Untreated or traditional concrete flooring may seem indestructible. After all, what’s stronger than concrete? While concrete is strong, it’s definitely not immune to damage thanks to its porous nature that readily absorbs liquids and can even crack when subjected to heavy loads. Epoxy flooring is a liquid-applied flooring system that bonds with the concrete and cures into an ultra-strong plastic material that actually increases the strength of your concrete while protecting it from damage.
Here’s how epoxy flooring and bare concrete flooring stack up against each other in several important areas.
One of the biggest concerns with traditional concrete is it’s very porous. While the pores in concrete are very tiny, they comprise about 15% of the concrete’s surface, leaving a network pores that readily absorb moisture. This can be a problem for many reasons. When concrete absorbs liquids, it can stain or even become damaged by absorbed chemicals, salt, and water. When moisture in the concrete freezes and thaws, it causes damage and cracks over time that can affect the structural integrity of the concrete. In commercial and industrial settings, this porous nature allows dangerous chemicals to seep into the concrete and potentially into the ground. Traditional concrete is also impossible to sanitize.
Epoxy flooring bonds with the concrete to create a virtually seamless floor system. Moisture cannot permeate the epoxy, preventing water from seeping up from the ground and isolating spills on the surface for easy cleanup. Epoxy is USDA approved for food processing facilities and commercial kitchens thanks to its nonporous nature but this is also important when installed in basements, garages, retail facilities, medical centers, and anywhere subject to spills and moisture.
There’s no doubt that concrete is strong and durable. It can last decades and withstand vehicle traffic, heavy weight loads, abrasion, and more. Still, it lacks the durability for industrial and commercial applications. Without some type of protective coating, concrete is still susceptible to damage from harsh chemicals, impact, extreme temperatures, de-icing salt, liquids, and other hazards.
An epoxy concrete coating protects the concrete against heat, extreme cold, moisture, salt, chemicals, and more. Industrial-grade epoxy also increases the compressive and tensile strength of the concrete floor to improve its weight capacity.
Concrete dusting can be a problem. In a garage, it gets tracked into the home and may damage belongings. In some commercial and industrial settings, it can be disastrous, contaminating and damaging products, electronics, or food and even creating a slippery surface when wet.
Epoxy flooring effectively stops concrete dusting for good with a smooth yet slip-resistant surface that will not harbor dirt and dust in any seams, pores, or cracks.
Traditional concrete flooring doesn’t reflect light very well at all. By comparison, an epoxy concrete coating can boost the reflectivity of the concrete floor by up to 300%. This can make any space like a warehouse, garage, or basement brighter and reduce the need for additional lighting.
Regular concrete is fairly slip-resistant when textured but it can be dusty and slippery when wet, especially in the presence of dust or oil. An epoxy coating can boost the safety of concrete flooring in several ways. For commercial and industrial applications, striping or cautionary signage can be incorporated directly into the epoxy coating. This can identify hazards, forklift paths, pedestrian paths, and more. Epoxy is also skid-resistant but the safety can be improved even further with skid-resistant additives or a flake epoxy system with a safe, slip-resistant texture. Its bright surface can also improve visibility and safety in work environments.