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21 Jul

Can New Flooring Be Installed Over Old?

Can New Flooring be installed over Old Flooring?

Whether your company has just invested in a new to them facility or is upgrading their current locations due to time or elevated ANSI/ESD standards, one of the largest expenses they will face is replacing the existing flooring.

Based on the existing installation, this can be a very time consuming task – days to strip off the old flooring, etch or acid burn off any leftover adhesive residue.  Plus the very real possibility of damaging the concrete itself or a pre-existing moisture barrier.

Which leads to a popular question from facility and production managers – can new ESD flooring be installed over existing flooring?

And depending on who you talk to, the answer is: Yes. No. And, of course, Maybe.

Yes.

If an existing floor is well-bonded, ANSI/ESD 20.20 compliant and in reasonably good condition, theoretically, the answer is yes.

Certain flooring options pose a lower risk and are considerably easier to install over an older floor. Vinyl, for example, generally can be installed over top existing vinyl. Generally.

Problems arise when the old floor has become hard and stiff.  It may be harder to install over it, and if the initial bond doesn’t take, vinyl is unforgiving and may delaminate – requiring a complete stripping and reinstallation that is likely to cost more than the initial money saved, not to mention the time lost during the removal and reinstallation.

An additional choice to consider is installing carpet tiles over old vinyl. Carpet has become a popular choice to install over existing floors because the irregularities of the surface below the carpeting are virtually hidden behind its barely reflective surface.

Another option is Zero Stat Crete – a state of the art water-based epoxy coating – which can, after proper testing, be applied over an area that has had the previous vinyl or carpeting tile removed – often without needing to strip off any leftover adhesive.

No.

Some experts caution that you should NEVER install a new floor covering over an old one. Along with the warnings above, the old flooring might hide structural defects, might not be properly bonded or might result in a plasticizer contamination of the new flooring, which could radically affect the quality and effectiveness of its ESD prevention.

Also, by not removing the old flooring, moisture concerns that need to be addressed may not be discovered.

Additionally, depending on the age of the old flooring, it might have been made with asbestos, a manufacturing material that causes severe respiratory problems and may lead to death.

Maybe.

Experts say that almost any floor can be installed over an old floor as long as the old floor is in good condition and well-bonded to the sub floor. BUT…

There are just too many variables to accurately consider or discuss every flooring replacement or recovering option in a single posting.

Even if your scenario is similar one of the ones we’ve elucidated above, there may be additional factors in your specific facility that are not taken into account in our hypothetical illustrations.

Which is why we always recommend speaking to a qualified flooring professional before making any final decisions. There is not usually a financial cost associated with their consultation and/or site visit, but the preventative savings far outweigh any nominal up front cost.

For a free consultation – or any other questions you may have, please contact us.  We would love to be your full service, seamless ESD solution provider!

05 Dec

The difference between Low Static and Static Dissipative

Q: What is the difference between Low static 3.5kv carpeting and static dissipative carpeting? When used on walls is 3.5kv carpeting ok in electronic equipment rooms?

A: When people refer to 3.5 kV carpeting I believe they are referring to the threshold voltage that people can feel as a nuisance static shock. We deal primarily with manufacture, test, assembly, and application environments where the end-user is protecting expensive electronic components, explosives, assemblies, etc. and the threshold for their needs is down to 100 volts and less.

I believe the 3.5 kV carpeting is considered to be somewhat antistatic (resists or has reduced tribocharging abilities) and is treated topically with some temporary chemical. These types of carpet do not satisfy our needs to provide long-term solutions for the commercial, industrial, and even consumer electronics industry.

I’d like to find out more about what you’re using the carpet for. Are you using it on the walls to deaden noise or create some special environment for audio design? If you need some kind of ESD protection, can you find out what your voltage threshold is- or what is the highest acceptable voltage that your environment can tolerate?

We offer ESD carpet in broadloom form and in tile form in both static conductive (typically around 2.5e04 or 25,000 ohms to 1e06 or 1 Meg Ohm) and static dissipative (1E06 – 1E09 ohm). As the resistance increases, the generated charge dissipates less rapidly to the point that a charge potential exists somewhere in the system and an ESD event occurs. This ESD event may occur without the end user knowing, but it may damage or destroy sensitive devices. Having a textile with a resistance in the static conductive range will discharge this charge potential more rapidly and work to prevent a charge from getting too high in the first place. Different textiles tribocharge at different rates and increase to different potentials, depending which textiles are making contact with and separating from them. Many carpets perform fairly well compared to other textiles in a humid environment. The humid environment may knock the created voltage down from 10’s of thousands of volts to thousands or hundreds of volts, but not low enough to prevent ESD Sensitive Devices from getting damaged or destroyed.

I hope I’ve touched on some of your questions but need to know more about your current application to help you better.

01 Dec

Controlling static electricity on concrete

Q: Why can’t bare or sealed concrete be used as a method for controlling static electricity in a electronics manufacturing environment verse utilizing a Conductive or Static Dissipative covering and/or coating?

A: I’ve done some studies on ESD resistive characteristics of the several different floor surfaces. In light of the following question, I just snapped some photos of ESD readings on the following surfaces:

ESD reading on Dry Concrete

ESD reading on Dry Concrete

Bare concrete (dry). Results- barely conductive, very humidity dependant; in the insulative range(1E09-1E12)

ESD reading on Asphalt

ESD reading on Asphalt

Asphalt. Results- unacceptable; above insulative.

ESD reading on Dirt

ESD reading on Dirt

Dirt. Results- pretty good, acually comes in at barely dissipative; Upside, cheap; Downside, hard to clean.

Reading on ESD Carpet

Reading on ESD Carpet

ESD Carpet (Ground Zero Information). Results- ESD conductive(2.5e4-1.0E6).

Reading on ESD Tile

Reading on ESD Tile

ESD Tile (Ground Zero Information). Results – ESD dissipative(1.0E6-1.0E8).

Reading on Sealed Concrete

Reading on Sealed Concrete

Sealed Concrete. Results-unacceptable; a sealed concrete is necessary for heavy foot traffic, but the very thing that would make the concrete conductive is sealed out- moisture. This floor could be made dissipative very easily with an ESD chemical (Ground Zero Information).

Reading on Particle Board

Reading on Particle Board

Particle board. See asphalt