FAQ's Answered by Your Cleveland Contractors.
Q: How long does an epoxy floor last?
A: How long epoxy lasts lies heavily on where it is installed.
In a residential, light foot traffic area, professionally installed epoxy flooring can last 20 to 30 years. Professionally installed epoxy flooring is heavy-duty, and not the same as the roll-on systems you’ll find at your local hardware store.
When installed in a high traffic area, like you’ll find in a commercial building or industrial facility, epoxy flooring typically lasts 15 to 20 years. Heavy traffic tends to wear down the flooring much more rapidly than if it were installed in a residential basement, for example.
One of the most impactful factors as to how long epoxy flooring lasts is the condition of the concrete slab epoxy is laid onto. If the concrete isn’t in optimal condition when the epoxy resin is put over top, your epoxy isn’t going to experience its full lifespan.
Additionally, while epoxy won’t be damaged by caustic chemicals and the like, it’s important to wipe up these spills as soon as they occur, as this can lead to the eventual breakdown of your epoxy floor.
Q: How to apply epoxy flooring?
A: Epoxy flooring is tough, durable and attractive. Epoxy can be made to mimic expensive floor types while maintaining a strength that’s unmatched. Epoxy is a popular choice for basements, garages and driveways because of this.
First, you’ll need to make certain the epoxy flooring is a good match for your existing concrete slab or other floor type. Next, clean and prime your floor. Purchase the epoxy resin mix that’s right for you and then mix and apply the epoxy.
While this is a moderately difficult project, it can be accomplished if you are dedicated and mindful.
Checking Your Floor for Epoxy Compatibility:
To make certain epoxy is right for your floor, test your floor for moisture. You can do this by taping a plastic bag to your garage floor, waiting 24 hours and peeling back the bag to see if any moisture has accumulated underneath. If there is moisture, epoxy is not a good fit for your floor.
Next, you’ll need to check for concrete sealant. Pour water onto your concrete. If the water beads instead of soaking in, there is concrete sealant on your floor and epoxy won’t be a good fit as the two are incompatible.
If you’ve recently had concrete poured, wait at least 28 hours before applying epoxy. If there is paint on your flooring, you’ll want to remove it before applying epoxy.
Clean & Prime the Floor for Epoxy:
Industrial degreaser if applying epoxy to a residential or commercial automotive garage is a great place to start in the cleaning process. Mop the entire floor with an industrial degreaser or a solvent-based cleaner. For spots that remain, spot treat. Rinse the entire floor with water.
If rubber residue has built up from tires driving over the floor, sand it off. We recommend 180-grit sandpaper.
Vacuum the floor for any debris and follow up with a pressure washer to deep clean the floor. Finally, use hydrochloric acid on the surface, following manufacturer’s instruction. Neutralize and remove the acid with baking soda.
Rinse the floor with clean water and let dry overnight. Once the floor has dried, patch cracks with epoxy crack filler.
Choose and Mix Epoxy:
You’ll have solvent-based and water-based epoxy to choose from. Do your research on these products before deciding which is best for you. Additionally, decide if you’ll be using an epoxy primer.
Purchase enough epoxy, whether solvent-based or water-based, to lay 2 coats. Make sure to wear protective gear and turn off the power to reduce risks when applying epoxy.
When applying epoxy primer, make sure to consider how you’ll be exiting the room! Don’t box yourself into a corner. You’ll either ruin the epoxy primer you just laid by walking over it — or you’ll be camping out until it has cured in 12 to 24 hours.
Epoxy comes in two parts. Mix them together prior to application. Apply and wait 24 hours for it to cure. Check for cracks and seal before applying a second coat. Wait 12 to 16 hours for the crack filler to dry if using. Apply the second coat and wait 24 hours for it to dry.
While you may save some money applying epoxy on your own, you are looking at a four day minimum process. Your time is invaluable! If you aren’t up for applying your own epoxy flooring, call Epoxy Flooring Cleveland and let the professionals take care of the job at hand.
Q: Should I epoxy my basement floor?
A: If you’re wondering whether you should epoxy the basement floor, we certainly recommend it!
Especially in Cleveland, OH where flooding is common and will ruin carpets. In our professional opinions, yes you should epoxy your basement floor. While epoxy can be made to look however you so desire, if you’re wondering whether to epoxy your basement floor, you’re likely doing so for practical reasons. We get that. In these instances, epoxy is a sound choice for basement floors.
Moreover, epoxy is extremely cost effective. Compared to the removal of your current flooring, the purchase of new tile or vinyl and installation costs, pouring epoxy over your current flooring is nothing to bat an eye at. Opting for an epoxy finish means a revamp without even removing your current flooring. Basement epoxy installation allows you to improve the look of your current floor without as much of an expense and less work for the installers — meaning less money out of your pocket.
Better yet, epoxy flooring is resistant to liquid, meaning that when flooding in Cleveland affects your basement, your flooring won’t be compromised, as often occurs with tile, laminate or carpet flooring when there’s flooding in Cleveland. Water simply sits on the surface of epoxy resin and does not absorb, meaning you’re able to mop it up with no damage to the floor.
