Durable floors, countertops, or painting don’t come easy. But with epoxy, it’s possible to extend the life of your wooden or concrete floors and countertops while enjoying great color combinations and low maintenance. For commercial, industrial, or residential use, epoxy will give you durable and easy-to-maintain surfaces.
Epoxy can last 3-5 years on floors for heavy industrial applications such as garages, warehouses, and industries. However, it can go up to 10-20 years in residential applications. With the proper maintenance, you can extend this lifespan for up to 30 years.
This article discusses a few topics related to epoxy’s durability and applications. Be sure to keep reading if you’re considering creating or buying epoxy furniture.
Factors That Determine Epoxy’s Durability
Epoxy is generally a durable material. It can last between three and 20 years depending on its use. However, its durability depends on various factors.
The environment has a significant impact on the longevity of your epoxy. Like with other materials, sunlight and rainwater exposure reduces epoxy’s lifespan. Water weakens the bonds in epoxy resins, making them vulnerable to chipping and breaking.
Sunlight contributes to loss of color, which is why outdoors epoxy will fade faster than indoor epoxy. Extreme weather conditions such as snow can also reduce its lifespan.
When used for flooring, activity influences epoxy lifespan. Due to their high activity level, floors in warehouses, industries, garages, and car parks are under a lot of stress. For instance, the passage of heavy-duty vehicles exerts pressure on the floors, weakening them. In addition, dragging bulky machinery and dropping heavyweight objects weakens the epoxy.
Floors in commercial buildings experience traffic from many people. As a result, they become vulnerable to wear and tear compared to floors in residential buildings. Furthermore, they require frequent maintenance such as cleaning to take care of hygiene and aesthetics.
In most cases, this requires abrasive cleaning products such as bleach. Using water and chemical products frequently can affect epoxy durability.
That’s why epoxy on other surfaces, like walls and countertops, lasts longer than epoxy floors.
Curing Time and Conditions
The most durable epoxy is the one that undergoes curing over a long time under high temperatures. The heat allows the epoxy to flow freely for even distribution. Additionally, the heat encourages chemical reactions within the resins, resulting in stronger bonds.
On the other hand, cold weather such as snow makes epoxy less viscous, affecting its distribution. It also slows down the reactions, resulting in weak products.
Epoxy’s curing temperatures determine the curing time. Under high temperatures, it can take about seven days, but in low temperatures, it may take more than a month.
The epoxy installation process can make or break it. Although a DIY might save you a few coins, you might end up ruining your epoxy. And the worst part is that once it dries, the only repair is to remove it. Ultimately, you might end up spending much more.
It would be best to engage a professional installer, especially if you’re using epoxy in high-traffic places.
A professional understands the requirements for proper curing and the type of concrete underneath. They can also advise on the best color combinations and the addition of other materials such as terrazzo and chips.
How To Enhance Your Epoxy’s Lifespan
Just like other materials, epoxy requires care and maintenance for longevity. You don’t want to keep replacing your epoxy resins as this will cost you a fortune. Here are some tips to make it last longer:
Avoid Dragging Heavy Objects
Dragging heavy objects is detrimental to epoxy both in commercial and residential applications. Instead of pulling the furniture, it’s best to lift it. Heaving objects on epoxy can cause abrasion and cracks that create more weaknesses.
It would help if you invested in a wheeled trolley to move heavy objects in commercial places. Although they’ll still exert pressure, they won’t cause as much stress.
Clean It Properly
Epoxy is easy to clean because of its glossy finish. And it’s important to clean it often, especially when if it’s in an area with frequent spills, such as kitchens, eateries, and restrooms. However, it’s best if you avoid harsh cleaning products such as bleach.
Such products can cause abrasion, weakening the epoxy. If you must use them, ensure that you rinse the floor thoroughly with clean water to remove the residues.
Repair Broken Areas Immediately
Ensure you repair any patches and holes on surfaces that contain epoxy as soon as they form. The crevices usually result from dropping heavy objects that cause breakage or cracks. These openings can introduce moisture to the surfaces, causing further cracking.
Besides, repairing them when they’re small is more manageable than when they enlarge.
Make Sure the Installation Process Is Smooth
As I mentioned, the installation process significantly determines epoxy lifespan. If you’re installing it on concrete, ensure it is well done to avoid dirt and cracks. The cracks can cause humidity problems leading to cracking or improper drying of the epoxy.
