Floors are one of the most important components of a warehouse. Linked to improved efficiency, productivity, safety, and hygiene, they are also integral to the overall stability of the structure. Get the flooring wrong, and seemingly minor problems can become major headaches.

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But what role does the subfloor play, and how do you know when you need a new one? Here’s our quick guide.

What Is A Subfloor?

A subfloor is the surface upon which the finished floor is laid. In warehouses, the most common subfloor material is concrete. Hard-wearing, stable, durable, and easy to install, concrete provides an ideal base for adhering finishes such as resin.

Why Do Wwarehouses Need Subfloor?

Subfloors have several purposes. One of the most important is to create a flat, even surface. This can iron out some of the natural lumps and bumps that form as foundations settle, fix slippages caused by ground soils such as clay, and prevent damage from the pressure of walls, vehicles, and storage facilities.

Why Is It Important To Have The Right Subfloor For Resin?

Resin is incredibly tough, long-lasting, and easy to maintain. However, this only works if it is applied to a surface that is even. If there are cracks, crevices, or crumbles in the subfloor, these weaknesses are passed on to the resin finish which, as a liquid, always settles at the lowest point of the surface. Although resin flooring can be easily repaired, damage will always occur if the underlying concrete is in a poor state.

What Causes Subfloor Damage?

Concrete subfloors have been known to last for over 100 years, but some are more vulnerable than others. Water damage can cause erosion, tree roots and subsidence can cause cracks, and heavy vehicles can place uneven pressure. Often, subfloors can be damaged by the installation of new piping or equipment.

How Do I Know If My Subfloor Is Damaged?

The most obvious sign of trouble is unnatural wear and tear. This might include chips and splinters in the finish, pools of standing water, or – in the most serious cases – large cracks. Often, the first sign of trouble is that the floor becomes more difficult to clean, which is an indication that something below the surface is uneven.

What Else Should I Look For?

An often-overlooked sign that something is amiss is a musty smell. This indicates that water is gathering between the subfloor and the finish. When this happens, you might also notice shelving and other units that are drilled into the floor starting to wobble or feel unsteady. This is a sign of a serious problem and should never be ignored.

What Are The Benefits Of Investing In A New Subfloor?

Companies report a range of benefits from proper subfloor maintenance. The first is that it greatly extends the lifespan of the finish whilst reducing the requirement for repairs and downtime. Secondly, it enables the floor to perform to standard by ensuring that hygiene is maintained, cleaning is rapid and straightforward, and water damage does not occur. Thirdly, the correct subfloor will prevent damage to units and vehicles that can experience unnecessary wear and tear from uneven surfaces.

What Next?

If you are interested in improving the ROI of your warehouse flooring system, it is worthwhile asking an expert to take a look at the condition of your subfloor. For more information, please get in touch today.

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