When buying a walk-in cooler or freezerthe initial cost of the walk-in is almost always the deciding factor. The cost to operate the walk-in is rarely considered. You may think all walk-ins perform about the same.

This mistake can cost you dearly. You pay for the walk-in once, but if the insulation is inefficient, you will pay for that every month for the life of the walk-in. Walk-in coolers and freezers are generally constructed of modular panels made of insulating material and protective skins.

The protective skins can be made of metal or fiberglass. The purpose of the skin is to protect the insulation, which is fragile and cannot be used independently.

Farmstead Walk-in Freezer: Don't make this mistake

The insulation is usually plastic foam material that is either injected or bonded between the metal skins. The insulation material provides the walk-in with resistance to heat flow, which allows the walk-in to be refrigerated and hold cold temperatures. In the walk-in cooler and freezer business, there are two common types of plastic foam insulation, polyurethane and extruded polystyrene.

Extruded polystyrene is not to be confused with expanded polystyrene, which is also used in walk-in coolers. Expanded polystyrene is white and has different structural and insulating properties. In this document, we will be discussing extruded polystyrene only. Polyurethane can be applied in two different ways in the construction of walk-in coolers or freezers.

One method is to pour or inject the two part plastic foam between two sheets of metal in a mold and produce a walk-in panel.

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Another method, less frequently used, is to box pour a block of foam 4 feet x 20 feet, then cut the block to panel thickness to be laminated between two sheets of metal to form a walk-in panel. The newest insulation to be used in walk-in coolers and freezers is extruded polystyrene foam.

It has been used very successfully for years in insulating areas of high moisture exposure and high R-value requirements, including low temp warehouses, underground concrete insulation and house sheathing. This insulation is manufactured by extruding polystyrene plastic through an extrusion mold that creates a foam panel with the thickness, width, and any length needed to produce walk-in panels. The insulation is planed to exact tolerances of width, thickness, and length. The finished foam is then bonded between two sheets of metal and run through an automated press to form the walk-in panels.

What difference does it make? Insulation is NOT all the same. Each type of insulation brings with it strengths and weaknesses that must be evaluated for each individual application requirement. The two factors that can affect the insulation's performance are temperature and moisture.

Insulation performance is usually rated in what is termed R-value. The higher the R-value, the more resistance to heat flow, therefore the better its insulating properties. Some insulation performs better the lower the mean temperature and some perform better at higher temperatures. Therefore, the operating temperature of the insulation can affect its performance. Therefore, extruded polystyrene performs better at lower temperatures and polyurethane R-value actually performs worse at lower temperatures.

The largest factor that can affect the insulation's performance is moisture. Usually insulation is expected to keep something warmer or colder than the other side of the insulation. This temperature differential TD causes, in many cases, a dew point to form inside the insulation.

walk in cooler slab insulation

Once the dew point is reached, moisture is trapped. As water has a much lower R-value than insulation, the water reduces the R-value of the insulation. The more water resistance the insulation has, the better the insulation performs in high TD situations. When looking at the water vapor permeance of the different foams, it is found that polyurethane allows more water vapor permeance and extruded polystyrene the least. Since water lowers the R-value of insulation, extruded polystyrene retains its R-value better than polyurethane.

Therefore, extruded polystyrene's performance, in actual walk-in conditions when moisture is considered, is over three times as good as polyurethane.JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. Insulation is required for almost all walk-in coolers.

If you decide to ditch flooring insulation, concrete flooring is the way to go. Choosing a good foundation and floor for your walk-in is extremely beneficial. Dimensions X X. Glass doors Yes No.

Do You Need a Walk In Freezer Floor?

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Solid Door Freezers 1 Door Freezers.Everyone knows how refrigeration works, right? Above the fridge is the freezer, where things are even colder. But on a basic level, a standard 18 cubic foot refrigerator and a 3, cubic foot walk-in freezer see below are remarkably similar. They both depend on insulation, compressors, refrigerant and blowers to function. As a farmer who sells his food directly to the public, the importance of reliable refrigeration can hardly be overstated.

