commercial epoxy flooring


How Commercial Floor Epoxy Creates a Brighter Cleaner Work Space

Brighter and Cleaner work space with Commercial Floor Epoxy

In any industry there are certain demands that need to be met, many of which can be knocked out by using the right commercial epoxy floor paint. In your commercial work space you’re going to need to make sure you meet the following standards:

  • Cleanliness
  • Safety
  • Aesthetics

These three standards are easily met with good commercial epoxy floor coating for a few reasons. Let’s take a look at the benefits a good epoxy coating can provide and how it will help your productivity in both the long term and the short.

What is Epoxy Flooring?

To put it in layman’s terms epoxy flooring is a coat of paint. To expand on it a little further, it is usually multi layers of two part coatings designed for your commercial floor, capable of not only withstanding impacts, but also preserving the integrity of the surface for the foreseeable future. Epoxy coatings are many grades superior to conventional paints.

Cleanliness – This is a huge factor in commercial epoxy paint as your floor will be able to withstand chemical spills in addition to making for an easy cleanup. If you want to clean your epoxy floor, all you need is a mop and a bucket of soapy water. In contrast, with a typical concrete floor, you’d probably find yourself breaking out the industrial cleaners and making a complete mess. With epoxy coatings on your floor that doesn’t have to be the case!

SafetyIn any industry there are going to be safety issues, whether they come from the machines you operate, the products you handle, or the environment itself. With so many potential problems, one that you don’t want to deal with, is your floor. Epoxy not only looks good, it is anti-slip, providing a high friction surface for the most demanding of industrial applications. As you traverse the factory floor, carrying heavy equipment or simply going about your everyday routine, you want to make sure you aren’t falling, or even causing others to fall. This comes right back to the cleanliness factor; your ability to keep the floor clean with little to no effort will contribute greatly to the safety of the work environment.

AestheticsWhen it comes to commercial epoxy paint we really cannot say enough about the aesthetics. First of all, you’re going to find that the majority of commercial organizations, (aircraft hangars especially) tend to use bright white epoxy. Why exactly? Because the white flooring actually amplifies the light that is cast upon it. With a bank of high end fluorescent lights hanging overhead, your floor will be extremely reflective and it will once again be safer. With the provided reflection it will be easier to work underneath vehicles and other pieces of equipment, giving you a clear line of sight and the ability to be much more productive. Not to mention it is just simply gorgeous!

Armor GarageOf course, the aesthetic benefits don’t have to end here. One of the most common applications for epoxy flooring as of late has been to color code the floors. While it would always be beneficial to paint the entire floor white, you can still get the same brightness properties from different colored floors such as light gray or off white. That being said, a very popular technique is to paint different sections of your establishment using different colors to designate various areas by painting the floor one color, and stripping it, or by using a different color topcoat over the basecoat. This is a great way to promote a better flow of work in your commercial establishment, and a great way to keep organized and highlight safety or hazardous areas.

Overall, commercial epoxy floor coating is an outstanding method of keeping your floors protected, and it is also great for making sure that your establishment remains free of contaminants and other problems that could potentially damage the product or even make your employees ill. Concrete is always the preferred surface in any commercial situation, but sometimes it needs a little bit of help, and that’s where a little bit of epoxy can go a long way.

 


Commercial Epoxy Flooring Care and Maintenance

Commercial Epoxy Flooring Care and Maintenance

Commercial Epoxy FlooringIf you’ve been considering installing commercial epoxy flooring then you’re making a great decision. There are many benefits to this type of flooring, mainly the fact that it will keep your garage, work space or warehouse protected. Whether you are going for commercial, residential, or perhaps even an industrial grade epoxy floor coating, you can be rest assured that the right epoxy will take damage long before your concrete floor does, and you can even ensure that it will not be affected by heavy drops, high traffic abrasions, or other trauma that a floor might suffer. In addition to that, you can purchase epoxy that will flex and move with changing temperatures and expansion, among other things. That being said, epoxy can be one of the most beneficial investments that you could possibly make for your garage, shop or business.

This installation is not an apply and forget type of thing there are certain maintenance routines that you will need to undertake to ensure your epoxy floor lasts and looks new for as look as possible. Below, we are going to cover some of the habits that you should be developing early on if you want to get the maximum potential from your commercial epoxy floor paint.

Taking Care of Spills

Spills are going to happen, whether it’s a glass of water, a quart of oil, or a container of glue. It’s not something that you can stop, no matter how careful you are. If you find that you have spilled something, you simply need to wipe it up with as soon as possible, at least if the spill consists of a caustic material. In some cases you may need to go to  greater lengths, such as using a cleaning solution such as Simple Green or simply a pressure washer depending on the severity and nature of the spill. Don’t worry, your epoxy floor can handle just about any type of mess. A good quality topcoat can handle any vehicle fluids and even some nasty acids. If you spill Brake Cleaner or Battery acid on your epoxy don’t let it sit there for days before you clean it up. That type of neglect will lead to the discoloration of your nice high gloss finish. In other words take care of your epoxy floor and it will stay looking new for years.

