Protect Against Moisture from the Underside
To protect the trailer floor at the underside, hardwood laminated floors are available with a black undercoating applied to the bottom side of boards. Undercoating is a thin layer of latex paint that helps to avoid direct contact between water and wood surface. This coating can degrade during the service life of the trailer. The best protection from water and road spray at the underside of the trailer is the impervious composite sheet of the Fusion Floor. The composite sheet is a permanent layer of protection from the road spray attacking the bottom of the floor.
Protecting the Top Surface
There are three options for protecting the top surface of hardwood floors from the effects of moisture:
1. Havco has developed a water-based floor treatment called Floor Shield. Floor Shield requires no mixing, has no solvents or VOC’s and it is not sticky, waxy or slippery. It dries in approximately 30 minutes after application to the floor surface and has no objectionable odor. It is also affordable. Floor Shield by Havco is available in 1.5 gallon jugs for aftermarket application. It can be applied to a floor in a 53’ trailer in about 20 minutes. Floor Shield by HAVCO can also be applied at our plants when it is specified as an option on new trailer floors being used by all OEM’s. Floor Shield penetrates the wood surface and repels water, thereby reducing the damaging effects of water. Floor Shield can be reapplied on the floor on a yearly basis as a water-damage preventative measure. It is beneficial to apply Floor Shield within the first three years of service.
2. The second option is a Floor Restore Kit, which is a protective coating of epoxy applied on the uncoated top surface of floor. Floor Restore kits are typically applied when a floor exhibits delamination/cracks at glue bonds of sticks or when water leaks are present in the floor. Compared to Floor Shield, the Floor Restore coating is several times more expensive.
3. Some fleets have used linseed oil or Thompson’s Water Seal to protect the top surface of trailer floors from moisture. These coatings make the floor water-resistant, but they may contain solvents, have an extended drying time and an initial odor that can be objectionable to shippers.
Learn more about Floor Shield by Havco by reading our Floor Shield guide.