How to Use Epoxy Safely

Epoxy is a durable and strong material that is often used in construction for the repair or protection of concrete or steel structures. While its use is beneficial, working with epoxy comes with some risk. Risks are mitigated when safe working procedures are in place. In this using-epoxy-safely article, we go through the steps for working with epoxy safely, exposure issues, symptoms, and care.

How Does Epoxy Effect Humans

Epoxy is a chemical and as such it can irritate the body in a variety of ways. Overexposure to epoxy occurs by inhalation, direct contact, fume-absorption. Epoxy can be hazardous as a volatile (airborne fume) or as a particulate (dust or granules from sanding or mixing.)

Irritation from fumes can occur externally or internally. Direct skin contact can cause burning, but the greater danger comes from fume contact with cell membranes such as those in the eyes, nose, mouth, and throat. Symptoms may include burns, irritation or allergic reaction. Always read and follow the MSDS sheet information before working with epoxy. Also, work in a well-ventilated area either with direct wind current or by using a mechanical ventilator to remove fumes.

The Many Names of Epoxy

Throughout the construction industry epoxy goes by several different names. They are all epoxy and should be handled with care. Those names include:

  • Epoxy Resin
  • Epoxy Polymers
  • Epoxy Coating
  • Epoxy Paint

Regardless of the name, epoxy should be handled safely and mindfully so as to prevent accidental injury or exposure.

Tools and Engineering Controls for the Safe Use of Epoxy

Storage: Storage of Epoxy and Catalysts should always be in tightly sealed containers that prevent evaporation or leaching of fumes.

Ventilation: Industrial-grade hoods and ventilation systems should be used to control indoor air pollution or air contaminated with epoxy fumes. The goal of such equipment is to remove contaminated air before it becomes breathable. A respiratory mask that is rated for use with volatiles (VOCs) is also recommended.

Enclosures: Enclosures are very helpful when working with heat and epoxy, such as during the curing process. Heating epoxy causes greater off-gassing and the enclosure contains those fumes and pollutants until the ventilation system can remove them. Enclosures allow work to continue in other areas of a construction process by reducing the threat of exposure to epoxy fumes and VOCs.

Automation: Where possible, automation removes humans from an area where epoxy may be used. It may also allow for humans to work in the same area at a safer distance or even in an enclosure.

Personal Protection Equipment: PPE, or Personal Protection Equipment works in conjunction with engineering controls to increase safety by reducing exposure to chemicals. Basic PPE includes eye protectant such as goggles or a face shield. Gloves, aprons, and long sleeved clothing should be used to help reduce or prevent skin contract. Protective clothing such as gloves should be rated for use with epoxy. A fitted air-respiratory mask should be used whenever a VOC is present. The PPE requirements for epoxy use should mirror the PPE requirements in the construction companies safety manual. Training for effective and safe use of PPE is also recommended.

Individual Responsibility to Reduce Exposure

People who work with epoxy should follow a heightened personal hygiene protocol. Such a protocol includes washing epoxy residue off skin immediately. Caring for your skin by keeping it hydrated as dry skin absorbs chemicals. Making sure that hands, fingernails, and nail beds are free of epoxy residue. A moisturizing lotion helps to protect skin by forming a thin barrier.

Clothing should be removed and stored outside or washed immediately when you return home. Do not store dirty work clothing with epoxy residue in the same spot as other laundry.

Training and Teaching

Construction companies should take the time to train their employees in the safe handling of epoxy. This includes emergency response to exposure, such as eye splash situations. By teaching employees, the dangers warning signs of chemical exposure you decrease the risk of preventable accidents. Working smart is a valuable tool.

In addition to training and education about epoxy, train employees on the proper use of PPE and engineering controls. Doing so enables these tools to be used properly and can help reduce the risk of injury.

Education about common and uncommon symptoms of chemical exposure is also a valuable tool. By recognizing minor symptoms, employees can sometimes avoid more serious injury.

Epoxy is found in many products and is used as a sealant and repair product for both steel and cement. It is a product that has a high likely hood of being used on most construction sites. Being knowledgeable about the dangers of using epoxy helps to make its use more positive.

