We often get asked if we can install epoxy coatings in bad weather. Indoor installations like kitchens and basements can be performed in the worst of weather. However, we can’t install an epoxy coating on a driveway or patio in a snow storm. But can an epoxy installation be performed, say in an open garage, in the cold, rain, wind or snow? The quick answer to this question is yes.
Inclement Weather Conditions
Unfavorable conditions include high humidity, extremely high or low temperatures, rain, snow and wind. We do install epoxy coatings under these conditions, but the right product types and right techniques must be used to ensure a successful application. (For a review of the different “epoxy” product types, refer to our blog titled “Epoxy Coating Product Types”)
Humidity and Temperature
The following are some “rules-of -thumb” when applying epoxy coatings in high humidity and high or low temperatures.
- Don’t use a water-borne hydro epoxy in extreme humidity for interior applications (basements) or in cold conditions (50˚F or lower). The cure rates are so slow that product durability may be an issue. These products tend to work best in high temperatures. If you must apply a hydro epoxy in a confined space like a basement, use fans to provide the necessary circulation.
- Conversely, high humidity has little effect on a 100% solids epoxy. However, like a hydro epoxy, a 100% solids epoxy doesn’t perform well in cold conditions (<50°F) or when applied to cold substrates. Once again, this is because the cure rate will be too slow. If a 100% solids epoxy is to be applied to a cold garage floor, use heaters to ensure the product cures properly.
- In colder weather, don’t apply coatings, especially clear coats, within 5 degrees of the dew point or to a surface upon which dew has already accumulated. The presence of dew may cause a coating to “blush” or peel over time. If dew is observed, remove the excess moisture with a squeegee and use fans to circulate the air overnight.
- In cool weather, use a low temperature activator (“Part B”) to speed up the cure rate.
- Although a hydro epoxy and 100% solids epoxy may be limited under high humidity and/or low temperature, polyaspartic/polyurea hybrid products will actually cure well in high humidity and in cold weather conditions.
Rain and Snow
Once in “tack” form, good industrial epoxy products are not affected by rain or snow. However, the time required to reach tack form differs for each product (from 30 minutes to 4 hours or more). The best way to prevent damage due to rain or snow is to take the following precautionary measures:
- During each day of installation, protect the area to be coated by clamping a large plastic sheet to the bottom of the raised garage door. Tent the other end of the plastic sheet outwards away from the garage door and secure it by placing multiple paver stones over either end of the plastic. The plastic sheet will act as a protective barrier to rain, snow and wind.
- At the end of each day of installation, protect the coated area by re-attaching the plastic sheet to the outer side of the garage door. Lower the garage door and as two segments of the garage door fold together, place one end of the plastic sheet between the door segments. Tent the other end of the plastic sheet outwards away from the garage and secure the plastic by placing paver stones over either end.
- Wind carries with it dust and debris that may infiltrate and “contaminate” a coated space. Precautionary measures, identical to those described in the “Rain & Snow” section above, should be used.
- For all exterior installations, PVA or mica chips will be very difficult or impossible to broadcast on windy days.
- Do not attempt to apply a clear sealer using a sprayer in high wind conditions as these products will drift, potentially causing expensive repairs.
- Whenever applying product with a sprayer, it is very important to mask surrounding areas to protect from over spray. Specifically protect glass, cars, walls, pools, etc.
Baby, it’s cold outside. But don’t let it stop you from installing a stunning and durable epoxy coating in your home or office. GarageFloorCoating.com has over 20 years experience installing epoxy floors in all kinds of weather. To learn whether our floor coatings are the right choice for your space, visit us at www.garagefloorcoating.com.
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