Common Epoxy Floor Coating Problems and How to Avoid Them

Epoxy floor coatings are considered professional-grade and come in many different finishes. They’re durable, long-lasting, and easy to clean. But no matter how professional the coating is or how much you pay for it, problems will arise if you don’t prepare the surface correctly or install it properly.

Below, we look at the most common epoxy flooring problems and how to avoid them.

Floors Peeling 

One of the most common epoxy floor imperfections is peeling edges. Several things can cause this, including:

Improper surface preparation

When your floor starts to peel, it’s generally an indication that the surface wasn’t completely clean when the epoxy was applied. If the surface isn’t free of grease, dust, and other debris, the coating will not adhere properly and will start to lift. It’s important to clean the surface thoroughly before applying the epoxy.

Base substrate preparation also means ensuring that the concrete is not completely smooth and has a texture that will create a strong bond between it and the epoxy. Therefore, acid etching, at the very least, but preferably grinding, should be done on new concrete floors to roughen up the surface.

Not using a primer

If you don’t use a primer before applying your epoxy floor coating, it will not adhere properly and will start to peel. Primers create a sealant on the surface that helps the epoxy stick, and they’re essential for ensuring a long-lasting finish.

Poor quality epoxy

Not all epoxy floor coatings are created equal. If you buy a cheap, low-quality epoxy, you’re more likely to experience problems with it peeling. Make sure to use a professional resin flooring specialist to install your epoxy floor, as they will have the knowledge and experience to select the best quality product for your specific needs.

Applying epoxy in unsuitable temperatures

The epoxy can cure too quickly and not adhere properly to the surface when the surrounding air temperature is too high. When the air temperature is too low, the epoxy will take longer to cure and could start to become brittle. You’re likely to experience problems with the epoxy floor peeling in either case.

Humidity problems

Air humidity should be kept below 85%, but ideally between 50-60%, for the installation and curing of epoxy resin flooring. When the humidity is too high, the epoxy can become sticky and not adhere properly to the surface, resulting in peeling.

Incorrect preparation of the epoxy mixture

It’s crucial to use the correct proportions of resin and hardener and thoroughly combine them to create a durable and robust finish. Failure to do so can result in a weak and brittle coating that will start to peel.

Not allowed to cure properly

The epoxy needs time to cure and reach its full strength or could crack or chip, leading to peeling and an unusable floor. Be sure to listen to the advice of your professional flooring installer and allow the recommended curing time to pass before using the area.

Moisture Buildup Underneath the Coating

Moisture can be a problem with any flooring, but it’s especially problematic with epoxy floors because the buildup is not always visible until the damage is done. If moisture accumulates under the epoxy coating, it can cause bubbling, blistering, and eventually peeling.

This issue usually happens when there’s dampness in the pores of the concrete or by moisture created during the installation process when there is a big difference in temperature between the base concrete and epoxy mixture. Water droplets underneath the epoxy can cause the adhesive bond to break down and the coating to lift off the surface or result in bubbles in the floor’s finish.

If your building has existing problems with rising damp, you might need to install a moisture barrier before applying an epoxy coating.

Air Bubbles Beneath the Epoxy

When you apply fresh epoxy to an area, air bubbles can form. Air bubbles can be the result of many factors in the installation process. The most common reasons are:

The base substrate is too porous

Pores in your concrete flooring can cause all sorts of problems, including creating air pockets as the epoxy is applied. The trapped air may rise as the epoxy cures and make bubbles and holes that might not be visible until later when the resin hardens. Therefore, it’s vital to ensure the correct preparation of the base substrate before applying the epoxy to reduce this risk.

Rushed application

Applying the epoxy in a rushed way can cause air bubbles in the finished floor. Resin flooring specialists do tend to install epoxy with some speed but ensure they do so carefully enough to avoid producing air bubbles. Each coat needs sufficient time to dry before another layer is applied.

Inadequate mixing

Mixing the resin too quickly or not ensuring it is fully combined can trap air bubbles in the resin mixture. In addition, plunging the mixing paddle up and down or not submerging it deep enough into the mix can draw air into the epoxy and cause an imperfect finish.

Incorrect mixture proportions

The ratios of epoxy resin and hardener vary from product to product, which is why hiring a professional is vital to the overall finish and longevity of an epoxy floor. If there isn’t enough hardener in the solution, the floor won’t cure properly, which can cause blistering. On the other hand, too much hardener and installers will need to rush to apply it before it cures, which, as already mentioned, can increase the risk of air bubbles forming.

Inconsistent Colour

Epoxy floor coatings can sometimes have inconsistencies in colour. There are many possible explanations for this:

Improper mixing

When the epoxy resin and the hardener do not combine properly, it can cause variations in the final product’s colour.

Unclean base layer

An unclean base layer can also lead to discrepancies in colour. If the surface is not clean and free of oil and grease, it can lead to visible colour differences between sections.

Ultraviolet light

UV light can cause the resin and hardener to react at different rates, leading to variance in the colour of the finish. UV light can also cause the epoxy to yellow over time.

Poor quality product

Epoxy coatings are a professional flooring option, as they can provide a durable and long-lasting finish when installed by an expert with access to premium quality products. Whereas saving money by using a lower quality epoxy can result in an inconsistent colour and streaky finish.

Running Out of Epoxy

When an epoxy floor coating is applied, it’s important to make sure that there is enough material to cover the entire surface. One of the biggest epoxy fails is running out of product before finishing the job. If this happens, it can result in an unfinished appearance that is very difficult to fix.

How to Fix Epoxy Floor Mistakes

If you’ve started to notice problems with your epoxy floor coating, such as air bubbles, colour differences, or peeling edges, it’s crucial to take action as soon as possible. First, contact a resin flooring expert who will assess the problem and offer advice on the best course of action. In some cases, it may be possible to repair the surface by buffing away the imperfections and applying a new coat. However, it may be necessary to remove the existing floor and start again in other situations.

How to Prevent these Problems

We recommend hiring a flooring specialist to ensure a consistent and professional-looking epoxy floor coating. Professionals have access to the highest quality products and expertise to mix and apply them correctly for a flawless finish. They can also advise on the best products for your specific needs and situation and help you avoid any problems that could result in an unsatisfactory finish.

Contact Us

If you’re interested in learning more about epoxy floor problems or need professional assistance with your project, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to discuss your needs and help you find the perfect solution for your space.