5 Places You Never Knew You Could Use Epoxy

Most people have heard of using epoxy as a form of adhesive. This simple substance is created through the combination of a hardener with resin. Once combined, the epoxy goes through a curing process, and it depends on the intended purpose of the final product as to the exact measurements that need to be followed. Epoxy has many advantages over products that are sometimes used in its place, making it the ultimate go-to product for a wide variety of projects. Here’s a quick look at five unique ways you can use epoxy that you’ve likely never heard of.

1) Marble-like Floors

Did you know you can paint concrete with epoxy paint and create the appearance of marble flooring? That’s right, and best of all, concrete floors covered with epoxy paint require minimal maintenance. In fact, warm water and soap is all it takes to provide a thorough cleaning. The correct steps to follow to create a marble-like appearance on the concrete is determined by the source of directions you go through. There are thousands of articles online that outline the entire process of creating marble-like floors, so you should have no trouble finding a process that meets your needs and preferences.

2) Painting

Are you an artist? Did you know you can use epoxy as a form of painting? Epoxy has to be mixed with a source of pigmentation to achieve a color other than white or opaque, which means you can make it any color you want. You can also make as many colors as you want and use them to create a beautiful masterpiece on a canvas. Do keep in mind that after you are finished with your painting, make sure to go over it with a clear coat of epoxy; this will help seal the colors and maintain their vibrancy. Here are a few other tips to keep in mind when painting with epoxy resin:

  • You can apply epoxy resin over any other painting substance
  • Most paintings benefit from a 1/8″ thick coating of epoxy resin
  • Although epoxy resin won’t hurt a photo, it is permanent
  • Keep the painting out of sunlight and indoors to boost the durability of the epoxy, and to help ensure the photo doesn’t turn yellow in color


3) Fix a Leaking Pipe

Many people turn to epoxy to fix leaking pipes and other types of plumbing issues. If you are going to use epoxy to fix a leak, make sure you realize that it will take approximately an hour to cure. Still yet, a putty epoxy will be of the utmost advantage because it has the strength to keep the leak from returning. Its strength is so reliable that many boat owners turn to it as a way to seal holes in their aluminum boats. There are also many owners of RV that turn to the value and durability of epoxy to make water barrier repairs on their recreational vehicles.

4) Protect Your Charms

Have a charm necklace or bracelet that you want to make sure stays protected against harsh weather and chemicals? If so, you should add a protectant layer of clear epoxy to them. Not only will this keep the charms from being directly exposed to harsh elements, but it also makes them shiny and their colors appear brighter.

5) Make Screws Stronger

If you have a project that requires the use of screws, you can apply a coating of epoxy to it before insertion, which will lead to the screw being able to double its normal workload. Applying epoxy will also work as a protectant to keep the screw from working its way loose. It’s important to apply the epoxy with a brush or spatula to ensure it doesn’t come into contact with your skin. If it does, simply rinse off with warm water and soap.


No matter your reason for using epoxy, you can rest assured that epoxy products stand up to their reputation. As one of the strongest adhesives available, epoxy has become a common material among residential and industrial customers alike. If you’re needing a product to enhance your concrete and steel maintenance and repair, epoxy might be exactly what you’ve been looking for.

Make Your Garage Look as Good as Your Ride

Beautiful cars deserve a beautiful home yet many garages are just plain, unfinished rooms attached to a home. That’s really no place to keep a prized classic car or even a new luxury car. Yet, garages are not shrines. They should be places that are functional. Still, function and beauty can go hand-in-hand. In this beautiful garage blog, we look at some interesting design ideas that can turn your garage into the best room in the house.

Ceilings and Lighting

One of the first chores in turning your garage into a well-designed home for your vehicles is to address insulation. Garages get hot and very few of them have air conditioning. All that heat is not good for your vehicles or your building. If you are going to invest in making your garage look nice, deal with the heat so that you can enjoy the place year round. Add insulation to the ceiling and walls and while you are at it hang sheet rock on the ceiling too. A good way to help channel heat out of the garage is a vent fan.

Lighting is another key feature. You want lighting that shows off your vehicle. That single overhead light bulb isn’t going to do the trick. Install a few mounted fluorescent strip lights and then recessed spotlights that really show off your vehicles. If you have a work bench area make sure that you add light so that you can see what you are working on too.

