floor epoxy


Wait before you park on new epoxy floor

HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO WAIT BEFORE I PARK MY CAR ON MY NEW EPOXY FLOOR?

epoxy flooringThis is a common question that has a few different answers. It depends on what type of vehicle you will be parking on your new epoxy floor and what type of epoxy paint you used. You normally have to wait a few days before parking any vehicle on a newly coated floor. The reason being is that although the epoxy will be dry to the touch in about 8-10 hours the chemical curing process is still going on.

Technically speaking the molecular cross linking is still occurring and as time goes on the cross links get tighter which means the coating is getting stronger and harder.

Depending on temperature and humidity we recommend you keep standard size vehicles off your floor for at least 3 days. Larger vehicles and SUVs should stay off 4 days. Heavy commercial vehicles should stay off for 5 days.

If downtime is critical we do make our Ultra Fast Drying military grade epoxy flooring system that lets you paint and be back in service, the next day! Although this coating is costlier to purchase, it can save you considerable sums of money from not having to shut your operations down for more than 24 hours.

So depending on what your needs are, what kind of vehicle you have, what the temperature is and what kind of epoxy you’ve applied it will all play a factor in when you can start driving a vehicle over your newly epoxy painted floor. If you can wait an extra day, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You can also always contact us for our advice when it comes to questions about your floor.


Bubbles in my Epoxy

Although today it’s extremely rare that you get bubbles in the epoxy such as these in the images below. But it can happen so we need to talk about why it can happen and what you need to do to fix it. The bubbles will usually show up the next morning when you’re ready to apply the next coating.

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Although this condition rarely happens these days, it used to happen more frequently cause in the old days lots of floors were not installed with vapor barriers.  All fairly new floors have vapor barriers. Some floors installed prior to 1980 may not have had a vapor barrier installed. If you have a 30 or 40 year old floor it’s a good idea to do a moisture test BEFORE you order an epoxy floor kit. A simple way to do that is to tape down a 3×3 or 4×4 square foot piece of plastic and seal it all around with some good duct tape like Gorilla Tape. Let it sit for 24-48hrs and then remove the plastic to see if any moisture has accumulated underneath. If no moisture is present you’re good to go, if there is moisture take a picture and send it to us. We have products that can deal with moisture but moisture issues need extra consideration. Please note that moisture that gets on the floor from above is of no concern, we are only concerned with moisture coming up from below the slab.

The next reason you can get bubbles is by mixing the epoxy with a drill at full speed. This will whip air into the epoxy which will then have to escape during the curing process causing bubbles and other deformations to occur in the epoxy.  This is easy to avoid and really never happens,  just using medium speed on the drill will prevent this problem.

The next reason is applying the epoxy in direct hot sunlight.  This can happen but again it’s easily avoided(who wants to work in direct sun on a 100 degree day!). On a very hot day lets say above 95 with direct sun hitting the floor, the epoxy will start to cure extra fast making it difficult to work with in a short period of time.  Remember our epoxy is military grade pure epoxy, it’s not your typical water based or store bought epoxy. Our epoxy cures via catalytic reaction and is not an air cure. This means that while curing it generates heat and the more heat the faster it cures. So you don’t want to be adding extra heat like direct sun on a 100 degree day. Direct sun on cooler days is fine.  So just a little precaution will prevent too rapid a cure that will trap in air.  Bubbles can form from a few hours to a few months after application.  The good news is they are easily avoided by a simple moisture test if a moisture issue is suspected, don’t mix the epoxy with the drill at super high speed and close the door if you have to apply the epoxy with direct sunlight baking the floor on a very hot days above 95.

What do you do in the event of bubbles in the epoxy? Very simple as long as it’s not due to moisture vapor coming up through the slab. Hopefully you read this article  and did a moisture test first. Which means most likely you mixed the epoxy at full speed or you were rolling super fast and you whipped some air into the coating. No big deal! Don’t panic. Simply cut off the bubbles, lightly sand with 100-150 grit paper and reapply a little more epoxy. Make sure you apply the topcoat to all other areas right away and then topcoat the bubbled area when the new epoxy cures. Problem solved and more importantly problem avoided!

 


Epoxy Not Hardening

Flooring Epoxy

So you’ve done all the prep work right you mixed and applied the epoxy per the instructions and everything looked great when you were done! Then the next morning when you come back to apply the topcoat you discover for some reasons you have the following issue.

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The above two images are of small epoxy spots that didn’t harden. This happens when not enough Part B was mixed into a batch or a batch was not mixed good enough and some Part A didn’t mix with enough part B. If this happens to you don’t feel bad it happens to our guys sometimes when they get in a hurry to finish a job. The good news is this is very easy to fix. Sometimes if you have some part B leftover you can rub some into the spot and it will hardened in 6-8 hrs. If that doesn’t work simply scrape up the soft epoxy, wipe down the area with Xylene(Home Depot) as best you can. You don’t have to get down to bare concrete, just scrape and wipe off as much of the epoxy as you can and then reapply some new epoxy to that area.  We would also lightly sand the perimeter of the epoxy on the floor so that you can lightly overlap the new epoxy onto the cured epoxy.

Also if this happens we want you to apply the topcoat to the rest of the floor, do not wait because of this minor issue. You will apply the topcoat to the new epoxy after it dries and again you will lightly sand the perimeter of the topcoat on the floor and lightly overlap it with the new coat of topcoat. Problem solved.  When this happens it’s a concern but don’t panic. The coating is not defective. The epoxy can’t cure in some places and not others. It’s either all bad or not bad at all.It is extremely rare that you would ever get a bad set of epoxy that won’t cure. We test every batch of epoxy for curing, adhesion and hardness before it goes into inventory.

The best way to avoid this from happening is to have one person do all the mixing and use clear calibrated mixing containers to measure out the part A and part B amounts accurately. These containers can be bought at Home Depot and such for 99 cents. Get the 100+ ounce size containers. With only one person mixing and using measuring containers you’ll never run into this problem. The only other way this can happen is if you’re doing the floor during the colder months and you have a cold spot in the floor usually by a door or wall. Putting some heat in that area will solve the problem most times, if not follow the above procedure. Remembering to apply the topcoat right away but not on any epoxy that is not rock hard. If you can make an indent in the epoxy with your finger nail it means the epoxy isn’t fully cured.