Any room of the house (or extension of the house like the garage) can benefit from an extra seal of protection, especially when the flooring needs to be hardy. Many of our customers love the difference epoxy makes on their laundry rooms, kitchens and bathrooms. Epoxy is well-loved in the garage, whether it be residential or commercial automotive, for the ways in which it can withstand heat, oil spills and a plethora of caustic chemicals.
Q: Benefits of epoxy flooring?
A: Because of epoxy’s durable and protective properties, the appearance of epoxy will last for years — certainly longer than any tile, carpet or wood flooring will last. After the initial installation, your epoxy won’t need any maintenance for quite some time. In low traffic areas, epoxy flooring can last anywhere from 20 to 30 years! If you’re in search of something low maintenance, epoxy flooring is your best bet. For basements, garages, laundry rooms, kitchens and bathrooms, epoxy is well-loved by the people who choose it for their homes.
Not only is epoxy flooring durable, it can be beautiful as well! Epoxy is entirely customizable, meaning the sky’s the limit when it comes to design possibilities. Whether you’ve been yearning for a granite or marble floor and that just isn’t in the budget or you have an idea that you haven’t seen created anywhere else, epoxy flooring is the perfect solution for you.
Epoxy resin flooring isn’t actually a flooring, it’s a sealant. This means that it protects existing flooring, whether that be concrete, wood or other materials. When laid over this pre-existing flooring, it lasts longer because of the membrane-like coating bonds to the top of the flooring it’s laid over. This keeps concrete from wearing down, cracking or crumbling. The look of the flooring underneath can be kept by utilizing a clear coat or the pre-existing flooring can be totally transformed through use of metallic epoxy flakes and epoxy paint.
Q: Disadvantages of epoxy floor?
A: Perhaps one of the most noticeable disadvantages of epoxy flooring is the smell.
As soon as you begin installing epoxy you’ll notice a strong, toxic smell while the epoxy is wet and in the curing process. The smell is something similar to ammonia and can be choking, which is why many people choose to hire our team of trusted contractors at Cleveland Epoxy Flooring. Commonly, those near them experience side effects such as inflammation of the nose, eyes, throat and lung irritation. Additionally, those with asthma are likely to have trouble breathing. Once fully cured however, epoxy’s toxic fumes fade and no longer pose a health risk.
Another disadvantage of epoxy is that it is not a flooring on it’s own. It’s a protective floor coating that can be applied over existing floors like concrete or wood, to name just a few. Epoxy can be applied over whatever existing flooring type you have. Good news is that epoxy can last up to 20 to 30 years. Once the protective seal wears away, which will be some time after installation, a new layer of epoxy will need to be applied.
One very large disadvantage of epoxy flooring is that it is slippery when wet — which obviously has the potential to be a huge hazard. Those with children and elderly household members should consider this when deciding whether to install epoxy flooring. Fortunately, there are additional measures that can be taken to lessen the slip of epoxy floors. Some of these solutions include using silica sand when installing the final coat of epoxy to add resistance, adding an aluminum oxide additive to the epoxy for maximum grip or adding shark grip to the final coat.
We’ll leave you with this final disadvantage of epoxy flooring: Once installed, there’s a difficult, tedious removal process which includes grinding the floor and comes at a steep price. Many home and business owners don’t keep an industrial grinder in the back, which means you’ll have to hire a team of contractors to remove your existing epoxy. Hiring contractors is a great investment, however, as you’ll need to make certain you don’t damage the concrete underneath, otherwise you’ll have to pour a new concrete floor as well.
While these disadvantages obviously aren’t ideal, the good news is that a properly maintained epoxy floor should last a lifetime.
Q: How many coats of epoxy on the garage floor?
A: When installing an epoxy floor, the installation process should include at least two coats of epoxy flooring.
While it may be tempting to apply just one coat after all the hard work you’ve put into just getting the first layer of epoxy down, you’ve already put in enough time to make adding just one more coat of epoxy worth it. For longevity and durability, two coats of epoxy is your best bet.
Ideally, you’ll wait 24 hr + to apply the second coat of epoxy. For further durability, consider adding a third, even fourth coat of epoxy. Remember, the effort you put in now will pay off as far as longevity goes.
Besides longevity, a second or third coat offers the opportunity to seal and fix any mistakes you’ve made during the first coat, which may include scratches or nicks. Ultimately, however, an additional coat of epoxy allows the opportunity to build up the surface to make it thicker and more durable.
Q: When can you drive on an epoxy floor?
A: Once the final coat of epoxy has been applied, it’s best to wait three days before allowing a vehicle into the garage. While epoxy can be driven on safely at this point, full curing of epoxy doesn’t occur until two weeks after epoxy has been installed.
Epoxy resin is pressure sensitive during the first 48 hours of application, meaning driving on your new epoxy floor during this time will misshape it. While typically the time period in which you can park on your new epoxy driveway or garage depends on the vehicle and type of epoxy you’re using, we find it best to advise that no one, no matter the type of vehicle they are driving, drive on newly applied epoxy for three days. However, if you drive a larger vehicle, like an SUV or truck for instance, it’s best to wait five days before you drive on an epoxy floor.