- Matt Meek
Mitigating Moisture of Epoxy Floor Coatings
To do the job right your flooring contractor must be educated and experienced. Knowing the risks of moisture in concrete is something a lot of contractors and DIYers overlook. Mitigating moisture in floor coating applications is essential when it comes to the longevity of your floor.
“If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” That’s what we tell customers when they compare our applications to or ask about “1-day” polyurea-polyaspartic systems and DIY kits. Many coating companies advertise these systems as magic, stating they are a quicker, cheaper alternative. But less is not always more…
1-Day Polyurea-Polyaspartic Flooring Systems
There are certain situations where the use of a 1-day polyurea-polyaspartic systems might make sense. But this is not the norm, in order for these types of systems to be applied directly to concrete, the moisture levels inside the concrete must be extremely low. To know the true level of the moisture inside the concrete, you must take numerous moisture level readings using a calibrated meter. Polyurea-polyaspartics perform much better when they are used as a second coat vs. being applied directly to concrete.
In commercial applications, durability is the most important aspect of floor coatings. In addition to their inability to mitigate moisture, 2-coat systems don’t use nearly enough material to meet commercial specifications, making them much less durable.
Wondering why “1-day” flooring systems are still being advertised? Using less material, in less time, with less labor means more money for the contractor. Be aware of this when choosing an installer for your flooring application.
Why Assess Moisture Before Applying Your Coating System?
Moisture in concrete is the most common problem in epoxy and polyurea-polyaspartic floor coatings. Not assessing moisture content before installation will cause peeling (picture below) and delamination.
Water often gets trapped under concrete slabs. When those slabs are covered with moisture barriers pressure builds underneath causing the coating to lift off of the surface. A lot of our installs are removing painted or polyurea-polyaspartic coated floors where the moisture was not handled properly.
How we manage moisture
We know how to look for signs of moisture and we use equipment to verify our theories. Once we know the exact moisture levels, we choose our materials accordingly.
If the moisture content is high, we use a hydro epoxy primer, created to mitigate moisture issues under the surface. These primers add days in the installation, which is why 1-day systems are rarely sufficient.
Managing moisture is crucial when it comes to floor coatings. Skipping moisture mitigation steps will result in lifting, delamination and less than average results. Stay away from DIY kits and quick fixes, call a professional and have the look you want last forever.