Epoxy is an extremely durable, long-lasting flooring material. But, eventually, it will grow faded, scuffed up, and generally aged. When that time comes, there are ways you can re-install epoxy flooring to restore its original beauty and durability. Here is everything you need to know about this process from start to finish.
Can I Install New Epoxy Over an Old Epoxy Floor?
Yes. Any 2-part resinous product such as epoxy, polyurea, polyaspartic, or polyurethane can have a new layer applied on top. But this will not always be possible. The floor must meet a few different criteria in order for it to be possible to install new epoxy over an old floor.
When to Apply New Epoxy Over an Older Coating
In many cases, people will apply a new coating of epoxy over an older one if the initial layer was a color coat. They may want to enhance the shine of the floor by adding a topcoat. This can not only add an extra gleam but also further protect the flooring.
One might add new epoxy over an old coat when it starts to show it’s age as well. As long as an epoxy floor isn’t showing signs of delamination issues, it’s possible to apply a new coat to restore the shimmering finish. It’s important to consult the manufacturer to be sure a new coating is possible. Once you get the green light, you can commence the process.
When NOT to Install New Epoxy Over an Older Coating
There are some clear signs that a floor shouldn’t have new epoxy applied over it too. When an epoxy floor is extremely damaged, it won’t bond correctly with a new coat. So if you notice any peeling up or other signs of delamination, you should not apply a new coating.
Re-Installing a Epoxy Floor
When an epoxy floor is too damaged to apply a new coating on top of, it will need to be removed and re-installed. This is an involved process but it can be done DIY style with the right tools and know-how.
How to Remove Epoxy Flooring
There are two main ways to remove epoxy flooring: with a stripping solution or a sander.
The stripping method uses chemicals to break down the bond to the concrete below and remove the product. The type of stripping chemicals you need will depend on the type of epoxy flooring you have installed. For instance, solvent-based flooring will need a completely different chemical than water-based epoxy. Either way, you must let the solution sit for the recommended time and scrape away the old layer of epoxy. You can then rinse and dry the floor and apply a new layer.
Using a sander is another option to remove old epoxy. A light floor sander, grinder, or shot blaster should do the trick. Use your preferred tool to slowly strip away the epoxy coating. Once you get to the concrete slab, you then need to remove the dust, rinse, dry the floor. After that, it should be ready for a new coat.
How to Install Epoxy
Installing epoxy can be an arduous process. There are DIY kits that you can purchase but they tend to result in a lower-quality end result. If you have the skills to install an epoxy floor confidently, you can buy high-quality epoxy and do it yourself. But if not, it might be best to call in the professionals.