February 13, 2015
I frequently get calls and emails from folks who want to install our epoxy over an existing epoxy floor or coating that they have. They want to know if it is okay to go over it and what they have to do to properly prepare the surface.
If the existing epoxy is a good hard solid one that is well bonded to a well prepared substrate it is possible. On the other hand if you are replacing it, what is wrong with the existing epoxy? Has the existing epoxy been badly abused by heavy sharp objects being dragged on it? Was the exiting epoxy damaged by chemicals beyond the chemical resistance of the existing epoxy? Are you just trying to upgrade the look of the existing epoxy?
You should be concerned about going over epoxy that is coming loose from the substrate. That may mean that there was poor surface preparation. It may also mean that the quality of the epoxy might not be what it should be. You need to be concerned about epoxy that is wearing out. If it is wearing out you want to know why. My company and I personally started out as installers of epoxy. I have never seen or been made aware of any of Epoxy.com coatings and/or flooring systems that have worn out have come loose from the concrete. I have seen concrete so pounded by traffic that it came loose, but our epoxy was still attached and still doing its job. That is based on over 30 years of field experience with the products.
Back to the question, “can I put epoxy over epoxy?” I always assume that the reason that the epoxy is wearing out or coming loose is that the epoxy is low quality or the installation was poorly done or both until I can prove otherwise. The way that I do that is to attempt to grind or shot blast off the existing epoxy. If after a substantial effort the epoxy cannot be removed and I cannot hear a hollow sound under the existing epoxy, I feel I have proven that the existing material is solid and well bonded.
Let’s take a moment to discuss that dreaded hollow sound above. If the flooring system or coating is very poorly bonded you will get a sound from your grinder like you are dragging a piece of paper or a piece of stone under the grinder, or rubbing stone. When you tap it with a hammer you get a hollow higher pitch noise than you get when you tap solid concrete or a solid floor over concrete.
You must be sure that the substrate is free of all types of contamination, including but not limited to oil, grease, food fats, curing compounds, sealers, laitance, dirt, wax etc. The existing epoxy left behind must be well bonded, and sanded until it has no shine. See Epoxy Surface Preparation Procedures for more information on this subject.
The beauty of trying to get it off is you are removing all the shine and getting it ready to accept another layer of epoxy. Just before I install the new layer of epoxy I solvent wipe with xylene, let it dry. Then I recommend a coat either Epoxy.com Product #899 Primer or Epoxy.com Product #12 Chemical Resistant Primer. Then install epoxy as usual. For more surface preparation and installation tips please visit or “Where to Start” page at: http://www.epoxy.com/start/default.aspx
Related Resources on Epoxy
“Where to Start” page may be the best way to get you off to a quick start.
Epoxy Primers and Sealers
Chemical Resistant Epoxy
Epoxy Chemical Resistance Chart
Epoxy.com Technical Support
Norm Lambert, President – Technical Support Director
Leave a Comment » | Block Walls, bonding, Bonding systems, Chemical Resistance, Chemical Resistant Epoxy, Chemical Resistant Paint, Epoxy, epoxy bar top resin, epoxy education, Installation, Questions and Answers, seamless epoxy floor coatings, seamless epoxy flooring system, Waterproofing | Tagged: decorative seamless epoxy flooring, epoxy systems, esd epoxy, FYI, Low VOC, new epoxy over old epoxy, New Products, news.epoxy.com posts, No VOC, Questions from Users, Seamless Flooring, seamless garage flooring, waterproofing, waterproofing epoxy, zero voc epoxy | Permalink
Posted by Norm Lambert
January 29, 2015
Installing Epoxy in Coolers and Cold Temperature
Extend Epoxy Installation Season into Winter
I have spoken on this subject here before but this time of year I get a lot of calls and emails about installing epoxy in cold temperatures. Our company started out as an installation company in Vermont. Summers are very short and winters are very long in Vermont. To stay a viable company, we had to figure ways of working through the winter.
Tenting and heating areas during the winter is time consuming and expensive. The solution is found in resin products that will set in low temperatures. The most durable and cost effective options of installation at cold temperatures is Epoxy and Methyl Methacrylate.
Cold Temperature Cure Resins can also be used as a super-fast setting Resinous Mortar or Coating at normal temperatures. Our Cold Temperature Cure Resins used at normal temperature give you quick turnaround time for small jobs, or larger jobs that require a short turn-around time.
Cold Temperatures Epoxies
Cold Temperature Cure Epoxy Resins allow installation to be done at low temperatures as low as 35°F., expanding your epoxy coating and epoxy flooring installation season. Epoxy.com Cold Temperature Cure Epoxy Resins can also be used in cold storage areas like food processing areas, where the temperature cannot be raised higher than 35° F or so. Normal cured epoxy typically requires 50°F or more.
Depending on how you mix the aggregate into the products below, they can be used as a mortar for overlays, or a grout for sealing between other hardened construction materials.
