Fixing DIY Epoxy Applications

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Being “wet behind the ears” is an idiom that refers to someone’s inexperience or naivete. In the business of epoxy coatings, this is not a good thing. As an experienced floor coating company, has come across dozens of inexperienced contractors and well-intentioned DIYers that would qualify.

Removals and Re-Coats

In a vastly overcrowded floor coatings market, inexperienced contractors and DIYers abound. The former hypes “1-day polyurea systems” and the latter uses hardware store do-it-yourself kits. Whether it’s due to lack of experience, lack of technical knowledge, or simple lack of ethics, the end result is a poorly installed floor.

And that’s then we get a call. A large number of our contracts are removals and re-coats of previously epoxy-coated concrete flooring. Fading, ambering and peeling of the epoxy shortly after installation are common complaints.

Check out this video of removing yet another DIY coating:

Why Does this Occur?

There are many reasons why removals and re-coats are common with DIY and inexperienced contractor installations. The installer may be using hardware store epoxy in lieu of commercial grade coating products. But more often, it’s simply the wrong product for the job. If a 100% solids epoxy is used as the primer coat instead of a hydro epoxy on a high moisture substrate, peeling will occur in short order.

In other cases, the installer has simply not mastered the techniques required to properly install a quality epoxy coating. Concrete preparation, crack repair, product selection and application techniques can take years to master. Add to that, the need for commercial-grade equipment like grinders, floor machines and HEPA-filtered vacuums.

Concrete Surface Profile

But the root cause of many poor installations has to do with the concrete surface profile. For epoxy products to properly bond, the concrete surface needs to have a “profile”. In other words, it needs to be rough. Smooth concrete just doesn’t provide a receptive substrate. Commercial grinders can properly prepare concrete substrates but they can be prohibitively expensive. A good propane grinder can cost between $15,000 and $20,000 US.

Ask the Right Questions

The message here is beware. For the installation of your epoxy floor, make sure you hire a professional contractor that specializes in epoxy coatings. But how do you know if you’re hiring an experienced installer? Ask the right questions.

We’ve provided a link below that lists all the right questions, and if the contractor is worthy, all the right answers. Click on the link below to help in your decision process:

The Wrap

Get real professional help. Real knowledge and experience in concrete preparation, crack repair, product selection and application technique are too important to forgo. Using inexperienced “contractors” selling one-day installation hype or DIY epoxy kits to save money are in fact costly mistakes. More often than not, the result is a poor quality floor coating that must be re-coated by a professional within a year of application.

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