Epoxy Floor Problems – A Troubleshooting Guide

Epoxy Floor Problems

Epoxy Floor Troubleshooting Guide

The Epoxy Floor Paint appears to be peeling off

Possible explanations

  • Primer was not used? You should always apply an appropriate epoxy primer before the application of epoxy floor paint. Primers are helpful because they are able to penetrate the pores of the substrate (e.g. a concrete garage floor) and therefore improve adhesive potential of the following layers
  • Humid conditions? Humidity or other contaminants in the substrate can lead to problems, so you should always ensure that the surface is dry before beginning work. I might be necessary to make use of a heating device to dry the air and remove excess humidity. If the surface has absorbed grease, oil or maybe chemicals, the use of a chemical cleaner such as Clean n Etch or Clean and Degrease should be used to prepare the effected area.
  • Lack of surface preparation? Inadequate floor preparation led to poor bonding of the newly painted floor to the original floor. Ideally you should consider grinding or sanding the existing floor by mechanical means prior to epoxy floor painting. By scarifying the surface, the bonding of the new coating is to the old floor is greatly improved.
  • Weak cement substrate? Poor substrate quality can lead to the failure of the substrate leading to epoxy floor problems. Pay close attention to the quality of the surface you are planning on painting and if the concrete substrate appears to be very porous you may want to consider using extra primer to further strengthen the substrate. It must be clearly noted that overall weak cement substrates are unsuitable for epoxy resin floor paint.
  • Will the concrete substrate stand up to the intended use? The longevity of a painted floor is subject to the quality of the underlying substrate and the wear and tear the surface will end up being subject to, so make sure that the floor is able to withstand the uses for which it is intended.

The epoxy floor coating is has trapped particles in it

Lack of attention to detail when cleaning the floor prior to painting can lead to dust and grit becoming trapped in the floor coating. For this reason, thorough cleaning of the floor before painting is of foremost importance. You can use use a soft floor brush to sweep the larger particles of grit and dirt. You might also make want to make use of an industrial vacuum in order to collect up all of the fine dust. Finally, it is advisable to close any windows prior to commencing this step in order to avoid dust getting blown about while the coating is still wet.

The finished coating surface does not appear to be smooth / has trowel marks

The most likely cause here is simple – not enough product has been used. In the case of self-smoothing floors, a low quantity of epoxy coating will mean that the resinous product is unable to settle properly.  Follow the Regal Paints product guidance shown in the technical details for our products to ensure appropriate coverage. Another (very cheap) tip would be to avoid using a worn trowel as tis might result in the spread of the product being unequally distributed.

Other factors that can have an influence are when low temperatures don’t allow the the product flow properly. You should consider storing the two pack epoxy paint  in a warm place before using it. In certain circumstances you might wish to to add some solvent to help product flow. Please feel free to contact us to discuss this if you are unsure how and when this might be appropriate.

The floor coating has obvious roller marks that tend to pick up dirt quickly

To avoid this problem, always backroll the coating at a perpendicular direction when when applying epoxy floor paint with a roller. Doing this will help create a uniform surface and an even distribution of the paint.

The Epoxy Floor has developed pinholes and bubbles

  • Has the the substrate been properly sealed? Poorly sealed substrate can lead to the release of gas. To prevent this from spoiling the surface, make use of an additional primer to seal the substrate before starting out with the final coating of the surface
  • Have there been changes in substrate temperature? The substrate can experience a natural change temperature during the course of the day, which may lead to the additional release of gas. To prevent this, simply avoid applying self levelling coats in the morning, when the substrate is coolest.
  • Wear the right footwear! When working with self-levelling floor products you should always use spiked rollers and spiked shoes. These enable you  to access all areas of the floor and eliminate pinholes and bubbles.
  • Is there remaining water or humidity in the substrate? To prevent this problem, check for the presence of humidity in the substrate and If necessary use a suitable concrete moisture meter. If concrete has been freshly laid, you should wait at least 28 days before considering applying an epoxy coating.

The epoxy floor is tacky does not seem to be curing properly

  • It might be that no hardener was added to the product. This problem is fairly common with people who have little prior experience working with epoxy resin and results from a lack of understanding of how the two component chemical systems work together. Sometimes the hardener added can be less than the required amount. This often happens when someone is uses partial quantities of the pack rather than mixing the full quantity, so we always that customers mix the full pack.
  • Incorrect mixing of components A and B can lead to insufficient chemical bonding. To avoid this problem, we suggest you make use of an electrical mixer and ensure that the mixing is uniform throughout the product. This should be done for at least 2-3 minutes.
  • A very low room and/or surface temperature can prevent proper curing as most epoxy systems require at last 10C/ 50F to cure properly. You can attempt to heat up the room in order to speed up the curing time.

The epoxy floor coating seems to have bumps in it

It might be that humidity or perhaps chemicals were present that have pushed up the coating. When this happens, it is unfortunately likely that the floor coating will break. In order to avoid this unfortunate problem, please check for the presence of humidity before starting out.

The finished floor coating surface appears dull

When the floor paint has been applied with a high degree of humidity and this led to classic epoxy floor problems of amine blush. To avoid this, the room temperature needs to be at least 3-4 degrees Celsius above the dew point.

Coating is patchy and has different hues of colour in it

A common cause of this disappointing problem can be when water is splashed on the wet coating, perhaps from leaky overhead pipes dripping water, air conditioning and event sweat from the floor paint contractor! Practical measures that could be taken to avoid this are checking for areas of dripping water prior to starting work and encouraging workers to be mindful of getting hot and sweaty in warm weather (and encouraging them to bring a sweat towel!).