Avoiding Pinholes & Air bubbles in Epoxy Floors

The application of epoxies can be fraught with danger. If the job goes wrong it can be difficult and costly to fix resulting in undue stress for the applicator. It usually occurs at the worst possible time when there is pressure to hand the floor over quickly.
 
As with any of these problematic situations, prevention is the key. If you are properly prepared, with the correct knowledge, tools and products, you’re well in front.
 
Pinholes are usually the result of the formation of air bubbles in the epoxy as it is being applied. Although they may not be visible and only appear after curing, they would have been present from the start.
 
Below are some tips to eliminate pinholes when applying epoxies.

 

Moisture & Humidity

The existence of moisture and humidity can cause all types of problems including blushing, air bubbles and delamination. It is imperative that epoxies will be applied to a dry surface. The key is to moisture test the concrete with a moisture meter to be sure. Moisture meters are an essential and inexpensive tool that every epoxy applicator should use. In all cases, an epoxy/primer-sealer should be applied as a first step in the process.

Concrete Porosity

Every concrete floor is different from the porosity of concrete playing a major part in causing air bubbles and blisters. The concrete must be treated with an epoxy primer/sealer. If the concrete is extremely porous, then a second coat of primer/sealer should be applied.

Spiked Rollers & Shoes

These are two tools that every epoxy applicator should have with them and use on every single job. Spiked rollers serve two purposes:
 
1. To burst and eradicate air bubbles, blisters and gas pockets to prevent pinholes
 
2. To help achieve a smooth, uniform and evenly dispersed epoxy finish

 

Mixing Process

When mixing the two parts of epoxy, it is better to mix at a low speed for longer. Mixing at high speed will create air bubbles. Let the mixed product sit for a few minutes before use. This gives the product time to deaerate and merge together.

 

Product Quality & Adding Solvent

You only get what you pay for. Most quality epoxies contain defoaming additives. Cheap products generally don’t – that’s why they’re cheap. Likewise, many applicators add solvent to the product. The solvent can cause pinholes as some air bubbles don’t burst when the solvent vaporises. If adding solvent don’t overdo it, only use a small volume.

 
If you need any help or advice using & applying coatings please do not hesitate to contact us.

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