Garage Floor Coating
The Need for Coating
Bare concrete can be a difficult surface to clean and maintain. It can develop cracks and pitting after only a few years, and the porous nature of concrete encourages stains from fluids and car debris. Those stains show grime and dirt, making the concrete look dingy. One common way to refresh a garage floor is to apply a coat of paint or epoxy; however, escaped water vapor from concrete and heat from tires can cause paint to bubble and peel, leaving the floor looking even worse. The longer-lasting solution is to engage the help of a professional garage floor coating installer.
Different materials are available to repair concrete, fill joints, and prevent vapor transmission as well as to provide superior adhesion, hardness, UV stability, and chemical resistance. These characteristics are dependent on the particular types of resins, curing agents, solvents, and fillers used. Be sure to consult a certified installer and review product specifications to ensure the correct product is used for your purpose.
Epoxy coatings cover the floor in a glossy finish that resists abrasions, water, road salts, oil and other automotive fluids, and many chemicals. Keep in mind that epoxy is not UV resistant and can become discolored with long-term exposure to sunlight.
Polyurethane coatings offer many of the same features as epoxy in addition to extra durability and UV protection. They are available in glossy, matte, and semimatte finishes as well. These additional benefits make polyurethane slightly more expensive than epoxy in exchange for extra protection and finish options.
Polyurea coatings are a type of polyurethane coating that can be applied in very hot or cold temperatures. Polyurea coatings also cure very quickly, meaning that you will be able to use your garage the day after the application is finished.
Before a coating is applied, the underlying concrete needs to be resurfaced with a diamond grinder or shot blaster to remove surface imperfections and debris. Then, cracks or pitting need to be addressed and repaired. It is also very important to conduct a moisture test to determine whether you will need to start with a layer of moisture-blocking primer or sealer before applying your garage floor coating. Because of these preparation steps, professional installation is highly recommended for garage floor coatings.
Care and Maintenance
Coated floors require little maintenance beyond sweeping or dust mopping. Deeper cleaning should be done with mild, nonabrasive cleaners and de-greasers. After cleaning, the garage floor should be rinsed well to avoid leaving residue. In the event of a serious gouge or dent, garage floor coatings can be easily repaired using the same products that were originally installed.