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Three Essential Guidelines for Preparing Concrete for Epoxy Coatings

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Epoxy coatings are highly beneficial for concrete floors. In general, these coatings are colourful and perfect for improving the appearance of dull concrete surfaces. The epoxy is resistant to chemical degradation and will prevent damage to the floors by oil spills. The protective layer will also reinforce the mechanical strength of the concrete surface. Therefore, the rate of wear will be reduced, especially in high impact environments. However, you should remember that performance of the coating will depend on the application of the protective product. If you are using epoxy coatings for the first time, you should consider these simple preparation guidelines for optimal performance and durability.  

Allow the Concrete to Cure

If you are planning on applying epoxy on your new concrete surface, you should ensure that the concrete is cured before proceeding. You cannot afford to use the protective layer when the concrete is not completely stabilised. Simply speaking, concrete tends to shrink and shift as it dries after pouring. This process can be attributed to the loss of moisture during the curing process. If you apply the epoxy coating while the concrete is still shrinking, the layer will fail prematurely. Moreover, the coating will not adhere due to the moisture in the concrete. The waiting period will depend on factors such as season, local climate and type of concrete mix. For the best results, you should consult your concrete contractor or painter for guidance.

Remove Old Coatings

You should not apply an epoxy coat on your old concrete surface if there is an old coating on the flooring or pavement. This precaution is particularly critical if a sealer was used to protect the concrete surface in the past. Sealing products are designed to protect the concrete from fluid penetration because the material is porous. Unfortunately, this means that the sealed surface will also repel epoxy coatings, preventing ideal adhering of the new layer. If you proceed without removal, you will see the premature failure of the epoxy. Under ideal circumstances, you should use abrasive blasting to eliminate the old coatings for perfect adherence.

Repair Cracks

You should repair the cracks in your concrete flooring or pavement for the best performance of the epoxy coating. It is not uncommon for concrete to have fractures due to long-term use and mechanical stress. However, epoxy will not seal the damage or improve the appearance of the cracks. Therefore, you should clean out the fissure and fill it with an appropriate compound. Once the surface is stabilised, you can apply the epoxy.