Why does an epoxy floor coating bubble?

Posted by Jamie Gillespie on Mar 4, 2016 9:08:01 AM

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Nothing can be more frustrating than investing your time and money into something that seemingly doesn’t work. While epoxy floor coatings have a number of great benefits, including their durability, cost-effectiveness, and array of available colors, they do have the tendency to bubble when not applied correctly.

What causes these unsightly bubbles, and how can they be prevented?

Causes of Bubbles in Epoxy Floor Coatings

Usually no smaller or bigger than the tip of a finger, epoxy bubbles can form on the surface of the coating as it dries. They may be spread across the surface of the floor, or formed in groups.

Bubbles are most often formed by a process called outgassing. Typically, outgassing occurs when the epoxy coating is curing and there is a change in the room’s temperature. Because of this change, bubbles in the layers of epoxy form, rising and expanding until they are set into the surface.

A second type of bubble, a “fisheye,” can form when there is residual silicone, oil, or grease on the surface of the flooring. When the epoxy coating is applied on top of these substances and the temperatures in the room rises, the epoxy reacts with the residual oil and results in fisheye distortions.

In addition to temperature shifts, an increased level of humidity can cause the epoxy coating to not set properly, leading to bubbles or even a failure to bond to the floor.

Preventing Bubbles in Epoxy Flooring

Oftentimes, the bubbles in the surface of the coating affect only the aesthetics of the flooring. Unless the coating is actually peeling up off of the concrete, the durability of the floor is probably not compromised much.

In order to prevent bubbles or fisheyes, your best bet is to hire experienced epoxy contractors who will take the precautions needed. Proper surface preparation is the most important step, ensuring the floor is cleared of debris and residues that can cause bonding issues. 

Have specific questions about your project or industrial facility? An epoxy expert at CPC Floor Coatings can guide you through the process. Call (864) 855-0600 for a free consultation or contact us online.

Learn more about industrial epoxy flooring

Topics: Industrial Floor Coatings