Winter is known for many things: colder temperatures, icy conditions, and snowflakes. Lesser-known would be winter’s effect on epoxy curing times. Before scheduling an epoxy installation, it is important to know how winter weather will affect the curing time of your new floor.
What Does “Curing” Mean?
When an epoxy floor is installed, the resin is initially a thick but pliable liquid. After preparing and thoroughly cleaning the floor’s surface, the epoxy is applied and allowed to self-level. The finished surface must be allowed to dry and harden, or cure. Temperature, humidity, and thickness of the epoxy all play a role in curing times. Moving equipment onto your new floor or allowing foot traffic too soon will cause significant damage to the surface. Allowing adequate time for proper curing is a crucial step in the installation process.
How Does Temperature Affect Epoxy Curing?
Most materials that begin as liquids require time to dry and cure. Environmental conditions like temperature and humidity can speed or slow the amount of time necessary for the curing process.
Epoxy is an exothermic material, which means it is temperature dependent. The amount of time it takes to cure is dependent upon the ambient temperature of the room or facility. The higher the ambient temperature, the faster the curing time. The colder the ambient temperature, the longer it will take for the epoxy to cure. Ambient temperature is the most important factor. Heated facilities can schedule epoxy installations at any time with little disruption to the daily operations of the building. Unheated facilities such as some hangars, garages, and storage facilities, may find that scheduling installations during warmer weather better suits their needs.
Though epoxy is a vastly different substance than paint, it may be helpful to think of it in the same general terms when it comes to drying and curing times:
- applying in direct sunlight will cause it to dry too rapidly
- applying to a damp or wet surface will adversely affect the substance’s ability to cure
- do not apply to a surface that is below freezing
- do not apply to a poorly prepared surface
Ready to talk epoxy? Our professional sales staff is ready to talk to you about how an epoxy floor can improve your business’s appearance, safety, and maintenance costs. Contact the team at Liquid Floors for an estimate today.