Applying epoxy floors in basements has a bunch of advantages, like waterproofing, but it also comes with a unique set of challenges. If you need to update your basement and want a solution that will be long lasting, durable and a great solution for waterproofing, epoxy flooring might be right for you.
It’s important to have the right flooring solution for basement floors. Epoxy flooring is a resinous chemical that bonds to concrete if it’s prepped the right way. Basement floors require a moisture vapor barrier which allows them to be more resistant to dampness which frequently occurs in basements.
We’ve installed hundreds of epoxy basement floors and know what it takes to have a long-term durable solution. Epoxy floor solutions are different than basement floor paint which can peel easily and won’t provide much long-term resistance.
In this article we’ll provide more information on how basement floor epoxy coating systems work, starting with “how it works”. Let’s jump right in…
How Epoxy Flooring for Basements Works
In order to properly install an epoxy floor anywhere, the concrete needs to be diamond ground in order for the epoxy and moisture vapor barrier to bond to the concrete. This means that we have to bring our machines into the basement. Industrial grinding machines are over 1,000 pounds so this is something that has to be taken into consideration. Do you have easy accessibility to your basement or will the machines have to be carried down steps? This is a big sticking point for a lot of basement floors. The next thing is the smell of the chemicals. It’s important to choose the right products and have the proper airflow to the basement. We usually suggest turning off the HVAC while the epoxy chemical is being applied. So, while epoxy flooring applications in basements come with unique challenges different from all other floor types, they can also be the best floor solution for the job You just need an experienced epoxy flooring contractor.
Epoxy is currently installed in millions of households and commercial spaces thanks to its unique features that improve a concrete surface. It comes as a resin and a chemical hardener which are mixed depending on the instructions of the manufacturer. This solution then cures through a chemical reaction to form a hard layer that serves as the floor surface. It’s popularly used in garages, kitchens, hospitals, hospitals, schools, and industrial environments. This floor type is equally as effective as a basement flooring solution. Here’s why
Should you get an epoxy floor in your basement?
Offers Durable Surfaces
Durability is one of the top reasons epoxy is a choice for most concrete resurfacing. With a single installation, you have several decades of a good-looking floor without needing to worry about renovation soon. Comparing epoxy to other flooring solutions, you’ll realize epoxy offers you value for your money in the long run. It’s not just durable but also requires minimal maintenance throughout its existence. If you are looking for a very durable floor surface to handle heavy activity, then epoxy flooring is the right choice for your basement.
Protects Against Water Seepage
Homes that are not properly sealed in the basement are prone to seeping moisture through the foundation and need a waterproofing solution. Moisture can contribute to the deterioration of a home and possibly make it a disease-prone place because of the dampness. It’s critical that you safeguard your basement so that water doesn’t seep inside through the foundation. Epoxy is one of those flooring solutions you can count on to protect against moisture that could get into your home.
When epoxy cures and dries, it forms a tough plastic surface with tightly knit bonds that don’t allow moisture to pass through. Moisture at the bottom of your foundation will remain there and the same will happen to any spillages that might occur on top.
Doesn’t Harbor Mold or Mildew
Because epoxy does not entertain moisture seeping into your home, you won’t have mold and mildew problems. These two usually develop and thrive in a damp place. Epoxy does not create such an environment if installed properly. Those who underproof their foundation should ensure the downspouts are facing away from the foundation of the building, and ensure there’s proper drainage including on your gutters.
Offers Beautiful Floors
You can transform the look of your basement floor using epoxy flooring. Epoxy comes in a wide range of colors including metallic epoxy, flakes, terrazzo, quartz, solid colors, among many others. If your basement is dark, you can go with bright colors, designs, and ideas to make use of natural light and save electricity bills. If it’s a home office, you can integrate your brand’s colors. If you hire a great flooring professional, you can literary mimic any other floor type with epoxy.
An Easy to Clean and Maintain Floor Surface
Epoxy is a great flooring solution for all types of floor surfaces that are prone to developing dirt and grime quickly. Whether you are using your basement as storage, office, or children’s playroom, you can be sure you have a floor that’s easy to clean and maintain. This floor type doesn’t attract dirt or retain it. Even when it develops dust due to inevitable circumstances, you can use a broom, vacuuming machine, or a dust mop to get your basement into its original state. The most thorough cleaning that you can do is using a mild soap, mop, and water to remove very stubborn stains. Some of the things you can do to keep your epoxy floor in top shape include:
- Use a sponge, towel, or rag to remove most of the dirt and grime
- A broom or vacuum cleaner is good enough for removing debris
- Spot cleaning is the best approach to avoid dirt from building up
- Don’t use hard chemicals to clean epoxy floors
Alternatives to epoxy basement floors
|Flooring Type||Floor Attributes|
|Epoxy Coating||durable, water proof, no mold|
|Stained Concreate||Easy to maintain, needs to be resealed every so often|
|Polished Concrete||Extremely durable, natural|
|Carpet||Can get moldy, hard to maintain|
|Vinyl Plank Flooring||Low cost, can buckle with moisture|
The Challenges You Should Expect With Epoxy Flooring for Basements
Epoxy is a high-performance material but only when installed properly. Poor installation can lead to a number of problems that might cause regrets. It won’t perform as it should, won’t look as attractive, will require replacement, and worst of all it becomes hard to remove once installed. This means you have to involve professionals in the installation process, particularly for your basement floor. Some of the common issues poorly installed epoxy include:
Peeling – which occurs when epoxy is applied on the floor in direct sunshine or when the temperatures are too low like in most basements. This also happens when the preparation is inadequate with oil, grease, and debris left on the concrete surface.
Moisture Bubbles Buildup Underneath Your Installation – This happens when your floor isn’t properly dried before installation. If you’ve etched your concrete surface, clean it properly and wait for at least 24 hours before spreading epoxy over it. Good contractors have ways to dry their sites to avoid the long wait. Your contractor should also do a moisture test to determine if your basement would benefit from epoxy.
Air Bubbles Buildup Underneath Your Installation – The main cause of air bubbles appearing under your epoxy installation is installing it under direct sunlight in a cold environment or the surface wasn’t prepped properly. That’s why we assess the job prior to application and make sure that we account for all of these issues and in cold weather we use a polyaspartic instead of a regular cure epoxy.
Color Inconsistency – If the mixing process is not done thoroughly, expect your floor to have an inconsistent color. This can also result from a concrete floor that’s inadequately prepped because it’ll have oil and grease residue.
Most problems associated with epoxy for flooring basements are a result of poor workmanship. Those who fall victim here attempt to do the job on their own with the motivation of saving money but fail horribly. This can be avoided by involving professionals. A flooring expert will understand the need to prepare your floor properly even if it was installed recently. They will also use quality materials and apply them properly.
Epoxy is Good for Your Basement Floors But Hire a Flooring Expert
The bottom line is that epoxy is a great flooring solution for basements. Installing it with a vapor barrier can help with water and mold issues. It’s also extremely durable which makes it a great option for basements that can suffer water and activity damage. But regardless of how tempting it might be, you should never apply it by yourself. At Southside Concrete Polishing, we are experts in installing epoxy floors and guarantee that you’ll love the quality of our work. And all this begins with a free quote. Reach out to us so we can get started.