September 2022

The 5-point plan for the correct installation of flooring systems.

At Melos GmbH, all good things come in fives - at least when it comes to the correct installation of flooring systems. Because this is the decisive factor for the quality of the result. In the past, we have discussed installation know-how intensively with our customers and have now compiled the five most important points that should be given special attention during installation. 

Weather conditions
Weather conditions are a decisive factor for the installation of PUR bonded EPDM coverings. These include, above all, air temperature, humidity and intensity of solar radiation as well as precipitation. The most important rule beforehand: If precipitation is (expected), do not install. Precipitation/rain reacts strongly with the PUR binder used. The one-component PUR binders are moisture-curing. This can result in the binder-EPDM mixture curing much faster and making processing difficult or no longer possible. If the moisture content is too high, the PUR binder can start to foam. In this case, the applied surface has an irregular structure and a whitish discolouration. The durability of the floor covering is greatly reduced.

Another important factor is air temperature and humidity. If both factors are too high, this leads to faster curing of the binder. At temperatures above 40°C, the material may no longer be processed properly. Seams and visibly rough areas appear on the surface. High temperatures also reduce the viscosity of the PUR binder. The binder adheres insufficiently to the EPDM granules, which in turn has a negative impact on the stability of the overall system. Cold temperatures (below 10°C), on the other hand, lead to a greatly slowed curing of the floor covering. This can mean that the surfaces cannot be walked on the following day and are susceptible to precipitation and damage.

Also to be taken into account  is the UV intensity, which can heat up the asphalt or concrete subgrade or the damping/base layer of technical granules considerably (up to 65°C), especially in the summer months. This effect also accelerates the curing behaviour of the PUR-EPDM mixture and makes application more difficult. 
Conclusion: Check the weather conditions (precipitation, temperature, humidity) before starting construction. Depending on the conditions, the appropriate PUR binder/coating should be selected. The recommendation of the installation temperature and curing time can be found on our product data sheets. Our team will be happy to help you select the appropriate binder/coating.

Time management
Good time management begins even before execution and must be individually adapted to each building project. The decisive factors here are the system ordered (e.g. sports or fall protection system), the size of the area, the variety of colours, the local structural conditions and the time of execution.

Depending on the system to be installed, the application takes several days. The individual work steps are interrupted by curing times (often overnight). The daily output should be defined in advance to minimise cost-intensive waiting times. For larger areas or areas with a high variety of colours, where the topcoat cannot be applied in one day, the sections should be selected so that further coating can be done the following day. Especially on playgrounds, there is already fixed equipment on the surface before the installation of the fall protection surfacing. This usually reduces the daily installation work and should also be taken into account when planning the construction sequence. During the paving process itself, longer breaks should be avoided (especially in warm weather), as otherwise the curing process of the binder will have progressed too far and the binder-EPDM-granules mixture .  This can result in unsightly, visible seams at the surface connections.

Site organisation
The correct organisation of the construction site is of rudimentary importance for the further course of construction. This includes access (material delivery), site equipment (mixing area, parking space for the required material, sanitary facilities for the skilled workers, parking space for the construction vehicle, electrical connections), site  security (construction fences, barrier fences), but also the provision of all important documents such as execution plans, quantity calculations and product and safety data sheets. These documents should be available in a construction file at all times. Before construction begins, the size of the area must be checked against the plans and the subgrade must be examined for its suitability (evenness, stability). 

The choice  of the right machines and tools depends on the system to be installed and the size of the area. Larger surfaces, such as athletics or multi-sports facilities, are usually installed with special machines. These include larger compulsory or continuous mixers, plastic pavers and spraying machines. Depending on the system and application, this equipment can coat up to 2,000 m² per day. Smaller areas, e.g. fall protection systems, are installed manually. In addition to a smaller compulsory mixer, a trowel/trowel and/or a roller are used for compaction and smoothing.

The right system
For sports and recreational surfaces, certain systems have been established and proven over the last decades. A sophisticated overview and detailed information about the system build-ups can be found here.

Do you still have questions about one of the listed points or would you like more information? Then please feel free to contact us at any time!