All too often homeowners and businesses try to repair worn, eroded and pitted floors with materials that crumble which ends up leaving large holes or depressions. Once the repair attempt fails the fix is often more difficult then the original problem. Instead of having a few damaged areas, the new holes in the repaired material leave lingering doubts about the remaining repaired surfaces. Will more of the repair material fail? Should the owner go to the expense and effort of trying to remove it? While these questions do not have a universal answer you can make efficient and long lasting repairs to original repairs using 100% epoxy.
Top-coat repairs to floors are often laid with cement like materials that deteriorate from moisture and abrasion. These materials have limited adhesion and are subject to having pockets blister off the substrate which eventually crumble and become dust. A coating of 100% solid epoxy can level those floors and seal them from further damage. By using a squeegee type motion, liquid epoxy can be pulled over floor irregularities allowing them to fill in. Because epoxy is hard, durable and impervious to liquids once sealed further erosion is usually stopped.
Repair of repairs follows several steps:
- Use a mallet and scraper to find areas of substrate which are about to come loose and remove it.
- Clean the surface using a rotary scrubber with a high alkaline cleaner followed by a high acidic cleaner and scrub rinse.
- After drying, use a 4″ grinder with a masonry wheel to bevel the edge of craters so edges are about 45% towards the floor.
- Sweep off excess ground material.
- Use a glazing compound and putty knife to fill hairline cracks so the epoxy will not sink in and continue to show them.
- For larger cracks, fill sand into them using a broom until sand becomes visible which will keep your epoxy from sinking through the cracks. Make sure no sand remains on the surface.
- Mix up your two part 100% solid epoxy in one gallon batches so it stays as fluid as possible.
- Use a brush and 3/16 lint free roller to cut in around the edge of the room and around legs and other obstacles.
- Mix more epoxy just as you need it so you are not working with thicker, tackier material that is over 15 minutes old.
- Dip your roller and apply to all flat areas.
- Pour epoxy directly into any cavities and holes.
- Use your roller like a squeegee pulling just towards you and lifting as needed to achieve level surfaces over each hole or problem area.
- Allow the floor to harden about 15 hours and then use a 3M type-sanding screen on your rotary scrubber to remove high spots and problems.
- Sweep off dust and residue caused by your screening.
- Repeat steps 5 through 12 for a second coat.
You should have repairs to your repairs which will have a good chance of lasting quite some time. A heavy impact to your floor may still allow layers of cement type patch to let go but more often than not you will avoid additional problems. Your floor will be relatively flat and good looking while being easy to keep clean and maintain.