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Disadvantages of epoxy flooring

Most people are not familiar with epoxy flooring, even though it has been around for a long time. Epoxy flooring is known to last long. It can last about 30 years in light traffic areas, especially if it’s professionally installed. The benefits of using this unique flooring in our homes are numerous.

It’s mostly installed in stores, hospitals, garages, schools, and industrial settings. However, you can find it useful for your bedrooms, sitting rooms, kitchens, or other rooms types. Just as it offers many advantages, epoxy flooring also comes with its limitations. This article will provide all the major disadvantages of installing an epoxy floor in your homes.

What is Epoxy Flooring?

Epoxy flooring is a type of floor material that is increasingly becoming popular across the world today. To create the epoxy, it’s first required to smooth and prep a concrete floor.

After which a hardening chemical and resin are combined. The reaction that occurs afterward will transform the mixture into a hard plastic compound within several days. 

After that, the plastic substance is added onto the concrete and then allowed to harden. Afterwards, a second or third layer can be applied. The state ( liquid to solid process) makes epoxy flooring resistant to stain, and keeps it strong, durable, and long-lasting. 

8+ Disadvantages of Epoxy Flooring

Below are ten disadvantages of using epoxy floors in industrial and residential environments:

Inconsistent Floor Color

If the epoxy materials are not properly mixed, then expect to see a variation in floor color. Also, inconsistent floor color can be as a result of oil or grease on the concrete. And choosing to purchase multiple kits to finish your garage does little or nothing to prevent color differences in batches. 

As a consequence, you will see colors that don’t match in most areas of the floor. Furthermore, the color of the epoxy can be changed by Ultraviolet light. So If a batch is allowed to sit in the sun, and the next is not allowed, expect to see some variations in terms of color between the two batches.

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Inadequate Supply of Epoxy Kits

The demands for epoxy floor coating kits to cover rooms in your homes and garage may far outweigh the availability at a home improvement store. A floor that is properly prepared will absorb a great deal of the epoxy.

For instance, you will run out of kits when covering a 375 square foot garage with a kit that covers 300-400 square feet.

And if you decide to manage the product, so it covers your entire floor, the consequence would be unappealing. This is because such action would result in an epoxy coating just not hard enough but equally very thin.

Strong Toxic Fumes

The installation of an epoxy floor usually produces a strong smell when wet. You notice the floor giving off an odor similar to ammonia as soon as you begin installing.

So you must wear protective gear against strong fumes emitted from epoxy flooring. These fumes are harmful and may be dangerous to people around them.

The signs and symptoms of inhaling such toxic fumes include irritation in the throat, lung, nose, and eyes inflammation. Also, people with asthma may have breathing issues.

It’s noteworthy to say that epoxy floors that are fully cured pose little or no health risks except while sanding the surface. Hence, you must avoid inhaling the dust gotten from sanding as it contains toxic components. 

This is a big drawback for the epoxy floor in the garage. Despite being cost-effective, it poses a threat to people who have asthma. Research also confirms that epoxy can get into the human body and cause damages to the skin, throat, lungs, eyes, and nose. It can also cause other health-related like skin cancer and nervous problems. 

Epoxy takes a Long Time to Cure completely.

It takes a few days for an epoxy installation to harden completely. Even though it is said that it is best for the floor to dry in warm conditions over a long duration. Because when the process is slow, it’s believed that it produces a stronger and more durable result.

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This can also be a challenge mainly when this flooring type is installed in a residential apartment you already live in. Epoxy flooring installations can take a very long period ( up to 30 days or so to dry and cure completely). Hence it will be a little inconvenient for you.

Temporary Flooring Solutions

This type of flooring is not a floor on its own. This is because a wooden floor, steel, or concrete needs to be installed. Afterward, an epoxy is poured on top of it. The resulting layer is not a permanent flooring solution.Because the coat soon begins to wear away. 

Hence it’s essential to always install new coats frequently required. Meanwhile, high traffic or heavy impacts can easily cause wear and tear on epoxy floors. This is a big drawback because you may not have planned for the cost involved in fixing this problem.

Cracks and Chips on High Impact Areas

Be prepared for regular replacement if you decide to install an epoxy floor in areas such as your storage space or garage. This flooring type performs poorly in such areas with high traffic and impact. The surface will be vulnerable to chips and cracks. This simply means additional costs incurred for labor repairing and fixing the affected areas.

Very Slippery when Wet

Epoxy flooring gets very slippery easily, especially when wet. Resinous flooring material is non-porous. This means a smooth surface can be created, making it a dangerous terrain when wet or oil on the floor surface.

Sensitivity and Adherence

The installation of epoxy flooring should be done according to the specifications. If the installation process is not correctly carried out as it is supposed to be, it will only last for a short period. So you should hire reliable professionals to install your epoxy flooring in your home.

Furthermore, epoxy does not stick well to floors that are in moist areas such as a basement, hence avoid applying it in a damp environment. Using it in damp areas can result in the peeling up of the paint. The good news is that you can seek the services of professionals to help combat this issue.

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Air Bubble underneath the Epoxy

The application of epoxy in the presence of direct sunlight or when there is a sharp fall in temperature can cause air bubbles beneath it. Also, if you pour epoxy on porous concrete, then you will witness the forming of air bubbles.

So to combat this problem, prepare the porous concrete properly for the complete sealing of the epoxy. Air bubbles can also form when the epoxy is not well mixed. If you use a paddle mixer to mix it very rapidly, it will trap air in the epoxy. Hence the appearance of air bubbles in the finish when the epoxy is applied.

DIY Tips for Installation of Epoxy flooring

It is a fact a lot of prep work is required for the installation of Epoxy floor installation. However, below are few tips that can help facilitate the Installation correctly:

  • Before you apply the epoxy paint, ensure to remove all oil, solvents, grease, dust, and other debris on the ground.
  • In most cases, it’s required you invest in specialized cleaning agents and tools. 
  • There is a need to rent a grinding machine and grind down the concrete so the epoxy will stick well and produce a smooth surface. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is epoxy cancerous?

Tests conducted on animals indicate that older epoxy can lead to cancer of the skin. This is due to the presence of epichlorohydrin, which is also likely to cause cancer in humans. However, newer epoxy resins contain little epichlorohydrin; hence they don’t cause cancer in animals.

Will epoxy floors crack?

Epoxy floors are known for their rigidity. It has very little flexibility; slight shifts in the foundation can cause cracks to form in an epoxy coating;creating cracked floors difficult to repair without being re-coated with a layer of epoxy.

Why is epoxy so expensive?

Epoxy is generally more costly than resin because of its requirements for formulation and strength. Resin is mostly used for making crafts and jewelry due to its low cost. Just remember, you get what you pay for. Epoxy is very resistant to moisture, and certain formulations can even be used underwater.

Final thoughts

In summary, the disadvantage of epoxy flooring is as follows:

  • Although DIY kits are widely available at most hardware stores, they are mostly made of low-quality materials that do not give good results. 
  • It can make a very messy and complicated DIY project.
  • It’s very time-consuming and challenging to install

As a result of these drawbacks, even seasoned DIY veterans avoid undertaking this as a personal project. It is highly recommended to simply hire a qualified expert, professional or, better still, a great epoxy floor company to install it. That way you save yourself the stress and hassles that comes with the installation of the epoxy floor.