Now days some people are daring to use a continuous floor finish such as epoxy based finish for the interior of a home and not just on the garage flooring. I have seen it used in fashionable restaurants in Madrid and I don`t see any reason why it shouldn`t be used as an elegant floor finish in dwellings.
If you select the right colours and shininess of the epoxy coating, it can look spectacular as there are no joints and the furniture reflection on the floor can look awesome.
Epoxy is a tough, long-lasting coating that you paint onto the concrete. It resists grease, oil and many other substances that would ruin ordinary floors. It cleans easily and can be found in a variety of colours, so you can keep your home floor sparkling clean and attractive for years.
However, care should be taken as, not all concrete floors will hold a coating, and two, preparing concrete can be labour intensive and tedious. Having said that, these articles will help you assess your concrete’s condition, show you how to clean and etch it, and demonstrate how to apply an epoxy surface that will handle any pedestrian traffic, and any chemicals, oils, salt and scraping better than any other floor finish.
As with any other paint job, success lies in the preparation work. Plan to spend the first day removing oil spots, cleaning, degreasing the floor, etching it with a mild acid, and scrubbing, vacuuming and rinsing yes I know it is hard work but the final result will pay off. Day two is for filling cracks and applying the first coat of epoxy, which is followed by a second coat on day three. This job doesn't require many special tools. But to do the best job (and save your back), I recommend that you rent a walk-behind power floor scrubber with a stiff brush attachment. Brushes work better than scrubbing pads on concrete, but buy two pads if a brush isn't available. Also, rent a wet vacuum if you don't own or have access to one.
Check for trapped moisture.
This is an important test so don over look it!!
To do this, lift the corner of a plastic bag that's been taped to the garage floor for 24 hours. If it's dry underneath, you can proceed with an epoxy coating. If you see moisture under the plastic, don't coat the floor with epoxy because water pressure will break the coating.
Analyze the floor and weather.
Before you even consider epoxy paint your floor, test to determine if dampness is coming up through the concrete from the ground using the above test. If moisture is evident, your floor isn't suitable for epoxy. Also, forgo the project if a concrete sealer was previously used (you'll know a sealer has been used if water beads up when applied to the surface). If you're dealing with a new slab, you must wait a minimum of 28 days, preferably two months, for the floor to cure and dry thoroughly before applying a floor coating. And if you're dealing with a previously painted floor, the best advice is to remove the paint, especially when you're applying a solvent-based epoxy that could soften any remains.
If your concrete passed these tests, make sure the wet hot or too cold weather passes too. The temperature of the concrete must be a minimum of about 13 degrees Cº, with an air temperature between 15 and 30 degrees Cº for optimum epoxy curing/drying.
Dip a stiff-bristle brush into a cleaner/degreaser and scrub oil stains aggressively. Wipe up with cotton rags or paper shop towels. Repeat the procedure until the greasy feel is gone and water droplets no longer bead up on the surface.
Next, mix up a 25 litres batch of water and concrete cleaner/degreaser according to label directions found at hardware stores.
Once spots are cleaned, power-scrub the entire floor. To clean a middle size living room floor, plan on scrubbing for 20 to 30 minutes (keep the floor wet at all times). Make sure you scrub with a stiff-bristle hand brush along the walls and in the corners where the machine cannot reach. Once you're satisfied with dirt removal, vacuum up the cleaner for proper disposal. Don't just wash the product down the into a sewer.
The environmental effects of cleaning products can vary widely. Check the product label or call the manufacturer for the proper waste disposal method. We looked up the Material Safety Data Sheet for the product we used and learned we could pour the waste into the toilet or not. Also check the label or call the manufacturer for instructions on safe disposal of all leftover product and containers. When in doubt, call your city or county environmental office.
Next week we will continue with the floor preparation and adding the different coatings.
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