On the other hand, substandard concrete preparation can lead to weak floors, affecting the lifespan of epoxy.
The curing process must be done within the right time and temperatures. Ideally, you should schedule your epoxy applications during the summer.
How Do You Use Epoxy?
You can use epoxy in flooring, painting, and industrial settings. Epoxy is an excellent material due to its high resistance to heat, chemicals, and extreme weather conditions. Therefore, it is effective in enhancing the surfaces’ durability and appearance.
Let’s explore some of the most common epoxy uses in detail:
Epoxy has gained widespread application in coating floors in commercial and residential houses. It provides an aesthetic look because of its glossy appearance and wide color range. You can use it in your home with terrazzo and chip flooring instead of the usual dull floors.
For industrial and commercial use, it’s a preferred flooring solution for stores, malls, warehouses, garages, and other commercial buildings. It is also a perfect solution in high-traffic facilities because it lasts longer than tiles or wood.
Epoxy is anticorrosive and is therefore ideal for various types of painting tasks. For instance, the canning industries paint metal containers with epoxy when packing acidic foods. It’s also used for line marking in factories and warehouses.
Epoxy is more efficient than regular paint because it shines well and doesn’t fade quickly. This makes it especially suitable for places with high traffic.
Epoxy is an excellent structural glue in manufacturing automobiles, aircraft, boats, and bicycles. These applications require strong bonds to enhance durability. Usually, heat-cured epoxy is preferable because it’s highly resistant to corrosion. Furthermore, epoxy is easy to manipulate for different needs. It can be transparent, opaque, malleable, or rigid.
Epoxy is a vital ingredient in the production of laminates and castings fixtures. These toolings are perfect alternatives to plastics, metal, or wood because they’re more durable. Although epoxy is more expensive than traditional materials, it doesn’t require frequent repairs and replacements, hence economical.
The Pros and Cons of Using Epoxy
Epoxy is a sought-after material due to its versatility, durability, and adhesiveness. It can serve you for years if you install and maintain it properly, but epoxy has its share of limitations.
Here are epoxy’s pros and cons. They should help you decide whether it’s worth it for your situation.
Many people are going for epoxy for residential and commercial uses. Epoxy resins have many uses because you can combine them with different materials.
Some of the benefits of epoxy are:
- Durability: Epoxy is more durable than other materials such as wood, metal, and plastic. Although it can suffer from wear and tear under extreme weather conditions, it’s more resistant to corrosion and chemical abrasion.
- Maintenance: Epoxy requires low maintenance because it’s smooth and resistant to most cleaning products. It’s easy to wipe and sanitize, especially in commercial places. You can wipe it with a damp cloth on both countertops and walls. For flooring, you can dust with a wet mop and clean with water once a week.
- Enhanced appearance: It’s possible to manipulate epoxy to improve its aesthetic appearance. You can include colors and other aesthetic materials such as quartz for eye-catching and beautiful designs. With 3-D epoxy, you can employ extraordinary impressions such as underwater scenes and waterfalls.
- Cost-effective: Epoxy is long-lasting and requires minimal maintenance. Although it may be expensive to maintain, it doesn’t need constant repairs or replacements, saving you money in the long run. In addition, you only need to install it correctly, and you can enjoy your new floors without worrying about additional costs.
As the saying goes, all that glitters is not gold. The high gloss and durable epoxy have several shortcomings.
- A tedious installation process: Epoxy installation requires following a procedure, including concrete preparation and curing time. Therefore the process is time-consuming and can’t be hurried to enhance quality. Moreover, you must avoid the surfaces, forcing you to find alternative places to stay.
- Health issues: Epoxy has a characteristic pungent smell that can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. The odor is more pungent for dark colors but fades away with time. Still, it isn’t easy to live near freshly installed epoxy.
- It can be slippery: Epoxy can be slippery when wet, much like other floors. This means it can cause falls, especially in bathrooms and kitchens where spillage is unavoidable. However, constant drying of these spaces can counter this problem. You may still want to avoid epoxy in such areas if you have children and pets.
Epoxy is one of the best materials for floors and countertops for residential and commercial applications. Unlike other materials, it’s resistant to heat, chemicals, and corrosion. It can serve for 5-30 years, depending on where and how you use it. You can enhance its lifespan through proper installation and maintenance wherever you’re using it.