How To Prepare Concrete Flooring for an Epoxy Overlay
You have to account for several different factors when undergoing a professional epoxy floor installation. This includes the amount of prep work that goes into everything. The ultimate goal is to ensure that your epoxy coating achieves optimal adhesion. This will require you to examine the substrate of your concrete floor and identify any defects that need repairing.
An initial inspection will determine the amount of prep work you will undergo before you begin applying multiple epoxy coatings. Here is how to determine what needs to get done ahead of time:
Establishing a Checklist
Before the application process, you should carefully inspect the conditions of your floor. We suggest that you create a checklist that consists of the following considerations:
Contaminants: This encompasses the dirt, bacteria, fungi and other biological toxins that are afflicting your concrete floor. You want to ensure that your home or commercial facility is free of any contaminants because they can greatly affect the adhesion of your epoxy coating.
Unstable Concrete: The ground must be structurally sound to ensure that nothing goes wrong during the application process. You will need to identify and remedy any cracks, erosions, and other deteriorated aspects of your floor.
Unwanted Compounds: Compounds and other chemical agents can also serve as a detriment to the adhesive properties of professional-grade epoxy floor coatings. This includes silicones, hydrocarbon oils, and sodium silicates that can hamper the effectiveness of cross-linking polymers with the epoxy mixture.
Proper Methods and Techniques of Concrete Preparation
Grinding: This is the preferred approach to concrete preparation. The process involves a diamond grinding mechanism that produces a smooth, horizontal surface in your concrete flooring. It is by far the most effective method in terms of preparation methods.
Shot Blasting: This entails a more mechanical approach to establishing a smooth surface. Shot blasting will essentially wear down and eliminate any defects that can affect the outcome of the installation. Furthermore, if you do decide to undergo shot blasting for your concrete floor, we recommend that you apply an additional base coat. This way you can ensure that you are not trapping any air when you begin applying multiple epoxy floor coatings.
Pressurized Water Blasting: We advise that you make use of pressurized water blasting when both shot blasting and diamond grinding are not viable options. This particular process is a lot different from washing your floor with a standard garden hose. You need a pressure washer capable of delivering an average PSI of 2000. This way you can effectively remove any acids or oils embedded in your floor.
What To Do After Completing Your Concrete Prep Work
You did your due diligence in repairing and remedying every defect in your floor. Now, you can begin the process of producing and applying multiple coatings of residential or commercial epoxy. We advise, however, that your application methods are compatible with how you went about repairing your floor.
Now, you can install a base coat that serves as a primer for your floor. This way you can activate the polymers and hardening agents inside the epoxy mixture more effectively. We also recommend that you test the substrate of your floor to confirm that you are clear to install multiple epoxy coatings.
Some General Precautions You Should Observe
We advise that you prioritize your personal safety when undergoing professional epoxy floor preparations:
- Wear protective eyewear, gloves, and construction-friendly clothing throughout the process
- If epoxy paint comes in contact with your skin, you should immediately wash the affected areas with soap and water
- Make sure that you are properly ventilating the areas in which you plan on installing an epoxy overlay
- If you are making use of harsh and hazardous chemicals, make sure that you are handling and getting rid of them properly. We advise that you adhere to local, state and federal guidelines
Schedule an In-Person Consultation
Do you need some help with your epoxy floor installation? We have a team of installers who have plenty of experience and training. They can oversee the entire process and offer you recommendations based on your flooring requirements. Don’t waste any time and give us a call today! We can also offer you a free estimate for our services.