The use of epoxy has become quite prevalent in the last decade. Due to its high strength and durability, it started as a surface protectant in industrial floor coatings. Over time, its versatility has made it an attractive flooring option for homes.
With all the DIY epoxy kits and paints available on the market, many homeowners think that laying down an epoxy floor is a simple task.
The truth is that while it may seem easy to work with epoxy, there are several mistakes beginners can make when installing epoxy floors.
Poor installation can lower the life of your floor as it can crack and wear away much faster; they only last about 2-3 years. If done by an expert, the lifespan increases nearly tenfold. With proper care and maintenance, you can expect a professional job to last at least 20-30 years.
With this in mind, we’ve outlined some of the major mistakes that can be made when setting down an epoxy floor.
1. Using expired epoxy
Like any other product, epoxy has a shelf life too, and its best to check the product before you start working with it. While you can find a stamped expiration date on the bucket, one technique to find out is by checking if the fillers are at the bottom of the bottle or bucket.
If they have, you don’t necessarily have to throw the entire thing away. Transfer the resin into another bottle and scrape all the filler stuck to the bottom. Then mix properly before adding other elements.
2. Poor surface preparation
Getting surface prep right is arguably the most crucial part of setting the floor properly—it’s also the step that is most often overlooked by rookies. With adequate surface preparation, the epoxy layer will crack, leading to rapid deterioration.
This step involves meticulously cleaning and grinding the surface before the layer of epoxy can be added. The resin bonds with the surface, both chemically and mechanically; this gives the surface its high tensile strength and durability.
Poor preparation can compromise the bonding process and decrease the life of your metallic epoxy flooring.
3. Inadequate Resin Mixture
Epoxy is made up of two major components that need to be mixed before application. Inadequate mixing can lead to a host of problems, such as sticky floors, reduced hardness, and poor bonding.
Insufficient bonding lowers surface strength and results in an uneven surface that can get dirty easily because it traps more dust and grime.
Many amateurs often confuse weight with volume. Usually, the two components in epoxy resin are combined using a set ratio of weight. The ratio of weight doesn’t necessarily translate into the same ratio of volume—and the incorrect mixture will cause issues during the curing process.
4. Bubbles in the Screed
Another issue, beginners often come across is a high number of air bubbles in the epoxy screed. The reason is for this is air trapped in the concrete slab, which results in bubbles. To avoid this, the concrete surface needs to be properly primed and sealed before application.
An expert trick to preventing bubbles is by using a spiked roller. This helps you get rid of all the tiny bubbles, making sure you get a smooth finish.
5. Not taking safety precautions
Safety precautions are necessary when working with epoxy. People have been known to get allergic reactions from coming in contact with the epoxy. You’ll need to wear personal protective equipment, including eye goggles, face mask and gloves.
Additionally, you should cover your entire body with clothing before proceeding and wash immediately after exposure.
If you’re looking for a long-lasting epoxy flooring solution, we’ve got you covered.
CSS Coatings has vast experience installing exceptional flooring solutions in multiple states, including Mississippi (MS) and Indiana (IN). We offer a range of epoxy options, including traffic coatings, concrete finishes, and metallic epoxy flooring. For more information, you can reach out online or call 270-793-9069.