Fall is well and truly upon us, and as the temperatures start to drop across some areas of the United States, we are often asked the question “Can I install an epoxy floor in colder weather?”
The short answer is, “Yes!” It may take a little more preparation and planning, but if an inferior floor fails in the winter months, it’s simply not practical or productive to wait until the spring to replace it.
Here we share a few tips and tricks that will make the installation of epoxy floors less problematic in colder weather.
How do lower temperatures affect epoxies?
Epoxy resin has an exothermic reaction at 55°F. This means that when the temperature is lower, epoxy floors will take longer to cure and may not bond and adhere as effectively, resulting in reduced strength and durability.
But this doesn’t mean that flooring projects should grind to a halt in the fall and winter. The most important aspect to check is the temperature of the flooring substrate, which is more crucial than the temperature of the air.
Cold weather can also bring higher humidity, which can result in difficulty installing an epoxy floor, but by using a high-quality resin product, such as our Everlast® Epoxy range, and an experienced installation team, you can minimize many of the common problems associated with humidity, such as cracking or bonding challenges.
Epoxy resin will immediately assume the temperature of the flooring to which it is applied, and if the substrate is too cold, there are ways to manipulate the flooring temperature to allow for a hard and long-lasting bond.
Because the substrate will typically be a few degrees lower in temperature than the air, it is also worth investing in an infrared thermometer to check the exact temperatures before you begin.
Raise the temperature of the substrate
During cold weather, it can be useful to purchase a heat blanket or hot air blower to help prewarm the flooring temperature. Cranking up the thermostat or using a propane heater in conjunction with this can help to increase the ambient temperature of the space as well.
It’s especially important to focus on areas near doors, outside walls, and air vents to maintain the ambient temperature.
Keeping the epoxy resin materials at a temperature of roughly 77°F prior to installation will also be helpful when you start to pour and trowel the compound into place.
Epoxy curing times in cold weather
Curing takes longer in cooler temperatures, so your finished floor might not be ready for foot traffic in the same short space of time as it would be on warmer days.
However, this is not necessarily a disadvantage; if you are applying the resin yourself, you have more time to ensure a thorough installation before the resin cures.
As long as you can accommodate the extended curing times into your project timelines, you should have no issues with the floor curing to a hard, durable, and long-lasting finish.
Monitor the dew point of your area
The dew point gives a more accurate overview of just how humid or dry the weather is. The higher the dew point rises, the greater the humidity in the air. We provide a map of the current dew points across the United States, so you can check in on your state before starting your project.
We recommend that the surface temperature be at least 5°F above the dew point.
Speak to the experts for professional advice
If you still have questions or concerns about the installation of epoxy floors in colder temperatures, contact our friendly team at (800) 708-9870, and they’ll be able to advise and provide a free, no-obligation quote.