Removing Bubbles From Epoxy
Sam, the Decorative Concrete Installer, is nearly finished with a job. The floor prep was easy, the stain went down perfectly and the customer loves it. Now it's time for a sealer. Since this is a retail space with a lot of foot traffic, Sam's customer chooses a clear epoxy.
Sam gathers his supplies, reads the epoxy mixing instructions and begins.
- Add all of the Part B can into the Part A can. Check.
- Use a spatula to get every bit of Part B into Part A for accurate proportions. Check.
- Mix with a paint mixer on LOW speed for 2 minutes. Sam is impatient and turns the mixer speed up to HIGH to save time. BZZZZZ! BIG MISTAKE!
At first things seem fine, then Sam looks behind him. Tiny bubbles are forming all over the epoxy he has just applied. Oh, #$%^!
Placing a quick call to Chris Mirabal, Senior Tech Advisor at Engrave-A-Crete, Sam hears...
- You're getting bubbles because you mixed the epoxy too fast, incorporating too much air.
- You have two choices...
Option #1 If the surface is still wet, put on golf spikes and use the same roller you're using for application to roll back over the surface to break the surface tension so the bubbles can pop. You HAVE to use golf spikes, because regular shoes will leave footprints that won't go away. Golf spikes have tiny points of contact with the epoxy, and it will flow back into the holes as soon as you move.
Option #2 Allow the floor to dry (including the bubbles), then come back tomorrow and sand it using a floor machine with a sand screen. Apply another coat of epoxy.
Sam doesn't have golf spikes with him, so he has to go with option #2, which costs him money in time, materials and labor.
- When the instructions say mix on LOW speed, it means LOW speed.
- Don't cut corners to save time. It often results in a job taking longer than it should.
- Invest in a pair of golf spikes to take along on epoxy jobs. They can come in handy and are much less expensive than redoing the floor.