How to touch up epoxy floors
The first question you must ask is what are you trying to achieve when performing your repairs. Do you need to bring these floors back into serviceable condition? Do the floors need to look new in order to meet company and customer requirements? Are you just trying to stop additional damage from occurring to the floors?
The answer to these questions will determine how much effort, time, and material will be required to bring the floors back into the condition desired. The next question will be to determine how aggressive the preparation of floor needs to be to meet your goals?
Let’s start with the easiest goal you might be asked to achieve: keeping the floors from continuing to deteriorate as a result of lifting and peeling that has occurred. The first step is to go to an area that is lifting, and peel off a bit of finish. If you look at the backside material that is peeling you’re likely to see that there is discoloration under both the underside of that material and some remaining on the concrete underneath. This would indicate that during the initial preparation not enough contaminants were removed that could contribute to lifting later. Before coating in these areas, you want to prepare the the concrete surface so the same process does not occur again. If these are larger areas, use a scrubbing brush or rotary scrubber and a small amount of cleaner/degreasing agent. Follow that process up with an acidic cleaner to open up the pores of concrete and then two scrub rinses to make sure that the chemical action stops. Otherwise, gases may be formed which will create bubbles in your repair and finish.
During each of these steps, use a 3-inch razor scraper to lift any additional material that wants to come off the floor. If the floor finish is very thick, you may wish to use a grinder masonry wheel to put a 45° edge on the remaining coating along the edges of the listed areas. The next step would be to use a small amount of grout along those edges to ensure that the seal is achieved. Allow to dry for several hours and then use your scrubber to remove any excess grout and smooth the edges. The final step is to make sure two-part epoxy is the color of the existing coating and then touch the epoxy in with a brush or roller. This type of repair will help keep further damage from occurring. The repair areas may have a different gloss to them and your color match may be imperfect, but the protective properties of the of the surface will be restored.
If your objective is to make the floors look glossy, you may need to coat the entire floor. Once your bare concrete areas have been prepared as above, you can coat the entire floor. Differences in color and gloss will not occur. You will likely see a difference, however, in coating thickness and texture between areas that have more or less coating. The good news is that with all one-color floors most of these damaged areas are not readily visible.
If your objective is to make the floors look brand-new, you will need to remove the existing coating that is peeling or lifting. One method of doing this is to use a methylene chloride type paint stripper to soften the existing finish followed by using a 3-inch scraper or scrape away. Use a rotary scrubber to loosen and soften the material. There is a strong odor to methylene chloride and a vapor mask would be highly recommended during this process. Care must be taken not to splash the paint stripper on walls, doors, or molding. The soupy mixture of stripper and softened coating can be moved from one soft area to the next. This process will reduce your cost by allowing the paint stripper to be fully consumed before being removed from your floor. These paint strippers require 20 to 40 minutes to work effectively and soften your surface. There will be some sticky residue remaining on the floor which can easily be removed with a high alkaline degreaser. Once the floors are relatively clean your acidic cleaner can be applied, followed by two scrub rinses and than two coats of epoxy.
Often there are smaller damaged areas to epoxy floors where dropped tools, car tires, and other abuses have caused your finish to lift. These small areas can sometimes be repaired without delay. A good quick preparation for small areas is to use a small grinder with a 4-inch masonry wheel to take the edges off the coating around the concrete areas as well as to remove the dirt and contaminants that may be on the exposed concrete. Care must be taken not to create an irregular finish on the concrete that will need to be filled. Spot repairs, although initially appearing glossier with a slightly different color finish, usually blend in over time.
For a detailed quote of materials needed to apply epoxy paint to your floor, please visit our free cost analysis page at http://concrete-floor-coatings.com/costanalysis/
For more information, contact Chris Biesanz at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1-800-466-8910 or 952-888-1488 (24/7).