Epoxy floors are beautiful and strong but when they fail you can encounter all sorts of problems. Epoxy Floors can go wrong and there are specific reasons why they go wrong. Here are the top 7 reasons we found why Epoxy Floors fail:
1. Lack of Proper Preparation
This is most probably the biggest reason why epoxy floors fail and the number one reason that comes up again and again, If you want to coat and old surface with an Epoxy Coating, you need to make sure that the surface is ready to accept the coating. You need to grind the surface, you need to clean it, It must be dry and free of dust or any substances that could cause the epoxy to not properly bond with the surface. This is very Important.
Preparation is by far the most important step of applying an Epoxy Floor
Epoxy Products do not blend well with humidity. Make sure that the surface is completely dry, that no pipes or taps are dripping and that there are no moisture coming from below. If there are any moisture in the floor, the epoxy will fail.
3. Weak Substrate
If you add the High Quality Epoxy Product on top of a bad or weak substrate (cement) the epoxy will detach from the cement. In this case it is not the epoxy that fails but the cement that is failing, causing the epoxy to crack or lift.
4. No or weak Epoxy Primer
It is very important that you use the correct Primer with the Epoxy Coating or Epoxy Self Leveling layer. The Epoxy Primer should be thin and strong enough to penetrate the smallest holes on the cement to ensure a proper grip for the epoxy coating. The primer makes it possible for the adhesion to take place between the substrate (cement) and epoxy. The Primer will act as an intermediate that will ensure proper bonding between the cement and the epoxy.
Floors experience heavy wear and tear. Don’t just expect that the epoxy will be strong enough. If there is no proper bonding between the cement and the epoxy, the epoxy floor will fail.
5. Incompatible Surfaces
Make sure that the surface is both compatible with the epoxy in terms of adhesion and tensile strength. The Epoxy may not be compatible with the substrate. For example, you never coat wooden floors with epoxy. The reason for this is that wood is alive and it moves while tr Epoxy does not move. This will cause the Epoxy to break. Always ensure that whatever you put below the Epoxy has a strong tensile strength (like cement).
Don’t put your coating on anything that is flexible like wood, metal sheets or PVC linings.
6. Contaminated Floor Surfaces
This problem is found quite often in old installations like workshops, factories or workshops where they want to install an epoxy floor over a contaminated surface.
If the floor has been contaminated with oils, greases and different types of chemicals it will create a reaction with the Epoxy and no bonding will take place. It is very important to properly clean this surface or even add a layer of cement self leveling screed.
If you have a contaminated floor you will have to mill or grind it until you find a level in the concrete which is suitable to apply the epoxy.
7. Faulty Epoxy – Hardener mix
This is also a common problem which will allow the epoxy to never properly set. This means that the epoxy will stay soft and tacky. The Epoxy and Hardener comes in a two pack solution that needs to be mixed at a specific ratio. The mix is by weight and not by volume. Do not just assume that the contents of the pack is in the correct ratio. Always measure the content on a scale to the manufacturers recommendation.
Also make sure that you mix the product with a real electrical mixer. Mixing the Epoxy with a stick is not good enough. It has to be properly mixed for at least 3 – 4 minutes using an electrical drill with a paint mixer bit.