Epoxy resin is a common choice for coating the floors of garages and homes. Due to its shiny appearance, epoxy adds an appealing touch to home flooring while providing a smooth, durable surface that lasts for many years. Because installing new flooring is a big commitment, it’s important to understand the possible issues that may occur with epoxy. One such question that may come to mind is will epoxy floors crack?
In short, epoxy is very durable and therefore won’t crack from heavy traffic or usage. With that being said, if your building’s foundation shifts, your epoxy flooring is at risk of developing cracks. Similarly, if you apply epoxy over concrete with cracks, the epoxy may eventually break.
Epoxy is a very durable material that can withstand heavy loads for several years. Just like any flooring material, however, epoxy is not indestructible. Even with regular maintenance, epoxy floors may crack due to shifts in the foundation or cracks in existing concrete. Fortunately, cracks in epoxy flooring can easily be prevented and repaired in homes and garages. Today, let’s take a closer look at why epoxy floors crack and how to solve this common issue.
Do Epoxy Floor Coatings Crack?
When selecting durable, high-quality flooring for your home or garage, you will likely come across epoxy resin. Epoxy flooring is well known for being strong and long-lasting, as well as visually appealing. If you’re considering installing epoxy flooring, one question that you may begin to ponder is will epoxy floors crack.
The short answer is yes, epoxy floors may crack if the building’s foundation shifts. Although epoxy flooring is extremely durable, it is not very flexible and therefore cannot handle shifts in the foundation. In a similar way, epoxy may crack when applied to concrete with cracks.
Despite the strength and durability of epoxy resin, epoxy flooring is prone to cracks, especially when incidents such as foundation shifts occur. In addition to this possibility, there are many reasons why epoxy floors may crack. Below, we’ll explore in further detail the most common causes of cracks in epoxy flooring.
Why Do Epoxy Floors Crack?
Oftentimes, epoxy flooring will crack after extremely cold or hot weather. While the epoxy itself can handle these extreme temperatures, the flooring underneath it may not. For example, concrete flooring will often crack during high or low temperatures. As a result, the epoxy will crack since it cannot handle the stress of concrete cracks.
In some cases, the epoxy resin may crack due to bubbling caused by a damp environment. When heavy loads come into contact with the affected area, the bubbles on the surface will break. The impact of falling objects may also cause cracks in epoxy resin, especially when the flooring has bubbles.
Most often, the reason for epoxy flooring to split is due to any shifts in the foundation. Because epoxy flooring is not flexible, it cannot handle these slight foundation shifts. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to prevent these cracks from occurring. Instead, you’ll need to repair the flooring after the cracks appear.
How To Repair Cracked Epoxy Flooring
Repairing cracks in your epoxy flooring is essential for extending the life of the epoxy resin. Once you discover cracks in your flooring, it’s important to begin repair as soon as possible. Waiting to repair the cracks puts the entire floor at risk of permanent damage, especially when located in high-traffic areas.
Fortunately, repairing cracked epoxy flooring is not a difficult process. In most cases, you’ll need to patch the cracked area with a mortar before re-painting the entire floor with epoxy. It’s important to allow the mortar to fully cure before applying a coat of epoxy resin.
If the cracks are minor, simply pour some fresh mortar into the cracks or chips. Continue filling in the cracks until the mortar overflows from the top. From here, use a trowel to smooth the surface and remove excess mortar. Allow the mortar to cure for at least 60 days before applying a second coat of epoxy.
If the epoxy flooring has more major cracks, it may be best to resurface the entire floor rather than patch the cracks. Before applying epoxy to your floor, thoroughly sweep the area and remove oils with a grease-fighting detergent. Next, use an epoxy patching compound to patch any chips or holes in the surface. Epoxy compounds will dry faster than mortar, allowing you to apply an epoxy finish much sooner.
Once the patched areas are dry, apply a layer of epoxy paint. Allow the epoxy to fully dry before continuing on with a clear epoxy finish. Avoid walking on the flooring until it has cured for at least 24 hours.
How to Prevent Cracks in Epoxy Flooring
There are many precautionary steps you may take to prevent cracks from occurring in your epoxy flooring. Whether you’ve recently applied epoxy to your flooring or you’ve had epoxy flooring for years, preventing cracks from developing is important for extending the lifespan of the epoxy resin. Here, let’s take a closer look at ways to prevent cracks in epoxy flooring.
Repair Cracks in Existing Concrete Flooring
If you haven’t yet added epoxy to your concrete flooring, now is the time to repair any cracks in the concrete. Because epoxy will break wherever the concrete is split, it’s important to fill in any holes or cracks the concrete may have.
After repairing the cracks, allow the mortar to cure before applying epoxy flooring. If the entire concrete flooring is fairly new, allow it to cure for at least 30 days before applying a coat of epoxy resin.
Prevent and Repair Bubbles in Epoxy Flooring
Bubbles in epoxy flooring are a common reason for cracks to occur on the surface. Because bubbles cause epoxy flooring to lose its strength, the epoxy is susceptible to cracks when in contact with heavy loads. While bubbling commonly appears during the application, it may also occur after the epoxy has cured.
To prevent bubbles from forming, it’s important to keep the epoxy flooring dry. The presence of water is often the primary cause for bubbles to appear. If bubbles have already formed, you may need to sand them down and apply another coat of epoxy.
Protect Your Floor from Damage
The impact from heavy objects can often cause cracks or chips to occur on your floor’s surface. To prevent this from happening, always be careful when maneuvering heavy loads across the floor. If your floor receives heavy foot traffic, it may be best to place rugs in high-traffic areas such as entrances and doorways.
By protecting your epoxy flooring from damage, you can save a significant amount of time and effort making repairs on your epoxy floors. In the end, these preventative measures will result in a beautiful epoxy flooring that maintains its captivating appearance for many years to come.