As time passes, more and more property owners have begun to realize the potential of epoxy flooring. For your garage, patio, or basement, epoxy flooring offers superior protection and a long-lasting finish that can withstand wear and tear. However, like other flooring systems, an epoxy floor requires proper preparation and drying time to look its best. Knowing the ins and outs of an epoxy flooring drying time is critical for any DIYer who wants to ensure the job is done correctly and efficiently.
This article will teach you all there is to know about epoxy resin floors and their drying times. We’ll also discuss how long it takes for an epoxy floor to dry and some tips and tricks you can use to help speed up the process.
How Long Does Epoxy Flooring Take to Cure?
Let’s face it, no one likes to wait, and the same can be said when dealing with epoxy floor coatings. But as they all say, good things come to those who wait. With a bit of patience, you’ll be surprised with the result of your new epoxy floor. Not only will proper epoxy cure time ensure an extremely durable coating, but it will also make the epoxy floor look much better.
The curing time of epoxy flooring can vary based on the job and specific conditions (not all epoxy coating is created equal). These include the type of epoxy installed, concrete quality, the solid content of any products used, temperature, and humidity level.
If you use 100% solid epoxy resin, you can expect your floor to cure within 12 – 18 hours and be ready for light foot traffic about 36 – 72 hours after installation. To ensure maximum effectiveness, following product instructions carefully and noting any external factors that could impact your floor’s curing process is essential.
However, the epoxy curing time can take up to a week in some instances. For example, epoxy floors require consecutive days of ideal conditions for curing, so if your environment is fluctuating in temperature or humidity levels, your curing time could be longer.
When Is It Safe to Walk on a Floor With New Epoxy Coating?
After going through the hassle of installing epoxy to your concrete floor, the last thing you want to happen is someone walking on it while it is still wet and ruining your work. For this reason, knowing when you can safely walk on a new epoxy floor is essential.
Experts suggest waiting 25 hours for epoxy floors to be safe for walking and 6 hours for polyaspartic flooring. However, it is recommended that you wait 48 – 72 hours before subjecting your newly-installed epoxy flooring to heavy foot traffic, large machinery, or vehicle traffic.
As mentioned earlier, concrete curing conditions components like temperature and humidity can affect the curing process, so make sure to factor that into your decision.
It’s also important to note that thinner epoxies will dry faster than thicker ones, and a water-based epoxy floor coating will dry faster than solvent-based ones.
How Long Do I Have to Wait to Epoxy New Concrete?
Have you recently laid down a typical concrete slab and want to add epoxy flooring? If so, you’ll need to wait for at least 28 days or a month before applying any epoxy coating. This ensures that any moisture during the curing process is wholly dried out. In addition, a substandard concrete slab can attain a maximum of 80-85% moisture levels, which can cause the epoxy to delaminate.
If you want to apply epoxy on concrete before the 28 days mark, you must use a moisture meter to test the slab for its moisture content. You will be able to find out if the reading falls under the acceptable range for epoxy application.
Can Winter Temperature Change Epoxy Curing Time?
Property improvement projects don’t have to be put off even during the cold months. However, winter weather can slow epoxy floors’ curing process since the curing rate is highly dependent on temperature and humidity levels.
While a warm environment is ideal for proper curing, colder temperatures increase the drying process time, which can extend the epoxy coatings’ cure time.
Generally, a suitable temperature range for epoxy installation is between 55 – 90°F. However, certain epoxies and polyaspartics are explicitly made to withstand lower temperatures and even freezing conditions. When it comes to your project’s success, the floor’s temperature is a more important factor than that of the air.
Before installing, check the new concrete slab temperature with an infrared thermometer. If the concrete temperature is below 40°F, you should use a heater to raise it to at least 55°F. If the floor is too cold, you can use a dehumidifier and fans to help create ideal curing conditions. Remember to maintain the temperature throughout the process so the epoxy can cure properly.
Humidity is also a factor to consider regarding epoxy cure time. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid installation if the humidity levels exceed 85%. This could lead to a thin layer of moisture forming over the epoxy, weakening its bond with the concrete slab.
