Epoxy floors are a tough, resilient and very durable type of floor coating used in multiple residential, commercial and industrial applications. Epoxy flooring maintains a very high luster while taking a beating, but you will want to provide at least minimal maintenance for an epoxy floor to keep it in top shape.
Below we have listed the best practices in caring for your epoxy floors.
Keep the surface dirt and grit free, especially if you are moving equipment, machinery or vehicles on and off the floor. Protect the floor with plywood sheets or mats before sliding heavy equipment, machinery, pallets, or materials across the floor. This is especially important for newly installed floors that may not yet be fully cured. Use Pallet jacks and carts to avoid damage when moving heavy items. Dirt, grit and small rocks can and will embed or scratch an epoxy floor if allowed to remain. Epoxy floors can take a lot of scratches before they start to show the damage, but it is best to remove all sand or dirt on a regular basis. The best way to accomplish that is to use a shop vacuum with a soft brush attachment. How often you vacuum depends on how much dirt and grit are tracked onto the floor. When it comes time to move heavy machinery across the floor, take extra precautions to ensure the surface is dirt and grit free before moving equipment.
Avoid using soap-based cleaners. Soap-based floor cleaners leave a haze on the epoxy flooring that builds up over time. In most instances, epoxy floors do not need soap. Depending upon the surface texture of your floor, warm water and a good mop, deck-scrubbing brush, and/or a floor squeegee will usually do the job just fine. As a general rule, wet cleaning of smooth and semi-smooth epoxy floors is best accomplished with a mop, while textured floors with slip-resistant, aggregate surfaces such as many flake, quartz, and sand are best done with a soft to medium bristled deck brush. A floor squeegee is also a useful tool for moving any standing water off the floor and into nearby floor drains. If you need extra scrubbing power use something like soft soap to aid you with the tougher spills or stains.
Spot Cleaning. Often you only need to vacuum or sweep a small area of the floor where something has been spilled or tracked in. If a liquid material has been spilled along with the dirt, vacuum up the excess fluid with the shop vac and then mop the area with warm water. Epoxy floors are highly water resistant and very easy to clean when liquid spills occur.
Heavily soiled epoxy floors. The best way to clean up a dirty epoxy floor is as follows: Sweep and vacuum the entire area. Once you have removed all the surface dirt, grime and grit, use a hard foam mop, or soft bristled deck brush and warm/hot water to get rid of all the built-up dirt. After that, if needed to remove more stubborn dirt or stains you can use: Dishwashing soaps like Dawn, Joy. Ivory, etc.…, Simple Green, Formula 409, Fantastic, Windex, Bon Ami, Scrub Free, Soft Soap, and Mr. Clean; or you can use a clear ammonia and water mix (at 2-3 ounces ammonia per gallon of hot water) for mopping is all that is needed to adequately remove soiling.
Stubborn stains. Some stains such as rust can be stubborn. We have found using a 1:1 ratio of CLR and warm water to be effective. Apply it directly to the rust spot and scrub using a scrub brush or soft scrub pad and rinse with cold clean water. (Do not allow the CLR & water solution to sit for more than a minute or two on the surface). You may also use a scrubbing sponge or a soft deck brush and warm water (caution is advised when using a scrubbing pads as they can dull the floors finish). Avoid using steel wool or harsh chemicals like comet, they are too abrasive. Use soft soaps or liquid detergents and a light to moderately abrasive brush. The use of a steam cleaner is not recommended for this flooring system. Excessive heat shock may cause swelling, blistering and subsequent adhesion failure to this flooring system. Never use any cleaning compounds with citrus or acid in them. Citrus cleaners and vinegar will break down the epoxy catalyst and must be avoided.
DO NOT USE: Vinegar, bleach, Ajax, Comet, abrasive scratch pads, harsh abrasives, steel wool, or undiluted ammonia.
Oil, car chemicals and other chemicals. Antifreeze, oil and other car-related chemicals can be wiped up with shop towels or a paper towel. The important thing about car spills is to not allow them to sit on the floor surface for too long. Even engine oil has chemicals that could be potentially hazardous to an epoxy floor. If gas is spilled, wipe it up immediately. Paint, household cleaners and other spills should be treated in the same manner, wipe them up with shop towels as soon as the spill occurs.
Accidental Scratch or Scoring damage. Should the floor surface become heavily scratched or scored by abrasive materials it may be necessary to take additional steps to repair. To accomplish this first clean the surface with an approved cleaning method listed above. Then apply an approved polish or glaze coat to the surface. Zep products work well with our epoxies and can be easily found at Lowes’, and Home Depot or online. Buckeye CastleGuard® is also an excellent wax type product that is most easily found online. When applied routinely these products will not only hide existing scratches but will also protect the surface from future scratches. Repeated applications building up the thickness of the polish or glaze coat will provide improved scratch resistance. Please note: CastleGuard® is often the preferred method to coat interior metallic epoxy floors after installation, as it is the most cost effective, long term solution for slip-resistance, scratch mitigation while still providing the visual clarity and depth of design that most clients have come to expect from epoxy metallic flooring. Deep scratches and or gouges that penetrate through the decorative epoxy layer will need professional repair and likely re-coating of the topcoat. Please contact the coating specialists at Armortech Resurfacing, Inc if this should occur.
Washer Scrubber Dryer Machines. Technical advances in floor maintenance equipment over the past decade has provided industry with low cost, highly efficient machines applying low foam cleansers with vacuum suction drying. The use of these machines is recommended as being the most effective method of cleaning floors with minimum disruption.
Follow these simple steps and keep your new epoxy floors looking great for years to come.
Caring for your floor will take a minimal amount of time, but it will need to be done on a regular basis to keep your new epoxy floor shining for many years after the installation. If you have questions feel free to ask your floor coating specialist at Armortech Resurfacing, Inc. to make sure you know and use the right cleaning tools and supplies for your particular flooring type.