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Ecodur 201: Coating a Two Level Garage

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More than 22 million tons of salt are scattered on the roads of the U.S. annually—about 137 pounds of salt for every American. The Colorado Department of Transport (CDOT) uses a variety of products to treat its highways during winter storms. All of the products contain salt with added corrosion inhibitors used to prevent or remove the build-up of ice and snow on roads and minimize the impact on vehicles.

CDOT uses three types of liquid de-icers. Magnesium Chloride is used when pavement temperature is above 16 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold Temperature Magnesium Chloride is used when pavement temperature is below 16 degrees Fahrenheit and contains a corn bi-product to lower the freezing point.

Finally, APEX, a magnesium chloride-based product is used when the pavement temperature is above -4 degree Fahrenheit. Due to a lower freezing point, it can substitute for regular and cold temperature magnesium chloride.

However, Iowa State University has found that ‘magnesium chloride was the most destructive salt with severe deterioration produced under almost all of the experimental conditions’. Additionally, a NACE survey indicates that MgCl2 can be 10 times more corrosive to mild steel than Calcium Chloride.

Problem
A high-end home with a state-of-the-art 900 square foot, second level, three-car garage, needed to protect its concrete garage from leaking and the potential for serious corrosive effects of melting snow and ice contaminated with de-icing road salts. The concrete floor was supported by concrete-filled steel pans which formed the roof of a below-ground workshop.

Conventional epoxy coatings have to not only withstand corrosive chemicals, but also the impact of vehicular motion and substantial temperature variations, particularly in winter. They frequently micro-crack which can lead to corrosive contaminants reaching the concrete and lifting additional areas of coating.

Being a residence, the client also wanted a non-toxic coating that was entirely free of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and did not include or require the use of solvents at any stage of the coating process.

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Solution
VOC-free Ecodur is made from vegetable oil and gypsum. Most notable, with regards to its use with concrete, it has approximately twice the adhesion of most conventional epoxy coatings. It is widely used on concrete potable and waste water facilities and brine tests that have lasted over 20 years have shown no measurable degradation from salt. It retains its flexibility for the entire life of the coating. With a pot life of 30 minutes, this gives Ecodur plenty of time to work its way into any small cracks, forming a permanent seal.

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Application Results
After cleaning the concrete floor and ensuring it was completely dry, Ecodur 201M was manually applied. In order to provide additional traction for vehicles and people, it was impregnated with flakes. The flakes did not in any way detract from the glossy finish. Ecodur is now regularly being used in private residences for ‘showroom’ finish protective flooring. The client reported complete satisfaction with the coating and its ‘green’ credentials, particularly as no odors were reported and the garage was immediately usable after the standard 24-hour cure.