Deciding whether to use an epoxy floor primer is a subject that is often overlooked by many businesses that are investing in a premium floor coating. In fact, many people aren’t aware that floor primers exist or that they aren't needed and are an additional cost.
The installation of a new floor requires a lot of carefully considered processes. Floor preparation, being the first, is paramount and a floor primer is just as important, not only saving you time and effort but also money.
BENEFITS OF AN EPOXY FLOOR PRIMER
There are numerous benefits in applying an epoxy floor primer prior to coating your flooring:
- Epoxy primers are thin, providing a better adhesion as it penetrated into the concrete substrate allowing a better bond.
- Primers provide a better chemical bond when using thicker epoxy base coats. This results in a longer lasting and a more durable concrete floor coating.
- Elimination of air bubbles and pinhole that are formed due to the outgassing of the concrete*
- Ability to achieve a higher dry film thickness and coating uniformity as it is not soaking into the concrete.
- Effective in providing a moisture resistance for concrete flooring that has moisture problems.
- Primers form a tenacious waterproof barrier for concrete flooring that is devoid of an effective Damp Proof Membrane (DPM) which usually results in virtually any paint lifting and peeling off the surface.
- Most epoxy primers are moisture tolerant and work well when being applied on concrete that has not fully dried from being cleaned or acid etched.
- Some primers are specifically manufactured as oil blocking primers. These solvent based primers are designed to cover concrete that has been contaminated by oil and can’t be completely cleaned.
Choosing the correct floor primer
Professional Primers are formulated to penetrate deeper into the pores of the substrate in order to achieve a better mechanical bond. Their adhesion is often greater than the top coat due to the inclusion of adhesion promoters. Furthermore, specialist primers are formulated to cope with all sorts of situations from rising damp, oily surfaces, dusty, unstable substrates as well as the many and varied surfaces from concrete to ceramic and from metal, to marble. Due to the penetration capabilities of professionally formulated primers, the surface build is usually lower, but one that provides a superb chemical bond with the subsequent top coat or screed.
Primers are also designed to seal the surface from the outgassing of the concrete, where air will rise and be expelled from the concrete. This can be due to numerous reasons including a rise in temperature or a change in humidity. Rising damp, due to a poor or non-existent DPM (Damp Proof Membrane), caused by rising water table and/or the immediate surrounding areas being simply waterlogged can also cause major problems to flooring. Using a primer that is specifically manufactured to resist water pressures from below and completely block the possibility of rising damp is highly recommended.
Due to their lower viscosity and thinner film build, primers soak further into the surface and this helps to fully seal the entire surface area and in particular, the small voids and divots found on every concrete floor. For this reason, air is less likely to push up and if it does, the bubble will pop and the resin, being thinner, will generally revert back and refill the ‘hole’ caused by the bubble.
Do I ALWAYS have to use a primer?
In cases where the correct surface preparation has been undertaken, and the surface is sound (and you don’t have other overriding factors such as oil and damp, etc), then you have a very good chance that the coating will not fail.
However, with all the benefits that can be gained from using an epoxy floor primer, it is preferable for the assurance of the best adhesion, a long-lasting investment, and a durable floor.
Find the perfect solution for your concrete flooring and shop our range of epoxy primers
*Please note that air entrapment can also be created by incorrect mixing whereby the resin has been mixed too quickly, normally with a drill paddle.