One of the biggest challenges in designing a hospital is the vast array of spaces which need to be created, maintained, and often prevented from contaminating other areas of the facility.  The different areas of a hospital require vastly different solutions based on how each individual space will be used.

Flooring is a key element that needs to be addressed from a hospital or medical center’s initial design or renovation project.  Whether patient rooms, common areas, surgical centers, storage\receiving space, the IT center, or mixed use spaces, virtually every individual area may require different flooring solutions.

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Cold storage systems create unique challenges when trying to choose the right commercial or industrial floor.  The flooring solution will need to be able to handle the freezing temperatures without weakening or cracking, and will have to maintain a hygienic environment that doesn’t endanger the goods being stored. For instance, pharmaceutical manufacturing companies and the storage for the new COVID-19 vaccine in mass production, is requiring cold storage for warehousing prior to transport and distribution. This is a challenging combination, however various types of resinous coatings can give you a durable and compliant cold storage room floor system.

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When installing proper commercial or industrial floors, an attention to detail is key to ensuring that the floor functions properly for years to come.  One detail which can often be overlooked, or implemented improperly, is the coving.  Despite often being regarded as little more than a finishing touch, proper coves are a necessity – and sometimes, a legal requirement.

What Is Coving?

Coving is the technique of installing small barriers lining the edges of a floor where it meets the wall (referred to as coves).  Coves are generally rounded 45-degree angles which slope upwards, preventing a hard 90-degree angle where floor and wall meet.

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Ok, let’s state the obvious – no one likes paying for repairs.  There’s no profit in repair jobs, and most people feel like it’s a “band aid” solution.  However the reality is, nothing can be further from the truth. Ignoring those “minor” problems will cost you down the road.  Small problems typically result in big ticket expenses when you least expect it.

Who cares about a small crack in the floor, or a peeling tile, or an uneven spot?  They’re so easy to overlook – until they cause problems. And we’ve seen just what happens when business owners and facility managers don’t sweat the small stuff.

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Do your workers frequently handle liquids?  Do you have a shop such as a grocery store where spills will be common?  Do you find yourself having to deal with a large number of slip-and-fall accidents?

If so, then it’s time for new flooring – anti-slip flooring.  Epoxy coatings can be formulated to give workers extra grip, even on wet floors, which will greatly reduce the risk of slip-and-fall accidents at your workplace.  These anti-slip epoxy floorings are affordable to install, long-lasting, and perfect for a wide variety of business types.

In the long-run, they can easily save you money, making anti-slip flooring an excellent investment.

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If you suffered a chemical leak within your facilities, would your floor be able to keep it from becoming an environmental issue?

The Environmental Protection Agency has strict regulations on the handling of any chemicals that might potentially leak into the ground, or the groundwater.  These can impact even businesses not traditionally seen as being polluting.  For example, large batteries – such as those used in electric forklifts – must be stored in a location capable of withstanding a catastrophic battery acid leak.  If a leak occurs, and the acid makes it into the soil, that company is going to be in for a very bad time.

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Whether you are designing or building a new facility handling contaminated materials, toxic fluids, dilute detergent, or other dangerous liquids, or have a current property with corrosive chemicals on site, your security protocols are only as strong as your secondary containment system.

Secondary containment can be relied upon in the case that your primary containment is breached, and in many instances, is required to pass OSHA and EPA regulations when inspected.  It should also be noted that few in the concrete and coatings industry have the expertise and the licensure to complete such industrial jobs so it’s important to seek out those with the proper credentials.

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Passed in 2011, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) gave the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sweeping new powers to oversee and regulate the production of food within the United States.  This was in direct response to a rising number of cases involving tainted food, traced back to its processing plants of origin.

In short, the FSMA holds food producers directly responsible for maintaining clean facilities and deploying best scientific practices to reduce the chances of foodborne illnesses.  Along with new regulations on production, the FDA also received enhanced powers to directly inspect facilities and test the products being created. 

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Finding the right flooring solution for a brewery or brewpub is no easy task.  The rigors of brewing make a lot of demanding requirements on the floor, and a poor choice in flooring can severely hamper operations.  It’s vital to find a floor that will be reliable for years, without compromising the product.

These are the most important factors to look for:

Strength: When your brite tanks can easily weight a ton or more when filled, you need a floor capable of holding up that weight without buckling or cracking.  Few flooring materials have that strength.

Resistance to temperature fluctuation: A brewery’s floors don’t only have to deal with room temperatures – the nature of the product means they could be in hot or cold environments, or even deal with rapid temperature shifts due to spills.

Easy cleaning: Small spills are a part of life in the brewing business, and cleaning up minor messes shouldn’t disrupt production.  A great brewery floor should need the least possible cleaning effort, without compromising safety.

Resistance to contamination: Many flooring types, as well as those that are older or cracked, provide havens for microorganisms to breed and thrive.  This could, of course, be ruinous to a brewing operation.  Your floor must do everything possible to prevent contaminants from breeding.

Slip resistance: If there was a spill, would your workers still be able to maintain their footing even on a wet floor?  Slip-resistant flooring can help prevent costly accidents!

Longevity: No floor will last forever, but you should get plenty of years from your investment.  Then, when the floor does start to take damage, it should be easy to repair without major disruption to your operation.

Black Bear, The Trusted Partner for Brewery Flooring

Talk to Black Bear about designing and installing a cost-effective, durable surface for your brewery floor spaces. Fill out the online form or, please call 978-405-0017. To learn more about industrial flooring for the brewery industry, check out our guide to choosing the right flooring for breweries, taverns, and pubs.

Nobody worries about money, right? Wrong. It’s all about the bottom line for companies. And in this tight economy, budgets are being stretched to their limits.

Cost matters when you’re building or renovating a new place of business, and every aspect of the construction needs to be considered in terms of its cost/benefit.  When it comes to your flooring, you need a commercial or industrial floor solution that is both affordable to install and a reliable work surface for years to come. Sometimes however, those two things are in conflict and you need to understand why paying more up front will end up saving your money down the line.

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