Carpet, Take Me Away!

With spring and summer approaching, it's time to start planning vacations! This carpet is really a trip! At a nearby inn, DMA's Corey Smith has used carpet as a means to breathe new life into one of Virginia's historically treasured family travel spots! Using a variety of custom created carpets from Ulster, http://www.ulstercarpets.com Corey manages to blend elegance with warm ambiance to make this space into a lavish home away from home! After all, home is where your carpet is! 

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Living In Color

Beautifully planned by DMA project manager Jessica Bronner, this colorful VCT is making a scene!! Upon arrival at this local church, Armstrong Flooring's Excelon Imperial Texture VCT can be seen in a variety of colors including: Hot Lips (red), Sterling (gray), Kickin' Kiwi (green), Vicious Violet (purple), Screamin' Pumpkin (orange), and Soft Warm Gray (light gray)! https://www.armstrongflooring.com/commercial/en-us/products/vinyl-composition-tile/std-excelon-imp-texture.html#products The intricate pattern of the tile really puts the final touch on this floor, making the this room one of comfort and style! Life is too short to live in black and white!!

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Is your carpet WORKING OUT?!

Brought to you by DMA project manager Bill Manson, this carpet is really working out! Installed in the fitness room of the Addison Crater Woods apartments in Petersburg, Kinetex "Boom" by J&J Flooring http://www.jjflooringgroup.com/product/boom/ is both visually appealing and durable for those tough workouts! 

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The Power of Prep

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Surface-Prep.pdf
This is a great article covering surface prep for Durability and Design.

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DMA Floors in US Builders Review

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Avoiding Flooring Failures - Things You Need To Know

Avoiding Flooring Failures - Things You Need To Know

We, at DMA Floors, have been faced with our share of potentially problematic installations and have worked hard to develop a strong understanding of what can go wrong under various circumstances.  We try to share as much information as possible, not in an attempt to scare people, but in an attempt to educate them.  We want you to have the knowledge to make an informed decision from the beginning.  Many people and companies do not understand the relationship between the concrete and the finish.  We are fortunate in that we focus on concrete and flooring and understand how they affect each other.

This article "Avoiding Flooring Failures: 10 Things You Need to Know" from Durability and Design covers some basic, but often overlooked considerations for specifying, planning, pricing and finishing your project.

We also cover many of these issues here on our own website and would be happy to answer any questions you may have, or set up an information session.

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Free E Book on Polished Concrete

Free E Book on Polished Concrete

This link will take you to Durability & Design where you can download an informative e-book that covers some useful topics related to polished concrete.

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Out of the Stone Age (Durability and Design Article)

Out of the Stone Age (Durability and Design Article)

Durability + Design "Out of the Stone Age" a look at the evolution of decorative concrete.

Great look at decorative concrete options.

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Health Facilities Management - Flooring Changes From the Ground Up

Health Facilities Management - Flooring Changes From the Ground Up

Health Facilities Management - Flooring Changes From the Ground Up (link)

Healthcare facilities face a unique challenge of providing an environment that feels like a Hilton, but can withstand the abuse of heavy rolling traffic, high point loads, chemicals, bilological contaminants, and staining solutions.

Armstrong, Forbo, Nora, Shaw, J+J Flooring Group, and Mannington all provide some great advice and products to help achieve the results you need.

Dur A Flex also has resinous solutions for moisture mitigation, back of house, baths, and procedure/operating rooms that perform and look good.

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A Day Without Beer...

A Day Without Beer...

A day without beer is like...  Well fortunately we don't have to answer that.

It may be a travesty for some, but when you provide your local community with great food, and over 500 choices of beer to sample it can hurt your bottom line as well.

When Sedona Taphouse in Midlothian, Virginia was built they went with a beautiful concrete floor for the dining area.  While this is functional, environmentally responsible, and certainly adds to the rustic Southwest ambience, it got a little slippery behind the bar and by the kitchen.