The Best Tips & Tricks for Faster Epoxy Coatings Curing Time
For your garage, pool deck, showroom, or basement floor, epoxy exceeds any other flooring solution. Its cost-effectiveness, durability, and water-resistant features make it an excellent choice for any flooring project. But how can you reduce the curing time of your epoxy floor?
Here are some tips to help you reduce epoxy curing time and get the most out of your epoxy flooring:
Avoid High Humidity Levels
Humidity can be vital in determining how long the epoxies take to dry and cure. When the humidity levels rise above 85%, Terroxy Moisture Vapour Treatment can be used. It is a specialized water-based epoxy primer that works with damp or newly laid concrete floors.
Moisture treatment helps reduce the curing time of most epoxies, and it is a great way to protect your floor from any moisture-related damage.
Clean Your Surface Properly
It is essential to clean your surface thoroughly before applying any epoxy. All dirt, dust particles, or other contaminants in the area should be removed with a mild degreaser or detergent solution before application.
If there is even a slight presence of dust or oils on your surface, it will most likely extend the curing time due to poor adhesion between the coating and substrate. Therefore cleaning your surface thoroughly can help reduce your overall curing time significantly.
Take Temperature Into Account
Temperature plays another critical role when working with epoxies, so ensure you take accurate readings before beginning any application job. Always use a thermometer to determine the exact temperature of your concrete surface, as it needs to stay between 55 and 90°F for proper curing.
Never skip using a thermometer since this can also impact your epoxy floor’s curing time and lead to other issues. Using a dehumidifier and heaters can also help create ideal curing conditions when working with cold temperatures.
Allow Proper Ventilation for Faster Epoxy Flooring Drying Time
For your coating to dry quickly and prevent any potential bubbling under the surface, a free-flowing, ventilated environment must be maintained throughout the application process.
While working with water-based or solvent-free products, make sure you open windows or provide a ventilation system that will help disperse harmful fumes out of your workspace efficiency so that they don’t have an opportunity to interfere with the drying process of the coating material itself.
Mix the Epoxy Properly
Careful consideration must be taken when measuring the epoxy elements, namely the hardener and epoxy resin. The ratio between these components is usually 1:1 to ensure proper binding of the flooring.
However, boosting the hardener can produce undesirable results, such as damp areas or incomplete curing. This is why it is essential always to follow the instruction provided with your product and mix the two components correctly.
Apply Epoxy in Thin Coats
Although you may be in a rush to complete your project, remember that proper application takes time. Applying thin coats of epoxy can improve the overall curing and provide better results in terms of longevity and aesthetics.
Thin epoxy coat application helps with curing time because it allows the coating to dry faster due to its minimal thickness. It also enables you to avoid problems such as sagging or orange peel effects during the drying process.
While applying thick epoxy coats may seem like a better way to reduce the overall epoxy curing process time, it can also cause cracking or bubbling problems in the long run. Following the manufacturer’s instructions and applying your epoxy in multiple thin layers is crucial for the best results.
Call the Professionals For Epoxy Floor Installation
DIY jobs aren’t always the most straightforward and efficient option for epoxy floor installation. So if you are planning a large-scale project or an intricate design, it is always better to contact the professionals to get your flooring needs done efficiently and cost-effectively.
Professional contractors will have years of experience and expertise to help them determine the perfect solution for your flooring needs. This includes the right product selection, proper installation methods, and a realistic timeline to finish the job quickly.
Indeed, epoxy floors are durable and attractive. However, a few things to consider when dealing with epoxy curing time. These include surface preparation, temperature control, proper ventilation, correct mixing ratios, and thin application coats.
Now that you know the answer to “how long does epoxy cure time take?”, you can plan your project around these factors and get the best results in longevity and aesthetics.
However, calling professional contractors is always a wise idea if you cannot complete a large-scale project due to time constraints or lack of expertise. With their help, you can enjoy the beautiful epoxy flooring you want without the hassle and worries of tackling a DIY project.