While concrete floors are built to last, they do tend to sustain wear and tear with enough time and use. In such a situation, an epoxy floor coating can be an effective way to address the problem and also prevent further damage. Besides concrete floors, epoxy coatings can also benefit certain other floor types and increase the overall durability and resistance of your floor.
This article addresses some of the most common questions about epoxy floor coating, especially the reasons why you should choose an epoxy floor coating as well as troubleshooting some common epoxy floor coating issues. It includes excerpts and adaptations from the Epoxy Floor Coating Problem Solving Guide by Simiron.
5 Reasons for Choosing an Epoxy Floor Coating
Epoxy floor coating involves the application of a layer of epoxide, which is a type of synthetic resin, onto a floor surface. Equally popular in commercial, industrial, and residential settings, the benefits of this process are many.
- Serves as a protective layer: Concrete floors largely have impressive durability and can endure intense foot and vehicular traffic. Based on this, with prolonged use, especially in high-traffic areas, concrete floors tend to develop fractures, chips, and dents, and are prone to crumbling. An epoxy floor coating acts as a preservation overlay that helps keep the concrete substrate intact and prevents further damage to an old concrete floor.
- Increases resistance: Epoxy floor coatings are known for their high resistance and overall durability. When applied, the epoxy forms a firm chemical bond with the porous surface onto which it is applied. This ensures that the coating can stand up extremely well to heat, shock, and weight. Additionally, because it is impervious, an epoxy floor coating is highly resistant to water and chemicals.
- Enhances aesthetic appeal: A concrete floor in itself can appear pretty drab and uninteresting. Applying an epoxy coating can give the floor a polished and lustrous appearance. Moreover, epoxy floor coatings come in a wide variety of shades and patterns which can instantly elevate the overall appearance of a space.
- A more economical alternative: If you are looking for ways to redo your floor because the existing floor is in poor shape, an epoxy floor coating is, more often than not, the most economical route to take. Removing and rebuilding the existing floor entirely would be a significantly more expensive undertaking.
- Easier maintenance: A floor with an epoxy coating is remarkably easy to maintain. Since the surface of the epoxy coating is non-porous, cleaning it is usually a breeze. Any stubborn chemical stains that the epoxy coating sustains also tend to come off easily.
Troubleshooting Common Epoxy Floor Coating Issues
The durability, resistance, and other benefits of an epoxy floor coating hinge on its proper application. If not applied correctly, an epoxy coating can fail almost immediately. Below are some common issues that may arise during or after the application of an epoxy floor coating.
Patchy topcoat color
Differential coloring or shading of the topcoat typically has two probable causes:
- Using products with different batch numbers; color and shading frequently vary from batch to batch.
- Waiting 15 minutes or longer before retouching pigmented epoxy.
- Check the batch number of the epoxy before adding the activator.
- If at all required, retouching must take place within 10 minutes of applying the topcoat.
Cloudy or Milky Coating
A cloudy or milky appearance of the epoxy floor coating may result from the following:
- The product may have been applied too thick.
- High humidity during the curing period or moisture in the substrate during or after the product application.
- Strictly adhere to thickness recommendations on the product data sheet.
- Thoroughly test the area with a Calcium Chloride Kit prior to application.
Fish Eye Formation
Fish eyes may appear as round or oval indentations/separations in the final coating due to the following causes:
- Silicone contamination
- Grease/oil contamination
- Hot temperature from sunlight hitting the floor
Surface preparation is key. Ensure that the substrate is thoroughly de-greased using the appropriate products. You can also use a suitable oil-stop primer.
Delamination or Peeling
The epoxy floor coating is peeling off the substrate or individual layers of the coating are coming apart. This can happen for the following reasons:
- No primer was used prior to application
- Surface was not properly cleaned and prepared
- Moisture vapor seeped through the substrate to its surface
- Use or prepare a suitable primer following directions on product data sheet.
- Clean the substrate thoroughly before application.
- Use a Calcium Chloride Test Kit before application. Test results should be a maximum of 4 pounds per 1000 sq. feet per 24 hours.
An epoxy floor coating can be an effective way to keep your floor in good shape for prolonged periods of time. Moreover, it’s critical to ensure that your floor type is suitable for an epoxy coating and would actually benefit from it. Most types of epoxy floor coatings also emit strong fumes during installation, take a long time to cure, and can get quite slippery when wet. Keeping these factors in mind, you can come to a conclusive decision as to whether or not an epoxy floor coating is what your floor needs.