Floor Surface Preparation for Epoxy Coatings by Jimmy McGhee

Having an epoxy floor coating can add amazing depth to your home as well as protect it from chemicals that would otherwise ruin the concrete in your garage floor. There are several things to understand when talking about epoxy coatings for concrete surfaces.  These tips should be utilized when working in residential, Commercial Flooring, and even Industrial Flooring jobs.  This week’s topic is floor preparation.

Floor preparation is one of the most important aspects when it comes to working with paint.  The importance of having a properly prepared area ranges from indoor house paint, automotive paint, aerospace coatings, and even epoxy floor coatings. Many professional painters will agree that the quality of the work depends entirely on the surface preparation.  Here are a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to preparation.


Proper Coating for Your Surface

DO: Know what type of epoxy coating is needed for the job.  It is essential to use the proper coating for the application that is needed.  Concrete coatings work well on concrete, while metal coatings have better adhesion on properly prepared metal surfaces.

DON’T: Use an epoxy floor coating to paint a canvas.  It does not matter how well you prepare the canvas; the epoxy coating is just not made for that type of use.


“Green” Concrete

DO: Know what floor coatings can be applied over fresh new concrete or concrete that has a high MVE (Moisture Vapor Emissions) with a moisture test kit.  Some epoxy floors require a higher build to prevent moisture vapor emissions from newly poured concrete or concrete that did not have a vapor barrier installed before the concrete was installed.

DON’T: Assume that all epoxy floor coatings are created equal. Some Epoxies have better adhesion to new concrete compared to others.  Make sure you choose the correct product and follow the recommendations.


Old Dirty Concrete

DO: Take the time to prepare the concrete correctly. This means that you have to degrease/clean and grind the entire floor to ensure the best adhesion that your epoxy coating has to offer.

DON’T: Simply wipe away dirt with a wet mop. Oil and contaminants can cause chemical and aesthetic damage to the epoxy coating during and even after the coating has cured do not take any short-cuts.


Chips, Cracks, and Divots

DO: Repair any areas of damage prior to applying the epoxy coating.  The high gloss from the coatings can amplify any imperfections.

DON’T: Attempt to fill in the damaged areas with the epoxy coating.  The areas need to be properly fixed with the correct products, and extra care needs to be taken when preparing those areas for an epoxy coating.