Food safety requires proper temperatures, but I also need space to receive, organize and pack my products. The following is a photo-blueprint of how we built our own walk-in from scratch, using standard 2X4 construction, our own labor, and two specialists who helped perfect it. You gotta start somewhere. Jim is laying out the footer dimensions with string. Excavation will follow.

Digging the footers. Things rarely go as planned, and I rented a jackhammer to break up some stubborn rocks. The bandana wins me style points. The footers are poured, the block laid, and next comes 4 inch pipe spaced at 4 foot intervals. Gravel comes next.

Concrete Curing in Freezers

This IS for drainage, to keep water away from the slab and provide a level area for the insulating foam sub-surface. The foam underlayer.

Made partially of soy, this insulation is blown in a 4 inch thick sheet, and will provide insulation superior to the injected foam panels on my older walk-ins. This is sprayed by a specialist from tanks on a truck. A closer look at the foam. Once cured about 2 days at 70 degreesit becomes VERY firm… not as hard as concrete, but extremely rigid. Take special note that we left plenty of footer exposure along the edges.

Make sense? Next, we pour our concrete slab OVER the foam. Told you the foam was solid! This will be our floor inside the walk-in, and the foam beneath will provide our insulation. A closer look at the slab and foam.

When exposed to sunlight for a few days, the foam turns from green to yellow. Next, we build on top of the remaining exposed footer. In other words, the foam will serpentine around the offset studs.

Photo 11, showing the exposed pipe breathers. The interior sheathing has been installed on the walls and roof, and now the foam is applied to the walls and allowed to expand.

An extra inch or two is added in the attic because we all know that heat rises!

How To Build A Walk-In Freezer

This is applied with less attention to aesthetics, as there will be no plywood sheathing here. Getting closer. Our second specialists, installing wiring, compressors and evaporators on the outside….Concrete curing in freezers is a unique experience. Walk in freezer concrete floor construction requires a specially cured solution that can handle constant sub-freezing temperatures. This concrete is also required to be strong enough to support heavy equipment traffic from forklifts and other machinery.

Walk in freezer failure is an expensive, and dangerous broken link in that refrigeration cold chain. When the structural integrity of a walk in freezer is jeopardized, the contents within can spoil, creating a huge employee and consumer safety hazard.

Not all walk in freezer failures are preventable. However taking a few extra precautions during concrete curing in freezers can prevent costly downtime and repairs.

There are a number of layers that need to be in place before pouring to protect your concrete from freezer floor heave. Freezer floor heave occurs when the moisture in the soil freezes and expands below your slab.

If the soil then begins to thaw, it will also sink and settle, causing massive damage to the concrete above. Protective layers of insulation, vapor barriers, mud-slabs, and sub-slab glycol heating prevent the soil from freezing and swelling below your concrete floor. An overly wet mix is likely to cause cracking due to shrinkage. Your concrete freezer floor may appear set on the surface, but the lower layers will not be strong enough to bear weight or thermal stress.

Walk in freezer floors need to endure constant walking foot traffic, heavy stacks of pallets, and forklifts. Your concrete needs all the compressive strength it can get to withstand such thermal and physical stress. Using concrete heating blanketsinstead of traditional insulated blankets, ensures your concrete floor cures faster and to a stronger PSI rating.

Properly sealing concrete floors in a walk in freezer protects your slab, prevents leaks, and maintains USDA safety compliance requirements. Concrete floor damage, like cracking or chipping, is triggered by a number of factors such as: forklift accidents, threshold damage, sub-floor heating replacements, and freezer floor heave.

Our friends at Concrete Mender warn of several concrete repairing challenges:. Frozen moisture in the concrete will act as a barrier between the repair material and the pores of the concrete. Most repair materials will try to bond to the frost coated concrete. When the temperature increases, the frost melts and so does the bond.

