Epoxy floors are durable, versatile, and ideal for high-traffic areas.
And the fact that you can customise the epoxy mixture with pigments, glitters, and flakes is another advantage. But although it is a sturdy material that resists most types of external damage, accidental staining and spills are bound to happen.
Regular cleaning is an option, but too much of it can ruin the lustre and even degrade the adhesion properties. Thus, there are some dos and don’ts of epoxy flooring maintenance that you must keep in mind before you start scrubbing the floor with soap.
And for the record, soap is harmful to epoxy floors. Let’s find out why…
Epoxy is a polymer of epoxides created by mixing two different chemicals. It acts as an adhesive, paint, or plastic, depending on how you mix and use it.
Known as the highest strength resin, epoxy floor coating offers the strongest adhesion and reinforces resin constructions. Its mechanical properties provide stability, heat resistance, and low shrinkage.
Epoxy flooring is the go-to option in residential, industrial, and commercial places. Made of a mixture of resin and hardener, you can add speciality additives like UV inhibitors, accelerators, and more to customise the coating according to your requirements.
Pigments, glitter, coloured quartz aggregate, etc, can also be mixed to create unique, aesthetically appealing designer floors.
Made of 100% solid epoxies and graded sand, epoxy mortar floors can resist harmful chemicals, high impact, and other extreme conditions. Since it is known as the most rigid type of epoxy, it can be used as an adhesive before applying any other epoxy flooring.
Also, this strong and sturdy mixture works well in warehouses, garages, mechanical and manufacturing spaces, etc.
As the name suggests, self-levelling epoxy can be used on new, cracked, old, or damaged floors to create a levelled texture. Besides adding durability, this type of epoxy lends a beautiful sheen to the floor. Also, it is available in various colours, making it suitable for commercial and residential areas.
To prevent any hazards caused by ESD, places using flammable gases and liquids must coat their floors with anti-static epoxy. The material in this epoxy negates the effect of conductors in creating a potential discharge.
As a result, most chemical, electronic, healthcare, and pharmaceutical spaces sport ESD-resistant floors.
Made with a concoction of stained quartz grains and epoxy polymer resin, this epoxy is ideal for decorative areas. The material is slip-resistant, which makes it suitable for restrooms, locker rooms, schools, offices, and more.
If you are looking for a unique and stylish floor coating, this epoxy is your best bet. The epoxy resin solution is mixed with coloured (or glittery) flakes to create different hues and textures. Not only does it look great, but the flakes add tiny grooves to the floor, making it slip-resistant.
Available in various colours, styles, textures, and flake sizes, epoxy flake floors are highly customisable, so prepare to be spoilt for choice!
Even a simple dust mop works, but make sure you clean the floors regularly. This step is even more important if the area is subject to moving machinery and vehicles that cause scratches, which, in turn, allow dirt and grime to accumulate.
For a deeper clean, you can wash down the area with a hose and use a squeegee to scrub the floor. If you plan to mop the floor, ensure that you use a hard foam mop, as a string mop may cause permanent streak marks. In case of extreme traffic, you might want to consider a shop vac.
Also, if the epoxy flooring is outdoors and exposed to rain, snow, and more, you should scrub the floor at least once a month.
As mentioned before, in the case of regular cleaning, you just need a mop and some warm water. Soap cleaners do more harm than good, as the scum creates a hazy effect on the epoxy. With continuous use, the hazy soap layer builds up and negates the positive impact of epoxy.
However, in case of stubborn stains and spills, you can try scrubbing the floor with a soft soap or mild detergent.
Adding to the previous point, some stains can be tackled with spot cleaning only. You can use a mop and water or a heavy-duty shop vac, according to the nature of the stain. Regardless, since epoxy is a water-resistant material, spot cleaning is no big deal.
Industrial areas are bound to get heavily soiled or stained with hard chemicals. In such cases, a soap-free cleanser and a good old mop may not suffice. So, here’s what you can do…
Epoxy flooring in parking lots is the hardest to maintain, thanks to spilled engine oil, chemicals, antifreeze, and more. However, you can save time and effort with a bit of caution.
In case of accidental spills, just ensure that the chemical does not sit on the floor for a prolonged time. It must be wiped with paper towels or shop towels immediately. This also negates the damage caused by car chemicals on resin.
Similarly, paints and other abrasive solutions should also be cleaned immediately to avoid exhausting cleaning and repair sessions in the future.
Rust stains are rough and solidified, which can be scraped off with kitchen scrubbers or a soft deck brush. But make sure you use warm water instead of scrubbing it dry.
Note that steel wool and some chemical cleaners are too harsh for the floors. Also, acidic/citrus cleaners are harmful as these solutions weaken the epoxy catalyst. So, ask the seller or check out some online reviews before using a cleaning product.
Usually, a soft scrub and a moderate cleaning solution should do the trick.
Start by clearing the area and removing every nearby object, especially breakable items. Follow it up by sweeping or vacuuming the epoxy floor to remove any visible dirt, stains, and more.
You can use a hard mop and clean the area with warm or hot water, depending on the dirt. If the stains persist, you can make a clear ammonia and water solution. Simply mix 2-3 ounces of ammonia per gallon of water, dip the mop in the mixture, and swipe it around rigorously.
The market is full of all-purpose cleaners that can be used to clean and maintain epoxy floors. Note that every product has different instructions and ratios that must be followed for the desired result.
If you have some time to spare, we suggest letting the product air dry before scrubbing or wiping it off. Additionally, closing all doors and windows is recommended after a thorough clean-up.
If you notice any product de-glossing the epoxy finish, you can apply hot water and scrub the surface gently with a deck brush. Keep in mind that even though an epoxy floor is durable, it does have a chance of getting damaged or losing its gloss. Hence, always look for products and cleaning materials that are powerful but gentle.
Learning about all that goes into cleaning and maintaining epoxy floors, you might be wondering whether the material is actually worth all this effort. Do you even need epoxy floors in the first place? Well, we’d say, “Yes!” since this multi-purpose material is suitable for any area. Other than that, it promises a lot of advantages.
First off, epoxy is made of powerful chemical bonds, which are highly unlikely to get damaged or produce dents, cracks, etc. Thus, it is the one-stop solution for old and new floorings in any area.
Epoxy floors produce a shiny effect that lasts for years to come. Hence, many commercial floors mandate a coating of epoxy for visual appeal as well as relatively easy cleaning.
Lastly, when compared to other floor coatings, epoxy is quite easy on the budget. So, you’ll be getting quite the bang for your buck!
On the contrary, installing epoxy floorings has some minor downsides, which are temporary. The first being its chemical odour which dissipates in a few hours after installation.
Sensitivity can be another concern that can be tackled by getting epoxy floors installed during hotter days (preferably with low humidity) by professional contractors or builders.
Clearly, cleaning and maintaining the epoxy floor is a small price to pay for years of durability, weather resistance, and a visually pleasing shine.
Just try to clean the floors regularly and opt for a professional cleaning service whenever required. Also, remember to be gentle with the floors if you do not want the surface to fog up after every wash.
With that, we come to the end of this informative guide on epoxy floor maintenance. We hope you were able to find a cleaning technique that is suitable for your floors. Let us know if we missed anything in the comment section below, and we’ll be back with more such guides.
Until then, happy cleaning!