Epoxy Flooring: What You Need to Know
Epoxy, also known as a fluid-applied flooring system has recently become in high demand due to the improvements of product research, development, manufacturing and preparation strategies. To become familiar with epoxy floor coating here are several things you should know.
1. Epoxies are a Chemical Bond
Concrete floors that are coated with an epoxy consist of two components, a resin, and a hardener. Once mixed the contractor only has 15-20 minutes to get the mix out and spread onto the concrete floor. Once dispersed on the floor the two components begin to harden and bond tenaciously to the concrete floor. Once cured the epoxy floor is exceedingly durable and will not peel or chip from the concrete substrate as long as the concrete was cleaned and prepared right before application.
2. Proper Preparation is Crucial to Long-Lasting Epoxy Floor
Proper preparation consists of achieving a profile on the concrete surface that is required by industry standards. Cleaning of the concrete floor from greases, oils and anything that can be considered a bond breaker must be removed as well. Also, keep in mind the contractor needs to take an extra step in making sure the area to be coated with epoxy needs to be free from as many airborne contaminants as possible. Many epoxy contractors today still use the pressure wash/acid wash method to prepare your concrete floor. This practice will only provide you with delamination issues and a bad relationship with the contractor.
3. Moisture in the Concrete
Moisture isn’t always evident in concrete. However, if it is suspected the concrete can be tested for relative humidity. High relative humidity can cause an epoxy flooring system to delaminate quickly. There are relative humidity meters available to test moisture levels prior to any epoxy installation. Holes are drilled into the floor and a probe is inserted to detect moisture. If moisture is evident a vapor barrier or moisture mitigation system should be applied as part of the epoxy flooring system. Or, you can have your contractor just include it in the flooring system as a preventative against moisture intrusion.
4. Epoxy Dry Time
The epoxy may seem to dry quickly but the truth is it actually takes approximately 30 days for full cure depending on atmospheric conditions, like temperature and humidity. That doesn’t mean the epoxy floor isn’t usable during cure time. Most manufacturers of top quality products have specifications on when dry times are. Such as how soon you can walk on it or drive on it etc. There is more to it than that and a professional epoxy installer can go over and explain all the specification so the contractor can meet your needs.
5. Be Careful of Low-Cost Epoxies
There are different grades of epoxy you really need to know about. There are a ton of epoxy products on the market that contains 60 to 70 percent water. What are you buying? Once the epoxy floor is cured you are left with a 30 to 40% solids floor. Most of the DIY kits are manufactured that way. However, even top manufacturers produce waterbased epoxies for the lower price point. We have available in the industry 100% solids epoxy. This is what should always be used for proper installation. You will be glad you chose this as your flooring system. Remember you get what you pay for. Don’t skimp on your epoxy flooring system you will end up paying for it twice or more.
If you need assistance on determining what epoxy floor system is right for you, reach out to Garage Floor Epoxy Phoenix. We are here to help. Visit our website at: CoatingProsAZ.com