Commercial Fleet, Farm, Heavy Equipment & Industrial Finishes

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

Q: Why doesn't epoxy peel under hot car tires?
A: Epoxies exhibit much greater adhesive strength than other types of coatings. Traditional store bought floor paints are mostly oil base type (alkyds) or latex/acrylic. Automobile tires generate a fair amount of heat when spinning on pavement. When the tires roll onto a painted surface, the heat softens these general purpose paints. The combination of the heat and pressure caused by the weight of a vehicle causes the paint to stick to the rubber and lift from the substrate. The chemically cured film of a 2 component epoxy is not subject to this softening caused by heat and therefore will not lift or peel like a conventional paint.

Q: How long will epoxy last on my floors?
A: If floors are properly prepared, epoxies like MAGNATILE™ will offer many years of service. Naturally, the severity of the operating environment will be the major factor. Regular maintenance will also extend the life of an epoxy installation.

Q: My floors were just painted last year with epoxy and they're peeling already — Why?
A: Most epoxy coating failures are a result of improper or incomplete surface preparation. Acid etching is mandatory on bare concrete surfaces but acid will not remove grease or oil deposits. The degreasing process must be performed first and followed through completely by thoroughly removing all emulsified materials from the surface. In addition, acid wash materials must not be allowed to dry on the surface. Failing to thoroughly remove the etch salts produced will interfere with the bond of the coating. Attempting to acid etch floors that have been sealed or contain surface treatments such as curing compounds and hardeners is a mistake and will not provide a profile for coatings to adhere correctly. These materials cannot be removed by acid etching and shot blasting or scarifying is the only solution.

Q: Can I apply MAGNATILE™ over pre-existing paints or other coatings?
A: MAGNATILE™ should be applied over existing coatings ONLY if the old coating is firmly adhered to the concrete. Perform the adhesion test as described in this document. Floors that have existing coatings that are questionable should be chemically stripped and acid etched or mechanically stripped by shot blasting to remove as much of the coating as possible. In cases where the coating cannot be removed, a coarse sanding of the floor can provide a "profile" for MAGNATILE™ to adhere to. Test spots are always recommended.

Q: Will automotive fluids or gasoline affect MAGNATILE™?
A: MAGNATILE™ is resistant to all automotive fluids including brake fluid, gasoline, diesel fuel, transmission fluid, battery acid, etc. It is also resistant to solvents like xylene and lacquer thinner. The most important thing to remember is that resistance means that spills will not damage the surface if cleaned up in a timely manner. Leaving a spill on a surface for an extended period of time could cause softening of the coating not to mention that it is also dangerous and of poor housekeeping procedures.

Q: How much chemical resistance does MAGNATILE™ have without a clear top coat?
A: Please refer to the solvent/chemical resistance chart included in this document.

Q: My floors are very grimy and greasy — What do I need to do before I can coat them?
A: Depending on the depth that the contaminants have penetrated the slab, thorough degreasing followed by etching could be sufficient preparation for good adhesion. If the contaminants are widespread and deep, mechanical abrasion like shot blasting may be the only method that will work correctly. Prior to being abrasive blasted, the concrete must be free of oil and grease or other penetrating materials. Oil and grease deposits cannot be removed from concrete by blasting. The contaminants will merely be driven deeper into the concrete. Because solvents may carry the oil deeper into the concrete, detergents or emulsifying agents are recommended for chemical cleaning prior to abrasive blasting. As in the blasting of steel, the air source should be checked periodically for the presence of oil.

Q: Does MAGNATILE™ require any sealer?
A: Sealers are often used on raw, porous substrates to prevent outgassing and excessive penetration of the top coat. I have seen a few older residential garage floors that had never been painted before, which “drank up” close to twice the amount of 100% solids material they normally would have required. There was so much air in the slab that large bubbles rose to the surface leaving craters as they broke which did not flow back together. The use if a sealer would have eliminated this problem.
You can determine if this situation exists with a careful inspection of the surface. After acid etching, allow the surface to dry thoroughly for 48 hours. On the bone dry surface, gently sprinkle some clean water on the etched surface. Watch the water carefully. If the floor sucks up the water quickly, it would be a wise choice to use a sealer prior to coating with MAGNATILE™. A sealer will penetrate the surface and displace the air that would normally cause problems with 100% solids material. Sealing is always worth the extra step as it provides better uniformity to the bare concrete, reduces topcoat consumption and gives an overall better looking finish. MAGNATILE™ Moisture Tolerant 2 Component Water Base Epoxy Sealer is now available for these situations.

Q: Is acid etching really enough preparation?
A: The coating bond achieved on a shot blasted concrete floor may be greater than the bond to an acid etched floor. However, if acid etching is performed properly, the coating bond is more than sufficient to withstand the conditions found in most garages, shops, warehouses and factories. Etching is designed to remove a very thin layer of concrete and provide a “profile” for good adhesion. Keep in mind that any grease, oils or contaminants on the surface will interfere with the etching process and must be addressed before acids are used. After etching, a “water drop” test should be used to determine if the surface is clean. Water will bead up on surfaces contaminated with oils and grease and on floors treated with curing compounds or in the presence of a sealer.

