Do Epoxy Floors Off-Gas?
Do Epoxy Floors Off-Gas?
All epoxy floors have VOC levels and thus off-gas. Some epoxy floors off-gas more than others. Off-gassing is a side effect of building with chemicals and occurs when a chemical escape from its intended containment area. Because epoxy floors are made with formaldehyde, they will off-gas this chemical for years.
Epoxy flooring is difficult from a construction management standpoint because its toxic cure time creates a hazardous atmosphere on job sites. Crews must cease all activity on a worksite – across all trades – during the 72-hour off-gassing curing time for fresh epoxy applications.
Because they are made of chemicals, epoxy floors off-gas, which means that they will release fumes and odors into the air while they cure.
The more you apply, the more you will smell. These fumes result from the chemical reaction of curing epoxy and are not dangerous to your health.
When applied properly, epoxy floors do not off-gas more than traditional floors. However, improperly installed or incorrectly cured epoxy may result in significant off-gassing. If left uncured for too long, this can put formaldehyde into the air in dangerous quantities.
How Do You Remove Peeling Epoxy Floors?
Peeling epoxy floors can be a real pain, and it can be difficult to remove the hardened epoxy without causing more damage. There are a few different ways you can remove peeling epoxy floors, each with its advantages and disadvantages.
The easiest way to remove peeling epoxy floors is to use acetone. Soak a clean cloth or rag with acetone/nail polish remover and press it down on the hardened epoxy for several minutes until it softens. If you can’t rub it away with the cloth, use a plastic scraper to remove it gently.
Acetone is effective at removing epoxy but can also damage the floor if used too much. This method is best for small sections of peeling epoxy or if you only need to remove a small amount of epoxy.
Another option is to use a formula called Rapid Epoxy Repair. This formula is made of two parts epoxy and one-part hardener. You mix the ingredients and then pour the mixture onto the peeling epoxy. The hardener will help to fix the epoxy and prevent it from peeling again.
Rapid Epoxy Repair is more expensive than acetone, but it’s less likely to damage the floor. It’s also easier to use than acetone, and you can apply it in larger sections.
Whichever method you choose, be sure to use a scraper to remove any remaining epoxy. If you use acetone or Rapid Epoxy Repair, wear gloves and protective clothing to avoid getting epoxy on your skin.