Pros and Cons of Polyaspartic Floor Coatings: 5 Reasons Polyaspartic is the Best Choice

January 11, 2023
Polyaspartic Floor Coatings

What is Polyaspartic?

Pros and Cons of Polyaspartic Floor Coatings: Polyaspartic coatings have been around since the late 1980s and are a type of polyurea coating. A polyurea coating is a type of protective coating made from a combination of isocyanate and resin. It is typically applied using a sprayer and is designed to form a rugged, waterproof, and durable coating over various surfaces.

It has historically been used to protect steel and concrete from corrosion, and abrasion and waterproof roofs and decks; it is ideal for coating surfaces exposed to harsh conditions and high temperatures. It has also been used in industrial and commercial applications to protect surfaces from impact, wear, and chemicals. Polyaspartic coatings are also very durable, long-lasting, and easy to maintain.

What are polyaspartic floor coatings?

Polyaspartic floor coatings are specialized coatings used to protect the surfaces of residential, commercial, and industrial floors. They are typically a two-part system of a polyurea base coat—a polyurea coating is a type of protective coating made from a combination of isocyanate and resin—and an aliphatic polyaspartic top coat.

The polyurea base coat strongly bonds the flooring surface, while the polyaspartic top coat provides a glossy, chemical and abrasion-resistant finish. Polyaspartic coatings are often used in car showrooms, garages, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities due to their durability and chemical resistance.

Although epoxy floor coatings have been popular in previous decades, Colorado homeowners and business owners have recently switched to polyaspartic floor coatings due to their benefits in specific applications.

Overview of Pros and Cons

As with all flooring options, there are pros and cons to consider before making a decision (especially one as costly as a custom polyaspartic floor coating). Compared to epoxy floor coatings, polyaspartic floor coatings tend to have a higher cost overall but offer benefits such as heat resistance, UV resistance, and higher durability.

But on the contrary, polyaspartic floor coatings tend to be resistant to harsh acids found in car batteries, more challenging to install, and more costly than some alternatives. But the thing to remember is that every option has its place, and while some spaces would benefit from a polyaspartic coating, others may not. So let's dive into some more specific pros and cons:

Pros of Polyaspartic Floor Coatings

Five Reasons to get a polyaspartic floor coating in your home or business space.

1. Quick application and curing

Polyaspartic floor coatings are quick to install and cure for a few reasons. Firstly, polyaspartic co-polymer chemistry allows for a quick and easy application process. The coating material can be applied in multiple layers using a roller or brush, and the material cures quickly, usually within a few hours.

Additionally, polyaspartic coatings are typically formulated with a low VOC solvent system, allowing for a shorter dry time between coats. Polyaspartic coatings are formulated with specific curing agents that speed up the process. The low VOC solvent and specific curing agents allow the material to cure within a few hours, resulting in quick installation and cure times.

2. Durable and long-lasting

Polyaspartic floor coatings are durable and long-lasting due to the combination of polyurea and polyaspartic resins. These resins are highly flexible and can bond strongly to the substrate, creating a tough, durable coating resistant to abrasion, UV radiation, and chemicals. Additionally, polyaspartic coatings are also highly resistant to scratches, stains, and other damage.

The polyurea and polyaspartic resins used in these coatings are also highly resistant to heat and humidity, making them an ideal choice for areas exposed to extreme temperatures. Furthermore, polyaspartic coatings are extremely easy to maintain and clean, allowing them to retain their appearance and functionality over a long period of time.

3. Resistant to chemicals and abrasion

Polyaspartic floor coatings are highly resistant to chemicals and abrasion due to the product's chemical makeup. The main ingredient of polyaspartic is an aliphatic amine-terminated polyurea, a highly cross-linked polymer. This makes the product very durable and resistant to abrasion and chemical breakdown.

Additionally, the coating is also extremely resistant to UV rays, which helps prevent fading and discoloration over time. The coating also has a high gloss finish, which helps to make it more resistant to wear and tear.

4. Eco-friendlier than other coatings

Polyaspartic floor coatings are more eco-friendly than other types because they are formulated using less hazardous materials than traditional epoxy coatings. These coatings contain fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and do not require using hazardous solvents like other coatings. This reduces the amount of air pollution and hazardous waste generated by their production and application.

In addition, polyaspartic floor coatings are quicker to install, which reduces energy consumption and waste production associated with traditional epoxy coating processes. The quick application also allows for faster project turnaround times, reducing downtime and energy costs associated with traditional epoxy coatings. The durability of polyaspartic floor coatings also means that they require less maintenance and repair, further reducing energy and resource consumption.

5. Less offensive odor than other floor coatings

Building off the previous point, polyaspartic floor coatings have a less offensive odor than other floor coatings because they are made with fewer VOCs. Polyaspartic floor coatings are designed to minimize the release of VOCs, reducing the smell associated with them.

