Archive for July, 2011

There are many epoxy flooring products on the market to choose from to finish a
garage, patio or basement concrete floor. Numerous do it yourself water based
products are available from big box stores or on line. Advertisements on TV or
the internet combined with a relatively low price and relative ease of use make
these products seem like an attractive solution for the home owner. However,
a product that fails or delaminates due to hot tire pick up may not be the most
cost effective solution when you factor in disappointment along with the cost of
removing or replacing these products in a few short years.

Preparation of the concrete floor is key to a durable and long lasting finish.
Many products purchased on line or at home centres recommend acid etching
the concrete floor prior to the application of the epoxy. The problem with acid
etching is two fold. First, the acid has to be applied and then washed off the
concrete. Flushing the acid onto the adjoining driveway can damage it or at a
minimum cause a colour change. Second, and more importantly, acid etching
does not remove the laitance or powdery top layer of the concrete and as a result
a weak bond will exist between the concrete and the epoxy. Please note, to
avoid lung damage and burns it is very important to wear the proper respirator,
eye protection and rubber gloves when working with muriatic acid!

As professionals we have the proper tools to prep your concrete floor. We
diamond grind the floor to open up the concrete so that the first coat of epoxy
sinks into the concrete creating a monolithic bond. The epoxy and the concrete
become one creating a very durable finish. Cracks in the floor are ground with a
v-shaped crack chaser and filled with a flexible epoxy filler. Any spalled or salt
damaged areas are prepped and filled with an epoxy slurry to level the floor.

Another problem with the products that can be purchased on line or at home
centres is that they are water based and typically contain only 50% solids. When
the water evaporates out of the product during the curing process the consumer
is left with a relatively thin layer or product that may not be all that durable and
long lasting.

The epoxy product that we use from Crown Polymers (www.crownpolymers.com)
is 100% solids and does not shrink when curing. With twice the film thickness
when cured this is a tough, durable product. Be aware that not all professional
grade products are the same. Some yellow when exposed to sunlight. We use a
Crown product that contains UV inhibitors and does not yellow.

In summary, for the homeowner tempted to try a do it yourself epoxy product, it is
important that the right epoxy is used along with proper preparation techniques to
avoid disappointment. Using an application contractor who has the knowledge,
tools and products to do the job right may in fact provide the best long term value.


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