Because of how the installation and the switch from concrete to epoxy flooring becomes more popular to apply on most surface areas over time, it is now time to learn how to properly install them as professional experts do. But before that, you must understand that you have to be careful and intricate as there are certain things to consider before having to apply them successfully. You have to do proper preparations, primings, and blendings of the mixture to be used on the application itself. All these steps must be done carefully so you would not have to suffer or experience issues in the long run.
Why do people actually switch to applying epoxy flooring at their commercial and residential areas? Epoxy flooring carries out a lot of qualities that enlivens, protects, and provides enhancements to floors with concrete as their surface. It can also make your floors extra attractive as you can customize the color and the texture depending on your liking.
And as they are installed by applying multiple layers of the epoxy mixture, they create seamless stretches of flooring that can hold out against grease, scuffing, moisture, and chemicals. They are really effective if you are to apply them to concrete, because they are less likely to chip or peel like the regular floor paints as well. Additionally, their durable and non-flammable properties make this type of floors a good choice for garages, and for areas that experience lots of traffic. And when the epoxy flooring is properly installed, it can last for as long as 20 years or more.
Actually, the epoxy flooring application is just about as simple as rolling paint on a wall or across the floor. But then, before you begin the installation procedure, you have to prepare your surface by thoroughly cleaning and patching the floor to be coated. You should also be able to mix the solution properly, and calculate how much of them is required to cover the area you intend to apply them to. Also, one layer of epoxy is not enough. To ensure that it will successfully adhere to your surface, you will need a minimum of two layers.
Preparation of the Surface
Preparation is the key to a good epoxy floor. Before you start priming or applying the epoxy flooring itself on the surface, you must have to prepare the entire surface. This is to ensure adhesion between the epoxy flooring and the actual concrete surface. Actually, surface preparation is probably the most important step you must do. If you were not able to properly prep it, the overall application of the epoxy might fail. Fixing it might end up being much more costly, and will take much more time.
The surface you will apply the epoxy on should be free from any chemicals or oils. They may possibly block the epoxy from sticking properly to the surface. This is because they have the potential to decrease the bond with the floor. Thus, the grease, oil, solvents, or other chemicals on the floor must be completely removed.
Another method of surface preparation could be done so you can successfully apply the epoxy coating is the diamond grinding. It is actually a popular and flexible method that allows you to grind rough concrete with the use of floor grinders such as an aggressive and coarse diamond tool. With this method, you can perform it by using a high grit sanding tool. This will let you give the surface a light sanding. Depending on the situation, you can tailor and customize your floors during the preparation period. You will surely achieve the results you expect to have.
Sweep and Clean the Concrete Surface
During the preparation of the surface, of course, you have to include sweeping and cleaning them. Using a flat-edged shovel or scraper can be effective in removing the hardened debris. Also, you should have to vacuum the entire area as well. This is to ensure that it is free from dust and debris. An industrial vacuum can also be effective as well. It has the ability to pick up even small dust particles, and it even has suitable filters. You cannot have any residue before applying any type of epoxy or primer. It might incur some particles to be trapped within the coating. And if this happens, adhesion will be significantly weakened.
When you are guaranteed that you have already removed all the dirt on the floor, being already free from any debris, you can now apply epoxy primers to prime the surface. You have to create a surface that will allow the epoxy to bond and adhere with them properly. This is an essential step that will be able to give your floors a longer life, and seal the floor with reducing the risk of bubbles and gasses in your final layer of the epoxy coating.
Priming can also reduce the amount of mixture that will be required in the later stages. Although in some cases where primer gets quickly absorbed by the surface, which means that the floors are very dusty, you have the freedom to apply a second coat of primer on top of the first one. It is better to be sure than to suffer from certain issues in the long run.
Mix Epoxy Coating
Once you are done preparing and cleaning the surface, you must now have to prepare the mixture that you will pour over the surface. You have to properly mix the base and the hardener components at this time. This makes up the overall epoxy coating. And following the manufacturer’s instructions, you must have to use a drill and stirring bit, or a mixing paddle attached to an electric high speed drill. This is so you can be able to mix the epoxy solutions together thoroughly.
You have to ensure that the mixture has been completely blended. This can be done by pouring them into a second bucket, then power-mix the coating again. Do this until you notice that the mixture is streak-free, and all one color. This is a critical step that you must carefully perform to ensure a better flooring installation outcome. Remember that poor mixing might lead to a tacky floor.
Apply the Epoxy Coating
After the preparations, from cleaning, priming, to mixing the coating, you can now start applying them over the surface. You can pour the mixture on the floor and start to roll them out to provide an even coating. Or you can transfer them on a large roller tray then roll them over the floors like how you would do with paint. You must use a good quality roller for application. Poor quality ones will tend to shed and might leave marks and such particles from the roller into the surface.
Initially apply the first coat of the epoxy flooring. This coat acts as a tool to help reveal the floor. Also, on how the surface is holding up with the mixture itself. Any remaining cracks and holes will become visible at this point. Then use a squeegee to make the first layer a filler coat. Professionals also recommend the use of a procedure in applying the coating called the cross-rolling method. This is done by coating the surface section by section. Roll them front to back, then left to right — in a vertical and horizontal manner. This is so you would not have to reapply the coat to the roller. This method helps you to ensure an even coat, removing the air from the floor to avoid bubbles.
Allow at least 12 hours for the first layer to dry, before applying the second coat. Though the floor will be dry even after just a few hours, it still takes a few days to cure properly. Just make sure to provide ventilation to the area to help the epoxy to dry as well. It is up to you on how many layers you think would provide much more efficiency for your floors.
Following these essential steps in applying the epoxy flooring to certain areas will ensure you a smooth and better flooring that will last for a long period of time. In terms of maintaining them, you can just use a vacuum or just sweep up the dirt and debris, and wipe away the spills with a soft cloth immediately. You can also deep-clean the floors by mopping them. But then, with its low maintenance feature, you would not need to worry about your epoxy flooring too much.