Non-Commercial Concrete Preparation For Epoxy Paints / Coatings
Homeowner Application Notes
Epoxies are probably the toughest, must durable and chemical resistant floor coating available to the ordinary
homeowner or industrial general contractor. As a result, epoxies are often applied over concrete floors in many
industrial and commercial locations. Individuals sometimes will epoxy coat their garages, work shops, or basements.
When applying an epoxy floor coating to concrete the standard traditional surface preparation is to shot blast
the surface. Shot blasting units are machines that look like commercial lawn mowers. They ‘chip' the concrete surface
with tiny steel balls, providing a clean, rough, ‘open' surface that usually ensures a successful coating job.
Only large contractors can afford to own shot blast units. Most contractors hire subcontractors to perform the
shot blast surface preparation. While this works with industrial projects, for individuals and homeowners shot
blasting is not practical or economical. Below is a generally acceptable alternative for preparing new or existing
concrete for epoxy top coating.
EPOXY PAINTS ON NEW CONCRETE
New concrete has a top crust of weak sand and cement that must be removed prior to coating. If possible use a high
pressure water blaster and/or a stiff brush/broom with plenty of water to remove this weak ‘crust'.
EPOXY PAINTS ON EXISTING CONCRETE
If painted or coated, remove as much of the existing coating as possible by any means you can. Generally, well
adhered coatings can remain in place providing a solvent-free epoxy is used to topcoat it. Using a solvent-based
(VOC content greater than zero) epoxy could result in the solvents softening or peeling the otherwise well adhered
Next, use a degreaser with hot water (and hopefully high pressure water) to remove any signs of grease or oil.
Repeat three or four more times, even if it appears clean and degreased after the first or second cleaning.
Now wash the surface with a detergent, brush/broom, and plenty of water.
Note that if your concrete is outside, such as on a patio or sidewalk, nature has probably prepared the surface
for you. Rarely are there oil stains on a sidewalk or patio - just nice, clean, weathered cement. The exception
might be under your patio grill.
MORE SURFACE PREPARATION FOR EPOXY PAINT
At this point it is time to mildly etch the old or new concrete with Muriatic Acid. Muriatic Acid can be found
at most hardware stores. Use 1 part acid to 3 parts water and a mop or broom to spread the liquid across the floor.
Use plenty of the mixture - the idea is for the acid to ‘fizz' the cement and etch the surface. Use about 1 gallon
per 100 square feet. Now rinse off with plenty of water. You do not want any residual acid in or on the concrete.
IS THE SURFACE READY FOR EPOXY PAINT?
A quick and easy, albeit somewhat crude test of your surface preparation, is to pour a cup of water upon the surface.
If it soaks in, the concrete is probably suitably prepared to coating, if the water just sits there, you may have
serious adhesion problems, (i.e. peeling or blisters) with your topcoat.
At this point you have the option of sealing the concrete with a new class of sealers. Products such as Bio-Vee Seal (which we sell) will soak into the concrete,
react with the matrix and form tiny crystals inside the void spaces near the surface. This reduces both permeability
and porosity within the concrete. As the upward movement of moisture from the ground through the concrete can often
cause problems with the adhesion of surface coating, a Bio-Vee treatment is a good ‘extra step.' Consider it also
as a stand alone sealer and stain guard for driveways and sidewalks. Cost is about 20 cents per square foot.
APPLYING THE EPOXY
Commercial ‘epoxy floors' are generally a multi-layer system. There is a layer of epoxy, a layer of sand or colored
quartz, and a top sealing coat of more epoxy. Homeowners generally get by with a single coat of epoxy and an optional
scattering of ‘grit' to make the surface less slippery when wet. When using solvent-free epoxies, you do not add
the grit to the epoxy, instead you roll down the epoxy, sprinkle the grit on top and then back-roll with the paint
roller to ‘even the grit out' and thoroughly coat it with the epoxy.
We recommend our standard grade Industrial Floor Epoxy.
Epoxies tend to quickly lose their shiny appearance and also yellow in direct sunlight. A shiny light blue is likely
to quickly become a flat aqua-green. White turns to golden yellow. That is the nature of epoxies.....
Fri, 13 Oct 2000 13:58:53 -0400
"W. ,Beth" <org>
'paul oman' <>
About my basement leak problem. The leak was where the poured floor met the
concrete block walls. I lived in the house for 9 1/2 years and all but
about 3-6 months (during a drought time) there was a small area (about 2
foot square) of the basement floor that was wet. When there was a lot of
rain or other ground moisture (like melting snow) the water would stream
across the floor to the sump pump. I did the outside work of gutters and
ground sloping but still I would get water. When I dried out the area using
a combination of heat and fans I was able to see exactly where the water was
coming from. Upon further investigation I determined there were other spots
in the vertical mortar joints where they met the poured floor that were also
damp. I used the XXX EPOXY all along that area going up the wall about 2
inches and on the floor about 2 inches. Some of the areas were wet when I
applied it. I believe I applied the XXX EPOXY in mid May of 2000. There were
some heavy rain times that normally would have caused the basement floor to
be wet but the EPOXY held the moisture back. I stayed in the house for
about 3 1/2 months after the repair was made with no signs of wetness.
Pretty good if you consider that in 9 1/2 years I had only had a short
period of dryness and that was when there was almost no outside moisture.
I realize that there is still some underlying problem in that basement but
short of the costly venture of either jack hammering up the basement floor or
digging outside the house this was the perfect solution to my problem.
Our Floor Epoxy Recommendation - Unless you have very special problems to address,
we recommend our Industrial Floor Epoxy over all other brands. It's solvent free, easy to use, and at about 40
cents per square foot, one of the best floor epoxy bargains anywhere. Colors: dark red (new visible yellowing),
beige, and light gray! Visit our products page to learn more. Lots more on floors - CLICK
More on all kinds of leaks: CLICK HERE (leak.html) .
More on basements: CLICK HERE (seal4u.html) .
Still more on basement leaks: CLICK HERE (cellar4u.html)
Internal concrete sealer (Bio Vee Seal ™) CLICK HERE (vee4u.html)
Links to Products
* Bio Vee Seal™
* ESP 155™
* Low V™
* Industrial Floor Epoxy™
* fiberglass cloth
* Crack Coat Epoxy™
DISCLAIMER: The above comments are simply that, comments and ideas. The ability of these or other products to
seal a basement or sump is not guaranteed as many factors beyond just the sealing product comes into play.
Progressive Epoxy Polymers, Inc.
Frog Pond Hollow
Pittsfield, NH 03263
penetrating epoxy, penetrating epoxies, dry rot, wood rot,
rotten wood, sealing epoxy, epoxy waterproofing, sealer
, epoxy paint