Monthly Archives: March 2013

How Concrete Is Prepped for Epoxy Floor Installation

Epoxy floor installation is a relatively simple process, but preparation is key. In other words, installing epoxy floors correctly means following a series of prep steps to ensure that the newly installed flooring holds up to whatever wear and tear you plan to throw at it. What follows are just some of the ways your concrete floor might be prepared for the installation of one of our custom epoxy floors. Every floor is different, of course. The concrete being prepared for epoxy floor installation (which may be soft, medium, or hard) will first be analyzed to determine how best to proceed.

Examining the Work Surface

In every case, surface prep will entail a very thorough examination of the floor itself. The concrete surface must be clean and porous, and cannot have any traces of oils, sealer, paints, rubber residues, automotive fluids, wax, or resin that will block the epoxy from bonding with the existing floor. Other coatings will also need to be entirely stripped away because polyurethane and latex floor paints will interfere with the installation of epoxy flooring. The installers will also look for signs of water intrusion from underneath the concrete and evidence of moisture vapor emissions. Finally, surface defects like cracks, holes, spalling, lifting, and loose concrete will be marked for repair.

Creating the Best Possible Canvas

To make concrete ready for epoxy floor installation, a water drop test will be performed to ensure that the concrete is truly clean. All this means is observing how the floor reacts to the application of water. A concrete floor that’s ready for epoxy installation will turn dark quickly, indicating that it is porous enough to bond with the epoxy. At this time, old paint may be stripped, particularly if it is peeling or flaking, and loose concrete will be cleared away. Then we use an elastomeric to fill cracks and holes, which ensures that cracks will not reappear once the epoxy floor installation is completed.

The Next Level of Prep

Creating the perfect surface for epoxy to bond with requires creating a smooth, porous profile. JEP Epoxy Floors uses multiple techniques to prep concrete for epoxy floor installation, including shot blasting, which creates three times the surface profile and ensures a strong, long-lasting bond; diamond grinding; and scarification, which impacts the concrete’s surface at a right angle to strip away the top surface to expose a clean, fresh layer of concrete. Diamond grinding is the ultimate way to ensure an amazing bond. Unlike other companies, we prefer this more time-intensive technique over acid washing, which is an unreliable and unpleasant method that’s anything but environmentally friendly. Another cleaning follows the final prep steps, and then the floor is ready.

Only at This Point Does Epoxy Floor Installation Begin

Epoxy floor installation usually begins with a thin primer coat with an epoxy primer that is formulated to penetrate and bond with concrete. From there, we apply the build coat of the epoxy, which is much thicker, and designed to meet whatever needs you have in terms of color, finish, and slip qualities. Curing times vary, but your space will be ready for foot traffic sooner than you think!

If you’re interviewing potential epoxy floor installers, you may be surprised at how many companies aren’t as thorough when it comes to preparing concrete for epoxy floor installation. While it may seem like skipping some steps will save you money, it’ll cost you in the long term when you’re shopping for replacement flooring much sooner than expected.

JEP Epoxy Floors specializes in the installation of commercial, industrial, and residential epoxy flooring systems in Massachusetts and throughout the New England states. Call us for an estimate at 978-546-6843!

Exterior Painting Problems: Can You Paint Vinyl Siding?

Vinyl siding was introduced in the 1950s and since then, has been sold as an exterior option that never needs updating. But while vinyl siding does fade more slowly than exterior paint and is less susceptible to the damaging effects of New England weather, it will fade and sustain damage over time. Eventually, the homeowner who thought vinyl was the ultimate ‘install it and forget about it’ option is going to see his or her home’s exterior paint looking increasingly tired and dull.

Replacing old vinyl siding is expensive. Simply living with faded, drab siding can make the people who live in a house feel less positive toward their home. And sad-looking vinyl siding can lower the resale value of an otherwise beautiful house. The answer is an update, and the answer to the question “Can you paint vinyl siding?” is yes. You can paint vinyl siding. The procedure is even pretty straightforward when compared to painting a wood exterior.

How Vinyl Siding Is Painted

Old vinyl siding is prepped before painting, often with a thorough pressure washing and, when necessary, a second wash with a cleaning solution designed to remove mold, moss, and mildew so it won’t return. Newer vinyl siding may not need as detailed a cleaning, but paint will always adhere best to a dirt-free surface. A good rinse is especially important because leftover soap residues can prevent paint from really sticking. After cleaning, siding is allowed to dry completely – particularly in spots where water may have collected in the seams between sections. Hidden water can ruin an otherwise perfect paint job, so a day to two days of drying time is recommended.

In some cases, paint can be applied directly to siding after it is washed and dried, but vinyl siding that is very old and has a chalky surface will require one or more coats of primer to ensure good paint adhesion. Finally, it’s time to start applying that first coat of color, and this is where painting vinyl siding differs from painting wood shingles or other surfaces.

The Right Paint Is Key

The number one reason people caution against painting vinyl siding is that vinyl expands and contracts much more significantly than other materials as temperature changes. That means that in addition to changing size and shape as winter gives way to spring, vinyl siding also grows and shrinks throughout the day as it is exposed to sun and shade, and when the sun goes down. As a consequence, standard acrylic latex paints don’t bond well with vinyl and under certain conditions, painted vinyl can even warp.

So when painting vinyl siding, it’s important to choose a high-grade paint designed to expand and contract along with the siding. Some paints, in particular those containing urethane, work great on vinyl siding as long as you choose an exterior paint color that’s lighter than the color of the vinyl siding itself to prevent flaking paint and warping vinyl. But if you have your heart set on a darker color, you’re in luck. New vinyl safe paint tints from various manufacturers feature darker colors designed specifically to withstand the expansion and contraction of vinyl when used with specific bases.

You won’t find every color under the rainbow available in these new specialty formulations designed for painting vinyl siding, but you will find a much greater variation of hues than you would have, say, two years ago. And if you choose your exterior paint products carefully, especially in this particular instance, your vinyl siding colors will stand up to even the worst conditions New England can throw at it.

At Jerry Enos Painting, you always receive a free, professional exterior paint consultation during which you’ll be given a knowledgeable opinion on how best to proceed. We understand the challenges that come with painting vinyl siding, and we can help you understand the solutions. A detailed proposal will be sent to you with a fixed cost to complete the work, and no payment is required until the work has been started. Call us for a free estimate at 978-546-6843.