Replacing Your Epoxy Floors?
Updated: May 17
Epoxy floors are often referred to by professionals as a “floor coating for a lifetime”, due to their exceptional resiliency. If installed properly, epoxy flooring is impact and abrasion-
resistant, and they rarely peel or crack. Additionally, they can last for more than a decade, even while undergoing tremendous abuse from equipment, production, and cleaning operations.
Epoxy floors are known for their durability and longevity, however, occasional accidents, aggressive cleaning methods, and constant traffic from employees and equipment can denigrate the floors to the point of replacement. Every situation is different, but proper maintenance and minimal use can warrant a lifespan of more than 10 years. However, if the floor is not properly maintained, the lifespan can be shortened to as little as 5 years.
So, when is it time to replace your epoxy floors? What are the warning signs and red flags that let you know your floors are reaching end of life? This blog post will detail everything you should look out for so you can tell when it’s time to upgrade your flooring.
When To Replace Your Epoxy Floor
The best way to tell if you need to replace your epoxy floor is to do routine checks. It is important to monitor your flooring to see if the topcoat is wearing away, if there are any chips, or if cracks have developed in high traffic areas.
Many people ignore chips in the flooring because they can seem insignificant. However, these small chips can eventually cause large portions of the floor coating to peel off. Also, heavy vehicle and equipment wheels can oftentimes cause harm to the chipped areas, creating a significant safety hazard and further damage to the floor.
When chips or cracks are caught in the very early stages, a cost-effective solution to repairing the epoxy floor is to apply a topcoat. However, if the damage is widespread, or if it is not caught in time, the best solution is to replace the flooring to ensure the safety of employees.
Enhancing the Lifetime of Your Epoxy Floor
The best way to enhance the lifetime of your epoxy floor is to get an experienced resinous flooring expert to complete a proper installation. Before installation, make sure the installer ensures that the concrete floor has a strength of at least 3,000 PSI. Surface preparation is the most important step and it is very easily overlooked by some installers.
Additionally, the surface needs to be meticulously prepared so that the surface is dust, oil, and debris free. The installer must follow the manufacturer’s data sheets to confirm the appropriate SSPC preparation method.
Epoxy Flooring Preparation Mistakes
The worst surface preparation mistake an installer can make is to allow moisture to become caught beneath the epoxy. This can cause adherence issues within the flooring and can lead to additional problems.
The epoxy creates a moisture barrier that protects your floor from water damage, but it will not allow water trapped beneath it to escape. This can cause puckering in the surface and can ultimately shorten the lifespan of the floor to a fraction of what it should be.
Epoxy Flooring Thickness
The thickness of the epoxy floor coating can range from 400 to 1,000 microns. The thicker the floor is, the more durable it will be, so you should always discuss the thickness of the floor coating with your flooring expert.
When deciding the thickness of the coating, you should also consider the extent of foot and heavy vehicular traffic. A final clear topcoat of polyurethane should also be applied since it dramatically increases the durability of the floor, which would benefit facilities with high traffic. These high traffic areas also wear down more quickly, and a textured surface is highly recommended to counter this problem.
With all of this in mind, the best way to maintain a long-lasting epoxy floor is to have an industrial flooring expert with substantial experience evaluate the condition of your epoxy floor. This, combined with proper maintenance and care, will ensure that your epoxy floor produces the longest lifespan possible.
So when Should I Replace my Epoxy Floors?
At the end of the day, epoxy floors are replaced when they need it. While they're fairly easy to repair and, when installed properly, they last a long time, they will show cracks, delamination, chips, and other damages. When it gets too much to repair, it's worth it to refresh the entire flooring system.
Each floor will have different life spans, different issues, different damages. But with proper maintenance, proper repairs, and proper installation, the floors can last a long time.