How to prep floor for epoxy coating? The epoxy coating gives your garage or any other industrial floor a good-looking and tough finish. Compared to epoxy paint, epoxy coating leads to a tougher coating since it’s chemical composition is different. Also, compared to epoxy paint, the epoxy coating could be a tad trickier to apply. To get the epoxy coating right, an organized approach and careful prep are key. The floor epoxy application process could vary a bit between products. Therefore, be sure to go through the product instructions before choosing and using the product.
Prepping the Floor For Epoxy Floor Coatings – Overview
Floor prep is an essential first step before you could apply an epoxy coating. It’s imperative that you thoroughly clean your floor. If the floor is concrete, fill in the patch areas or cracks that require care before you begin the cleaning process. Once you have repaired the damages, you can roll with the cleaning process.
Make sure you catch any spots that you may have overlooked during epoxy coat preparation. Oil spots must be removed; the floor would require degreasing too. Clean the floor properly and vacuum it thoroughly to make sure any remaining debris and dust are eliminated.
Perhaps the biggest challenge you would encounter during epoxy coating application is making sure the humidity and moisture in the floor are ideal. Check the moisture in the concrete floor before trying to apply an epoxy coating. You may do this effectively and easily by taping a sheet of plastic to the floor. Let the taping stay for 24 to 48 hours.
After those 24 hours, if you notice the moisture appearing or gathering under the plastic surface, then you must apply a sealer to block the moisture. This is because epoxy could be extremely tough to work with during high moisture scenarios and won’t guarantee a sealed floor. If there is no proper sealing, then epoxy adhesion would become an issue and the floor would start to bubble.
Floor Prepping Techniques
There are primarily three ways to prepare your garage or concrete floor for epoxy application.
• Acid etching
The acid etching process is extremely DIY in nature. Unlike the other two techniques, acid etching doesn’t require much skill or machinery. And it’s ideal for concrete bases. The process begins with applying an acid solution to the floor. Once it’s evenly spread out, use a scrubber, a rigid bristle broom, or any other tool that would help with working the acid solution. Once that’s done, allow the acid to remain for a maximum of 10 minutes – the 10-minute time period should be enough to let the process show its effects. Next, clear the acid on the floor. You may do this via power washing and later vacuuming the floor when it has completely dried out. Ensure the residues (if any) are removed before the acid could dry. Lastly, you must neutralize the acid residue (if any remaining). Using a diluted simple green solution would work great on most floors.
• Diamond grinding
Diamond grinding is another method to prepare the floor. This technique would restore your floor’s smoothness, which is important to have before coating it with epoxy or a polyurea floor coating. The diamond grinding technique warrants the usage of machines. However, the process is still fairly straightforward. You would require a floor grinder and proper floor attachments. Once you turn the machine on, use sideways swaying movements to smooth the entire floor surface out. Once complete, vacuum the floor heavily to clear the left-behind residue. Make sure the grinder is constantly in motion during the process to mitigate low spots and grinding circular rings into the floor.
• Shot blasting
Shot blasting is another floor preparation method. There are different ways through which you can perform this prepping operation. All the types need machinery of some kind to flatten the surface out. Some people choose diamond grinding over this procedure. However, both are equally good at their jobs. The machine typically pelts small metallic beads at the floor to detonate any damages or stains to the floor base. The benefit of this technique over the acid etching and diamond grinding methods is you would not have to deal with any kind of floor residue, since the machine would arrest everything. Not to mention, this process requires a certain level of skill and is ideal for larger scale jobs only. You may employ this method for lesser floor spaces, but you would then be putting too much effort and time into the act.
Epoxy Floor prepping is imperative to achieve an even and smooth outcome with epoxy coatings. Therefore, research your prepping method after having considered your requirements and options.