Dennis, called us looking for a solution.  Typically for foodservice installations I recommend a urethane concrete due to its great wear charactersitics, resistance to thermal shock, impact, chemicals and enzyme cleaning solutions.  I had every intention of recommending this system here as well, but when I met with Dennis and talked about his operation it quickly became apparent that this was not the best solution here.  We needed to do everything in our power to keep him running, we couldn't afford to disappoint those depending on his vast collection of craft brews.

I called upon Jack Bracco from Flexmar Polyaspartic Coatings to help me come up with a good solution (we don't know everything, but we know people who do.)  He recommended a high solids polyaspartic aliphatic polyurea with a full broadcast of slip resistant aggregate.  This would provide an extremely durable, slip and chemical resistant, UV stable finish that could be returned to full service within two hours.

Our team was able to start work around midnight after the restaurant closed, fully prepare the floor, install a broadcast and finish coat, and be ready for the Sedona team to get back to serving up great beer, food and service before lunch.  Sedona now has a new floor behind their bar and the most sure footed bartender in town.

Thank you Dennis, the staff of Sedona Taphouse, and Jack Bracco with Flexmar.

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Armstrong and DMA Floors Bring You "America's Most Beautiful Hospital"

Armstrong and DMA Floors Bring You "America's Most Beautiful Hospital"

Martha-Jefferson.pdf

Interior designers Jessica Dellenbach and Kelly Stueber of Kahler Slater put together the design, Armstrong Flooring made the products, JJ Hainesprovided the products, MA Mortenson built the building, and DMA Floors handled the installation.  This is what happens when a strong team comes together with you in mind.

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High Slab Moisture and Need to Get the Epoxy Down

High Slab Moisture and Need to Get the Epoxy Down

We were working with ML Bell @MLBellBuilt on a project where we needed to install a quartz broadcast epoxy system in some bathrooms for a camp in Goochland, VA.  When we conducted our pre install inspection we found the slab moisture content well in excess of tolerances for a standard epoxy.  We discussed the issue with Bell and quickly resolved to pour a urethane concrete instead of an epoxy for the first broadcast.  This enabled use to go right over the damp slab without fear of failure.  We were able to get the floor down without delay and with minimal cost increase.  They now have a floor with the same look as specified that will resist just about anything the campers or nature can throw at it.  Thank you ML Bell for being open and responsive to an issue that many of us face on a daily basis, but too often choose to ignore.

Urethane concretes permit installation over green concrete and can handle elevated slab moisture.  They can be finished with quartz, flake, mica, and various other decorative options.

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What is urethane cement and why do I want it in my commercial kitchen?

What is urethane cement and why do I want it in my commercial kitchen?

For years the standard for commercial kitchens has been quarry tile with epoxy grout.  Quarry tile is a great option and has proven itself as a durable surface for the harsh environments found in a kitchen.  Just because something works well and appears to be the norm, doesn't mean that there isn't a better option. 

How do those grout lines look in 5 years?

How much time do you devote to having to clean the grout?

How often do you have to have someone come back and fix grout that has degraded?

How has the use of enzymatic cleaners in food service environments affected the life of your epoxy?

Enzyme cleaning solutions can lead to the breakdown of epoxies in short order.  When the enzymes react with the fatty oils they leave behind lineolic acid which can contribute to swelling, increased porosity and degradation of the epoxies.  This can happen to standard epoxy floors as well in this environment.

Polymeric Cementitious Urethane Floor Systems (Urethane Cement) can address and mitigate those problems.  Essentially it is a water based polyurethane (often derived from castor oil) combined with a portland cement and graded aggregates.  Several chemical reactions take place within this system to make it extremely resistant to chemicals (including lineolic acid), thermal shock, and impact. They also provide some degree of sound deadening.

Todays systems typically contain zero VOCs and have little to no odor during installation.  Flow applied systems can be installed with relative speed decreasing down time and reducing the install time for large areas on new construction projects.

These systems can also be installed over "green" concrete and are much less sensitive to slab moisture issues (some manufacturers have developed decorative systems using urethane cement as the base to mitigate moisture concerns.)

