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Can You Apply Epoxy To Concrete in Cold Weather?

A Man Shoveling a Clear Path from Snow on his concrete driveway

With winter drawing near and summer and fall activities wrapping up, you might realize you didn’t get all your household projects done in time before the super cold months in Minnesota hit. Rather than waiting until next summer, you might be wondering if there is anything you can do during the cold weather that you can check off your home improvement list. Depending on your customizable concrete project, you may be pleased to know what Concrete Coatings of Minnesota can do for you this winter. 

Can You Coat Your Concrete Floors With Epoxy During The Winter?

The short answer is yes. If you think it is a project you want to be accomplished during the cold weather months of Minnesota, we can successfully apply epoxy to your concrete as long as we can manipulate the temperature, so think of more indoor projects, including your garage.. But with that being said, because the winter can be pretty harsh with snowfall and low temperatures in Minnesota, we set aside all outdoor coatings, like driveways or outdoor patios, for the summer months. If it’s your garage, basement, steps, or anything else indoors, we are happy to coat your surfaces all year long, snow, rain, or shine.

Epoxy’s Reaction to Winter

The main reasoning behind why outdoor epoxy coatings are left to summer months is pretty straightforward – snow, cold temperatures, and low ground temperatures affect the chemical reactions of the epoxy mixing and installation processes. The epoxy chemical reaction is known as an exothermic reaction, and during those warmer temperatures, the exothermic reaction is accelerated, while cold temperatures decelerate the reactions. With a decelerated exothermic reaction, the bond strength decreases, compromising its properties and therefore decreasing the strength and durability of the coating. 

When it comes to Epoxy coating, it instantly assumes the temperature of the substance to which it is applied to. Its chemically reactive threshold is 55℉ therefore, the surface and ambient temperature must be higher than that 55℉ to receive that maximum strength and durability. This is what makes it so difficult to perform during those cold winter months. Without the right environment, the epoxy concrete coating would practically be useless and would need repairing because of the risk of peeling, cracking, and bubbling that could happen. 

How To Manipulate Minnesota Temperatures

As mentioned above, epoxy relies heavily upon the temperature at which it is set. There are ways in which you can manipulate the ambient temperature around the space in which you want your concrete coated. A garage, for example, can be a bit of an oddball, possessing cooler temperatures than inside your house but warmer than the snow-covered concrete outside. You can manipulate the temperatures by heating the air with propane heaters and laying heat guns or heat blankets on the floor. Making sure you seal off your garage from the outdoors is also important to remember, so keep your garage doors closed before the coating process begins. 

If you have your heart set on coating your concrete floors but have difficulty manipulating the temperature, consider a polyurea or polyaspartic coating. This type of coating can be applied in much cooler temperatures than epoxy and even provide your concrete with better protection!

Don’t Let The Winter Slow You Down

Minnesota residents are pretty acclimated at putting off large home projects to the summer months, but it doesn’t have to be that way, especially if it comes to your garage. At Concrete Coatings of Minnesota, we are happy to offer many year-long services, so waiting isn’t necessary! Contact us today for a free estimate on your next concrete coating project.

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