Hascall & Hall’s specialized flooring estimator, Brad Smolin, received a call to provide an estimate on a project for the Town of Denmark, Maine. This work was a shared project among three organizations: the Board for the Town of Denmark, the local snowmobile club, and the local Lions Club use the local town hall basement area for a wide array of social gatherings, from town meetings to fundraisers to fun dances, group meetings, and good times.
The floor was sorely in need of attention—the kind of attention that only an experienced crew—able to handle the unknown variables that so often turn up with older buildings—can provide. The basement had long served as a multifunction room, and its floor had seen a great deal of wear and tear.
Understandably, the three groups sought the most budget-friendly means possible to repair the concrete floor. Furthermore, not only did they want the floor to be aesthetically pleasing for the various meetings, they hoped to generate new revenue from the space by booking additional functions. The short-term solution already proposed to them was to simply repaint the floor, which turned out to be a repetitive fix as opposed to a longer-term solution that at first glance might seem too costly. In the long run, however, practicality and experienced advice proposed by our industry experts won the budget race.
So after taking in bids, Hascall & Hall was awarded the project to handle the old layers of paint, which ultimately had just not held up to everyone’s expectations. This realization had culminated in a discouraged group now in search of a flooring solution that would stand up to heavy traffic for years to come while maintaining its aesthetic appeal. After the many paint applications, made over many years without benefit of a proper substrate preparation, the concrete floor was chipping, peeling, and in desperate need of a concrete repair facelift.
Dancing in the Red Dust at the Denmark Town Hall
What may sound like the name of an old song is a piece of genuine local lore, concerning the Denmark Town Hall’s red floor of yesteryear.
In one of those moments that make the challenges of old buildings all seem worthwhile, we learned the story with the flooring crew at Hascall & Hall.
After one of their painting attempts to “spruce up the joint,” the town held a dance that became an event to be talked about for some time to come.
The gathering danced up a storm and, as the evening wore on, it became evident that their dancing shoes were having the effect of a floor grinder—when they all looked down at their feet and clothing, they found they were “dancing in red dust.”
Even after that event, a number of home remedies continued to be applied, but eventually the clients came to the realization that they needed an expert opinion to resolve their ongoing flooring dilemma.
And we were glad to help — when you need a seamless flooring expertise, no challenge is too complex for Hascall & Hall!
Brad conducted a thorough site examination, noting significant disparity from one area to another in the floor. His goal was to determine the best resinous flooring product for achieving the most ideal seamless appearance for the clients, while addressing the floor’s most challenging flaws. Next, Hascall & Hall went in with an experienced crew, equipped with a large, 32-inch floor grinder to remove the existing paint layers. This represented a significant challenge, as there were innumerable layers to be ground off, all the way down to a red floor that had been painted back in the town hall’s “hay day.”
Once our crew had removed all the paint layers, the floor was swept and vacuumed thoroughly to properly prepare the substrate for a new coating. Following the grinding and cleaning process, many areas that had started to severely crack were identified, requiring repair with a two-part epoxy flooring solution. There were also many holes that required the same two-part epoxy filler process.
Having completed the repairs to the cracks and holes, the crew laid the designated primer on the floor using a squeegee method of application, then rolling it to level the surface. Once the primer had dried, Hascall & Hall applied two coats of a solid-colored epoxy using the same application method.
Upon initial inspection, Brad Smolin addressed several areas of additional concern for slippage. These areas included the kitchen, the front entrance, and the bathrooms. Our crew added anti-slip grit to the finish in the wet areas, to ensure the best traction possible with the resinous flooring system chosen.
Old floors with significant wear and tear like this one can be particularly challenging, because until the work begins, we don’t know how many layers of paint or what kind of paint you will end up dealing with, such as latex or epoxies. The grinding process will help determine what will best suit the substrate and maintain the desired look. Dealing with older floors is much like renovating an old house: you can make educated assumptions, but you really don’t have your blank slate until the grinding process is finished. The floor of the town hall was particularly challenging in some areas where considerable wearing was only discovered during the grinding process, or once all the paint had been removed.
After the initial application, we decided that a second coat was needed. While this was not part of the original scope of work estimate, the patchwork nature of the floor required the second top coat to ensure the best finish possible. With such extensive patchwork, the patches require pretreatment with the colored epoxy, to allow the final topcoat to cover as consistently, seamlessly, and uniformly as possible.
In the end, the new floor looked great and was ready to withstand the test of time. We are all confident that be it white, gray, or red, no one would end up dancing in the dust of any color in the future!