Problems With Epoxy Flooring & How To Avoid Them
Epoxy coatings provide a beautiful looking floor that is durable, protects the concrete and is waterproof. When working with “breathing” concrete and chemically reactive resins contractors need to control many aspects of the environment to prevent defects. However, potential problems can arise when working with improperly handled resins and epoxies. It is important to be able to ensure proper surface preparation, and proper handling of resins in order to deliver an incredible floor too.
Concrete Floor Evaluation
The first and most important step to ensure quality results is by thoroughly evaluating the concrete slab we are working with. Concrete is porous and is a breathing living thing. Before starting a coating project Concrete Fusion will determine the concrete moisture levels, potential laitance issues, and the robustness of the foundation. Chemicals inside the concrete (hardeners, sealers, curers) must be identified and removed and weak concrete needs to addressed before we coat anything. Failure to properly assess the concrete slab results in poor adhesion and since no 2 floors are the same choosing an experienced contractor helps evaluate all kinds of floors.
Before we get into potential issues with coating concrete there are many factors that determine what type of resinous mixture to use. Every floor can present challenges – by choosing an experienced contractor they will prevent or remedy problems for quality results.
Considerations When Choosing A Flooring System
- Installation time
- Volatile organic compounds (VOC/odour)
- Exposure to chemicals
- Impact resistance
- Anti-slip friction
- Thermal range
- Ambient light reflection
- Environmental conditions during installation
Common Problems, Causes and Fixes When Concrete Coatings Are Installed Improperly
Bubbles can appear as tiny dots or larger in a small localized area across the entire floor. To fix bubbling epoxy the affected area is sanded and cleaned and then recoated. Bubbles can be caused by;
- Improper mixing of the A/B resins
- Applying the coating with the wrong brush or technique
- Epoxy cures too fast (environment is too hot) preventing the air from escaping
When the temperature outside the concrete is greater than the concrete the air trapped inside the foundation expands leaving a hole in the concrete and scar on the coated layer. Prevention of outgassing is mitigated by checking the temperature and humidity of the environment and installing when appropriate or by using a water-based product. To fix outgassing damage the area is sanded, repaired and recoated.
Peeling Top Coat & Poor Adhesion
Contaminants (air, dirt, dust, chemicals) in the concrete or previous layer of coating will result in poor adhesion. Proper surface preparation must be completed before any coatings are applied. Applying a secondary coat too soon also results in poor adhesion. Installing coatings when the ambient temperature is too low will result in poor adhesion (follow manufacturers directions). To repair areas with poor adhesion the surface should be shot blasted or sanded and recoated.
Floor is Sticky
This is often a result of installing coatings when the temperature is too low and materials cannot fully cure. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and specifications when installing concrete coatings. Removing any soft spots with wet towels, prepare the surface again ensuring a clean and contaminant free surface and recoat.
Greasy Film on Surface
The greasy surface is known as amine blush and is a result of environmental factors like too much moisture and CO2 in the air. Often result of installing floors in cold areas that use heaters to increase the ambient temperature. To remedy the problem use hot water and detergent to scrub the floor clean prior to installing the following coat.
Blisters are caused by moisture vapour transmission. Concrete that hasn’t had enough time to cure releases gas as it dries. Prior to doing coatings, your contractor should test the concrete to determine how much gas is still escaping. Blistering is a serious problem and the entire coating system must be removed to allow the moisture to escape.
Colour Uniformity Issues
Colour issues are either caused by improper mixing or by using epoxies that are from different batches. By resurfacing the floor, cleaning, priming and recoating the colour can be restored to a uniform appearance.
Hire Professional Ottawa Concrete Finishers For Professional & Long Lasting Results
Our coating systems require the installers to pay attention to fine details and evaluate the surface it’s being applied to. By understanding the causes and symptoms listed here you can have a better idea of what is required to achieve the desired results. Concrete Fusion floors are guaranteed. Hiring us reduces any headaches caused by improper concrete evaluation or epoxy installation. For professional results hire an experienced and professional team for your next project.