Epoxy floor coatings have become the gold standard material for coating commercial, industrial and residential concrete floors. Epoxy floor coatings offer many benefits including improved aesthetic appeal, increased brightness in the space, elimination of the “dusting” phenomenon and more.
While concrete itself can withstand tremendous pressure, it doesn’t do as well when it comes to abrasion. The cement paste layer at the top of the concrete which provides the smooth surface is the weakest part of the concrete which makes it subject to deterioration due to pressure and abrasion. This is known as “dusting”. Dusting is particularly undesirable because it concrete dust is continually created and easily becomes airborne causing dust to land on stored objects and leaves a dusty floor. This is of particular concern in medical, food an electronics warehouses, industrial settings, laboratories and people who like things to be neat and tidy. Concrete is also porous, which makes it subject to staining. In fact concrete has a very similar composition to bone. For more information about concrete, check out a previous blog article titled Concrete Basics – What is Concrete?
Whether you floor is deteriorating, dusting or just plain ugly an epoxy coating can improve the durability and extend the life expectancy of the floor. First of all, in preparing the floor to accept the epoxy, the surface of the concrete is cleaned and the pores opened. Shot blasting will also remove the weak cement paste layer at the concrete surface. Removing the cement paste layer, removing any contaminants and opening the pores of the concrete will allow for a much better bond of the epoxy to the concrete and will it last longer by virtue that the cement paste layer is removed and will not pulverise beneath the epoxy coating causing a failure of the coating which also eliminates the dusting.
Epoxies are two component liquid resin consisting of the resin and a hardener. The two components are mixed together which starts an exothermic chemical reaction which allows the epoxy to set up, harden or cure. Epoxies often have a work life of 30 minutes where they remain liquid and workable. Applied is it’s liquid phase, epoxy floor coatings are typically applied continuously until the job is complete providing a seamless floor coating. Low, rough and uneven areas can be built up and levelled with epoxy resins hiding ugly characteristics and stains in the floor
Epoxy coatings are available in a wide variety of colours and can be made to have a slip-resistant finish. Adding coloured aggregates or paint chips, engraving or applying the epoxy in patterns can add a real nice look to the finished product. One’s imagination and budget are the only limitations to creating a show stopping design. Due the the depth of colour and high gloss of most epoxy coatings, much more light is reflected into the area increasing overall brightness of an area by as much as 25%!
The hard surface provided by epoxy floor coatings is not only much easier to clean, which significantly reduces cleaning costs (both labour and supplies), but is also heat, chemical and abrasion resistant.
Epoxy floor coatings are worth investigating to improve the performance, look and life of your new or existing floor.