My epoxy garage floor is peeling! Why?
Epoxy garage floor coating is one of the most popular flooring applications today for homeowners and industrial complexes. Durability and minimal maintenance requirements stand as some of the main reasons for wanting an epoxy floor.
However, when appropriate prepping procedures are not done and epoxy is not applied correctly on the flooring substrate, you can experience big problems with your epoxy floor like your epoxy garage floor peeling.
The following points below are some of the most common reasons why epoxy floor coatings fail and peel.
1. Improper Concrete Preparation
One of the most common reasons why your epoxy coating is peeling can be improper preparation of the concrete floor.
Before epoxy coating is applied, the concrete on your garage floor must be properly prepped, with cracks filled and the surface textured and leveled. Epoxy contractors will use different types of machinery to ensure absolute adherence of epoxy coatings onto your concrete such as diamond grinder, acid etching, or shot blasting to ensure solid bonding of epoxy material.
The goal is to make sure the concrete is very clean, free from dust residue and debris, and correctly leveled. Oils, grease, and old paints must also be scraped because they can hinder strict adherence to the floor. In other words, the floor must be cleaned thoroughly before epoxy coating can be applied. Otherwise, as the epoxy cures, it will pull away from the floor causing “fisheyes” and unwanted round holes.
Even new concrete requires preparation such as acid etching to firmly hold epoxy resins.
2. Moisture Buildup Underneath the Coating
This usually happens when the epoxy coating is applied during cold weather days or when there is excess moisture on the concrete floor.
Basically, you need to make sure that the concrete floor is absolutely dry after acid etching. It is advisable to wait at least 24 hours to let the water residue from the concrete dry completely. Otherwise, the moisture trapped in the concrete pores will rise and cause bubbles in the epoxy floor finish.
Even worse, the moisture under the concrete slab will cause pressure against the epoxy, and will eventually separate the new epoxy coating from the concrete. In central Florida, with our risks of afternoon rain, it is paramount to make sure your concrete is protected from moisture.
3. Air Bubbles Forming on the Surface of Your Epoxy
Air bubbles can happen when the epoxy is applied under direct sunlight or when the temperature is too cool. You may also see air bubbles if the epoxy is not mixed properly. That is why it is very important to ensure the best condition before applying epoxy coatings.
Prior to epoxy application, concrete needs to be efficiently prepared so the epoxy resin will properly adhere to the concrete once it is applied. There are three methods you can use to prepare your concrete floorings such as diamond grinding, chemical etching, or surface blasting.
Depending on the condition of your concrete, our team can advise on the best method to follow. Moreover, when mixing the epoxy, you should not pump the paddle mixer up or down nor should you run at too high of speed. When you mix epoxy too fast, epoxy will form bubbles throughout the mixture. But once the epoxy is applied to the concrete floor, these bubbles will gradually rise to the surface and ruin what would have otherwise been a terrific epoxy floor.
Epoxy garage floor applications must follow a proven process of steps with ample patience to ensure the best result. When the plan is not followed and people hurry through the process just to “finish the job”, many problems can happen to your floor. Take your time and mix epoxy well following the manufacturer’s directions. Since we are on the topic of mixing, you could also experience issues if you fail to mix the resin and hardener in the right proportion.
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, that is normal. Crafting the perfect epoxy floor is both art and science. Perhaps after reading a few of these challenges, you’ll consider taking back your DIY kit. If that’s the case, we’re here to help guide you in the right direction and help you create your dream epoxy floor.
4. Poor Installation Process
Every epoxy company has its own unique method of installing epoxy flooring. Problems can occur when the method used for epoxy installation is faulty from the very beginning. Some of the worst results can happen when the initial steps are missed - preparing the concrete substrate - resulting in poor adhesion.
Poor installation can also result if the adhesive is not applied consistently, evenly or when low-quality products are being utilized or work is done in poor climate conditions.
If conducting a DIY application, the majority of epoxy flooring issues are easily preventable by taking your time and following the manufacturer’s instructions, and using proven techniques in installing epoxy garage floors.
Another option to consider is utilizing a reputable epoxy installer. Ask for references and find out what epoxy products are being used. Make sure the epoxy formulas are high-end and commercial-grade. Find out if the equipment used is well maintained and commercial-grade as well. Great products and machines create fantastic floors.
5. Not enough coverage
This issue usually happens in DIY epoxy kit installations. Unlike professional applications, DIY epoxy kits are limited and may not be enough to cover the entire space in your garage. Ideally, epoxy needs to provide at least 3mm thickness to provide an effective protective layer for your concrete. If the epoxy is spread too thin, then your floor will eventually start to peel and chip as it becomes exposed to high traffic.
What should I do if my epoxy garage floor coating is peeling?
When an epoxy floor is improperly maintained or a faulty installation was used, unfortunately, the flooring will eventually show signs of damage in the way of peeling. At this stage, you will need to consider whether your flooring is worth repairing with a new epoxy application.
Sometimes, complete replacement is a more practical option if the repair is no longer feasible. If the peeling has affected at least 10 square feet of your garage, feel free to contact us for a free quote to bring your floor back better, stronger, and more beautiful.
Call us at 863.243.9508 or fill out our Contact Form, and we’d be happy to answer your epoxy floor questions.