everything you need to know about traffic coatings

Whether you own a parking garage or a warehouse, your structure has an important job of keeping pedestrians and vehicles safe and protected from both indoor and outdoor elements. From enduring heavy vehicular traffic to supporting heavy machinery, concrete structures need to be able to withstand a substantial amount of wear and tear. Ineffective maintenance routines only result in expensive repairs and restorations that are inconvenient for those who rely on your space. With the right preventative measures in place, you can preserve the life of your building and lessen the likelihood of damage. One of the most useful preventative tools that protects against the elements are traffic coatings.

What are Traffic Coatings?

Traffic coating systems serve as a first line of defense against high-volume pedestrian traffic and vehicular contact. A concrete traffic coating adds slip resistance, thorough waterproofing and a stylish aesthetic to your structure while increasing its longevity.

Types of Traffic Coating Systems

With various systems out there, it is important to pick the right coating system for your specific needs. The right kind of traffic bearing coating for your commercial structure depends on the materials and the types of traffic your building usually endures.

Penetrating Sealers

Penetrating sealers are a cost-effective and affordable solution for light horizontal traffic surfaces and vertical structures. This kind of coating is ideal for cement-based structures and is very breathable to prevent vapor lock. Penetrating sealers do not provide slip resistance and cannot handle robust traffic loads, but they do prevent chemical contact that causes masonry and concrete structures to rapidly deteriorate.


This cement-based traffic coating lasts for 3-5 years and is designed for heavy traffic areas, with waterproofing and chemical resistance being the two biggest benefits for both vertical and horizontal surfaces. Like penetrating sealers, cementitious systems are breathable to prevent vapor lock. The only downfall of this system is its lack of elasticity.

Urethane-Integrated Topcoat

Urethane top coatings are ideal for high-traffic, horizontal applications and commonly found on elevated parking structures. This type of traffic coating offers impressive waterproofing capabilities, solid slip resistance and minor chemical resistance. Urethane is extremely flexible and UV-stable, making it a popular choice for those who need a more durable system. Compared to other coating installations, urethane-integrated topcoats are less labor-intensive and maintain their color over time. However, urethane requires annual maintenance — especially after contact with heavy machinery like snowplows.


Epoxy coatings can be used on a wide range of surface types and has a unique customizable ability that allows for different aggregates and levels of slip resistance. Epoxy can withstand extreme levels of pedestrian traffic and vehicular freight, making it an ideal choice for parking garages and warehouse floors. Like the other systems, epoxy is breathable to prevent vapor lock, but it is a rigid application that works best on low-flex surfaces. Epoxy coatings also come in a wide range of colors.

Should I Invest in a Traffic Coating?

If you own a commercial structure that endures substantial pedestrian or vehicular traffic, we would highly recommend investing in a traffic coating application to protect your building. Whether your building experiences pedestrian-only traffic or intense vehicular contact and heavy equipment exposure, a traffic coating system will provide the protection and durability your space needs to stand strong for years to come. Although the cost of a traffic coating can be expensive, the long-term protection and return on investment are second to none.

Ready to Add a Traffic Coating to Your Commercial Structure?

As a leader in commercial projects and an expert in concrete repair and restoration,Robert Haines Co.has proudly served businesses in Indianapolis and beyond since 1937.Decades of experience utilizing innovative equipment and technology has our trusted team of experts prepared to meet any challenge your structure may be facing. We are always eager to discuss your traffic coating needs, so let us know how we can help!