Floor Prep Before Applying Epoxy
The first step before applying any epoxy coating is to prep the floor. It is imperative that you clean your floor thoroughly. When working on a concrete base you should look to fill in any cracks, hairline fractures, joints, and divots that may be exposed. Epoxies as a general rule will not ‘fix’ a floor so any issues such as small holes, cracks, and dings in the floor should be filled in or repaired first. Even 100% solids high build coatings will ‘telegraph’ surface irregularities if not repaired first. Preparing the floor, repairing it, and coating it is the steps we recommend. Degrease the floor and remove oil spots. The reason for this is that repair materials will adhere better to a prepped floor.
1. Acid Etching
The first is acid etching. This technique is the most D.I.Y. option, as other techniques require machinery and can be tricky to use if not accustomed to this type of work. Acid etching works well when there has been a new concrete pour and there are no pre-existing coatings to remove. The floor should be mechanically prepped if there are pre-existing coatings, as acid etching will not work; etching only works on bare concrete.
First, you need to remove any grease or oil stains. Use a commercially available degreaser and follow the directions accordingly. If you are unable to remove the oil stains, it’s best to use our Oil Stop Primer which can adhere to concrete with residual petroleum products embedded. Apply the diluted acid solution to your floor. Apply the acid solution evenly using a scrubber, stiff bristle broom, or a similar tool. Let the acid sit for up to 10 minutes so that it can take effect. The acid puts millions of microscopic textures into the floor to promote adhesion. Next, you have to remove the spent acid. After the floor has dried, power wash and vacuum it. Make sure to remove the residue before the acid dries. If you find that your floor is in very bad condition with oil and grease, you may want to consider mechanical preparation using diamond grinding.
2. Diamond Grinding
The second method for preparing your floor is diamond grinding. Prior to applying an epoxy coating, this method will smooth out your floor and remove surface contaminants.The diamond grinding method requires the use of machinery, however, it is quite easy to do. You will need a floor grinder with the proper attachments for your floor. You can smooth out the entire surface of your floor with a side-to-side swaying motion once the machine is turned on. After this is complete, vacuum heavily to clear away any residue left behind. Be sure to always keep the grinder in motion to avoid grinding circular rings and low spots into the floor. You will want to achieve a concrete surface profile of at least a 2. Please note that if you mechanically prep your floor it is mandatory to use the proper matching primer since grinding makes the floor very porous and if you don’t prime, you could end up with an uneven finish.
3. Shot Blasting
Shot blasting is the final method of preparing your floor. There are various styles for this technique but all require machinery to flatten out a surface. Some people prefer diamond grinding to this method, but both will get the job done. The machine will pelt tiny metallic beads into the floor to blast away any stains or damage to the base. The advantage of this, as opposed to diamond grinding and acid etching, is that there will most likely not be any residue left over, as the machine captures everything. On larger projects, this technique requires some skill. Shot blasting is not recommended for garage floors as it leaves lawnmower lines in the finish, so it is typically used for large commercial projects rather than garage floors. Floor preparation is the most important aspect of achieving a smooth and even outcome. Be sure to research your method of choice before and as always Elevated Home Improvement is here to answer any questions you have! After all of this is complete, you will be ready to apply your epoxy flooring!
Contact Elevated Home Improvement for all of your epoxy flooring needs! Contact here or at the phone number here 732-707-1395.