Once consideration with urethane cements is that they are not typically UV stable and will change color with time.  There are some color stable options, but they do increase material cost.

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What exactly is polished concrete?

"The act of changing a concrete floor surface, with or without aggregate exposure, until the desired level of finished gloss is achieved by using one of the listed classifications;  Bonded Abrasive Polished Concrete, Burnished Polished Concrete, or Hybrid Polished Concrete." -Concrete Polishing Association of America

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Is your concrete too wet?

When I first began in this industry I was taught that you didn't want to put anything over a floor until you tested to make sure that moisture wasn't going to come through and ruin your work. The test that I was taught to perform required taping down a piece of plastic for 24 hours and looking for condensation (ASTM D-4263.) If there was condensation we knew we had a problem, but the problem was that just because we didn't have condensation didn't mean that there wasn't a problem.

Eventually I was introduced to moisture meters (ASTM F-2659) and Calcium Chloride tests (ASTM F-1869). Moisture meters use conductivity to determine moisture content near the surface of the slab (not at depth) and can be affected by conductive metals and foreign objects in the slab. Calcium Chloride tests are widely used and provide a quantitative reading of the moisture vapor emissions, but only at the time of the test. They can be dramatically affected by ambient conditions (useless results without controlled air), and are inconvenient in occupied spaces. While both of these tests do provide a quantitative reading, they fail to test the moisture content at depth.

We care about the moisture content at depth because once a coating or floor covering with little to no permeability is placed on the slab, the moisture will begin to equalize (higher concentrations at depth will work their way to the surface.) As this happens, the moisture and alkalinity levels at the surface of the slab will increase, affecting the bond of the floor covering. This is not good and can lead to failure of the bond, osmotic blistering, mold, and large sums of money and down time to fix.

So how do we test what is down in the slab? At DMA Floors, we use In Situ probe testing (ASTM F-2170.) We drill holes in the slab to 40% depth (on grade and pan placed slabs), or 20% depth for suspended slabs (since they dry on two sides.) Then we place probes in the holes, allow them to acclimatize, and record their readings. Using those readings, we can determine the relative humidity of the slab and get a better idea of what will happen when the slab equalizes.

Calcium Chloride and Moisture meter testing are kind of like trying to calculate the volume of a body of water by simply measuring the surface area. In Situ probe testing is more like taking that surface area and the depth to calculate the proper volume. Calcium Chloride tests are often performed incorrectly as well (even by engineering firms), which can produce false test results.

If you have flooring options that are moisture vapor sensitive, it would be wise to budget for proper moisture testing and possibly mitigation. Though DMA Floors is certified by ICRI (international Concrete Repair Institute), we always recommend third party testing. Third party moisture testing provides you with an independent result from someone who has nothing to gain or lose from the results. It prevents a contractor from under-bidding a job and counting on a considerable change order to mitigate. Remember, the flooring contractor sells the solution to high moisture problems!

Have your slab properly tested, please don't get soaked by wet concrete.

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DMA Floors is leading the way.

DMA Floors is growing to help you. Our new website has been completely re-designed to provide you with an easy to navigate source for technical and design information on all things flooring. We have also expanded our services to be able to provide you with turn key service on all of your flooring needs. We still provide the same high quality prep and installation of carpet, wood, ceramic, vinyl, and rubber that we have for over 30 years, but now we can also take care of your polished concrete, epoxy/resinous, demolition, and moisture mitigation needs as well.

In October of 2012, we welcomed Web Stokes to the DMA team to lead the concrete finishes division. Web comes from the coatings world and has worked extensively in commercial, healthcare, hospitality and government markets. He has received training from the SSPC (Society for Protective Coatings) and worked with several manufacturers. Please contact Web with any questions about epoxies or concrete finishes, he will be glad to find you the answers or work with you to inspect your project and help you find the best solutions.

Please take some time to explore our new website. We will be updating the blog regularly with articles that we hope will be of interest to you. If there is a particular topic that you would like to see addressed, please let us know.

Thank you!

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