Epoxy floors come with a number of advantages for commercial and industrial property owners. They’re a low-cost, durable, and aesthetically pleasing flooring solution that can be installed in almost any building.
Property owners are keen on lowering overhead costs. The low maintenance requirements of epoxy flooring can help you do just that. Epoxy is incredibly easy to care for. Installing it can help you lower labour costs, all while reducing the number of cleaning products you need to purchase.
This guide provides a high-level overview of the tools and techniques used to maintain epoxy flooring. By following it, you’ll extend the lifespan of your floors and maintain their aesthetic and functional properties. Always as for cleaning and maintenance manuals for the specific flooring and manufacturer type you have installed, as they are all slightly different.
Remove grit and dirt from your floors
Whether your building experiences pedestrian traffic, vehicle traffic, or both, keeping your floors clear of grit and dirt is important. Failing to do so can increase the possibility of scratches on your floor. Depending on the material you choose, heavy machinery can also lead to grit becoming embedded in your epoxy coating.
This might create both aesthetic and functional problems. Fortunately, removing grit and dirt is fairly straightforward. For areas with a lower footprint, you can simply dust mop about once a week or as needed. Dust mops work on epoxy surfaces, even those with anti-slip additives.
For buildings with a larger footprint, we recommend using a large shop vac with a soft brush attachment. Vacuuming is especially important in warehouses, where heavy machinery can damage epoxy flooring when grit is present.
Epoxy flooring is moisture-resistant to a degree. However, chemical spills that are left standing, and certain liquids like antifreeze or oil can seep into your flooring. Spills should be tended to quickly, if the flooring you choose is not tolerant to the spill material.
There’s good news: Because epoxy coatings are water-resistant, most spills can be handled with little more than paper towels. You can also use your shop vac to clean certain liquid spills.
Epoxy is more resistant to some chemicals than others. There are, however, material choices that make epoxy resistant to almost any given chemical. If you work in certain industries, like the food and beverage industry, and you know that your flooring is going to be exposed to certain acids, heat or other chemicals, let your epoxy floor installer know, so we can advise the best flooring type.
Never use solvent based cleaners on your epoxy floors.
Rubber marks can be particularly stubborn, and there are a variety of different cleaning products formulated to remove rubber. There are, however, a variety of different types of rubber, so it’s important to test the rubber marks to find out what kind of rubber it is before purchasing a cleaner. Our flooring systems are designed to withstand most readily available, non-solvent based rubber cleaners.
Choose the right cleaning products
As we’ve discussed, certain chemicals can be harmful to your epoxy flooring. There are, however, many cleaning products that can help you clean a heavily soiled epoxy floor without damaging it.
Ammonia-based cleaners are the most commonly used. Ammonia can be diluted at a ratio of ½ cup per gallon of water. Most other cleaning solutions carry the risk of damaging your epoxy flooring. You should clean your floor regularly with ammonia, using a microfibre mop for areas with a lower footprint. In larger areas, you can use a floor cleaning machine. Ensure you confirm with the installer as to the specifics of your product you had installed before following any general recommendations.
Generally, avoid using acid cleaners, including those with vinegar or citric acid. You should also avoid using soap, as soap scum can create a hazy film over the surface of your flooring.
Cold water activated butyl cellosolve based cleaners are recommended by most manufactures. Simple Green is the most commonly used brand. Dilute the cleaner according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
When attempting to remove grease, it’s important to choose degreasers without solvents. Different degreasers will be used depending on the type of grease – animal and animal product grease must be treated differently than petroleum-based grease.
Deep clean regularly
Epoxy is hard to soil – if you’re removing grit and dirt regularly, and spot cleaning any spills, your epoxy should be pristine for weeks or months at a time. That said, you might need to perform a deep clean on a regular basis. Depending on traffic, you’ll want to deep clean at least once a month. Some businesses can get away with cleaning once every two months, while others will need a biweekly cleaning.
If an area is particularly soiled, don’t hesitate to clean it.
Routine cleaning instructions
- Sweep the floor to remove any grit and debris
- Use the water-based cleaning chemical described above, diluted according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply the diluted mixture using a rayon or cotton mop.
- Scrub the floor with a stiff bristle broom, or with a rotary floor machine equipped with a non-abrasive nylon scrub brush.
- Remove any contaminants with a wet/dry vac
- Rinse the newly cleaned areas with cool, clean water. Wet/dry vac the water once the rinse is complete.
- Note that contaminants may be hard to remove from non-skid flooring systems. In these circumstances, high pressure cleaners may be used, provided the temperature of the water does not exceed 65°C, and the pressure does not exceed 3,000 psi.
- Squeegees can be used to remove liquid from flooring systems where floor drains are present.
When deep cleaning spots that are hard to remove, use a blue floor pad. You can also use a medium-stiff, non-abrasive, nylon brush on a low speed swing machine, in conjunction with an appropriate detergent (as described above).
Allow the detergent to penetrate the floor for five minutes. From there, remove scuff marks with an abrasive cleanser. These areas should then be rinsed thoroughly with clean water, in the same manner described in the routine cleaning instructions.
Repair your epoxy floors as needed
Remember, epoxy is durable but can still be damaged. Damage to epoxy flooring is problematic for a number of reasons. Cracks, dents, and other damage like fish eyes can ruin the appearance of your flooring, create slip and trip hazards, and weaken the overall integrity of your floors.
Epoxy floor repair, if left for a long time can be extensive. Simply applying a compound or sanding down damaged areas might cause further problems. If not done by a quality installer, the patchwork you perform may negatively impact your floor’s aesthetic and can lead to more damage or uneven flooring.
If your floors are damaged, call TCF West. We can repair damage and resurface your floors if there’s more serious structural damage.
Recoat your epoxy floors when as needed
Epoxy floors can be re-coated if needed – Depending on the flooring system you install, heavily trafficked areas might need to be recoated or repaired every 2-20 years. Recoating epoxy is less expensive than installing a whole new epoxy flooring system – but it needs to be done by professionals.
Recoating epoxy involves repairing chips, prepping the flooring, applying a new coat of epoxy, and more.
By following these steps, you should be able to keep your epoxy floors in peak condition for years to come. Need any advice? Don’t hesitate to give us a call.