resin flooring you choose could play a role in the accumulation of dirt and bacteria in your current flooring solution.
In this article we’ll look at how your actual floor impacts hygiene, as well as what you can do to improve cleanliness in your facility.
Things To Consider With Hygienic Flooring
When it comes to food industrial flooring, factors like hygiene, slip resistance and downtime must all be considered to provide a high-performing resin flooring solution.
Warranties also need to be considered because this will ultimately affect the resin floor cost. If you’re having to replace or repair often, in reality you’re going to be paying a lot more for your floor than the initial purchase cost.
However, we encourage individuals to look beyond the obvious issues related to food processing facility flooring to provide better outcomes, whether it’s for your facility or a client’s.
The Build-Up Of Dirt And Bacteria In An Industrial Resin Floor
Essentially, a resin floor becomes unhygienic when dirt, moisture and germs accumulate within the floor. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but the most common are that:
1) A section of your resin flooring has been damaged: When thermoset polymers* are damaged, for example a crack or impact damage, they can delaminate.
The damaged area can be cut out and repaired, but cold joints will still be left around the patch.
This is typically compared to repairing a pothole in the road. In other words, over time, these joints will no longer be bonded, enabling water and dirt to permeate the floor.
2) Pores or pinholes within resin floor: While curing, some thermoset plastics, such as Polyurethane, will leave small holes where gas has escaped during the resin floor’s curing process.
The penetration of such holes can result in a considerable build-up of dirt and bacteria in a floor. It’s one of the most common reasons why your floor seems unclean even after you’ve cleaned it!
Hygienic Industrial Flooring: What Is The Best Resin?
Of course, each manufacturer will have a different response to this question, but we recommend that specifiers look into the chemical composition of each type of resin floor before making a purchase.
In contrast to thermoset resins, thermoplastic resins (such as Acrylicon) have each layer chemically fused to the previous layer, ensuring that the entire system, including the primer coat, is monolithic.
In basic terms, the component layers that make up the system cannot be separated.
Because it’s hard to separate individual layers, the flooring can’t leave bond lines or delaminate, as you will have come to expect with thermoset resins such as PU.
Signs You Need To Look Out For
Your flooring solution in place should be inspected to confirm that it is still in good working order and that it satisfies all of the specifications for which you purchased it.
Here are 3 signs that your resin floor needs to be replaced or repaired:
#1 It’s Difficult To Clean Your Resin Floor
Since it was introduced, PU has been the most common option for food industry flooring and it’s likely that yours already has one.
The issue with PU floors, however, is that pinholes can form as the gas escapes through the resin floor during the curing process.
These pinholes can be large enough to fit a toothpick in, so you can imagine how much dirt and bacteria can reside within your resin floor.
This makes cleaning your floor nearly impossible, resulting in a resin floor that always looks dirty, even after you’ve scrubbed it to death.
#2 You Keep On Having To Repair Your Floor
Unfortunately, it’s now common knowledge that PU floors can start to fail after a few years and the repairing process then begins. However, we should ask ourselves why has this become the “standard”?
If you find yourself having to repair your industrial floor every few years, it may be time to reconsider the sort of resin flooring you are choosing.
As PU is a member of the Thermo-Set family of plastics, it can only develop a mechanical bond between floor layers. As a result, strains can create delamination, allowing liquid to penetrate the floor and cause damage.
Because Acrylicon resin flooring is a member of the Thermo-Plast family of plastics, its layers solve into one another, resulting in a monolithic floor. It also doesn’t lose its plasticiser with time, so it doesn’t grow brittle like PU.
Of course, this has a significant impact on the hygiene of your flooring as bacteria and dirt do not penetrate it.
#3 Slip Resistant Resin Flooring Has Been Worn
Slip resistant resin flooring is essential in industrial flooring environments, especially in the food and drink industries. Spillage is inevitable, whether it’s from water, flour, or any other liquid or solid.
As a result, doing everything possible to maximise staff safety is necessary in these situations and something that anyone engaged in the design or specification of an industrial floor should take into account.
A slip-resistant finish might wear away depending on how the floor is used. This could be due to:
- Heavy application of weight
- Frequent use
- Even your regular cleaning regimen
Abrasive cleaning equipment can wear down the floor by rubbing the slip resistance away.
Although slip resistance on some floors can and will wear away with time, Acrylicon will advise you on the appropriate cleaning method for your Acrylicon resin floors to ensure that the slip resistance lasts as long as possible.