Q: What does 100% Solids mean — Is it a water base?
A: 100% Solids coatings contain no solvents or water. They are essentially solvent base coatings formulated without the need for solvents because their viscosities are low enough for application as supplied. When 100% solids coatings are applied at a given thickness, the cured film is of equal thickness because there are no volatiles (water or solvent) to evaporate. For example: One coat of a 60% solids epoxy applied at 10 mils thickness on a floor will cure at 6 mils thick. A 100% solids epoxy applied at the same 10 mils thick, cures 10 mils thick.

Q: Will MAGNATILE™ chip or get scratched?
A: All coatings will experience damage. Dropping a heavy steel object can pop a chip out of an epoxy coating and dragging a heavy, sharp object could cause scratches. As long as the coating exhibits good adhesion, a damaged area will not spread and repairs can be made.

Q: How do I repair damages or chips in MAGNATILE™?
A: Repairs can be made by mixing a small amount of the MAGNATILE™ components and flowing into the damaged area. If decorative chips were used they should be sprinkled over the patch and the repair will cure virtually invisible.

Q: We do a lot of welding — Will the coating get burned or scorched?
A: Direct flame or a shard of hot steel can burn or scorch the surface. This type of damage is repairable by sanding out the scorched area. In the case where decorative chips were used, some fresh coating can then be applied to the surface and new chips broadcast over the wet epoxy. Flying sparks from grinding or welding will not generally burn the surface.

Q: Does epoxy get slippery?
A: Epoxy coated floors will get slippery when wet. Spilled water and vehicular fluids will cause a hazardous situation if not cleaned up promptly.

Q: Do I have to use non-skid aggregate?
A: Non-skid aggregate is not mandatory but it is highly recommended if your operating environment is one that frequently gets wet like a commercial kitchen or processing area getting frequent wash downs. Many shop owners don’t like the idea of aggregate because it makes their floors more laborious to mop and clean. If the choice is made to forgo the use of non-skid materials, a regular maintenance routine should be established and documented so as not to create a hazardous situation and liability for employees and possibly customers.

Q: Moisture testing on our floor revealed dampness under the plastic — What can we do now to coat it?
A: An American Concrete Institute publication suggests that the moisture content of concrete is excessive for paint application if moisture collects at the bond line between the concrete and the paint before the paint has cured. If the moisture test has failed the first time it needs to be re-run. This time, you must determine the actual time required for moisture to collect on the underside of the sheet. During the test, the ambient conditions (sunlight, temperature, and relative humidity) should simulate, as much as practical, the conditions that will exist during paint application and curing. Compare the time for the moisture to collect with the paint curing time--a value that should be supplied by the paint manufacturer. The concrete is adequately dry if the paint will cure in a time shorter than that required for moisture to collect under the plastic sheet.
In this situation, the surface should be degreased if necessary and then acid etched, flushed thoroughly and allowed to dry. The use of a clear water base epoxy sealer can solve this problem because the material is designed to be applied to damp surfaces. MAGNATILE™ 100% Solids Epoxy can be applied 2 to 4 hours after the sealer is applied.

Q: We've just poured a new concrete slab — Can I coat it with MAGNATILE™?
A: In common practice, a minimum of 28 days is necessary before any freshly poured concrete can be coated. This is usually sufficient to allow excess moisture to leave the slab and prevent any moisture related disbondment. Additionally, as concrete sets and cures, a thin layer forms on its surface called laitance. This weak layer is a result of cement paste and fine aggregate floating to the surface as the concrete cures. If the laitance is not removed before coating application, the coating will most likely disbond. Acid etching or mechanical abrading is required to remove this layer.
Besides residual moisture content and laitance, a few important questions need to be answered regarding treatments that may or may not have been used that could cause problems. You need to know whether any sealers, curing agents or surface hardeners were used in finishing of the slab. If you don't know these answers offhand, the contractor who poured the job should be able to answer them. The “water spot” test discussed in this document will quickly determine if the slab was treated with materials that could cause adhesion problems.
Concrete hardeners are usually sodium silicate solutions or metallic fluorosilicates. Where hardeners have been used, the concrete will usually appear glossy and may be a grayish brown color. The surface generally cannot be scratched with a coin. Hardened concrete cannot be successfully coated unless special methods are used to prepare the surface.
When a surface hardener or curing agent has been used, acid etching is not always effective in creating a "profile" to which a coating will adhere properly. The surface should be about as rough as a piece of #80 or #100 grit sandpaper to be ready for coating. Some surface finishing methods can give this sort of profile and acid etching will always do the job as long as the slab has no treatments as mentioned above.
Sealers will most always prevent acid from doing its job and it's not advisable to coat over most sealers unless specific types were used in anticipation of top coating. In this case, only chemical striping or shot blasting will be the choice method of preparation.
Of the 2 methods of surface prep normally used, acid etching is the common method for any surface that will not be subject to extremely hard industrial use. Shot blasting is the preferred method when concrete is in poor condition or will be receiving a troweled topping or is a new slab and has a surface that cannot be prepped with acid.