Making the Garage Floor Look Professional

A good layer of epoxy floor sealant not only helps to protect your garage’s cement floors, it can help to repair cracks in them too. The look of epoxy not only improves the look of your garage it helps save tools, keep out pests, and prevent slips. Epoxy is a durable finish that lasts for years and it is fairly easy to put on with the right equipment. A nice gray epoxy floor shows off cabinets while a white ceiling helps give the feeling of more space.

Address the Walls

How many garages have you been in where the walls are just a row of exposed 2×4’s? If you’re lucky you might have unpainted sheet rock. That’s not the environment you want to house your ’57 Corvette in is it? Add insulation to the walls, cover them, and then paint. You can also create a stunning look with dark wood paneling and matching cabinets. If you go with sheetrock, add a neutral color paint and hang art. The idea is to create a space where you love to hang out with your buddies as you discuss vehicles.

Add World Class Storage

Nothing brings down the look of a garage then a bunch of clutter. You don’t want to open the garage door and have people walking by and think you are a hoarder. Your piles of “things” should not detract from the beautiful vehicles you drive. Storage systems are a great way to add beauty to your garage.

If you are not a fan of the pegboard tool storage system, then cabinets with pullout shelving is a must. Everything in its place is a good rule to follow.

Consider floor mounted cabinets and wall mounted cabinets to help contain tools, supplies, and gear. A nice work area with under bench room for rolling tool chests helps finish off the look. The epoxy flooring also helps rolling tools roll smoothly by filling in cracks and divots.

If you have classic cars and you do car shows, then consider adding a trophy case with lighting that really shows off your awards. Recessed lights help show off trophies and awards and they are easy to install.

Make It Easy to Keep Your Garage Clean

Once you get your garage looking beautiful you got to keep it looking good. Consider adding an area where cleaning tools and supplies are kept. A dedicated cabinet for your shop vac is also a good idea. A place for sawdust or absorbent material is also a good idea. Making it easy to keep your garage clean helps keep it beautiful.

Add in Amenities

A beverage center or fridge is a good idea because it is convenient. Plus, you don’t want to track gunk into the house if you are working on your car and want a cold drink. A first aid kit is also a good idea. You can increase the pleasantness of working in your garage by adding in a nice sound system so you can listen to the game while you work.

A good rule of thumb is to remember that this is a garage, not a man-cave. You want to build a place that shows off your cars. Of course, you could turn it into a man-cave but that may take room away from having a second classic car or place for your work-in-progress. Overall, creating a beautiful garage does not have to be difficult. You can do small projects one-at-a-time, such as coating the floor with epoxy. From there, insulate the ceiling and add sheetrock. If you are doing a kitchen remodel, repurpose those cabinets and save money.

5 Ways Epoxy Solves Every Problem You Have

What is Novolac Epoxy Coating?

Two common types of spaces where an epoxy coating is useful are warehouses and professional mechanic shops. Although epoxy is applied as a sealant, it also functions as a coating that adds shine to the flooring, boosting the professional appearance of the space.

Other common spaces that often use an epoxy floor coating include:

  • Pharmaceutical plants
  • Pharmacies
  • Beverage plants
  • Storage warehouses
  • Food manufacturing plants

If you are in need of a coating for your flooring, consider the benefits that epoxy can bring to your work or living space. Here are five of the top benefits epoxy floor coating can provide.

1) Chemical corrosion resistant

When carrying out activities that involve different chemicals, you will want to perform these tasks on flooring that has an epoxy coating. This type of coating is resistant to chemical corrosion and has the durability and lifespan to accommodate heavy foot traffic.

2) Fast drying

Sure, you want a sealant that’s going to bring great protection to your flooring, but how long does it take for this type of substance to dry? With epoxy, you don’t have to fret about meeting a remodel or construction deadline. Epoxy coatings are quickly installed, which leads to less downtime in terms of operations affecting productivity.

3) Simple to customize

Another notable feature about epoxy is that it can be easily customized to meet your aesthetic preferences. For instance, if your warehouse has a lounge or front office area, the epoxy coating can be taped off and made to look like tile flooring. There are even some businesses and homes that have used epoxy coatings in a way that they appear like a marble floor. Things like rocks or glitter can be mixed with epoxy to further push the boundaries. When it comes to customizing the appearance of your flooring, epoxy provides you with virtually endless possibilities, meaning you can easily complement your current or future decor.