Because of this, polyaspartic coatings are often considered more eco-friendly (as we mentioned above) and less likely to pollute the air. Additionally, this type of coating is usually much quicker to dry and does not require complex ventilation systems, making it a more convenient option for many homeowners and business owners with smaller spaces.

Cons of Polyaspartic Floor Coatings

Five potential deterrents to getting a polyaspartic floor coating in your home or business space.

1. Expensive material and application costs

Polyaspartic floor coatings typically have a higher installation cost than epoxy floor coatings due to the extra steps and materials necessary for proper application. Polyaspartic coatings require two layers of product, an epoxy primer, and a polyaspartic finish coat. The primer must be applied first and allowed to dry before the polyaspartic finish coat is applied.

This process adds to the total time (which is still minimal compared to other types of floor coatings) necessary to complete the project, which can add to the labor cost. It should also be noted that polyaspartic coatings require more skill when installing due to the fast-drying nature of the compound, which limits the availability for installation, ultimately increasing the demand and the cost. Lastly, polyaspartic coatings have a longer life span than epoxy and are often seen as a better value by companies that install them.

2. Vulnerable to acid corrosion

Polyaspartic floor coatings are highly susceptible to corrosion from acid. This is because the polyaspartic molecules are made up of a series of weakly bonded amino acid molecules that are easily broken down when exposed to highly acidic compounds. Once the bonds are broken, the molecules can no longer form a stable film, and the coating is compromised.

The acid can then penetrate the coating and cause further damage to the substrate beneath it. This can lead to corrosion and staining of the flooring and weakening of the structure. To prevent this, it is crucial to ensure that the substrate is adequately sealed and that the acid is neutralized before it comes into contact with the polyaspartic coating.

3. Limited color options

Polyaspartic coatings have fewer color choices than traditional epoxy floor coatings. While epoxy floor coatings are available in a wide range of colors, polyaspartic coatings are available in limited colors, usually limited to light and medium shades of gray. This is because polyaspartic coatings have a shorter curing time, meaning that adding pigment to the coating can affect the curing process, reducing its effectiveness.

Additionally, polyaspartic coatings have a much faster drying time, making it difficult to achieve a uniform color throughout the coating. As a result, polyaspartic coatings are limited to a few shades of gray. For some, this can be seen as a pro, but for those looking to spice up their space with a splash of color, polyaspartic may not be the best for you.

4. It can't be installed when high moisture is present

Polyaspartic floor coatings cannot be installed in areas where there is moisture present because the moisture can cause the coating to become soft and not adhere properly to the floor surface. Additionally, the moisture can cause the coating to bubble and lift away from the surface, leading to poor installation.

The high moisture content can also cause the coating to take longer to cure, leading to a subpar finished product. For this reason, it is important to address any moisture issues before installing a polyaspartic floor coating, such as fixing any water intrusion problems or allowing the area to dry out completely before applying the coating.

5. It can be slippery when wet

Polyaspartic floor coatings are known to be slippery when wet due to their lack of texture. This is because the coating is a smooth, glossy surface that does not provide adequate grip. To combat this, a non-slip additive can be added to the coating before it is applied.

This additive will create a rough surface that is more resistant to slipping when wet. Additionally, a special textured roller can create small ridges on the coating. This provides a more tactile surface less likely to become slippery when wet.

Wrapping up

Polyaspartic floor coatings are a popular choice for many commercial and industrial flooring applications due to their durability and ease of application. They are often chosen for their chemical and abrasion resistance, low VOC content, and quick drying time. They also have excellent UV resistance, which is beneficial in outdoor applications.

However, there are some drawbacks to polyaspartic floor coatings. They are more expensive than some of the other epoxy options and require a more specialized application process. Additionally, they must be applied in a temperature-controlled environment, making them more challenging to install in various environments. They can also be difficult to repair if damage occurs and cannot be installed when the floor is wet.

When to install polyaspartic floor coatings

A polyaspartic floor coating is an excellent choice for those looking to improve the look and durability of their floors. This type of coating is used in both commercial and residential settings due to its superior protection and quick application process.

It is ideal for high-traffic areas, as it is incredibly durable and can withstand extreme temperatures. It is also low maintenance, making it an attractive choice for businesses. Additionally, it is an excellent option for residential settings due to its glossy finish and easy cleaning. It is also slip-resistant if appropriately installed, making it a fabulous choice for areas where water is present.

Overall, polyaspartic floor coatings are an ideal choice for anyone looking to add a glossy and durable finish to their floors. Businesses like restaurants and warehouses looking for a long-lasting solution to their flooring needs will benefit most from this coating. Additionally, homeowners looking to upgrade the look of their floors without spending too much time or money will find this option attractive compared to other more extensive flooring options.

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