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Carrier Agent Options for Epoxy Floor Coatings

For a variety of potential surfaces in or around your home, particularly garage floors in many cases, epoxy coatings are a wonderfully beneficial protective element. They both increase durability and help the flooring area to look brand new and modern, a one-two punch that’s making epoxy floor coatings more and more popular in recent years.

At Summit Coatings, we’re happy to offer epoxy coating, garage floor water proofing and numerous related services at your convenience. Depending on your precise needs for an epoxy floor coating, we may use different mixtures or additives for the final product used on your property – one of the biggest factors in this decision is the presence of water, solvents or neither such element. Let’s look at how we’ll help you determine the precise epoxy floor coating to use for your surface.

carrier agent epoxy floor coatings

Carrier Agents

Within many epoxy floor coatings, “carrier agents” are used to help increase the “pot life” – this is a measure of how long the material is able to be applied to a given floor after being mixed. It makes installation and spreading of the coating simpler, and also helps with the ease and adhesion process of the epoxy spreading.

Generally speaking, either a water or a solvent type is used as the carrier agent in question. This is particularly common for DIY epoxy appliers, though they are often used by professionals as well. Note that carrier agents are only present for the coating process itself, and they may be meant to evaporate once the application is finished.

Water-Based or Solvent-Based?

So how do you choose between a water-based carrier agent or a solvent-based one? For those looking for the best possible shine and gloss on their floor, solvent is often the way to go, as it brings the glossiest possible look. But take some care, because solvents can’t always be used – they contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that aren’t always safe for indoor use, meaning there might be certain places where a solvent-based epoxy can’t be safely installed. In other cases, the installer will have to wear a respirator.

Water-based epoxy, on the other hand, has become more and more popular in recent years. This is partially because it’s been better-regulated within the epoxy industry, plus newer forms of water-based epoxy can actually compare well to solvents in terms of gloss and shine. When you throw in the increased environmental and personal safety while installing water-based products compared to solvent-based ones, you can see why these are growing in popularity.

Full Solids Epoxy

In addition to the above, there are also 100% solid epoxy formats available that use no carrier agent. These will tend to have a shorter pot life, so they’re often best for smaller surfaces. They are much thicker, however, and resist chemicals, abrasion and various forms of corrosion.

For more on carrier agents or to learn about any of our epoxy coating options, speak to the staff at Summit Coatings today.

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