Commonly Used Cold Temperature epoxies
Product #1 Cold Temperature Cure Epoxy Coating is 100% solids and specially formulated coatings for cold temperature applications. Cold Temperature Epoxy Coating #1 is able to cure at temperatures as low as 35°F. It is has Zero (0) VOCs. Since it has no VOCs, it has no solvent so it meets the strictest possible standard for a low VOC coating. It is often used in coolers and food preparation areas that require constant low temperatures. Product #1 Cold Temperature Cure Epoxy Coating is also frequently used in room temperature applications to meet super-fast cure, limited shutdown needs.
Product #10 Cold Temperature Curing Epoxy Mortar Resin – This product has a low modulus of elasticity (flexibility) and is Low Viscosity. The low viscosity allows heavy loading of the right fillers. The heavy filler loading helps not only to save money, but helps to maintain better thermal coefficient with respect to concrete and steel. The low modulus of elasticity prevents it from being brittle making it less vulnerable to thermal coefficient differences. It also gives it better impact resistance.
You can find more information on cold temperature cured epoxy at: http://www.epoxy.com/EpoxyColdCured.aspx.
Leave a Comment » | Epoxy, epoxy concrete repair, Installation, patching concrete with epoxy patching material, seamless epoxy floor coatings, seamless epoxy flooring system, Seamless Epoxy Flooring Systems, waterproof, Waterproofing | Tagged: 0 VOC epoxy, conductive epoxy flooring, decorative seamless epoxy flooring, epoxy installation, epoxy systems, epoxy.com, epoxy.com 100% solids products, epoxysystems.com, Low VOC, mechanical cleaning, No VOC, no voc epoxy, Seamless Flooring, seamless garage flooring, waterproofing epoxy, zero (0) VOC, zero voc epoxy | Permalink
Posted by Norm Lambert
September 15, 2014
Poured Concrete Foundation Waterproofing
This is number 2A of a 2 part series on basement repairs. In Part 1, we discussed waterproofing block wall foundations. In Part 2A shows how to identify leaks that need waterproofing in basement walls, and floors that are made out of poured concrete. Part 2B will deal with the actual repairs to poured concrete leaks.
In our last piece we discussed how many homes and businesses experience leaky basements year after year. The worse time is in the spring after winter accumulation of snow. There are a number of prudent things that you can do to improve drainage against your foundation like roof gutters, grading and improvement of drainage. The recommendations here do not replace that conventional wisdom. It is designed to augment and improve upon these conventional methods.
Identifying the Source of the Basement Water Leak
The nice thing about poured concrete is that it holds water back very well. The leak typically happens at a cold joint or in a crack or hole in the concrete.
Concrete Cold Joints
Fresh (plastic) concrete doesn’t bond to hardened concrete. The exception is when a special epoxy bonding agent like Epoxy.com Product #2007 – is used (this bonding agent will be discussed in a future article). When concrete has hardened or has started to harden and you pour more concrete against it (without the right bonding agent) you get what is called a cold joint. These cold joints are a common source of water leaks.
Virtually all basements are built with a giant cold joint – the cold joint between the floor and the wall. Typically there is some sort of water-stops material installed in these joints intended to stop leaking at this cold joint. These water-stops can fail. So the wall to floor joint in a concrete basement is a frequent source of water leaks.
You can also get cold joints in the middle of concrete walls and floors due to multiple pours. You can get cold joints if concrete is setting to fast and fresh concrete is poured against semi cured concrete. Sometimes saw cuts in the floor can be a source of leaks
Then there are the ties that go through the concrete to hold the forms together on either side during the pour. If these form ties are not installed perfectly or if the concrete is not totally vibrated around them, these ties can act as a conduit to let the water in.
Wall and Floor Cracks
When concrete cures it shrinks that is called “plastic shrinkage”. That plastic shrinkage can and usually does result in the concrete cracking. These cracks are one of the easiest ways for water to get into your basement. If the water makes it to the fill side of the tank (under the floor or against the wall) it will typically leak out into your basement. You should look carefully for these cracks when looking for potential leaks into your basement. If you are able to investigate into the water infiltration into your basement when it is leaking it will be easy to see. If trying to find the source of leaks when the basement is dry you have to look for water marks on either side of the cracks and beneath the areas that might be leaking.
Repairing the Basement Leaks with Epoxy
In the next installment on this topic, I will deal with how you waterproof the cracks while structurally repairing them with epoxy and similar materials.
For more information please contact me:
Leave a Comment » | adhesive, Block Walls, bonding, Bonding systems, Epoxy, Fast Setting, glue, Injection, Installation, repairing concrete with Epoxy, waterproof, Waterproof Block Wall Basements, Waterproof Seamless Flooring, Waterproofing, Waterproofing Block Walls | Tagged: Epoxy, epoxy injection systems, repar of concrete with epoxy, waterproofing, waterproofing epoxy, waterproofing epoxy poured concrete | Permalink
Posted by Norm Lambert