Mixing epoxies or mortars in the cold is especially challenging. As the temperature decreases, the viscosity of these materials increase making them very difficult to pour, mix and work with. Materials used to patch and repair concrete cure much more slowly at cold temperatures.

A product that takes 1 hour to cure at room temperatures can take 12 hours to cure in cold temperatures. Some materials may actually freeze solid before they can cure properly. Keeping patching materials warm during the curing process will cut down your cure time and increase their durability. Curing blankets heat through conduction and have complete surface contact to transfer heat directly where it is needed most.SinceSRC Refrigeration has earned a reputation as THE refrigeration specialists in the industry, with over 15, units sold to date.

Should I buy an insulated floor for my walk in cooler? No insulated floor will be necessary if you are placing the walk in cooler on a cement slab, at ground level, with no basement or crawl space underneath. You will need to provide insulation for any walk in cooler placed over a basement, second story, or crawl space.

If there is warmer air underneath, condensation will form—the refrigeration will pull heat out of the flooring.

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The condensation will damage the floor material and space below. If you need to provide protection, you may do so either above or underneath your walk in cooler. Here are a few of your options:. The floor of your walk in cooler can be insulated from underneath. Any air leaks will still lead to condensation, so this must be done very carefully.

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The underside of the flooring is often blocked by obstructions, so this method is frequently impossible. If the flooring is made of an absorbent material, it will need to be protected with sheet vinyl or a different moisture barrier.

You can purchase an insulated floor for your walk in cooler. This will isolate the refrigerated space and prevent any problems with heat transfer.

walk in cooler slab insulation

An optional floor ramp can be ordered. Nonetheless, disadvantages will seem minor when compared to the expense of correcting any structural damage to a building.

Some customers prefer to build their own insulated platform for their walk in cooler. Foam board can be purchased at building centers. Care must be taken to cross-stack the sheets of insulation to eliminate any seams or gaps in the material.

Other floor material questions…. Simply cut the carpeting around the exterior of the walk in cooler and remove it. If you wish to save the carpeting or your landlord prevents you from cutting the carpeting, order the SRC reinforced insulated floor for your walk in cooler.

Exceptions Important! The energy savings alone can help pay back the cost of the reinforced insulated floor. Other questions? If you have a reach in coolerbeverage coolerkeg coolerbeer cavewalk in freezerfloral display cooleretc. Please call SRC Refrigeration with any questions! You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email.The answer to this question can vary and depends on your current situation.

The following article will go on to highlight what to keep in mind when deciding if you are going to need a walk in freezer floor. Even if your unit is sitting on a concrete pad, the concrete pad MUST be insulated. If you place your walk in freezer on an uninsulated concrete pad, the concrete will crack and break over time due to the extremely low temperatures. This is why a walk in freezer floor should be built for you by the factory.

Walk in freezer floors are typically covered in a smooth finish. This is done to allow easy clean up on a non-textured surface. This is especially important in a restaurant application as you always want to have surfaces that are easy to clean and will help you pass your health inspections. Our friendly and knowledgeable sales team will be happy to assist you with your next project. Thank you for reading and check back next week for an update blog!

Related posts. Installing a new Cooler? How to develop a plan of action. May 21, Remember Me? Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 Last Jump to page: Results 1 to 13 of Join Date Jan Location So. Walk In Freezer Floor or Slab?

I always quote my walk-in freezers with a insulated floor. I have found that the box is tighter and holds temp better. What is your feeling?

Has anyone experienced condensation or frost problems under slab floors, even sealed concrete. I have seen problems with concrete floors and condensation, pizza huts in florida slapped freezers on top of tile. It makes a nice skating rink.

I do 5" on mine, in cali we have to. I always do manufactured floors in freezers, I've seen too many nightmares in freezers on concrete. You oughta see what happens when water gets in the cracks of the concrete and freezes. Join Date Mar Location burlington county n.

How about a heated slab. A glycol loop off the condensor provides free heat and no ice buildup. I don't think I've ever seen a concrete floor in a freezer. Always diamond plate.

walk in cooler slab insulation

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