Some of the myths you may have heard about epoxy floor coating include: “It doesn’t last” or “It cracked within the first 24 hours.” However, many of the myths and misconceptions about floor coating systems stem from cheap, do-it-yourself epoxy floor kits. To set the record straight, we’ve compiled a list of the top 3 myths about commercial concrete floor coatings.
1. Cracks cannot be repaired
One of the most common misconceptions about commercial epoxy flooring systems is that once they crack, you have to replace the entire flooring. Unfortunately, concrete is susceptible to cracking because it isn’t ductile, meaning it does not stretch or bend like materials such as steel or copper.
Over time, as the concrete shrinks and expands as a result of shifting temperatures, it will crack. However, when this inevitably happens, you do not need to empty your wallet trying to replace the entire coating. Instead, opt for a product designed for crack repair.
When looking for a crack repair product, keep an eye out for epoxy, polyurethane, or polyurea based products. You should also make sure that the product is sandable so you van sand the repairs to be flush with the pre-existing coating and concrete.
Steer clear of products that are inexpensive, water based, or latex based. While it can be a bummer to have to pay more for a product, it will be worth it because you’re paying for high performance. Water and latex based products are typically not sandable and will not accept paint. They also shrink over time, which will mean you will have to repair your commercial floor more frequently.
2. Epoxy is just like paint
While an epoxy coating can come in a variety of colors, it is not the same as paint. Many people have the misconception that simply painting a concrete floor is the same as applying a commercial concrete floor coating. In all honesty, painting an industrial floor is not the best idea because it will chip easily, and isn’t as heavy duty as an epoxy finish.
While epoxy is similar to some floor paints, hence the name epoxy paints, epoxy is industrial grade. Epoxy is made from the mixing of resins and hardeners and is therefore much thicker than regular paint, often up to six times thicker.
When compared to paint, epoxy is stronger, more chemical and UV resistant, as well as more abrasion resistant. Epoxy will endure much more foot traffic than paint and is easy to clean. Another major benefit of epoxy is that it comes in many colors, inducing solid color options such as light gray, ivory, and beige, as well as quartz aggregate blends.
3. Epoxy coatings need to be replaced every one to three years
While it is true that epoxy will eventually need to be replaced or touched up, it all depends on the type of epoxy you use in the first place. If you use a cheaper floor coating from a big box store such as Home Depot or Lowes, you will probably have to touch up the coating sooner than having a professional install a high grade, commercial concrete floor coating.
Another reason you may need to touch up your floor’s coating sooner may be because the surface was not prepared properly before installation. Many people think you can just sweep your floor once or twice before applying epoxy, but a much more thorough clean is needed if you want the coating to last.
If the epoxy is to last and bond well with the concrete, the concrete needs to have a surface profile of at least a 2. The concrete must be free of surface contaminants and loose cement paste. Often, professional coating companies will either grind down the surface or lightly shot-blast it, so be wary of companies that use acid etching to prepare the concrete.
The final and rather self-explanatory reason why you may have to touch up your floor’s coating sooner is because the installers did not properly apply the coating. A well-applied garage flooring epoxy will last anywhere between 10 to 20 years with the right maintenance.
If you’re looking to uncover more myths concerning commercial concrete floor coatings, Custom Concrete Solutions is here to help. Custom Concrete Solutions is a high quality, professional installer of Decorative Concrete Resurfacing systems based in Connecticut. For more information about our epoxy floor finishes, visit us online or call us today at 860-416-7645. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your upcoming concrete floor project!