Being well prepared for a DIY epoxy repair project is as important as the job itself. We often talk quite a bit about what epoxy product is best for a multitude of repairs like plumbing leaks, woodwork fixes, pool cracks, auto repair, and much more. But as Benjamin Franklin once said, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,” and that guy was no dummy! So let’s chat a bit about the gear and products you may need to safely and effectively complete your chosen DIY epoxy project!
All epoxy products have some degree of hazard during application.
Although the epoxy products manufactured by Protective Coating Company are non toxic after cure, there is always the possibility that people with sensitivities can become irritated during the application process. However, this type of irritation usually occurs only after a long period of time with repeated direct skin contact with the products, resulting from a disregard for safety procedures.
The two most important safety factors to keep in mind are:
- Avoid direct skin or eye contact
- Provide yourself adequate ventilation
The resin portions of the products rarely cause problems on their own, but the hardeners are considered moderate skin irritants and sensitizers. However, once mixed with the resin, this hazard is greatly reduced.
Here is a list of the gear you should have in your possession for a successful epoxy repair job.
- Disposable or durable rubber gloves.
- Barrier cream to all exposed portions of the body, including your face, if you believe you may be prone to an allergic reaction.
- Protective clothing. Preferably of a non-permeable type (disposable paper or plastic-type aprons and similar apparel are excellent since cured epoxy cannot be removed from clothing, and most fabrics can be penetrated by uncured epoxy).
- Sanding mask. Avoid inhalation of vapors and dust, especially from partially cured or “green” epoxy. Wear a sanding mask whenever dust is present along with protective clothing when sanding coated surfaces that have not cured for at least seven days.
- Eye goggles or safety glasses, especially when mixing and working overhead, and especially when working with the more fluid epoxies. lf eye contact occurs, flush IMMEDIATELY with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes.
What you really shouldn’t do when working with epoxy.
- Don’t store it around children, animals, and anyone not familiar with the use and hazards of the materials.
- Don’t ignore it if skin contact occurs. If this should happen, simply wash quickly with soap and water or other suitable cleanser
- Do NOT eat or drink in the area where the products are being used.
- Avoid having any exposed flames or high heat sources in the work area. While epoxies are considered “non-combustible”, they will burn if ignited.
- Do not spray any epoxy resins. Apply with appropriate methods.
DIY epoxy repair is relatively safe and easy. But, it still requires a measure of common sense and a bit of preparation, including adequate protective clothing. Happy fixin’!