How to Prepare the Surface for Epoxy Flooring?

An epoxy floor is a favorite choice for commercial and residential areas where durability and chemical-resistant properties are sought-after. It’s also a great option for floors with heavy foot and vehicle traffic, which is not only effortless to clean but also complements the interior of any kitchen, garage,  showroom, and many other areas. 

If you’ve chosen this flooring solution, you should know by now that it adheres well only to clean and rough surfaces. Hence, without taking steps to clean your floor properly, your epoxy coating will peel soon after it cures. 

This article walks you through the necessary steps to take in order to ensure your epoxy coating maintains its appearance and durability for decades. 

How to Prep a Concrete Floor for Epoxy?

Epoxy floor coating surface preparation consists of 7 steps that you should follow in the same order. Each of them ensures the coating will bond well with the surface and cure properly. While DIY is feasible for the most part, experience, and specialized equipment will be necessary. 

Consider hiring a skilled contractor like Atlantic Concrete Design to flawlessly prep your floor for epoxy coating.

1. Prep Your Floor 

It goes without saying that your floor area has to be empty of furniture, workbenches, and anything that will prevent you from working on the entire area uninterruptedly. You don’t have to unscrew the shelves, but the drawers, vehicles, and tools must go, even if you think that area is hidden and is not worth spending time on. 

Unless you only want to apply epoxy coating on a dedicated part of the floor, you should have access to every corner of the room. 

2. Level Up Any Sinking Concrete

Once the floor is free of debris, you can have a clear picture of how flat the surface is. Ideally, you should work with concrete that is leveled and doesn’t have any dips and cracks. 

Therefore, if you notice some parts of the floor are sunken and about to crack, you can transform your uneven floor into a smooth surface with self-leveling concrete.  

Atlantic Concrete Design applies this method to level the surface and cover up the cracks and slabs so that the epoxy solution would spread flat on the floor evenly. Leveling the surface also prevents you from removing the coating to fix the sinking concrete. 

3. Sweep and Mop the Floor

Probably one of the easiest steps here is to sweep and mop the floor to remove the dust and dirt. With your belongings taken away from the area, it’s necessary to keep the surface clean. By cleaning it, we also mean removing the stains from oil or chemicals and sweeping small debris that can accidentally get into epoxy. 

While you might need powerful cleaning agents to remove stains in concrete, a mixture of water and soap is more than enough to mop the surface from any remaining dirt. 

4. Cover Up the Walls

The next step will be roughing your floor, and it will spread the dust all over the place, so covering the walls with a plastic sheet will save you a lot of time from cleaning the mess up afterward. 

Ideally, you should protect the walls in a way that the sheets will not fall down when the epoxy is applied, and since it takes a few good hours to cure, be generous with tape. 

5. Grind Your Floor

There are a few methods for roughing the surface, but grinding the concrete proves to be the most effective one. For diamond grinding, you can rent a floor-grinding machine with an attachment suitable for the type of floor you have. The whole process may take a couple of hours, depending on how big the surface is. Nevertheless, equip yourself with goggles, a dust mask, and a pair of protective gloves. 

It’s fairly easy to operate the grinder; just make sure not to keep it in one place for too long; otherwise, you can leave circular spots on the surface. 

Sway the machinery from side to side or in circulatory motions until the concrete is smooth. If there are any remains of paints or other materials, it should be easy to remove those with machinery. 

Once finished, remove the plastic sheets from the walls, sweep the floor, and mop it to get rid of the concrete dust. 

6. Fill Any Cracks and Gaps in the Floor

Grinding the surface helps you to identify cracks or gaps there are on the floor more easily. Leaving them alone may lead to deterioration, and epoxy coating shouldn’t be used to fill any openings in the concrete. Instead, you should purchase a crack filler or a similar product to repair the imperfections of the concrete. 

7. Prep the Floor for Epoxy Coating 

Prepping the floor for epoxy coating essentially means cleaning the area once again. Sweep it, mop it, or rinse it with a hose before moving on to the final step. Make sure there is no concrete dust left and the floor is clean and ready for a layer of long-lasting epoxy coating.

Before applying epoxy, double-check whether the floor is completely dry – otherwise, the solution will not bond well. The humidity level should also be low in order for epoxy to cure properly. 

Final Step: Epoxy Coating Application

Preparing the surface for epoxy flooring is not a complicated process but a very important one to prevent epoxy bubbling, cracking, and peeling. Proper preparation also ensures the coating will be effective against spills and heavy foot traffic. With adequate maintenance, you can expect epoxy to serve you a good 10-20 years without the need to reapply the solution. 

If you require any help throughout the process, whether it is to level your floor, diamond grind it to perfection, or lay a firm layer of epoxy available in many color variations, Atlantic Concrete Design is a contractor to trust. 

We operate in New York and New Jersey and have over 12 years of experience. Our professional team has helped countless companies and homeowners transform their working and living spaces with a sleek and durable epoxy. 

Don’t hesitate to contact us or fill out a form with your questions. Our experts will promptly answer or get in touch with you to provide unmatched customer service and reliable concrete solutions. 

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