Indeed, epoxy floors come with more benefits than their aesthetic appeal. Due to the chemical composition of their making, they are also slip-resistant, fire-resistant, and safe once properly dried. However, like most chemical mixtures or coatings, exposure to epoxies during installation can be irritating and toxic. Yearly, exposure to such harmful substances is one of the leading causes of work-related fatality. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded an annual average of 547 deaths between 2015 and 2019 due to such exposures.
Therefore, it is recommended to leave the messy, time-consuming, and complicated installation of epoxy flooring to professionals near you trained to mitigate the hazards associated with epoxies. However, before you conclude the search for a "professional epoxy flooring contractor near me", you should ask the contractors the following questions to ensure you hire the best:
Are You a Licensed Epoxy Flooring Contractor?
Depending on the state, county or city where you live, your epoxy flooring contractor will hold a flooring or general or home improvement license. For example, epoxy flooring contractors practicing in California are required to hold the C-15 flooring contractor license. While in Connecticut and Maryland a home improvement license is required, and in Mississippi a residential remodeling license is required for projects more than $10,000. To determine the licensing requirement in your locality contact the state's professional licensing department or consumer protection agency.
To confirm your epoxy floorer's license, ask for their license number or a copy of the license. Contact the local licensing agency office near you to verify such a license is valid and up to date.
Are You a Bonded and Insured Epoxy Flooring Contractor?
In 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded a total of 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses and 5,333 fatal work injuries. During this period, 3 fatal occupational injuries and 340 nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses were recorded amongst floor layers. If you hire an insured and bonded epoxy flooring contractor, you are financially protected in the event of an unforeseen work-related occurrence. These include on-the-job injuries, uncompleted jobs, or a non-payment of any subcontractors that may be involved in the job.
Request copies of your epoxy flooring contractor's insurance and bonding certificates and authenticate them by contacting the organizations that issued these certificates. Note that your area of residence may have specific insurance and bonding requirements for contractors. These usually include a general liability insurance plan, a workers' compensation insurance plan, and a minimum of $2,000 in surety bonds. It is advisable that you contact your local consumer protection office to find out what these requirements may be, and if your epoxy flooring contractor meets all of them.
What Kind of Work Are You Specialized In?
Epoxies can be grouped into three types, solvent-borne epoxies, waterborne epoxies, and 100% solid epoxies:
- Solvent-borne Epoxies: this type of epoxy presents a strong, cohesive surface and can be used for a wide variety of surfaces. However, its composition makes it flammable. It also has toxic vapors and has to be used in an area with good ventilation
- Waterborne Epoxies: this type of epoxy can be applied on both thin and thick surfaces and is typically used to coat concrete floors.
- 100% Solid Epoxies: 100% solid epoxies are typically commercial grade epoxies and they are suitable for corrosive environments like warehouses, kitchens, restrooms, and garages
Epoxy flooring involves applying layers of epoxy to a floor. There are various types of epoxy floorings, and they include:
- Self-leveling epoxy flooring: this type of epoxy flooring creates a durable, smooth, and leveled texture over new, old, cracked, or damaged floors. It is mainly used for warehouses, showrooms, kitchens, manufacturing buildings, commercial garages, and athletic facilities
- Mortar epoxy flooring: this type of epoxy flooring is highly chemical-resistant and can withstand a great deal of impact. Mortar epoxy flooring is considered the most stringent type of epoxy flooring available and it can even be used to repair cracks in the floor before the application of another type of epoxy flooring. Mortar epoxy flooring is typically used for warehouses, commercial kitchens, restaurants, mechanical spaces, manufacturing plants, and garages
- Anti-static epoxy flooring: this type of epoxy flooring is usually applied to reduce static hazards in work environments and is typically used in places that contain flammable materials. This includes healthcare facilities, electronic, chemical, and pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, and spaces that use flammable materials and have a risk of combustible dust buildup
- Quartz-filled epoxy flooring: this type of epoxy flooring is typically used for decorative spaces that require slip-resistant and sanitary properties like showrooms, locker rooms, cafeterias, schools, offices, lobbies, and restrooms
- Flake epoxy flooring: this type of epoxy flooring contains colored flake materials that create a vibrant, multi-hued look and provide surfaces with subtle grooves that reduce slips and falls. It is typically used in sports venues, locker rooms, commercial kitchens, and clinics
Before you hire any epoxy flooring contractor near you, you should find out whether the contractor is specialized in handling a particular type of epoxy or epoxy flooring. Professional epoxy flooring contractors are generally capable of working with epoxy or epoxy flooring. Nevertheless, you should always ask.
Who Will Do the Work?
This is an important question that you should ask any epoxy flooring contractor you intend to hire. The number of workers required for epoxy flooring typically depends on the scope of work involved. Always let your contractor know the size of the area that needs flooring and make sure that you are informed on the number of workers that will be required for the job. This way, you can ensure that each of these workers is properly licensed, insured, and bonded.
Do You Offer a Warranty?
