Polyaspartic vs. Epoxy Coatings In the Year 2021

Why You Should Use Polyaspartic Floor Coating in Your Business Establishment

Choosing between a new polyaspartic garage floor coating or a new epoxy garage floor coating can be difficult, especially if you are new to the world of coatings. In the past, most people only had epoxy, but many decorative coating contractors are now offering the “newer” polyaspartic coating technology over the last decade. There are numerous beautiful features that both floor coating systems offer, but which one is right for your floor?

Polyaspartic Garage Floor Coating Start to Finish! - YouTube

Polyaspartic Floor Coatings

Polyaspartics have been around for decades and found their primary uses early on in corrosion control applications on metal and concrete parts of bridge structures. Around 2005, ArmorThane was one of the first players in the garage makeover and garage improvement market to use Polyaspartic resin technology for garage floor coatings. In those days, almost everyone on the market resisted the technology and tried to push epoxy, thinking polyaspartic would not hang around and would not hold up. 

Well, it did hang around and for many, many years. It has proven to hold up very well in a wide variety of conditions, and ArmorThane was one of the first to use polyaspartics in the garage concrete flooring market. In the last few years, the advantages and long-term reliability of polyaspartic have become so widely known and apparent that today, many contractors offer polyaspartic resins in addition to epoxy.   

Polyaspartic coatings are a great option for many reasons. For one, it is very easy to apply and can typically be done in only one day, minimizing installation trips, cost, and inconvenience to homeowners. This coating is also easy to apply in extreme temperatures from hot to cold, allowing you flexibility in deciding when you would like to have your project done. Unless working with a very exotic epoxy formulation, as a rule of thumb, epoxies should not be used when temperatures are below 55 degrees F. For those contractors that use the only epoxy, their installs come to a halt when fall temperatures start dropping. Polyaspartics can be used in temperatures well below zero. 

One of the first benefits of polyaspartic coatings is that they are UV stable, making for a great topcoat, meaning that it will not discolor or yellow from the sun. This yellowing or ambering is possibly one of the famous shortcomings of most epoxy formulations. Polyaspartics also features excellent scratch resistance, making them extremely durable and useful for areas of high traffic. As well, they are much, much more elastic than epoxies, meaning that when your concrete expands and contracts with changes in temperatures, the polyaspartic floor coating will “move” with the concrete much better. As a result, adhesion to the concrete is highly refined. Polyaspartic floor coatings are, however, a more costly option than epoxy.

Do-It-Yourself Epoxy Floor Coating

Epoxy Floor Coatings

Epoxies have been around for many, many decades, and their main advantage is their low cost. When it comes to flooring, epoxies tend to be less elastic, and in environments where the substrate, concrete, is exposed to wide temperature variations over the year, they can “pop” off the floor. Below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, epoxies are a ‘no go’ for installation as curing can be extremely slow and result in partially cured flooring systems. Even when you’re within the right application temperature, epoxy takes longer to cure than Polyaspartic, usually taking five to seven days before you can use the floor compared to 24 hours with polyaspartic floor coatings. And of course, all epoxy floor coatings frequently use a similar resin technology based on DGEBA (bisphenol-A and epichlorohydrin), which features an aromatic ring, making it inherently flawed yellowing and ambering when exposed to the sun (radiation). If the floor will be exposed to UV light from the sun, over time, epoxies will yellow and should not be recommended for outdoor or sunlight-exposed floors. 

Be wary of more modern companies touting “100% UV Resistant Epoxies” or derivatives thereof. Many of these companies use the same commercially available epoxy resins (DGEBA) as the lower cost epoxies and pairing them with a higher cost cycloaliphatic amine (hardener). While this system has enhanced UV resistance to yellowing/ambering, it is only temporary. The system may last six months longer than a floor without a cycloaliphatic hardener, but it will yellow just the same in time. It wouldn’t be honest to say that technically a 100% UV resistant epoxy could not exist, it could, but at this moment in time, it would make zero sense from a financial and a technical standpoint. A few saturated cycloaliphatic epoxy resins exist in the marketplace that could be paired with a cycloaliphatic hardener. Still, these are so inherently expensive to manufacture and are not widely used simply because they are not being manufactured. The largest epoxy companies in the world do not even make these types of resins for flooring because of drawbacks such as increased cost, poor cure rate, unsuitable film formation, etc.… They are so cost-prohibitive to introduce for the increase in UV protection. The recommendation is to use a polyurethane / polyaspartic flooring system which also comes with other improved technical performance features such as increased cure, hardness, elasticity, etc.…

To find out how ArmorThane’s polyaspartic coatings can work for you, give them a visit today by clicking here or read on below about a couple of their top available products.

