Nothing grinds an epoxy surface like abrasive dirt left behind on the floor. Whether caused by vehicle or human traffic, the grit will eat away at the coating over time.
Scrub brand-new floors at least weekly during the first 2 to 3 months and daily in high-traffic areas. Make sure to use a pH neutralizing cleaner and rinse thoroughly.
Do Regular Inspections
As detailed on www.epoxyfloorcincinnati.com, epoxy floors are a popular choice for commercial and residential facilities because of their durability, versatility, and aesthetic appeal. However, if you want to extend the lifespan and preserve the beauty of epoxy floors, it’s essential to follow a consistent maintenance routine. This includes regularly sweeping and mopping with a moderate detergent solution that’s safe for use with the type of epoxy used in your facility. This is a low-key maintenance item that can prevent the accumulation of small particles on the floor’s surface, which can scratch or damage it.
You should also clean up spills immediately. A little bit of antifreeze, gasoline, paint or other erosive chemicals left on an epoxy floor can etch the surface, leaving behind ugly spots and cracks that can compromise the integrity of the flooring. Using paper towels, shop rags or a microfiber mop with a mild detergent solution and warm water is the best way to remove these types of spills.
It’s also a good idea to set aside time to periodically inspect the floor for any signs of wear or damage. This can help you catch problems before they worsen, minimizing the need for costly repairs.
Scratches and dents on epoxy floors can be caused by everything from foot traffic to heavy machinery. To avoid these unsightly marks, you should consider placing floor mats or rugs at all entranceways to trap dirt and moisture from shoes. This can significantly reduce the amount of debris that’s brought onto the floors, minimizing the need for frequent cleaning.
You should use furniture pads or sliders under the legs of large pieces of furniture, as this will prevent them from directly contacting the floor and potentially damaging it. In addition, you should never drag furniture across the floor, as this can cause abrasions or scratches. If you must move furniture around, try to lift it and position it carefully to minimize contact with the epoxy floor.
In addition to these preventative measures, you should always use non-abrasive cleaning products made specifically for epoxy floors. These cleaners are designed to safely and effectively remove residue, stains and odors without harming the coating. You should also test any new cleaning product on a small, inconspicuous area of the floor to see how it reacts with your particular epoxy.
Do Scrub the Floor Regularly
While epoxy floors are hardy and can resist many kinds of damage, they can wear away if exposed to abrasive chemicals and solvents for long periods. Even food and other household spills can stain an epoxy floor, if left unattended. This is why it’s important to clean up these substances promptly.
Sweep the floor daily or at least weekly in high-traffic areas, and at least monthly in less-frequently used areas to keep dust, grit, dirt, and other small particles from scratching and etching an epoxy surface. A soft-bristled broom or microfiber mop is recommended for these tasks to prevent scratches and other abrasions.
Spills should also be cleaned up as soon as possible. A quick blot with a paper towel or other absorbent material is all that’s required to remove most liquids, such as water, oil, and food spills. Chemicals, such as brake fluid, gasoline, and antifreeze should be soaked up with absorbent pads or rags to avoid any possible acidic reaction with the epoxy coating.
Corrosive cleaning solutions, abrasive cleaners, and acids like vinegar or citrus cleaners should never be used to clean an epoxy floor. These types of cleaners can strip the top layer of epoxy and leave behind a dull, lifeless appearance. Using these chemicals on your epoxy floor can result in permanent damage, and they can pose a safety hazard for employees or guests.
Before beginning any cleaning or maintenance work on an epoxy floor, it’s best to protect your skin and eyes by wearing rubber gloves and a face mask. Also, be sure to properly ventilate the area, opening windows and doors, or using fans to eliminate any dangerous fumes. Finally, it’s wise to lay down protective mats or slide furniture sliders under large items like tables, chairs, and cabinets, to prevent unintentional abrasion and scrapes on the flooring.
When it comes to scrubbing an epoxy floor, you want to use a soft-bristled broom, microfiber mop, or cloth with a pH-neutral, non-abrasive detergent solution, mixed with warm water. Doing this regularly will keep the floor sanitary, while also keeping it looking great and helping to extend its lifespan.
Do Clean Up Spills Promptly
While epoxy is a durable floor coating, accidents do happen, and some liquids like oil or grease can damage the surface. Cleaning up spills promptly is a must to prevent stains and etching. Use a mop and mild cleaning solution to wipe away the spill as soon as it occurs. Do not allow it to sit for a long time, since this can make the stains much harder to remove.
Avoid using abrasive scouring pads or steel wool to clean the epoxy. These tools can scratch the floor and dull its shine. For stubborn stains, a kitchen pad or sponge can be used to scrub the spot gently with warm water. For chemical spills, always neutralize the liquid and follow the cleaning product’s instructions to avoid any damage to the epoxy floor.
Regular sweeping and dust mopping are important for the maintenance of your epoxy floors. Sweeping and dust mowing removes dirt, debris, and other particles that can cause scratches or dull the epoxy surface. Alternatively, you can vacuum the floors regularly to eliminate large particles. It is also a good idea to place door mats near entryways to catch dirt, as well as furniture sliders underneath heavy furniture to reduce the risk of scratches.
Cleaning an epoxy floor is relatively easy as long as the right cleaning products are used. Avoid acidic cleaners, such as vinegar solutions or citrus-based ones, because they can strip the surface and cause discoloration. Likewise, avoid soap-based cleaners that can leave a film coating or haze on the surface and attract dirt.
Ideally, an epoxy floor should be cleaned daily to prevent the build-up of hardened residue and to keep it looking shiny and new. However, if your business is heavily trafficked and you can’t clean the floor daily, you should at least do so once or twice per week. Investing in regular upkeep will save you money and trouble in the long run, as fixing severely damaged epoxy floors can be quite costly. For the best results, hire a professional cleaning service that has experience working with epoxy floors to discover and treat any problems before they become worse.
Do a Moisture Test
Many people are surprised to find out that the main reason epoxy floor coatings fail is due to moisture. Concrete slabs naturally lose moisture through osmosis and this can continue for quite some time after the concrete is poured. When the floor is coated in an impermeable epoxy resin, the moisture cannot escape, causing a buildup of hydrostatic pressure beneath the epoxy that can lift it away. This can create a huge problem for the flooring and the building below it.
Moisture testing is an important step in surface preparation for any epoxy application. It is essential that the proper procedure be followed to ensure a good installation and long-lasting result. The test used can vary in scope and depth from probing the concrete with a probe to simply using a plastic sheet that changes color depending on the relative humidity. It is important to be thorough and accurate in your tests and to follow the guidelines set forth by the manufacturer.
New concrete that has not had enough time to hydrate can still be coated in an epoxy, but the concrete must be tested for moisture content first. This can be done with a calcium chloride kit or with a relative humidity meter that measures in situ moisture levels. Moisture meters are more accurate than the probe method but both must be used in order to get an accurate reading of the concrete.
It is also important to use a moisture barrier in conjunction with an epoxy coating to help keep the concrete free of excessive moisture.