Epoxy paint for coating concrete floors

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Questions and Answers from Durall Experts

Durall experts answer questions about using epoxy paints.

Q   "Hi. We have done this coating before with the floor scrubber and the steps of cleaning and washing. Someone told me to use a diamond scrubber instead. Any thoughts on that?" Rick H
A   Rick,
Thanks for your question. It really depends on the surface you are working with. In general it's not possible to be over aggressive in preparing the surface so it's fine to use a diamond grinder or scrubber. However, in some cases it can be more work/expense than you really need to get good adhesion. It's not possible to "overprepare" a surface but at a certain point you reach a stage where the costs/work override any benefits. Newer surfaces with no previous coating that are generally flat with no ridges don't really need to be diamond scrubbed or grinded. Surfaces that are ridged, grooved and that are deteriorating would benefit from the more aggressive preparation. What you are trying to accomplish with the preparation process is to make the surface porous enough so that the new coating can flow coat into the substrate well enough to get you solid adhesion.
Q   "I have an interior hall way that is the actual concrete slab for the home. I pulled up the carpet and will be painting the floor. I need to put some kind of threshold or something to transition from the slab to the linoleum floor in the foyer and kitchen. Any ideas?" Thanks, Tony
A   Usually a strip of stained and sealed wood with a curved top works well. I have seen marble and aluminum strips used as well. If you coat your floor with epoxy rather than paint, you will get better wear and often just a straight line, created using blue masking tape, will look fine as an edge between the rooms. Go to our website for a free cost analysis and step by step instructions. There is even a video series on applying floor coatings.
Q   My basement floor has bulges and one crevice and has a hollow sound under some of the bulging areas. How does one best investigate? What do you think the problem is? Ron
A   It sounds like someone put a skim coat of concrete over the old floor. If that is true, you have air between the old and new area. The raised new area may eventually crush down leaving a big hole in the floor and if this happens then the rest of the floor may come off a little at a time for many years to come. If it is what I think it is, you can hit the bulge with a hammer and it will crack away. Then, fill the hole with 100% epoxy and color quartz to level before the hole gets bigger. If this turns out to be your problem go to www.concrete-floor-coatings.com and order a trowel kit and a quart each of the two cleaners to prep the floor. Best of luck and I hope that I am wrong!
Q   I have removed my old 9 X 9 floor tile off the concrete basement floor. Most of the old adhesive stayed on the tiles as I removed them, but some adhesive stayed on the floor. What can I do to remove all the old adhesive from the concrete floor? Thanks much! R.A.
A   Black adhesive is asphalt and you can use mineral spirits with a little water and then a rotary scrubber with a black pad or brush to remove it. Follow this with a strong degreasing detergent and the scrubber. If the adhesive used is caramel colored, it is a latex. If you can keep that latex adhesive wet long enough, say a couple of hours, it will soften and then you'll be able to use a razor scraper. Follow up with hot water and a little degreaser along with the scrubber again. If you want the latex adhesive off in a hurry you can use a paint striper, but you will want to wear a mask to mitigate the odor of the stripper. You can go to www.concrete-floor-coatings.com for a strong degreaser and paint stripper if needed.
Q   My mother has purchased a home that has Torginol in the basement living area and she wants to remove it. How do we go about removing this stuff?
A   Torginol products are incorporated into a wide range of resinous coating systems including both water-based and solvent-borne systems. Methyl methacrylates (MMA), epoxies, polyurethanes, polyureas, polyaspartics, UV curables and moisture cure urethanes are a few of the products that contain Torginol. It would help to know exactly which finish you are trying to remove, but most will come off with a Methaline chloride type paint stripper and a razor scraper followed by a high alkaline detergent wash. You could use a diamond grinder to abrade them off or a track plaster to shoot it off, but care needs to be taken not to create "corn rows" or little overlap grooves. If you plan to re-coat, just screen what you have and re-coat with an epoxy or urethane color of choice. See www.concrete-floor-coatings.com for a free cost analysis.
Q   Hello Mr. Chichester,
A few years ago my wife and I built a home with an ICF foundation. Our concrete guy was building his house at the same time, so we were able to see what ICF was all about. Since we had a bigger front porch (6' wide x 24' long), he suggested opening that up so we could use that as storage in the basement. The room under our porch is only 4' wide x ' 22 feet long, but as I was going to finish it, I noticed 2 small spots that looked like it got water damage at some point. From what I can tell, I'm assuming it came from the expansion joint when we might have had a heavy rain that comes in sideways, or it might have built up in the j channel (bottom piece) of siding and leaked down. I'll have to re-paint my porch this spring anyway, but if I were to take off the bottom piece of siding along the porch, what would you recommend to seal that up with. I'd need something that would bond to the concrete as well as wood where the two meet. I'll have to take care of this before I finish the room under the porch. Also, should I seal the expansion joints as well? Thanks for your time.
A   Without knowing more about where your water is coming from, this may or may not be the answer. For years we have sealed walls to the floor in order to meet health code standards for food processing areas. After thoroughly preparing the floor, our grout is used to create a thumb cove where the wall meets the floor. We then tape up the wall 4 to 6 inches and coat the wall, grout, and floor with epoxy. In food processing we use our thick, 100% solid epoxy, but you may be able to use a 50% epoxy coating. Two coats will be needed in either case. This will seal the wall to the floor as long as the two are secure and do not move. For a free cost analysis and step by step instructions go to www.concrete-floor-coatings.com
Q   I have found that most poured leveling products are used on concrete. Is there anything pourable for use on plywood flooring to level it? Thanks for your help! (from Maureen)
A   You can use 100%-solids epoxy to coat and level plywood flooring. This is used at fish farms to make tanks with good success. The problem with flooring is the joints between sheets of plywood. If the sheets move up and down separately, they can create cracks between the sheets. Even with the best support, floor joists often flex. When we work on plywood, we fill the joints with our special grout so the liquid epoxy does not flow through before curing. You may not ever get these hairline cracks but there is a chance you will. Preparation can be as simple as screening or sanding the plywood, and sweeping or vacuuming off the dust before applying two or more coats of paint. The first coat will soak in, but the second may hide the grain. A third coat may be needed to achieve what you are looking for.

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