Epoxy Resin Coating
How to Apply an Epoxy Resin Coating
Two substances are involved with an epoxy mixture: the actual resin material and a hardener. To combine these substances, you pour one into the other and use drills, mixing paddles or even calibrated pumps for the actual mixing. Note that if you get a DIY epoxy coating, you may not have to go through this process, as many of these brands are already mixed. But on the downside, you might end up with an overly liquefied epoxy solution. For general sealing, this is not a problem, but if you are trying to patch up your concrete, liquefied epoxy will not harden enough. Adding fillers can help with this issue, but such a technique might be challenging for beginners. With that said, stick to the normal two part epoxy if you are sealing a large area.
To apply the epoxy coating, you must first prep the floor. Begin this by process cleaning any excess debris and then (if necessary) use a concrete grinder to clear your floor of any existing sealant. If the sealant consists of cured epoxy, you may have to use heat to help remove it. Use the help of a professional if you are unsure, as such a process can be dangerous for a DIY individual.
After you remove any excess material, you need to use water to flush the floor and remove any dust left from the grinding or chipping. Wait for it to dry thoroughly. For the best results you need to etch the floor before actually rolling out the epoxy mixture. This will give a much stronger bond than if you just leave the surface smooth. This is done with a weak muriatic acid solution that you can find at your hardware store. Often times this will come in the epoxy floor coating kit also. Be careful because this is an acid (HCL) and it can harm people, animals, and plants. Be sure to wear all recommended protective clothing and equipment.
After you are done with the prepping, which usually takes the most time, dry the floor completely. A space heater ran all night works great for this. The next morning you can finally apply the mixed epoxy based on the manufacturer’s instructions. Usually, this will involve using a roller. So in a way, applying epoxy is like painting. However, unlike painting, you must complete the job quickly. Once the epoxy has been mixed you have less than 60 minutes to finish your application. Go too much outside of this timeframe, and the substance will become too hard to use.
Finally, there is the cleaning process. If the epoxy resin coating spilled onto an undesirable area, and it has hardened, you will need to peel it off with a scraper. If the substance is liquefied, it can be removed with alcohol or acetone. For any leftover epoxy, wait for it to dry and then take it to a waste depository that specializes in environmental waste. While hardened epoxy is considered non-hazardous, the laws of your jurisdiction may not allow normal disposal. With that said, err on the side of caution. There are many businesses that specialize in environmental wastes; take advantage of them if you want complete peace of mind.
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