What Is Epoxy Floor Coating?
Epoxy is comprised of both resins and hardeners. Once mixed, a chemical reaction is triggered, resulting in a robust and rigid plastic surface that binds well to the floor’s substrate. The substrate is typically concrete, but can be other types as well, which we discuss below.
Epoxy floors require the application of multiple layers of epoxy. Thinner coatings cost less and are often smoother, which means they will be more slippery. They will also show imperfections in the floor. The opposite is true for thicker coatings. Imperfections will be smoothed out and the floor won’t be as slippery. These are just some of the benefits, which we discuss in greater detail below.
Commercial & Industrial Structures That Use Epoxy Floor Coatings
So many manufacturing facilities make use of epoxy floor coating systems that to list them all would be an endless task. The above below, however, is a good approximation of the facilities we see that demand epoxy coatings.
- Commercial Retail Stores
- Manufacturing Facilities
- Energy Facilities
- Food Processing Plants
- Agricultural Facilities
- Auto Dealers
- Auto Repair Shops
- Parking Structures
- Sports Stadiums & Facilities
- University Research Facilities
- Conference Centers
- Commercial Kitchens
- And More…
What Facilities Feature Epoxy Floor Coatings?
A great number of industrial and commercial facilities feature concrete floors. Another method of finishing or refinishing these floors—whether for a new build or existing structure—is concrete polishing, a floor system Lakeside Painting is installing for its commercial and industrial customers more and more often.
Benefits of Epoxy Flooring?
Epoxy floor systems are highly durable and long-lasting, able to take the punishment of daily heavy machinery traffic, variable temperatures, chemical abrasion, and constant cleaning and maintenance. Since epoxy floors are non-porous, contaminants like dirt and mold won’t be able to settle in. This allows maintenance crews to use normal cleaning devices and solutions to keep the epoxy floor in good shape. This flooring system does not, however, clean itself. Maintenance is key to a long-lasting, durable epoxy floor.
Another big upside to epoxy flooring is its long, established reputation for safety. Epoxy floors aren’t slippery, and various non-slip coatings and textured finishes, like flakes and colored aggregates, can be added to make them even safer. Polypropylene or aluminum oxide, quartz, and silica flour are other aggregates that can be added to an epoxy floor.
Epoxy floors also, quite simply, look great. Where epoxy flooring systems of the past might have been all about functionality, in the late 20th and early 21st century they came to be seen as highly aesthetic options for commercial businesses. Style might not matter to a food processing plant, but a modern restaurant owner might love the look of epoxy floors. And even the grittiest industrial factories will want to look their best for investors, business partners, inspectors, and others visitors. It is in this arena that epoxy flooring truly stands out.
Another thing to note is that epoxy can be applied over a variety of industrial and commercial floors, including VCT (Vinyl Composition Tile), wood, tile, and various other substrates.
Surface Prep & Epoxy Application
Once an industrial or commercial customer contacts us for proposed work, we conduct a comprehensive inspection of the structure’s space. Of particular interest to us are the high-traffic pedestrian areas, and any spaces or areas that accumulate grease, oil, bacteria, fungus or other contaminants—Enemy #1 for food service and pharmaceutical plants. After inspection, Lakeside Painting’s paint professionals prep the concrete floors by removing old surfaces and shot-blasting and/or diamond grinding the surface to ensure proper adhesion. This is followed up with a wide range of epoxy coatings, giving the surface a brilliant and strong finish. We can also add grit or texture to the coating in frequently wet areas or on any surfaces that accumulate oil and grease, thus ensuring employee safety.
The best methods for properly preparing concrete for coating are shot-blasting and/or diamond grinding. Lakeside Painting employs both methods, sometimes in tandem to prepare concrete floors for coating. What these methods achieve is the removal of latent, deteriorated concrete and contaminants from the floor surface. Getting down to sound, clean concrete allows the first and most important coat to penetrate deep into the concrete. “Becoming one with the concrete” creates the bond that makes the coating stay down and last.
Most coating failures are directly linked to improper preparations. Other common failures are due to oil and/or moisture intrusion into the concrete slab. Oil intrusion is easy to recognize as it leaves visible stains. Proper cleaning and shot-blasting, along with the use of specific oil-tolerable primers, are recommended for heavily oil-contaminated areas. Moisture can be a hidden problem requiring tests to determine its presence.
If you have any suspicions that moisture may be present in or under your floor, you need to inform us so we to test for its presence prior to coating. There are moisture tolerant primers which will need to be used if moisture is detected, requiring additional steps, time, and cost to the project.
Common Questions Regarding Epoxy Floors
WHAT IS YOUR MAINTENANCE PLAN AFTER TREATMENT?
- Will you use hand mops or a power scrubber & vacuum?
- Will the floors be cleaned daily, weekly, or once a month?
- What sort of punishment will the floors be subjected to on a daily basis?
- Will the floor see salts, caustics, acids, cutting fluids, oils, water, or harsh cleaning solvents?
- Will the floor be wet or oily at times?
- Are spills, leaks, and over-spray or tracking a common issue?
WHAT IS YOUR MAXIMUM OUT-OF-SERVICE TIME?
- In other words, how long can the floor in question be out of use?
- How long can you allow us full control of the area? (Epoxy and urethane coatings typically require 3 to 5 days before going back into service)
- Will odor, fumes, and/or dust be a problem for your personnel? If so, we can build containment areas and use HEPA air scrubbers with charcoal filters to evacuate and clean the air of toxins and/or dust.
- Do you need us to work nights, weekends, and during plant shutdowns?
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE WITH AN EPOXY FLOOR TREATMENT?
- Is it an aesthetic issue: do you want to make it look better, brighter, colorful, or trendy?
- Do you just want to protect it and make it last longer?
- Do you want to do both of these things?
- Do you want to make it easier to clean?
- Is your goal to make the floor safer, less slippery when wet, or to rid the floor of trip hazards such as transition issues— snags, gaps, exposed edges, potholes, etc.?
- Is your concrete old, cracked, and worn; and do you want to stop the deterioration to save on future replacement costs?
- Do you want to resurface and protect it from the elements and daily wear-and-tear?