There are many written articles trumpeting the virtues of epoxy flooring and how it is, without doubt, the perfect flooring solution for those of us who are have been looking for a floor coating that is not only durable but also looks good and minimal maintenance. But, even though it is minimal maintenance, there is very little said about how to clean epoxy flooring.
After Installation Care
Firstly and foremost, the new flooring system must be permitted to fully cure before being walked on. The following industry product curing times should be strictly adhered to;
Light and careful foot traffic – 24 hours if an average temperature is 20°C, but 48 hours if around 8°C. Full mechanical and chemical loading (i.e.; garages and commercial zones) – this will require 7 days with the temperature averaging 20°C and 14 days with an 8°C average temperature (but always take care with heavy equipment across the new floor).
DO NOT wash the floor with water until the curing cycle is completed. This will be a minimum of 7 days but you must refer to your professional applicator or product information for more definite times.
Ongoing Regular Cleaning
The regular cleaning of epoxy floors is necessary to maintain the appearance and extend the life of the flooring coating. Here are a few ‘Do’s and Don’ts;
It will surprise you to know that your everyday dishwashing liquid is the best thing to clean your epoxy flooring. Mix 1/3 cup with 4 to 5 liters of water and mop the floor.
For commercial applications and some larger residential garages the use of a washer machine that also acts as a scrubber and dryer may be used and if you are doing it DIY style, only use cleaners as recommended by the machines manufacturers or distributors. This is the most effective method of cleaning larger areas of epoxy flooring.
Abrasive cleansers must not be used. Try using a soft bristle brush instead as hard bristles act like sandpaper. Acid-based cleansers will certainly damage your flooring and must not be used. Strong alkali based cleansers are very dangerous must be diluted as per the product’s instructions and never used in their concentrated form. Whilst some solvent “activated” cleansers are suitable, in the main, it is better to avoid using any solvent cleansers.
Scraping the surface of the epoxy flooring should be avoided but it is okay to lightly use a scourer sponge together with plastic scrapers or squeegees. Ensure they have rounded corners as they are less likely to scratch the floor’s surface.
Polishing Epoxy Flooring
Now that the washing process is completed, you can commence polishing your floor. For this task, you can use approved clear polymer glaze coats or wax polishes to protect the upper surface from minor scratches and abrasions. You will find that wax modified cleansers are most likely to be the ones that will provide improved scratch resistance.
Metallic style polishes will give immediate protection and it is recommended that you apply at least three coats following the washing procedure. You will find that three coats can comfortably be applied on the same day. It is advisable that the polishing application is repeated every three months.
Impact Damage Repairs
An epoxy flooring system is somewhat complex and it is advisable to contact a professional to carry out any repairs. If you are intending to carry out the repairs yourself, it is imperative that you act quickly and make inquiries as to what remedial me