The issues with epoxy floors are common, epoxy resin paint for floors isn’t always a solution for commercial and industrial floors which require special purposes, that need a transparent barrier between work environment and flooring.
Depending on the specific formula and composition, epoxy floors can be used to provide an environment that meets specific hygienic needs, resistance to acidic and industrial chemicals, durability to traffic on wheels and forklifts, waterproofing and more.
But like most professional specialised products, it requires a great deal of care when it comes to installing them correctly.
The key to success of any type of floor, not just epoxy, is completely in the hands of its installation. Just as a good tailor is needed to guarantee your new suit fits properly, a good installer is needed to ensure that your new flooring does too!
Epoxy floor failure (Six main common causes)
1. Poor surface preparation.
A strong bond between the new epoxy and the existing floor is essential for a successful installation. The existing surface must be roughened for the epoxy to adhere properly.
To ensure that the existing surface is ready for installation, we suggest grinding it with diamond or metal to eliminate any possible imperfection.
The installation surface must be clean, dry and completely free of dust. Otherwise, your new floor may simply adhere to the existing floor’s contaminants.
2. Too much moisture.
Once you’ve taken care of any contaminant (such as dust or dirt), now you have to take care of another important issue for epoxy: moisture! Solvent based epoxy products don’t bond well with any existing moisture.
Excessive moisture can cause a substantially weaker bond between the epoxy and the existing floor, or prevent any form of a bond from forming.
3. Weak substrate.
In the same way that a master chef is as good as his ingredients, an epoxy floor is as good as the substrate on which it’s installed.
Sometimes, an epoxy installation fails and separates from the ground.
4. No primer or an incorrect primer.
In many ways, epoxy is similar to paint: it starts of in a liquid form and develops over time into a solid surface coating. And like paint, using the correct primer to help the epoxy adhere to the concrete floor is essential to achieve a good and strong adhesion.
Commercial and industrial flooring experience a lot of usage and it’s essential to ensure that the correct primer is chosen to meet the specific needs and requirements of your substrate.
5. Incompatible or inappropriate substrate.
Epoxy floors are resistant, but can’t compensate for an unsuitable substrate, such as wood. Wood is never a suitable surface for an epoxy installation.
The adhesion capacity and the tensile strength of a surface must be taken into account when assessing the suitability of a floor. Plywood flooring are too flexible for epoxy, and the expansion and contraction they go through during temperature and humidity variations expose too much movement for an epoxy floor to endure successfully.
This leads to tearing, peeling, cracking, and in the end, to failure.
6. Reconditioning contaminated floors.
Problems with existing contaminated floors is common in buildings that have specialized uses and a defective existing flooring, such as food and beverage factories, automobile repair shops, industrial chemical plants, etc.
In cases like these, special preparations should be carried out to ensure that any contaminant that could cause epoxy failure is removed completely before installing the new floor.
All oils, greases and residues must be thoroughly cleaned and neutralized before installing the new epoxy floor.
Case study: From a problem epoxy floor to polished concrete.
Click on the photo to go to the case study where we show you how to restore an Click on the photo to go to the case study where we show you how to recover a floor by installing a beautiful polished concrete finish.
(Click on the photo to go)
- Epoxy floor
- Floor paint
- Differences between a polyurethane floor and an epoxy floor
- Alternatives to epoxy floor
- Epoxy floor removal
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