Cleaning of a Less Dramatic Nature

Sometimes cleaning is a bit less dramatic and a bit more routine to put it lightly. In most cases you’ll simply need to use a paper towel or garden hose to do your cleaning, or you could use a commercial dust mop. If your floor has gotten really dirty, feel free to use a hard foam mop or squeegee along with a clear ammonia or Simple Green. Generally you should use four ounces per gallon of water to execute your cleaning plan – it doesn’t take much at all. You should never have to use harsh chemicals.

Something important to note after cleaning, is that many compounds might leave a hazy film on epoxy floors. Fortunately, this is not permanent, and can easily be cleaned using hot water along with a brush or mop. As always, use a sponge mop for easier cleaning as well as better control over the liquid used during the cleaning process.

A word about Abrasives in your effort to clean your commercial epoxy flooring you should do your best to avoid using abrasive materials. For example, Comet, while probably effective, will eventually become far too effective and may in fact eat away at the floor. If you’ve applied a true commercial urethane topcoat everything should clean up without the need of harsh solvents or abrasive cleaners. In addition to that, you will want to avoid the following:

  • Citrus Cleaners
  • Vinegar
  • Soap-Based Cleaners

The first two on this list are probably obvious as you should never use an acid based cleaners on epoxy, even if it has a topcoat, but the last one might seem a bit odd. Believe it or not, we only include it on this list for safety reasons; certain kinds of soaps can leave a film on your floor, thereby making it slippery and potentially dangerous to yourself as well as your employees. We supply a nonslip additive with all our epoxy floor kits so that you do not have this hazard. If you do find that your floor is becoming slippery for any reason, it is strongly recommended that you place a walk-off mat on any entry door to prevent water being tracked into the facility.

Consider Removing/ Cleaning Buildup Before you Replace or Recoat Your Floor

One of the most important things that you must realize when it comes to these floors is that more often than not, you will find that a dulled coat is usually the result of Build Up. Many of the above cleaning methods will help you to get rid of that buildup and return your floor to its normal, beautiful shine. Believe it or not, many of the service calls to epoxy companies regarding worn out floors are simply a case of buildup, which is something that can happen very easily over the years. It might not sound incredibly likely, but no matter how hard you try, there is always a good chance that your floor will end up with a residue of SOME type. After all, if you are running a warehouse, you cannot watch all of your employees at the same time, and there is no telling what spills or scuffs might occur. Don’t worry, most of these things can be resolved with a little bit of elbow grease, or even a pressure washer if you feel so inclined. In the end, commercial epoxy floor coating is very strong but it is not indestructible. Should your regular maintenance fail, and the floor becomes damaged, call Armor Garage for repair advice and a touch up kit. Your floor can take a lot of punishment, but sometimes you just need more help, that’s what we’re here for.


The Most Common Mistakes Made When installing Epoxy Flooring

Installing Garage Epoxy Flooring

When it comes to garage flooring epoxy there are several mistakes that could be made, but we are going to split them into two categories: Technical and Outright Blunders. The idea behind installing epoxy in garage, warehouse, home, or workshop, of course, is to make sure that the floor does not become damaged for any reason and to add a beautiful high gloss finish that you can be proud of. Before you can get to that point, you need to make sure that you are using the right product and performing the installation properly, which is sometimes easier said than done. Let’s start with some of the more obvious mistakes and then move on to the steps you can take to prevent them.

Technical Mistakes to Watch out For

The biggest technical mistake that you can make when you’re in the process of installing your new epoxy floor is choosing an epoxy mix that doesn’t actually match what you are doing. What do we mean by this exactly? Well, consider that the lowest form of epoxy is water based, and there is a good chance that it does not have a very high abrasion rating. The abrasion rating determines how much abuse the floor in question can take before it needs to be replaced or at the very least re-coated.

When you are buying your epoxy, take a look at the technical specifications first and see what the abrasion rating is. The lower the number, the better the floor will be protected. Yes, this might sound a bit backward, but it is the truth in this case.

The technical specifications will generally display the following attributes:

Solids content – Percent of Solids remaining following the curing of content, the higher the better. With 100% being the best an Aliphatic epoxies being the best 100% solids epoxies available.

Volatile Organic Contents – This goes toward the idea of eco-friendliness in garage epoxy flooring. It involves the number of Volatile Organic Compounds that are released into the environment as the coat/sealer dries. Some states now require that any epoxy sold must be Low VOC. Low VOC epoxies are also good for areas where odor would be a problem. Being Low VOC means that fewer chemicals/solvents are released into the air and therefore less odor.

