Epoxy Flooring (epoxy floor coating) can be applied over many different materials, including steel, concrete, and wood. However, concrete is the best surface for laying epoxy floors. Epoxy floor coating performance is directly affected by surface preparation. The integrity and the service life will be reduced significantly if the surface is improperly prepared. A proper surface preparation ensures epoxy coating adhesion to the substrate and prolongs the life of the epoxy coating system.
Basic steps for concrete surface preparation:
- Examine the Surface – The surface should be checked for barriers such as existing sealers, curing materials, grease, oil, efflorescence, and dirt that must be removed.
- Test the Concrete – A “water drop” test can be used to determine if a surface is clean.Note: New concrete must be cured at a suitable temperature for at least 28 days.
- Clean Uncoated Concrete – Remove any chemicals, oil, and grease from the concrete first.
- Previously Painted Surfaces – If the paint is peeling or degrading in any way, it should be completely removed.
- Repair Surface Defects – Remove any loose concrete, and clean and fill holes, cracks and other surface defects with an approved method.
- Shot blasting – Shot blasting is principally used to roughen horizontal surfaces in the preparation for the application of sealers, coatings, or polymer overlays.
- Diamond Grinding – This method may be used on horizontal surfaces to remove deposits or coatings, and to reduce or smooth a surface profile.
- Scarification – Scarifying is the rotary action of the cutters (toothed washers). It impacts the surface at a right angle to fracture or pulverize the top surface of the concrete to expose a clean, fresh surface.
- Acid etching – is the process of applying an acid solution to a concrete surface, allowing the acid to react with and ‘etch’ the concrete.Acid etching of concrete is an acceptable, but less popular method for commercial concrete surface preparation than shot blasting.