Commercial or industrial facility floors are often subjected to abrasion or impact, which leads to flooring problems. The combination of chemicals used in manufacturing, cleaning and other processes also add to potential surface issues. If not immediately addressed, these can lead to health and safety concerns or substrate damage.
Responsible facility managers need to find ways to handle things before complications arise. In many cases, they realize that they can resolve some of the most common industrial surface problems by applying a fresh layer of epoxy floor coatings. In others, you may need the intervention of an epoxy coating expert.
Common Problems Epoxy Flooring Can Solve
Before you can devise solutions to epoxy flooring problems, you must first understand what’s gone wrong with your flooring. We have listed the most common ones to watch out for based on our own experience:
1. Damage Impact
A concrete or coated surface can only handle so much mechanical stress. That’s because surfaces will get beaten up by either human or vehicular load. The steady traffic can cause floorings to deteriorate. Hard impacts from dropped materials or the caustic sting of spilled chemicals can harm the floors, opening them to cracks and tears.
Don’t wait for these damages to become significant. Instead, consider epoxy floor coating in your restoration or preventive maintenance efforts. Then figure out which professional epoxy floor finishes are best for floor repairs. This process is by no means a quick fix. It’s actually designed to extend the life of your industrial cement floors. And it would require professional attention if you were to do it right.
Proper installation is critical to the success of your epoxy floor finish. Like with painting, experts apply the coating properly to ensure long-lasting effects. From mixing the resin and hardener to letting the coating set, a trained professional can complete the job and prevent costly mistakes from happening at the same time.
2. Protective Coating Breakdown
Floor deterioration can result from a breakdown of protective coatings. One significant issue which can occur is the loss of substrate protection. This causes the surface to become more slippery and increases corrosion, making dirt and stains harder to remove. Minute damages also become bigger when these protective coatings lose their effectiveness.
At this point, facility managers have the option to restore the protection with a fresh application of industrial painting epoxy coatings. To ensure the process is done correctly, you can research, source and invest in high-quality epoxy products and enlist professional services. This level of commitment allows you to bring back the protective layer of your coating and the beauty of your flooring.
3. Aesthetic Deterioration
Dull or dirty floors can become an eyesore. In turn, this will have a negative effect on the overall appearance of the facility. Hard-to-remove stains, fading colors or dents and tears are visually unappealing. They can also send the wrong message to visitors and tenants. A cracking surface just does not signal to onlookers that an industrial facility is well-maintained, and this can affect its image and reputation.
Switch to colorful epoxy coatings to revive the look of facility floors effectively. Epoxy is the perfect material to achieve beautiful colors when painting your concrete or coated floor with epoxy resin. In any case, you can use a combination of epoxy resin colors or resin art ideas to make colorful epoxy floors.
Since epoxy floor coatings are also known for their decorative value, you can be as creative as you want with this long-term fix. But if you’re not confident with your artistic skills, you might as well leave the painting and coating to a professional.
4. Substrate Failure
Sometimes, epoxy floors chip or crack due to poor installation. However, this problem can also occur because the substrate cannot handle the wear and tear the industrial flooring is exposed to. This also causes the epoxy resin coating to break.
Keep in mind that, durable as they may be, epoxy coatings can be affected by the quality and performance of the concrete or cement underneath. The substrate should be able to match the mechanical strength of epoxy products. If the substrate is weak, it can wreak havoc on the floor’s surface.
Still, if you’re already facing the consequences of a poorly built substrate, you should do your best to avoid a total breakdown. Consult a painting or coating restoration expert who can find a strategic fix to this issue.
5. Excessive Moisture
Unlike problems that occur due to impact or wear and tear, moisture can be caused by inadequate planning for epoxy installation. When moisture seeps through the concrete slab and then evaporates after it is sealed, a series of epoxy flooring problems ensue. Issues range from bubbles and discoloration to mold and mildew. The surface of epoxy floors can also soften in general. With too much moisture fostering the growth of mold and mildew, the health of the people working in the facility can also be compromised.
Undoing this mistake can be time-consuming. Just repainting epoxy flooring won’t do the trick. You need to remove the layers and treat the surface with a hardening agent. It also pays to seek an expert opinion on whether repair and restoration is still possible.
How To Apply Epoxy Floor Coating Correctly
As discussed in the previous section, poor installation of the epoxy resin on your facility flooring can cause problems later. If you’re applying a fresh layer to your floor, deck or any industrial surface, you better do it properly.
Here are some steps you can take to avoid future flooring headaches and achieve stain-free, long-lasting epoxy flooring:
1. Prepare the Surface
This is probably the most crucial step because the finished product can fail without the proper preparation of the substrate. And as mentioned earlier, fixing it can also cost you more time, money and energy.
So, what do you do with the substrate? Make sure the concrete substrate is slightly rough as this allows the adhesion between itself and the epoxy resin. Also, free the surface from any oils or chemicals that might prevent the epoxy from bonding with the substrate. Its also a good idea to determine of you need a moisture barrier.
2. Sweep and Clean
Any particles left on the surface may be trapped, so vacuum it entirely to remove dust, dirt or residue. An industrial vacuum cleaner can effectively pick up even the smallest particles. Take note that the more particles are trapped, the weaker the bond gets. On the other hand, you will need less primer if there is less dust on the surface.
3. Prime the Floor
Now it’s time to add the epoxy resin or primer. Don’t skip this part because it yields several benefits to your coating, including reduced risk of bubble formation and better substrate adhesion. You may also notice that your flooring can easily absorb the primer. So you may want to apply a second coating on top of the first one.
Further, ensure proper ventilation in areas where you’re applying primer. And mix the combination of the two-part primer to enjoy its full benefits.
4. Fill Holes and Cracks
After primer application, it’s usually easier to observe the dents, holes and cracks on your flooring. You can then mix your epoxy resin with a filler to patch these flaws visible on the first coatings. It’s up to you to choose how much filler you need to achieve your desired techniques and texture. Apply the grout and leave it for a few hours to dry.
If you don’t want to deal with the mess of putting together your own putty, check out options for epoxy patching grout online.
So you’ve prepared the surface which is a necessary activity for those who want to transform their concrete floor into epoxy flooring. These steps ensure your first and second coatings, and sanding in between will be effective and successful. Also, let the curing process take place to allow the epoxy to fully bond with the concrete substrate.
Avoid Common Epoxy Floor Coating Issues
As a facility manager, you are responsible for the integrity and safety of your factory or warehouse flooring. Knowing the common epoxy flooring problems allows you to spot potential issues as they arise. You can also avoid exacerbating them by mistake.
However, you don’t have to devise a solution on your own. You can partner with an experienced painting and coating service provider to determine whether or not you need to apply a fresh layer of epoxy coating on your flooring. This team of professionals can also guide you through the entire epoxy coating application process.
You don’t have to search further for this partner. Raider Painting is here and we’re happy to help. We take the time to understand your situation and create an appropriate solution. Through our combined approach, we leverage the latest techniques and technologies – enhanced by our advanced training – to deliver the commercial and industrial coatings you require.
Contact us today to learn more about how our experts can assist you in achieving well-maintained, beautiful epoxy-coated flooring for your business.