Portland Epoxy Surface Preparation
The most important step in coating your concrete floor is the surface preparation. Ninety percent of all floor coating failures can be traced back to this step, either by performing it improperly or by skipping it altogether. Surface contaminants such as dirt, oil, salts and previous coatings can cause a bond-breaking barrier between the coating and the floor.
At Custom Coating Solutions, we diamond grind our floors, which quickly removes old coatings and contaminants using a high velocity planetary diamond grinder. The result is a professionally prepared floor ready for any concrete coating.
Concrete Grinding and Surface Preparation
If you ever meet with a contractor who prepares epoxy floors with any other way besides diamond grinding, kindly send him packing back to his truck and out of your sight. Diamond grinding is the only way to prepare a concrete surface for an epoxy coating. Some contractors use harsh chemicals in place of grinding; some use pressure washers, and some just skip it all together. Amazingly, there are contractors out there who have to warranty upwards of 30 percent of their jobs because the epoxy won’t bond properly without the right preparation. These companies generally don’t last very long. Custom Coating Solutions, on the other hand, has not had a single warranty job — every floor we have completed was done right.
Why is it so important to grind the concrete before coating?
If you are familiar with any type of coating, such as paint, stain, lacquer, etc. you know that surface preparation is the key to allow the material to bond properly. When you damage your car and take it in to the auto body shop to get it painted, they don’t just fix the dents and start spaying away. They aggressively sand the old paint down to the metal before painting. The old paint, dirt, oils, etc. do not allow the paint to adhere to the surface properly, and the result is a coating that is going to start chipping and peeling within months. This also holds true for deck staining, house painting, etc. The surface preparation is key for a long lasting coating.
The same rule applies for epoxy flooring. The difficult thing about preparing a floor for epoxy, however, is that epoxy flooring only goes on concrete. Concrete is an extremely hard surface that cannot simply be sanded or washed. Our diamond grinder, however, cuts right through the top layer of concrete substrate. This does two things. First, it cleans the surface of any contaminants, such as dirt, oil, or chemicals that would prevent proper adherence to the concrete. The other thing it does is open up the surface to allow much more epoxy to be absorbed into the floor. The grinding should leave the floor feeling like about 60 grit sandpaper. The tiny little swirls created by the diamonds are what give the epoxy something to grab onto. During and following the grinding, our heavy duty HEPA filter dust extraction vacuums will ensure the surface and surrounding area is free of harmful silica concrete dust. In short, diamond grinding is going to vastly increase the life and durability of your epoxy floors.
Many of the floors we are contracted to work on already have a concrete coating in place: old epoxy, floor paint, carpet glue, black mastic, grout, etc. Our diamond grinders cut through these coatings like a hot knife through butter. If you are thinking about trying to remove the coating yourself to save money, do not waste your valuable time trying to scrape off the old material yourself. Anytime we do an epoxy floor, we diamond grind the floor first regardless if there is an existing coating, so it makes sense to save your time and energy and allow us to remove the coating.
If you are thinking about rejuvenating your concrete floors with an epoxy coating, contact the Portland flooring experts at Custom Coating Solutions for a free estimate or call us directly at 503.332.0402.