While a smart and money savvy flooring system, epoxy floors are still an investment. To protect that investment, why not learn as much as you can about protecting and caring for them? This will not only save you money down the road, but it will prolong the life of the epoxy and keep it looking great. We have put together a series of maintenance tips to help you maintain your epoxy floors.
One of the main reasons people get epoxy floors is their low maintenance. So, when we say we have at least ten ways to care for your floors, that doesn’t mean you’re going to spend your weekends maintaining the floors because that’s the only way to preserve them. In fact, you could get away with moping the floor 3-to-5 times a year and spot clean them as needed to ensure a long life span with your epoxy floors. That isn’t the case for those who have tile, concrete, wood, or carpet flooring. Most of the floors require far more work to keep clean to preserve their longevity.
It doesn’t matter where your epoxy is located, inside, garage, basement, barn, sunroom, or warehouse; caring for them is about the same. The heavier trafficked flooring may need a little additional TLC, but that is also because there is usually more flooring to care for. Here are several tips to help you clean and maintain your epoxy.
List of Tips
Spills – Epoxy is great with spills of all types; what makes the difference is how soon you get to those spills. Epoxy isn’t a porous material, which helps it ward off more aggressive materials like oil, stain, chemicals, paint, red wine, and cleaning agents. However, if those spills aren’t managed and are left to sit on epoxy, it will compromise the durability. So, clean up spills with a damp cloth as they happen to help ward off any wearing down of the material.
Cleaning Tools – The material compounds in epoxy make it tough as nails, but there is no need to use agitation tools to clean your floors. All you need is a soft bristle broom or mop to collect and clear any debris on your floors. Using anything more abrasive may only dull the flooring over time, depending on how often you’re using the tool.
Cleaning Agents – It can be tempting to want to use pricey or abrasive cleaners to make sure your floors stay looking great, but ideally, you need only hot water and ammonia. Really, that’s it. Harsh chemical style cleaners will weaken epoxy over time, shortening the lifespan of the floor. So, keep it simple (and affordable) and opt for basic cleaning materials like ammonia. We suggest steering clear of any cleaning solutions that use vinegar or citrus. These can aid in breaking down the epoxy bonds and only make them breakdown faster. The same is said for cleaners that use traditional “soap.” While less damaging, soap will leave a haze and tacky feeling on your floors. These floors collect more debris and make them look dull. Not to mention if a soapy residue floor gets wet, you’re going to have one serious ice rink on your hands. Hot water, ammonia, and a squeegee are like all you’ll ever need.
Reduce Epoxy Haze – You may see hazy spots on your epoxy floors that tend to occur from elements that come from the outside. For example, a winter “pre-treatment” you use to keep ice at a minimum will create a haze. A cleaner that leaves a residue on the floors will do the same. If you find this happens, use hot water and a medium strength bristle brush to remove the build-up. Go easy; a deck brush might also work, which you can often find at any hardware store.
Stains, Rust or Lime – It happens; you pick up a box, planter, piece of furniture, a shelving unit, and under it is a surprise. Stains, rust, or lime can make your epoxy flooring deteriorate quickly. If it has already happened, there are a couple of things you can do. Use that medium strength bristle brush and well-diluted cleaner (CLR) and try to get the material to come up. Many people have also used cleaners like soft scrub to lift the corrosive material. We advise not to use powerful abrasives, however, like Comet. This will only scratch the epoxy and cause more damage even if you manage to lift the stain or rust.
Rugs – Use rugs and mats at entry points as these areas tend to see the most damage. Shoes can bring in dirt and little rocks. Dogs welcome the same materials, and worse. Rugs and mats offer a layer of protection for those entry points into your garage, home, business foyers, and the like. You’ll see far less dulling and wearing down, and they make for a great reminder to take off shoes before cruising the house.
Padding – You might want to consider using padding under heavier objects that have finer pressure points. For example, a motorcycle kickstand, furniture legs, appliance feet, and similar. You can use materials like mousepads, layers of yoga mat material, and soft furniture padding to help combat indentations. Repetitive placement or constant pressure will likely create small indentations in your floors if you don’t create a friendly footing area.
Weight Distribution – Speaking of footing areas… if you plan on using heavy machinery, furniture, or tools on your epoxy floors, consider creating a weight distribution system. You can do this with simple plywood and placing it under these items to prevent collapsing the epoxy. You will prevent the indentations these items leave behind. For project-based tasks (changing a tire with a jack stand), you’ll be happy to recall this little tip.
We hope this gave you some great ideas in prolonging the life of your epoxy flooring. With a little attention and care, you’ll enjoy your floors for many years ahead. If we can help you with any questions or repairs, please don’t hesitate to call today.