ArmorFloor™ logo

ArmorFloor Coating

ArmorFloor is a two-component, aliphatic polyaspartic for moderate to severe chemical environments in indoor or outdoor applications. Its resilience, durability, and UV resistance make it an excellent choice for many uses. Slip resistance Color Quartz or other abrasive materials may be applied. Decorative Color Chips are often used for design.

ArmorDeck™ logo

ArmorDeck Coating – Two-Step Process

ArmorDeck Basecoat SF is a single component, high solids, solvent-free, low odor, environmentally safe, liquid applied, moisture-cured, aromatic urethane polyurea elastomeric waterproofing base membrane. It is typically used as an exterior coating on concrete or plywood decks, patios, walkways, marinas, and sports areas.

ArmorDeck Topcoat must be applied within 48 hours. Slip resistance Color Quartz or other abrasive materials may be applied. Decorative Color Chips are often used for design.

ArmorDeck Topcoat is a polyester, aliphatic, single component, liquid applied, moisture-cured, urethane polyurea surface protection coating. This adds durability, excellent weather ability, seamless waterproofing membrane, UV resistance, and abrasion resistance.

These products may be applied with a roll-on or trowel process or applied with airless or conventional spraying equipment.

Marijuana Grow Room Floor Coatings


An Industry Booms Amid New Laws

The legalization of marijuana in several states has created a modern new industry of cannabis grow facilities. In 10 states and the District of Columbia, medical and recreational marijuana is legal. The US is heading toward the decriminalization of marijuana and eventually making marijuana fully legal. With a relatively new and unique industry, these grow facilities and dispensaries have hurdles to overcome to ensure they stay dedicated to government regulations and codes.

Cannabis grow facilities are facing increasing competition as new cultivation companies are setting up shops in industrial spaces. Keeping production expenses low while maximizing high-quality yields will help these new growers build their businesses, profit and stay competitive in the market. 

The harsh environments inside of grow facilities can require regular upkeep and cleaning of floors. Fertilizer mixtures, pesticides, moisture, and UV lights are typically rough on floors in these buildings. Polyurethane and Polyaspartic floor coatings are typically perfect for these conditions in which chemical resistance, abrasion resistance, and UV resistance are required. Many have even modified existing floor coatings to make them better suited to these flooring applications. For example, UV light stabilizing additives can be added to polyaspartic and polyurethane systems to enhance their already great resistance to UV exposure (yellowing).

Medical Marijuana Grow Facilities

These facilities have very distinctive needs. In the past, grow facilities have experienced fires, explosions, code violations, and other incidences. What used to be an outdoor growing operation has evolved into large indoor commercial facilities. Taking operations indoors has translated into better security and protection from weather and outdoor contaminants. This has led to more control over the ideal environment for marijuana growth. Grow facilities are exposed to high-intensity UV lamps, moisture, and harsh chemicals used in fertilizers and pesticides.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT FLOOR COATING FOR A GROW FACILITY

Due to the harsh environment inside a grow facility, with a mixture of fertilizers, pesticides, moisture, and harsh lighting, the flooring is exposed to unique conditions that require a unique solution. Keeping a floor clean is very important to operations, so much so that most grow facilities require that shoes are washed with a special solution before entering the grow room. These operations need a floor that is resistant to chemicals, easy to clean, moisture friendly, and can withstand UV lighting. 

As a result of the unique environment in a grow facility, a hybrid floor coating system consisting of epoxy, and polyaspartic resins would provide an optimal solution. Two coats of water-borne epoxy (primer) protect against the humid environment. A topcoat with polyaspartic protects the floor from harsh UV lights. Compared with traditional epoxy flooring, Polyaspartic would be necessary as a topcoat to withstand UV lights, whereas epoxy would yellow with time. Additionally, polyaspartics protect against various chemicals and fertilizers that are present in a growing facility.

With the moisture and humidity in a grow facility, the floors can encounter condensation, making a smooth floor surface slippery. Finding the balance between cleanliness and safety on a floor is important. The smoother the floor, the easier it will be to clean, but the more polished and smooth it will be when wet. If safety is more important for your grow facility, we suggest adding anti-slip particles (texture) to the hybrid floor coating, increasing the coefficient of friction on the floor surface. If clean-ability is more important, we would recommend all employees wear slip-resistant shoes while the grow facility is experiencing high moisture levels.

Marijuana Dispensary Floor Coatings

The retail space of marijuana dispensaries emphasizes cleaning and sanitation, product safety, compliant facility operations, waste management, and operator health and safety. With this in mind having a clean and aesthetically pleasing floor is critical for the product and the customers. 

If you are looking for the best and most long-lasting floor solution, we recommend going with a polyurethane or polyaspartic protective coating. ArmorThane offers the best products in the industry, and if you would like to know more, follow the links below.