An all too common wash bay design mistake
I was recently working at an oil field service company in Houston and needed to walk out in the wash bay. It was a brand new wash bay, everything looked great. But I couldn’t believe it, the floor was slippery as an ice rink. I could barely walk across the floor. The construction contractor had put a smooth polished concrete finish on the wash bay floor. Add water, soap and the grease from the parts being washed and the floor turned into a slippery mess. The entire wash bay was a gigantic slip hazard and a potential liability.
If you are building a new wash bay make sure you specify a rough finish on the wash bay floor. Most wash bay floors have a 1 % slope. A 1 % slope is enough for the wash waters to drain to a central sump or trench drain. At 1 % slope, a broom finish on the concrete surface is a common finish and is usually adequate.
It Helps to know the standards
Have your construction contractor consult the American Concrete Institute (ACI) 350 standards. These are widely accepted standards for concrete in wet areas. If your wash bay contractor is not familiar with the ACI 350 standards, its time to find a new contractor.
If you already have a slippery wash bay finish, there are top coats that you can apply to correct the condition. Coming back to install a non-slip finish after the concrete has been in contact with oil and grease requires professional cleaning — an expensive alternative that could have been avoided had you worked with an experienced wash bay design engineer and/or contractor from the start of your project.