How to Install Epoxy Flooring
If you are looking to protect your floor surface, you should probably consider an epoxy flooring option. Epoxy flooring, or epoxy floor coating, can be used on many different types of surfaces including concrete, steel or wood. However, for a lasting floor surface, you need to be sure to make the proper preparations of both the garage floor surface and the epoxy floor paint.
You may be wondering exactly what epoxy is in the first place. Epoxies are polymers that use a chemical reaction to change from a liquid to a solid. They are ideal for flooring because they are resistant to degradation as a solid and extremely adhesive as they convert from liquid to solid. An epoxy floor system contains resins and hardeners. These two components are combined to create a rigid plastic material and cannot be reverted to their original forms. Once in this form, epoxies can be used for a variety of purposes including adhesives, coatings and other composite materials such as carbon fiber or glass-reinforced plastic.
Epoxy may or may not be the only element in your flooring materials. For instance, you can coat your garage floor with epoxy floor coating meaning it has less than three layers of epoxy materials or create an epoxy garage floor coating made from multiple layers of epoxy materials and has the thickness of a regular floor surface.
Although epoxy flooring can be used on concrete, steel and wood, it actually works best on concrete. However, special care must be given when installing epoxy on a concrete surface since the performance of the coating is directly affected by its preparation. If you do not take the proper steps and precautions in preparing your surface, it could have adverse effect on the lifetime of your floor. Once you have determined your needs, there are at least nine steps you need to follow when installing your epoxy flooring. They include:
1. You must begin by examining your surface. If you find inhibiting substances such as curing materials, dirt, efflorescence, grease or other already existing sealers, you must remove them before proceeding.
2. Next, you must test the concrete. A simple water drop test will suffice. If you are using new concrete, remember that it must be cured for at least 28 days at a suitable temperature before you can work with it.
3. You must clean your uncoated concrete by removing any chemicals, grease or oil that may be on the surface.
4. Remove any painting on the surface, especially if it is peeling or deteriorating in any way.
5. At this point, you may repair any defective surfaces by removing concrete, filling holes or performing any other procedure to perfect the concrete’s surface.
6. The concrete surface may require shot blasting, particularly if you need to roughen the surface. This is a typical procedure before applying coatings, polymer overlays or sealers.
7. In some cases, diamond grinding may be necessary. In this procedure, you will remove coatings or deposits and reduce or remove a smooth surface profile.
8. The next step is scarification. This method utilizes the rotary action of cutters, or tooth washers, to hit the surface at a right angle, causing the concrete’s top surface to fracture and leave a clean surface.
9. Last, you must perform acid etching, applying an acid solution to the concrete that will react with or “etch” the concrete. This process is not as popular as shot blasting but is still acceptable.