Yes, epoxy is waterproof and is used for various commercial, residential and industrial applications to create impermeable seals. It is an instrumental component for engineers, contractors, and homeowners to construct, maintain, and repair projects. Consider choosing a suitable type based on your project as epoxy is available in a thousand different varieties for various uses.
However, the epoxy is not good for exterior waterproofing walls as it can change its properties if exposed to U rays for a long time. Nonetheless, it has countless benefits that make it worthwhile for homeowners and engineers for minor and major projects.
History Of Epoxy Resin
Epoxy was first discovered in the 1930s, and many industries began utilizing it. The material is made by adding a hardening agent to the thermosetting epoxide polymer. This is known as hardening or curing as it transforms the soft epoxy into solid/hardened material. The final epoxy resin material is exceptionally waterproof, the fact that has made it well known and preferred as a sealing and waterproofing agent. Industrialists, engineers, and homeowners have greatly embraced epoxy resin.
Factors To Consider When Buying The Epoxy Resin
Depending on the waterproofness you need, the film thickness is something to consider. Extra thick is needed when a high amount of waterproofness is required. However, if you do not intend to keep a lot of moisture out, thinner ones will work fine.
There various types of an epoxy resin intended for different uses. For instance, if you intend to immerse it in liquid, then you have to select the right type intended for that particular purpose.
Each epoxy product has a different curing time. Curing time is important as it affects how well the material will work based on its application. If you intend to immerse in water, for instance, you will have to wait until the material is well cured. Failure to which solvent entrapment will be formed where the solvent gets trapped within the coating film, reducing epoxy product effectiveness. Generally, the curing time at 75° is 7 days, and that should be adhered to.
Substrate Or Base Material
If you are using epoxy on a surface that is likely to break, then flexible ones are the best. However, in the long run, the epoxy might crack as well, but it would have served you for a while.
Is epoxy Weather Resistant?
Epoxy is not in itself weather resistant. However, once cured, the epoxy is moisture resistant. Some have UV resistant additive to make them withstand the sunlight longer. You can consider top coating the places sealed with epoxy with UV resistant urethane for strength, durability, and superior protection against sunlight.
Nonetheless, epoxy is known as the long-lasting coating in outdoor places due to its ease of installation and lower cost. In addition, its waterproofness, once cured, makes it perfect for coating patios and pool deck floors.
Below are the advantages and disadvantages of using epoxy coating for outdoor places:
Advantages Of Epoxy Resin On Outdoor Floors
Epoxy is a reasonably affordable option for outdoor places. Most people would not want to spend more on the outdoor coating as the floor will be affected by weather elements in the long run. Epoxy cost around $3-$12 per square foot, which is inexpensive. The solution also makes it easy to maintain the floor, saving some costs in the flooring budget.
If installed properly, the epoxy can last half its life outdoors. There is no worry about doing the repairs every year as the coating can take 10 years while still intact. The good thing is that epoxy is easy to install, and you will need to apply the base, then epoxy, and finally the topcoat. Once done, you will give it some time to dry, and your floor will shine for many years to come.
Epoxy lasts longer when used for outdoor floor coating due to its waterproofness. There is no chance for it to get wet once installed well as it hardened and become like a sealed shell. Consequently, the floor with epoxy coating becomes easy to clean regardless of the spills on it.
Disadvantages Of Epoxy Resin On Outdoor Floors
Slippery When Wet
Epoxy floors are very slippery when wet. If used near the pool, everyone should be cautioned not to run around to avoid accidental slips.
Easily Chips And Cracks
Even though the epoxy lasts long, it can chip or crack easily if hit by blunt and hard objects. Once the floor cracks, the seal can easily break. Thus, it would help if you considered keeping the objects that can chip it away so you can enjoy long-lasting services.
Sensitive To UV Rays With A Coating
Epoxy can be affected by the sun if the top UV coating is not applied. Luckily, coatings with 1-2 HIM work well to make the floor withstand the UV rays longer.
When walking, there is contact noise since epoxy floors are hard. This can be uncomfortable in homes and office spaces. For this reason, it is advisable to use flexible polyurethane floors.
Can Epoxy Be Removed?
Epoxy is durable and meant to create permanent bonding. So, it may not be that easy to remove it, calling for care when applying the epoxy. Nonetheless, if you find yourself on the wrong side and epoxy has landed where it was not meant to be, there here is the solution.
You apply methylated spirit or white vinegar on cloth for uncured epoxy and use it to wipe the adhesive before it dries. However, if it is cured, you can try either of the following methods:
How To Remove Cured Epoxy From Surfaces
Scrape Or Sand The Area
If there is only a small amount of epoxy on the surface, sanding will be sufficient to remove dried adhesives.
Chemicals are used to soften the epoxy if it is on a glass or plastic surface. However, if it has just dried, then soaking methylated spirit on a cloth and using it to wipe the adhesive will remove it. If it becomes problematic to remove epoxy, then apply paint thinner to soften it first.
Use A Heat Gun
When using a heat gun to remove epoxy, you should put on a mask, goggles, and gloves due to high temperatures. Aim the heat gun on the epoxy surface at 90°C until the adhesive softens. After which, remove it using a plastic scraper.
Acetone is effective in removing epoxy on concrete and wood surfaces. When you apply, the epoxy loosens and becomes easy to peel off. Ensure you are using epoxy in well-ventilated places away from any flammable objects.
N/B: Be cautious and wear protective gloves when removing epoxy using the methods above.
How To Remove Epoxy From Skin
If you apply epoxy without gloves, chances are epoxy will get on your skin. This is not recommended, and you should remove it as quickly as possible. Here are some methods that can help you:
Soak a cloth in vinegar and use it to cover the affected skin. Epoxy will start to soften and slowly come off the skin. You do not have to worry whether the adhesive is uncured or uncured as vinegar works well on both.
Waterless Hand Cleaners (Citrus-Based)
Though this item might not be available at hand, it is the best and the softest on the skin. Apply the liquid to the affected area, scrub, and then rinse with warm water. This will get off the adhesive with the minimum challenge.
Apart from using acetone to remove epoxy on wood and concrete surfaces, it can remove adhesive on the skin. Apply acetone on a paper towel or cotton bud and gently rub on the affected area until the adhesives come out. Note that acetone is flammable so, use it in well-ventilated places away from objects that can easily catch fire. Also, clean your skin with warm water afterward for safety.
N/B: Apart from epoxy being harsh to your skin, the substance used to remove it is also harsh. Therefore, clean your skin afterward and soothe it with hand lotion.
Does Epoxy Make Wood Waterproof?
Yes, epoxy makes the surface of the wood resilient and waterproof. It would help if you considered using it as a coating on wood projects that are likely to be exposed to wear or moisture. However, in some cases, you might need to use epoxy as a sealant then apply a finish coat to reap the benefits
Epoxy is a perfect sealant material that has been embraced for different applications due to its waterproofness. The epoxy in its form is not waterproof but once cured; it prevents any liquid from passing through it. This has also made it suitable for patios and pool deck flooring.
You should always install it well to enjoy long-lasting services; otherwise, the maintenance cost will increase. When using epoxy, keep the removing substance within reach in case the adhesive gets on your skin. However, it is recommended to wear protective gloves to prevent that from happening.