Epoxy is one of the most versatile flooring solutions for all sorts of commercial, industrial, educational, and healthcare facilities, and it can be tailored to many different types of conditions and needs.
Epoxy’s Strength Comes from Its Chemical Bond
An epoxy coating is made up of two parts – a polyepoxide resin and a curative. They are mixed immediately before they are applied to your floor, and the resulting reaction causes them to chemically bond to one another and to the floor itself. This makes for a coating that is stronger than the sum of its parts. Epoxy is extremely durable and won’t peel or chip away from the flooring surface – that is, as long as it was cleaned and prepared properly beforehand.
Epoxy flooring can be installed on different surfaces
Unlike most flooring options, epoxy flooring can be installed on nearly all types of surfaces. This means you could get your epoxy flooring installed on steel, on concrete, and on other types of substrate
Surface Prep Is the Most Important Part
One of the worst culprits is moisture. High humidity or vapor permeating the concrete flooring can prevent the adhesive bonds from forming while severely slowing the curing process. This is why it’s vital to get a professional moisture test done first and have any problems dealt with before applying an epoxy.
Epoxy flooring can withstand heavy traffic
If you are in need of a heavy-duty floor, epoxy flooring is the right choice for you. It can withstand heavy traffic and machinery, so it can be the perfect flooring for garages, factories, warehouses, and airplane hangars.
Epoxy flooring is almost impermeable
The molecules of epoxy resins are cross-linked, which makes epoxy flooring almost completely impermeable. This means epoxy flooring can resist air and water intrusion, and it won’t get damaged by corrosive materials.
Curing Takes Time
Epoxy appears to “set” quite quickly, but just because it appears hard does not mean it is ready. It takes a minimum of 18 – 24 hours before it can be safely walked upon. Complete curing, where epoxy takes on its final form and hardness, can take as long as 30 days.
Cooler temperatures slow this process. In fact, application in temperatures under 60 °F is not recommended since curing takes far too long and can create problems.
Many colors of epoxy flooring are available
If you want an easy way to add some color to your facilities, you should know that epoxy flooring can be tinted in almost any color. You will be able to choose the color you want, with a beautiful glossy finish.
Epoxy Can Be Used Outdoors
Epoxy combined with a gravel-like aggregate can create durable, attractive, outdoor-ready surfaces. The end product looks like a rice crispy treat, with hard gravel or pebbles stuck together by an epoxy adhesive. Do be aware that direct sunlight exposure can cause chemical reactions in epoxy floors that make them appear to turn yellow or develop a “chalky” quality within the surface layer. You can avoid this problem by choosing to apply a UV-resistant coating, or simply limiting the surface’s exposure to direct light.
You Get What You Pay For
Cheaper epoxies have as little as 30% to 40% solids by volume, meaning that once the product dries you are left with 40 percent or less thickness. Professional products are typically 90% to 100% solids by volume, leaving you with a better final product, and more of it.
You also don’t want to skimp on labor costs. While a DIY approach to epoxy may work for your home garage, there’s too much at stake when you’re dealing with your business’ floors. It pays to hire an experienced crew to install your epoxy floor in order to avoid costly errors or a final product that doesn’t look quite right.
Epoxy flooring is resistant to chemical attacks
Because of its chemical composition, epoxy flooring is also resistant to chemical attacks. This quality makes it the perfect flooring for factories and manufacturing facilities where chemical products could be spilled accidentally.
Epoxy resins can be combined with other materials
Some types of epoxy coatings can contain pigments that allow them to act as an effective fire retardant. If fire or high temperatures are a concern for you, make sure the type of epoxy flooring you choose has fire-retardant properties.