ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Epoxy Floor Durability

Updated on October 10, 2014

Will an epoxy garage floor hold up?

Will it peel, fade or turn yellow or white from the sun? How long will it last? What can you do to protect it?

Here are some ideas to help you maximize the beauty and life of your floor. A little extra effort up front and using quality materials can save you years worth of exasperation and extra expense later.

Proper surface preparation is essential!

Don't waste your time and money otherwise.

The durability of your epoxy floor is directly related to the quality of materials that are used and the proper preparation of the surface.

Putting down an epoxy coating on a concrete garage floor is NOT as easy as rolling down a coat of latex paint on your interior walls.

See our "Surface Preparation for an Epoxy Floor" link immediately below for detailed tips and techniques for properly preparing your garage floor.

What WILL damage your epoxy floor

Don't ever use this if you want to protect your investment

Don't use any cleaning products on your epoxy garage floor that contain the solvent Methylene Chloride. (Read the label.) Products that contain this extremely strong solvent are normally epoxy or urethane strippers. Methylene Chloride will damage your garage floor and burn your skin. (It is also a carcinogen.)

Very, very few products contain this strong solvent. Normally you have to go out of your way to find them. Methylene Chloride is not an ingredient in standard cleaning products designed for household use.

Quality epoxy, decorative chips and sealer materials

(You get what you pay for)

The $69 - $99 hardware store kits have homeowner grade materials. The epoxy supplied is usually contains only 20-30% solids to keep the cost down. The rest is water. These kits also do not contain a clear sealer to enhance the beauty and durability of the floor. Store personnel can rarely recommend a sealer which is compatible with the kit's epoxy and which provides a high UV resistance.

Professional grade systems utilize a two-part epoxy resin which has 95% - 100% solids. This type of product produces a much thicker, deeper penetrating and more durable coating.

Professional installers also broadcast 30-50 pounds of 1/4" decorative chips over a typical 2 car garage floor. (The homeowner kits usually only contain 1-2 pounds of 1/16" chips.) This heavy coating of chips hides imperfections in the floor, provides an even granite-like look, enhances durability, makes any necessary future floor repairs easy AND gives the floor additional non-slip traction.

On top of the epoxy and decorative chips, professional installers apply a tough UV-resistant urethane or polyurea clear sealer coating. This top coating substantially enhances the durability of the floor and produces a high gloss finish which is extremely easy to keep clean.

Using a high quality sealer over the epoxy and chips is one of the most important things to do to ensure maximum durability and beauty for your floor.

Professional grade materials cost the installer $85 to $120 per gallon. Don't even bother with the $99 kits. You will regret it sooner than later when the coating starts to peel off or discolor.

A less expensive sealing solution

. . . but it is temporary

A clear oil-based resin sealer applied during the installation of your epoxy floor is by far the best way to go to ensure maximum durability and clean-ability.

If your floor didn't include a sealer and you don't want to invest in one, here is Plan B:

1.) Clean the floor thoroughly with a stiff brush and Simple Green or some other mild cleaner.

2.) Rinse completely and allow to dry or blow dry with a leaf blower.

3.) Put down a coat of an acrylic floor wax. Several brands are available at your grocery or hardware store. MAKE SURE that the product says that it is non-yellowing (hopefully that means UV resistant) AND that it gives you an easy way to strip it off. Most of the acrylic floor waxes specify using a diluted ammonia solution with a stiff brush and rinsing for their removal. (It may take more than one pass.)

These acrylic waxes are a second best solution to protecting your epoxy floor but they will need to be stripped and renewed every so often.

We recommend 3750 Gloss Floor Wax from Versatile Building Products at www.GarageCoatings.com. Use the search box at that site to search for "3750 Gloss Floor Wax". It is a tough, cross-linked polymer coating.

Important material properties to look for

Your floor coating materials should have the following properties:

VOC: Less than 100 grams per liter (g/l). (VOC is a measure of the amount of volatile organic compounds [VOC] emitted during application and curing. A lower number is better for the environment and is required in most Air Quality Management Districts.)

Solids: 75-100%

Flammable: No

Odor: None to moderate

Pencil Hardness: H2-H3

UV/Fade Resistance: Excellent

Non-Yellowing: Excellent

Abrasion Resistance: Excellent

Hot Tire Pick-up Resistance: Excellent

(These test results are supplied to the materials manufacturer by an independent testing lab.)

Chemical resistance

The coating materials should show "No Effect" to the following household chemicals and automotive fluids:

Motor oil

Gasoline

Transmission fluid

Brake fluid

Anti-freeze

10% HCL (battery acid)

Degreaser

Liquid Plumber

Ammonia

Vinegar

Clorox

Windex

Acetone

Xylene (a very strong solvent)

(These test results are supplied to the materials manufacturer by an independent testing lab.)

If the supplier of the coating materials can't or won't give you this chemical resistance information: stay clear.

For further information

Check out our other links below.

To contact us

California Concrete Restoration, Inc.

Laguna Hills, CA

(949) 939-4088

Email us at: calconcrete@cox.net

We specialize in installing quality epoxy floor coatings in Orange County, CA. If you are located in another area we should be able to give you a reference to a local professional. Email us with your location, contact information and what you would like to accomplish.

Note: We are designated as "Moderator" on Versatile Building Products' on-line dealer forum.

Give us some feedback on what you think of this page and suggestions.

Was this helpful?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • calconcrete profile image
      Author

      calconcrete 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Forwarding your request to Versatile Building Products.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is very helpful. I love the way you put things together - precise and clear.

      I live in Bloomfield Hills, MI. Zip code is 48302 Could you give me a reference to a local professional?