Warranties are a form of assurance that is given to a person that pays for a service or product by the seller of that service or product. Always make sure that the epoxy flooring contractor you intend to hire offers you a warranty. Any professional epoxy flooring contractors near you would typically offer workmanship warranties that assure you of the quality of their work. Although warranties can be implied, oral, or written, you should always request a written warranty. This reduces your chances of voiding the warranty's terms and conditions.
Will This Job Require a Permit?
Epoxy flooring does not generally require a permit. A permit is a government-issued approval that you are required to obtain before you can do some types of home improvement projects. These types of projects are usually projects that will significantly alter the structure or footprint of your home and property, and epoxy flooring does not typically belong to this category. Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to contact the local building department office near you to find out whether your area of residence has permit requirements for epoxy flooring.
Will You Provide References?
You should never hire an epoxy flooring contractor that cannot provide you with references for jobs that they have completed. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission advises that you should only hire a contractor that can provide you with no less than three verifiable references. Alternatively, you can utilize the services of a third-party review website to search for opinions and reviews of clients near you on any epoxy flooring contractor that you wish to hire. Some websites that you can use for this are Yelp, Google Review, and Better Business Bureau.
Do You Have a Business License?
According to the Small Business Administration, there are more than 30 million registered small businesses in the United States, and epoxy flooring businesses typically belong to this category. Businesses in the United States, regardless of their size, are generally required to obtain a business license before they can legally conduct business or operate in any area. You should always make sure that any epoxy flooring contractor you intend to hire has a valid business license. You can contact the Secretary of State's office in your state of residence to verify the validity of your epoxy flooring contractor's license.
What Are Common Epoxy Flooring Problems?
Some common problems associated with epoxy flooring are:
- Moisture buildup underneath the epoxy flooring
- Presence of air bubbles
- Peeling floors
- Floor blistering
- Inconsistent colors and floor discoloration
These problems can be avoided by hiring a professional epoxy flooring contractor.
How Much Does Epoxy Flooring Cost?
The average cost of epoxy flooring in the United States is $5 â€“ $15 per square foot. The total amount that you will pay for epoxy flooring typically depends on the size of the area that the epoxy coating is to be applied and the amount of labor required for the job.
The estimated costs of types of epoxy per square foot are:
What Are the Factors That Affect the Cost of Epoxy Flooring?
The total cost of epoxy flooring is affected by the following factors:
What Qualifications Should an Epoxy Flooring Contractor Have?
Epoxy flooring does not generally have any minimum educational requirements. However, many epoxy flooring businesses provide apprenticeship programs and on-the-job training for their employees. It is estimated that there are over 16,000 employed floor layers in the United States. Some epoxy flooring contractors also obtain professional certifications from organizations and associations like the International Certified Floorcovering Installers Association, the International Standards and Training Alliance, the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification, and the Building Service Contractors Association International.
Do You Need a Handyman or a Professional Epoxy Flooring Contractor?
Even though it may seem like the cheaper option to hire any handyman near you to handle your epoxy flooring, you should always hire a professional epoxy flooring contractor instead. A handyman is not trained to professionally handle epoxies and there is a high probability that you may end up having to hire a qualified epoxy contractor to start the job afresh. However, when you hire a professional epoxy flooring contractor, you are assured that the job is done properly and expertly the first time without any epoxy flooring-related problems like the presence of air bubbles or inconsistent colors. Note that when hiring a professional epoxy flooring contractor, you should always make sure that this contractor is properly licensed, insured, and bonded.
What Are Common Post Epoxy Flooring Expenses?
The most common post-epoxy flooring expense is the cost of cleaning your floor. You can clean your floor regularly by yourself or hire a professional cleaning service to help you do so. Professional cleaning costs an average of $25 - $50 per hour.
Another common post-epoxy flooring expense is the cost of sealing your floor. Floor sealing typically costs an average of $1 - $4. It is always a good idea to find out whether your epoxy flooring contractor offers this service.
Does Homeowner Insurance Cover Epoxy Flooring Expenses?
Your homeowner's insurance policy will only cover the cost of sudden and unexpected damages to your home and property. According to the Insurance Information Institute, property damages like fires, water damage, lightning, theft, wind, and hail damage accounted for 98.1% of all the homeowners' insurance claims made in 2018. Considering that epoxy flooring is typically done to improve the lifespan of your floor, your homeowner's insurance policy will not cover the cost.
However, if your home is damaged by any of the perils listed in your policy and epoxy flooring is included in your home's repair, then your homeowner's insurance will probably cover its cost. The specific types of perils or damages covered by a homeowner's insurance policy vary by the insurance company that issues it. As such, it is always a good idea to properly understand the terms and conditions of any policy you intend to purchase before you do so. It is also advisable to ensure that your premium payments are always up to date.
Can I Use Digital Payment to Pay My Epoxy Flooring Contractor?
Like most small businesses in the US today, any epoxy flooring contractor near you will accept electronic pay for their fees. Digital payments are considerably faster, cheaper, more secure, and more convenient than physical payment methods. Following the Covid-19 crisis, transactions made via digital methods have become more commonplace and widely accepted amongst contractors. Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to find out your epoxy flooring contractor's preferred method of payment before any work begins. If your epoxy flooring contractor prefers cash transactions, then you should always ask for a receipt of payment.