We consider your needs and can tailor a solution to you, recommending the best way to maintain your floor. Also, should an Acrylicon resin floor need maintenance on the slip resistance, due to its chemical bond, the refreshed layer will become a monolithic part of the existing floor and have no risk of delamination.
Breweries are fast-paced locations with a variety of heavy-duty gear running at all times of the day, including foot traffic, forklifts and liquids.
However, it is known for breweries to have no resin protection at all for the concrete substrate or a thin paint coating that fails quickly. Unknowingly, this can cause a world of pain in the long-run – not only from a hygiene perspective, but you also run the risk of moisture escaping into cracks in the concrete, making it more susceptible to lifting – a potential financial nightmare.
Any resin floor is better than no resin floor, but it’s critical that your brewery resin flooring is up to par and capable of performing all of your requirements.
Consider the following factors while selecting a brewery floor:
- It’s suitability in wet conditions
- Ease of installation and maintenance, resulting in less downtime.
- Resistance to moisture
- Resistance to changes in temperature
- Flooring is hygienic
- There are no pinholes
You want to avoid having a long downtime in your brewery production, therefore looking for a shorter cure time in your resin flooring is important.
You also need to ensure your flooring solution is aligned with health and safety regulations for slip resistant flooring that maintains cleanliness and hygiene.
Resin Flooring For Abattoirs
With meat processing services and abattoirs being regularly wet or covered in water, blood, fat, animal waste and/or chemicals, it’s clear that these settings are unique and thus have special flooring requirements.
Animal fat and proteins attack and corrode unprotected concrete due to their acidic nature, weakening its structure and leading it to break down.
As a result, choosing a high-performance resin floor for a meat processing facility or abattoir is critical.
Abattoir flooring, especially if it has a porous surface, is a major breeding ground for bacteria. This is why having a sanitary flooring option is so important.
Furthermore, any damage to a floor should be fixed as quickly as possible to decrease the number of bacteria that may enter and live beneath it.
For abattoir conditions, any resin floor is preferable to concrete, but for your resin floor to be ideal it must be:
- Suitable in all conditions
- Easy to install & repair
- Come with a warranty
Resin Flooring For Dairy Factories
Due to the heavy demands placed on dairy factories, flooring must be able to resist everyday wear and tear in order to keep your dairy factory facility clean and functional.
Daily challenges on dairy plant floors include livestock, forklift trucks, heavy machinery, milk spillages and rigorous cleaning routines.
The combination of these variables has the potential to permanently destroy the floor and a deteriorating surface will not only hinder the movement of people, vehicles and animals but also pose a health danger.
Contaminants can easily accumulate within hard to clean cracks or gaps and this substantially increases the possibility of spoiled products, sick cattle, damaged reputations and regulatory failures.
When choosing the ideal flooring for your dairy business, consider sanitation, water resistance and whether you can afford to shut down for extended periods.
Search For An Hygienic Solution That Provides Care & Support
Because each floor’s chemical makeup is different, cleaning and maintenance procedures should be adjusted accordingly. If you clean too aggressively or with certain harsh chemicals, you risk affecting the floor’s stability or slip resistance characteristics, which is a risk you don’t want to take.
The resin floor you choose should come with its own specific cleaning instructions and care and maintenance plan. You should also expect annual visits from the manufacturer to confirm that your resin floor is in good working order.
If you don’t choose a system that comes with a ten-year warranty – or if you prefer to work with numerous stakeholders to install your floor – this could be an issue.
Instead, choose a single company that is responsible for the manufacture and installation of your resin flooring system. This will guarantee ultimate transparency and clarity when it comes to warranty.
When selecting a hygienic resin floor, there are several factors to consider.
We highly advise our clients to carefully assess the long-term resin floor cost, as regular repairs and downtime accumulate quickly.
As a result, you should select a system that won’t require frequent maintenance or cause production delays.
Acrylicon resin flooring systems are customisable for your business, are suitable for all areas of your facility and come with a hygiene and performance warranty.
We recognise that any type of renovation work can have an impact on everyday business.
With this in mind, Acrylicon crafts a custom installation plan that can be done not only outside of business hours but also at your convenience, causing the least amount of interruption possible.
Thanks to our minimal flooring downtime, you may not have to impact your production.
For more hygiene information for your unique business, get in touch today.