4) Minimal maintenance

Did you know that caring for an epoxy coated floor is quite simple? In fact, mopping the floor on a daily basis with warm water and gentle soap is all that’s needed to perform maintenance. And since only a small amount of time has to be spent cleaning the floors, this means productivity can be enhanced even further.

5) Incredibly safe

Epoxy coated floors have some of the highest safety ratings, and for a very good reason. Not only are they resistant to corrosion, but they are also slip resistant. Even better is that they sustain impact protection, can withstand extreme temperatures, and are even resistant to fire.

5 Ways Industrial Floor Coatings Will Save You Money

Epoxy floor coatings serve a variety of valuable benefits in any environment, let alone an industrial one. To review, these specialty coatings provide a very attractive flooring surface, giving it a high-gloss shine. And with all the decorative patterns and available colors, such industrial floor coatings can be customized to cater to any such facility and its designated areas.

While the aesthetics that a floor coating provides is the biggest and perhaps most noticeable benefit, there are a variety of other benefits that such coatings provide. For instance, they can actually help a business owner or warehouse manager save money. Yes, you read that right—industrial floor coverings can help a business save money—and not just in upfront costs, as such coatings are known to be very affordable. Here’s a look at five ways coatings can be a huge help to an industrial facility’s bottom line:

5 Ways Industrial Floor Coatings Will Save You Money

  1. A Safer Floor: While you never want any employees to experience injury in the workplace, accidents happen – that’s a fact. But you might be surprised to learn that industrial floor coatings can help promote a safer workplace. That’s because such coatings help with the likes of slip-resistance, heat-resistance, fire-resistance and impact-resistance. They can also help increase brightness in the workplace so that your employees can spot potential hazards sooner. This can all directly translate to a safer work environment, and less payout in terms of worker’s compensation.
  2. Floor Durability: Floor coatings don’t just give a floor a high-gloss shine, they also help make the floor more durable. Essentially, they can help make a typical concrete floor seamless and very strong, so you won’t have to worry about floor damage and premature wear.
  3. Increased Productivity: Floor coatings can help streamline productivity in a few ways. For starters, the different decorative patterns and colors can be applied in a way that designates walking paths and work zones to keep the workspace better organized and areas better defined, especially those areas that may be more dangerous than others. Secondly, because of the durability and smoothness of the floor, there’s less wear and tear put on transport vehicles.
  4. Long-Lasting: We’ve already covered how floor coatings help make a floor more durable. This durability also helps the floor become more long-lasting, so you won’t have to worry about continuous repairs or premature replacement.
  5. Easy to Maintain: Last but not least, floor coatings help make an industrial environment much easier to maintain. That’s because coatings are easier to clean than plain concrete.

As you can see, industrial floor coatings don’t just help make the facility floor look great, they can also give way to a variety of secondary benefits, such as cost savings. And in today’s business climate, any way that business owners or managers can trim overhead and boost the bottom line is something that must be given consideration.

7 Myths about Epoxy

Epoxy is becoming a popular choice for floor coverings in garages and basements. Still, some people are reluctant to take the plunge, citing several outdated and overrated myths. These myths are holding them back from beautiful and durable protective coatings for the floors in their houses.
Myth #1 – Epoxy Floors are Too Expensive

Epoxy creates a strong durable coating for the floor that protects the actual flooring surface from harm related to chemicals, water, impact, and other destructive forces. When compared to the costs of replacing the actual floor more frequently, the costs are actually quite minimal—provided you choose the correct epoxy coating to meet the needs of your floors according to how they will be used.

Myth # 2 – Paints Work just as Well as Epoxy

The truth is that paints aren’t designed to do what epoxy does. Unlike paint, epoxy contains resins and hardeners that make it a more protective surface than paint. Epoxy is also resistant to damage from impacts, abrasions, chemicals, and UV rays, which paint is not. Paint won’t survive one summer in the average garage with tire marks, scuffs, scrapes, paint peels and flecks, and that doesn’t even include exposure to chemicals. Epoxy, on the other hand, can last much longer when properly applied.

