Static Dissipative Floor Finish

Any strategy involving the application of static dissipative floor finish over standard resilient flooring always involves a risk/reward calculus.

In other words, applying static dissipative floor finish over the surface of a normal - "not static control" - floor, presents caveats:

  1. Static dissipative floor finishes are not permanent. Like any other wax, static dissipative finishes abrade and, as they wear, the static generation characteristics of the old floor will increase.
  2. Humidity is the enemy of any static dissipative floor finish. Static is easily generated in low humidity environments. Static dissipative finishes lose effectiveness as the humidity drops below 30%.
  3. Before moving forward, ask: Will someone test the floor periodically to determine when new finish is required? If not, it is possible that the floor will generate over 2kv and no one will realize it.

Keep in mind, It takes a static discharge (ESD event) of at least 3.5 kv (3500 volts) before a person can feel static leaving their body. So, discharges over 2 kv but, and under or equal to 3.5 kv can occur and go undetected. Will this be a problem? I assume that depends on the original reason for employing the static dissipative floor finish.

Why is static control flooring required? Is it to prevent shocks, protect sensitive electronic equipment, or prevent malfunctions in a mission critical environment like a data center or a control room? Static induced problems have a hierarchy. If the problem is merely a nuisance, I advocate using the floor finish. When people begin feeling shocks you will know that a new application is required. However, if the static control floor is needed to protect against a mission critical failure, a static dissipative wax strategy may be ill advised; there would be no way to monitor effectiveness and therefore the very events you are trying to prevent will be your only barometer that alerts you when the wax has lost its effectiveness.