When people blush, it’s usually out of embarrassment or shame. You’re paid a nice compliment that you didn’t expect, and your face becomes flushed and red; it can be kind of cute! When your floor blushes, it’s a lot less cute, and if passersby point it out to you, the floor might not be the only one blushing! Blushing floors have a kind of sickly, yellowy colour to them – certainly not the look you want on a newly installed floor.
So what exactly is floor blushing, and what causes it? More technically, what you’re dealing with is amine blushing; to understand that, you need to know a little bit about epoxy floors. These flooring systems will often contain a hardener made of amines, which are derivatives of ammonia. When the flooring system is improperly applied, these amines react with water and carbon dioxide; the affected amines make a milky, off white or yellow film on the surface of your floor.
There are a few different factors that might cause this film to form. The first is humidity; when moisture in the air condenses onto the flooring shortly after it’s been applied, the water that’s formed will react with the amines to form the film. This is one of the many reasons it’s so important to keep consistent temperatures and moisture when flooring systems are being applied. In light of this, the recommended ambient temperature should be a few degrees above the dew point, so as to reduce the risk of water condensing on the surface.
Temperature is another important contributing factor to blushing; kind of like how your cheeks can turn rosy when you’re cold, but because of completely different reasons. When the temperature drops, it takes longer for the coating to cure; the longer it takes for the coating to cure, the more time the amines have to migrate towards the surface of your floor and react with moisture in the environment. A damp, cold environment is thus the most likely to generate amine blush.
An improperly prepared mix of coating can obviously cause you problems, too; too many amines will increase the probability that you see blushing, or it’s sticky cousin blooming. While these things are unlikely to harm the overall integrity of your flooring, they can become sticky and difficult to clean, as well as unsightly. That’s why you need an experienced flooring contractor to install your epoxy floors. What you might not know is that your qualified concrete polishing company handles epoxy flooring too, with the same care and diligence that they use for concrete flooring solutions. When flooring is done right, you shouldn’t have to blush about it; avoid the embarrassment of amine blushing, and get your floor done right the first time.