Myth # 3 – Epoxy Floors Requires Frequent Replacement

Speaking of lasting longer, the rumor is that epoxy floors must be replaced every one to three years. That may be true of improperly applied epoxy, but epoxy that has been properly installed, especially when installed by professionals can last 10 to 20 years or even longer. That makes a huge difference in the cost-effectiveness of epoxy.

Myth # 4 – Sweeping and Light Cleaning is all the Preparation Required to Install Epoxy Floors

This is a slight underestimation of the work involved. Epoxy is most commonly used on concrete floors. These floors require some degree of preparation before applying epoxy. All grease, waxes, glues, and adhesives must be completely removed from the floor. Otherwise the epoxy might not properly bond to the floor which will require replacement. That is why it is recommended that professionals prepare and install epoxy floors – especially in garage areas that may have greater concentrations of these items.

Myth # 5 – DIY is Good Enough for Installing Epoxy

This is one of those myths that has a little truth to it. If you are certain that you have the skills to properly prepare the floors and then apply the epoxy, you may, but it is often best to err on the side of caution in order to protect the longevity of your floors. Improperly installed epoxy floors need to be replaced in one to three years while those that are professionally installed can last between 10 and 20 years before replacement becomes necessary.

Myth # 6 – All Epoxy Coatings are Created Equal

Quality matters when purchasing epoxy flooring. Keep that in mind and look for products that offer longer warranties and have outstanding feedback from satisfied customers.

Myth # 7 – You don’t have many Options when it Comes to Epoxy

That is more of a myth today than in days past. Many home basements are turning to decorative acid staining of the cement topped with a clear epoxy sealer. This opens up a wide new world of flooring options with the protection that epoxy is famous for providing.

Now that you know these common myths about epoxy are false, feel more confident to be creative and really take pride in your epoxy floors.

The Best Concrete in The World has Kevlar in it

You’ve finally decided to build that big warehouse or garage you’ve been wanting, and it’s about time to pour the concrete foundation. And while having concrete poured might sound like an easy process, what you need to realize is that there are different types of concrete, as well as different brands, including a kevlar-based option called Eco-Crete. It depends on the type of concrete you choose as to what amount of strength, durability, and longevity it will have. Fortunately, you’re not left in the dark when it comes to learning about concrete, so here are the different types and how they compare with one another.

Normal Concrete

This type of concrete is normally comprised of the following ingredients:

  • Aggregate
  • Water
  • Cement

Normal concrete tends to have a setting time of 30 to 90 minutes; however, the exact setting time is heavily influenced by the moisture in the atmosphere and the finesse of the cement. After about 28 days of drying, normal concrete has attained about 80 percent of its total strength. Slumps in normal concrete vary from one to four inches, and it has a one to two percent air content rate. Something to note is that normal concrete is not durable when exposed to severe conditions, such as freezing temperatures.

High Strength Concrete

With a compressive strength greater than 6,000 pounds per square inch, high strength concrete is just as its name implies — high strength. This type of concrete is created by making the water to cement ratio 0.35 or lower. This type of concrete often has reduced workability because of its low ratio, but superplasticizers added to the mixture can help compensate for this.

High Performance Concrete

There are many valuable properties to using high performance concrete. Some of the most common include:

  • Compaction without segregation
  • High workability
  • Density
  • High strength
  • Permeability
  • Ease of placement
  • Early age strength
  • Volume stability
  • Longevity

This type of concrete tends to have a ratio of 0.25. Since it’s not durable in extreme weather conditions causing freezing and thawing, many preparers of the mix will add air entrained agents.

Air Entrained Concrete

There is no doubt that air entrained concrete was a great achievement in the concrete repair industry. This type of concrete is used in places where the concrete is prone to freezing and then cracking when thawing. By adding an air entraining admixture, almost any type of high performance concrete can be transformed into air entrained concrete. Please keep in mind, though, that the strength of this type of concrete is fairly low, especially when compared to high strength concrete.


Eco-crete concrete is comprised of three primary ingredients, and is considered a Kevlar-polymer-quartz-aggregate-concrete repair compound. This type of concrete is ideal for repairing concrete or stonework. With outstanding hardness and chemical resistance, Eco-crete can be used for street and curb repair purposes, and it’s even often used in runway and loading dock applications.

