When it comes to choosing the right epoxy coating for your floor, you need to consider the following before reading on:
- Your overall budget, as this determines the quality of coating you can buy.
- The type of look and finish you are seeking.
- The level of durability required.
- The condition your concrete floor is in.
Epoxy is a long-lasting coating that is painted onto a concrete surface. It resists grease and other substances known to ruin paint. It is easy to clean and can be found in a host of colors. However, not every concrete floor will hold epoxy, and preparing concrete is a difficult process. The full preparation process involves thorough floor cleaning and etching the concrete with an acid solution, so please be aware of this before embarking on the project.
Preparation is key and can take a couple of days. The first day involves removing oil spots, degreasing the floor, scrubbing it, and vacuuming it. The next day involves filling cracks and applying the first coat of epoxy. A power scrubber is a good investment and is necessary for the best possible preparation. You should also test the concrete for moisture by taping a plastic bag to the surface and lifting it after 24 hours. If it’s dry underneath, you can proceed with the epoxy coating, but if it’s wet, you should stop because water pressure will break the epoxy bond.
Choosing Your Epoxy
There are three different types of epoxy: water-based, solvent-based, and 100 percent solids. The 100 percent option is almost pure epoxy, as it does not contain solvents that evaporate. This is by far the best choice, but it is difficult to handle and expensive, so you need the help of a professional to apply it.
Solvent-based epoxies are solid choices too and are available in a wide range of colors. You need to strap a respirator to your face when using it to ensure you don’t breathe the harmful fumes. The area you are using the epoxy in must also be well-ventilated.
Once you have patched up the cracks and completed your preparation, it’s time for application. Check the label to find out how much epoxy you should use per square foot. Remember, you will need to use the entire batch of epoxy you mix within a specific period of time, which should be noted on the product label. For example, a 40 percent solid solvent-based epoxy needs to be used up within 24 hours of being mixed.
Allow the first coat to dry overnight; the minimum drying time is usually up to 16 hours. Add a non-skid product to the epoxy for the second coat. This is especially useful if the floor is in an area where moisture gets brought in regularly, such as a garage floor. Once the drying time is up, apply the second coat in the same manner as you applied the first. Allow three to seven days of drying before using the floor, and bear in mind that the full curing process takes up to one month.
Transform your garage or home floor today with a professional epoxy coating provided by Sledge Concrete Coatings! Contact us for a free project estimate.