Q: I've heard that polyurethane is better on floors than epoxy — Can you explain the differences?
A: Epoxies demonstrate much greater adhesion to concrete than polyurethanes (aka - urethane). Urethanes offer better abrasion resistance and have greater flexibility but are worse for adhesion to almost all surfaces. Typical high performance concrete floor coating systems are usually a 2 or 3 step coating processes after the initial floor preparation.
Concrete is usually coated with epoxy as the first and second coats if necessary to gain best adhesion to the slab. In situations where extra abrasion and/or chemical resistance properties are required, a top coat of a two component urethane either clear or pigmented is applied as the final coat only. Abrasive grit is sometimes mixed with base coat or broadcast into the midcoat or top coat to provide slip resistance. These urethane top coats are occasionally single component moisture cure urethanes but most often a highly chemical resistant two component system used in strong chemical environments or in airplane hangers to provide skydrol (hydraulic fluid) resistance.
While urethanes are better for their chemical and abrasion resistance properties, they should never be applied directly to concrete. When making a choice regarding a coating system, always focus on surface preparation as the most important aspect, and then consider the coating based on the operating environment of the floor. Epoxies are the workhorses of the industry. Polyurethanes are chosen as auxiliary top coats based upon the usage requirements of the floor.

Q: Are there any isocyanates in epoxy?
A: No. Only polyurethanes contain isocyanates.

Q: Can I rent a shot blaster and do my own floors?
A: Shot blasting equipment can be rented for personal use but may be difficult to find. Rental costs will be moderately high and I would recommend that you compare these costs to a contractors quote to perform the blasting for you. There are many companies that specialize in blasting and prep work only and you can find them in your local yellow pages under “floors - industrial”. The machinery is not difficult to use. You just need to be aware of the actual time it may take to do the blasting on your own. Check the specifications of the machinery you plan to rent that the size and rating of square feet per hour is sufficient to complete your footage without having to keep the machine longer than anticipated. Rental rates can quickly add up to equal the contractors quote and more. If you decide to rent, be sure to check that you have the power to run a machine that may require 220 volts. There are smaller 110 volt machines as well as units that run on gasoline and propane. Consider a scarifyer also which will cost much less to rent.

Q: Can I recoat MAGNATILE™ at a later date with a urethane clear coat?
A: If your operating environment warrants the use of a chemical resistant top coat, I'd advise that you apply it now when MAGNATILE™ is first installed. There are a few reasons for this I'll explain After the epoxy has fully hardened, its surface will have to be abraded to promote good adhesion for a top coat. If a clear is applied within 48 hours over MAGNATILE™, no abrasion is necessary. Also, if the floors are used and soiled, you'll need to be very certain they are clean enough to recoat. Dirt, grease, oils or any contaminants could ruin the topcoat application and it would be a waste of money and labor.

Q: Can I spray MAGNATILE™?
A: You can spray any type of coating including MAGNATILE™ but we don't recommend it. Spraying would mandate the use of dual component airless spray equipment which mixes the two components of the product at the spray head. Attempting to spray MAGNATILE™ using conventional air or airless spray equipment using premixed product would cause too many problems considering the relative short pot life compared to other types of general purpose epoxies or urethanes.

Q: Other epoxy systems I've seen have a much longer pot life than MAGNATILE™ — Why is that?
A:MAGNATILE™ is formulated from a highly reactive cycloaliphatic amine curing agent. As a 100% solids epoxy, MAGNATILE™ has an extremely long pot life for a system of its type. The much longer pot life you may see with other systems is because they are not 100% solids content but lower solids, solvent containing systems or even water base products. The solvent type systems will generally have a very strong odor and a flash point under 100ºF making them flammable and much more dangerous to use. Water base epoxies have good durability and also a long system pot life but like the solvent base systems, they are applied in very thin films and don't even come close to the longevity of 100% solids products. MAGNATILE™ is so easy to apply with its low viscosity and self leveling properties that the 60 minute pot life is really not a problem.

Q: My local store sells a single part floor paint called a modified epoxy — Will this work on my floors?
A: Single component paints labeled as an epoxy or a modified epoxy are nothing more than an oil or alkyd type coating that may contain a binder referred to as an “epoxy ester”. These coatings do not exhibit the type of adhesive strength, chemical or abrasion resistance found in chemically cured 2 component epoxies. We don't recommend any single component paints for coating concrete floors unless the areas are subject to foot traffic only.

Q: Can I become a MAGNATILE™ distributor and do installations for other people?
A: Absolutely! We welcome all dealer inquiries. If you're involved in the automotive, industrial, institutional or agricultural trades and you have the market to sell or install floor coatings, please contact customer service at 1-800-922-9981.

How to Order

Finishing Systems | High Performance Primers | Reducers & Additives | Clear Coat

    CHASSIS SAVER™ | MAGNATILE™ Concrete Floor Coatings | MONSTALINER D.I.Y. Bed Liner    

Request Information | Testimonials | Contact Us | About Us | View Catalog Online

© 2001 - 2015 Magnet Paint & Shellac Co., Inc.
Toll Free: 1-800-922-9981  |  (631) 842-7700  |  Fax: (631) 842-8222


This site is a member of WebRing. To browse visit here.