Abrasion Resistance – Once again we have the abrasion resistance which is determined by the Taber CS-17. This test involves an abrasive plate being mounted to a turntable and weighted at 1000 grams. The industry standard for this test is 500 cycles and all removed coating is recovered via a vacuum system for maximum accuracy. The coating loss is measured in milligrams, and the lower the number, the more durable the coating. Note that most epoxy coatings generally have a loss range of 20-45, a heavy duty topcoat for residential use should have a loss rating of no more than 20. For commercial or industrial applications a rating of no more than 4-8 should be used. Many so called heavy duty or industrial epoxies have very high abrasion ratings of 25 and higher which means if you don’t check the ratings prior to purchase you will be wasting your time and money. Keep in mind that abrasion ratings are like the Richter scale and that each mg less in the abrasion loss rating is exponential.

Adhesion – This is exemplified in Pounds per Square Inch, showing how much force is needed to remove the coating from the surface. Any rating below 350 PSI generally means that the coating can be removed, a good epoxy should have an adhesion rating of 375psi – 450psi. This is means on a properly prepared surface the epoxy should not be able to be separated from the concrete.

Chemical Resistance – Determines how well the floor is able to stand up to corrosives and acids that can leak from your vehicle or from the type of work you may be doing on the floor. Epoxies provide some protection from acids and caustic chemicals but a properly done epoxy flooring job will have a high quality urethane topcoat applied over the epoxy which provides substantially more protection against chemicals and acids.

A note here, an epoxy is not a topcoat and can never be made into a topcoat by simply adding in so called additives. This is just a way some companies try to cut corners because they don’t or can’t make a true urethane based topcoat.

Failing to pay attention to these important facts can result in serious problems, so make sure you read the performance specifications of the epoxy you are considering to buy and if you don’t understand any of it, call and ask questions.

The More Common Blunders

There are many mistakes that can be made during the installation of garage epoxy flooring as we are sure you are aware, but we have cut it down to just a few for the sake of expedience.

Failing to Prepare your Floor

Your floor most definitely needs to be prepared if you are to complete the installation properly. You need to do more than just move everything out of the way; you need to make sure that you have scrubbed the floor, power washing prior to acid etching to remove all dirt and debris is always recommended, and most importantly make sure that when you’re done with the preparation process that your floor is completely clean and 100% dry. If not it’s recommended that you etch the floor a second time and scrub in a perpendicular direction to the first etching to ensure you clean any small missed spots from the first etching. A small spot you might have missed will usually at some point in the future result in what we call a pop. It’s a small spot that just seems to pop off the floor. This is not the fault of the epoxy but simply a result of a little dirt or moisture left in the floor after you prepped it. Not something to freak out about,  you can just sand the area clean and apply some touch up epoxy to fix the problem.

Failing to Check for Moisture

Always make sure that your concrete is dry before you try to apply epoxy; we cannot stress this enough. The garage flooring epoxy will not adhere to a wet surface, either from moisture coming up through the slab or leftover moisture from cleaning. before considering applying an epoxy to your floor, tape down a piece of 3′ x 3′ plastic to your floor with a good duct tape making sure all edges are sealed 100%. Let sit for 2-3 days and then see if any moisture has accumulated underneath. No moisture means you’re good to go. The presence of moisture means you need to take an extra step such as applying a moisture sealing epoxy primer.

After cleaning it’s recommended to wait a minimum of 24hrs to let the floor dry properly, 48 hrs may be needed depending on temperature and humidity. Always better to allow extra dry time to be safe. Just a note for clarification purposes. Once your floor has been epoxied it is waterproof and no amount of water hitting the surface of it can harm it. It’s only water and or moisture coming up through the slab that is the problem.

Trying to Stretch it Out

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is to try stretching out your epoxy when you are running low. If you think you’re running low work your way to a corner so that you run out at the corner, then order more product to fill in the corner. If you are top coating, apply the topcoat once the epoxy has dried but stay back 6″ from the edge of the unfinished epoxy so that when you apply the new epoxy to the unfinished area you can lightly overlap that epoxy edge to blend in. Then apply the topcoat and overlap lightly onto the previously applied topcoat. We recommend that you lightly sand a strip of the topcoat with 100 grit paper to rough up, this will ensure that the overlap topcoat area bonds properly.

If you do try to stretch it out, it might be thinner in some areas, causing it to be different shades and less glossy in some areas. In the end, it will completely defeat the purpose.

Bad Mixing Practices

Don’t mix too fast! There’s no rush! If you mix too quickly, you will usually end up with air bubbles in your mixture which will translate to the surface that you are applying it to. Additionally, make sure that you are paying attention to the ratios and mixing everything properly. it’s important to follow the directions of your particular epoxy. High quality epoxies will stress not to mix all the epoxy at once. Since high quality epoxies cure via chemical reaction and not air drying which means the more you mix the more chemical reaction you get and it could cause the epoxy to cure rock hard in the bucket in about 5-10 minutes. Also it’s a good idea that after mixing a small batch is to pour it out onto the floor in a bead. The cooler floor temp will slow down the curing process. We recommend that you mix no more than 1 gallon per person rolling.

These are just a few of the big mistakes you might find yourself making when you are dealing with epoxy. Remember, garage flooring epoxy can be an amazing innovation for your garage, warehouse, home, or shop, but you need to make sure that it is done correctly. Our expert Reps are always on hand to help you do it right.