The Biggest Mistakes You Can Make with Epoxy

Have you decided to use epoxy coatings within your home or business space? If so, then you are likely already aware of the numerous benefits to be obtained. Not only does epoxy serve as a sealant that boosts safety, but it also has the capability to be applied in various ways to reflect a truly unique appearance. Some people have even applied epoxy to make concrete floors look like marble. Before you start the process of applying epoxy, it’s important that you take a moment to learn about what could go wrong. Here’s a quick look at five of the top mistakes and how you can avoid making them.

 The surface HAS to be DEEP cleaned

Before applying epoxy to any surface, it needs to be deep cleaned, especially in areas that are undergoing a new construction or remodel. A deep clean will involve soap and water—possibly ammonia—and a scrub brush. After the surface has been scrubbed, it then needs to be vacuumed dry. You will want the floor to be completely dry before applying the epoxy coating.

Once again, the surface HAS to be DRY

It cannot be stressed enough just how important it is that the surface(s) in which the epoxy is being applied to are completely dry. Even after taking a wet vacuum cleaner to the floor, you will want to let the surfaces continue to dry for at least another 24 hours. If you have the time to wait, waiting 48 hours will be even better.

Make sure you have enough epoxy

If you start to run out of epoxy and think that you can stretch it out by applying a thinner coating on certain surfaces, you will likely end up with spots that don’t appear near as glossy as the rest of the surfaces. Because of this, it is imperative that you make sure to have enough epoxy on hand to fully cover the surface area you are wanting to coat. With this in mind, if you have 400 square feet of area that you want to coat and you buy an epoxy kit that says it will cover 300 to 400 square feet, you will probably cut yourself short. In fact, it’s almost guaranteed that you will run short if the floor has been properly prepared because concrete floors are porous and will absorb a bit of epoxy.

Did you mix the epoxy right?

When you start the process of applying epoxy, you will first notice that you have to mix two substances together. If you don’t properly mix them, the epoxy will chip and not be as durable as it’s supposed be. Also, when the mixture hasn’t been mixed correctly it can lead to air bubbles in the coating, which will make the flooring appear cheap and unprofessional.

What’s the temperature outside?

Another common mistake made when applying epoxy coating is not performing the activity in correct weather temperatures. If it’s below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, you will want to save the task for another day. Although some epoxy experts state the coating can be applied in colder temperatures, it’s best not to chance ruining the entire floor.

Help Your Machinery Last Longer with High Performance Coatings  

When you have machinery that you want to perform at an optimal capacity, using high performance coatings is essential to extending the life of your equipment. As most industrial facility environments are harsh on machinery, ensuring that equipment is protected will reduce the amount of time equipment sits idle.


High Performance Coatings Help Reduce Corrosion

Corroding metal is a big issue for high end machinery, as corrosion can cause equipment to malfunction. High performance coatings used on metal help reduce corrosion. High performance eco-polymer compounds can be used in many instances, and are often used for steel tank repair, scrubbers, scurry tanks, tube sheets, fans and blowers, and any surface made of metal that you don’t want to corrode. Eco-polymer coatings are designed to resist heat and chemicals, which provides many uses for these coatings.


Provide a Barrier Between Harsh Chemicals and Your Equipment

In an industrial environment, harsh chemicals are often used in a number of applications. Machinery can be susceptible to harsh chemicals, and needs to be protected from chemicals that can destroy the integrity of the machinery parts. Through the use of high performance coatings, harsh chemicals aren’t able to reach machinery parts, keeping them safe, even when exposed frequently.

High Performance Coatings Provide Insulation for Your Machinery

High performance coatings will protect your machinery from corrosion, waterproof your machinery in certain situations, and even help control fires. Each type of performance coating can be used as a solution for a variety of problems. Whether you have equipment that will get wet frequently, or you are trying to prevent the spread of fires within your facility by using fire retardant high performance coatings, each coating will work on different issues that your equipment may face.

High performance coatings can also be designed with a specific problem in mind. The coating can be a combination of coatings, designed to solve a number of problems at the same time. With anti-corrosive properties, water proofing, and fire retardant capabilities, high performance coatings are used in many areas of a functioning industrial setting in order to protect both the equipment and the environment within.

If you want your machinery to last longer, and you are looking for protection solutions, it’s time to consider the right high performance coatings for you.