A floor is something that we usually ignore and don’t care about it until it becomes the ugliest part of the garage. That said, a lot of people have a question in mind that why should they epoxy coat their garage floor? If you also have a similar question in mind, gladly, after reading this article you will get this question cleared and would be motivated enough to epoxy coat your garage floor.
First of all, let me define the term “Epoxy”.
Epoxy is an adhesive material used to form a hard coating on floors. It is used as a sealant for the floors. They are very commonly used for walls, ceilings, commercial buildings, and garage floors. The epoxy coating really pays off in the long term and provides a good turn over investment.
The epoxy coating is more durable than paint especially in the garage where the paint peels off in a short span of time after it’s being applied. The epoxy coat is one of the most durable finishes for the garage floor; it protects the garage floor and makes it more attractive. There are several benefits of epoxy coating the garage floor which we would be discussing in detail below; some of them are – shiny look, resistance to oils, affordable, durable, protective, save electricity, and lasts long.
I am pretty much sure that after reading the post thoroughly, you would be motivated enough to epoxy coat your garage floor.
Benefits and reasons to paint the garage floor
The epoxy coat makes the garage floor bright and shiny. It makes the garage floor tempting to live in and work. The smooth, shiny surface is easy to maintain and to clean the messy garage becomes an exciting job for you. Also, it becomes very easy to find a nut or bolt on the floor.
The epoxy coating is extremely affordable if compared with other flooring options. It offers low per square foot cost and is very easy to install. In addition to the low installation cost, it offers a low maintenance cost. The concrete floors are very porous and they absorb the automobile oil and other lubricants; the concrete floors are very hard to clean. But this is not the case with the epoxy coated floor. The epoxy coated floors are very easy to clean because they are less porous. When you clean the floor, the stains of lubricants vanish and the floor becomes shiny again.
The epoxy coated concrete floors are hard to beat. The concrete floor alone doesn’t have a long life, but, with the epoxy coating, it becomes more resilient and resistant to almost everything. They are resistant to heat, water, lubricants, and tools. And this feature becomes the solid reason to use them in a garage and other commercial buildings. The epoxy coating extends the life span of the garage floor; therefore, it is cost effective. Further, you can reinstate the look of your garage at much lower costs.
Durability is the factor that distinguishes the epoxy coated floor from ordinary flooring options. Therefore, they are hard to beat because of the resistance and durability. However, the concrete floor is the prerequisite for an epoxy coating. The concrete floor plus epoxy coating constitutes the best combination.
Other than making the floor more resilient, one advantage of the epoxy coating is the versatility it offers. You get a choice to decorate the garage floor as per your wish. There are ample of colors, flakes, and designs that you can choose to make the floor more attractive and adorable. Making the story short, it gives flexibility to the users to improve their garage floor without breaking their bank.
The garage floor epoxy coating protects the floor from moisture, lubricant stains, and depreciation by hand and power tools. If we see in the long run, the epoxy coat can save you a lot of money in the maintenance cost category. You can clean the floor within minutes. It is fairly priced and pays really well.
Long Life Span
The epoxy coated floor lasts for a longer time if compared with other flooring. It can last for decades, provided that you use it decently. The cracks and flaws are very nicely covered if the epoxy system is installed professionally and the right epoxy system is used. If the system is not properly installed, it can result in a loss of your investment. I had mentioned the possible reasons because of which the epoxy coating fails; in the section below.
Save Electrical Energy
This benefit seems funny, but, it is a reality. By epoxy coating the garage floor, you can save the electrical energy, consequently, paying a lesser bill. The concrete floors absorb the light, on contrary; the epoxy coated floor is shiny and reflects enough light which complements the light coming from bulbs. If you have a shiny garage floor, you can light up your entire garage with few light bulbs.
What do I need to epoxy my garage?
If you are motivated enough to epoxy coat your garage floor, here are the main products that you need to use to get the job done.
If all the products are not included in a single package, you can buy them separately.
The paint rollers are made with fabric to hold the paint and release it evenly when applied on the floor. For epoxy coating, the STANLEY paint kits perform really well. Consider buying a STANLEY epoxy paint roller for best results. The STANLEY paint kit contains all the necessary stuff that is compulsory to apply the epoxy coat.
As mentioned earlier, removing any type of contamination from the surface is essential for a successful coating. The TERMINATOR-HSD is made to remove the contamination as if it was never there before. It contains bacteria that eat up the oil and gas. The TERMINATOR-HSD is an easy and effective way to remove contamination from the floor.
Rust-Oleum Epoxy system:
Here comes the most important component of the whole epoxy coating process – the epoxy system. I recommend the Rust-Oleum Epoxy System because it provides a professional finish to the garage floor and is durable enough to stay there for a long time. It works great on the indoor surfaces such as – garage floor, basements, and workshops.
Prep to epoxy coat the garage floor
Preparing the garage surface before the coating is one of the vital steps that you need to take for the best results. So, we would be talking about the preliminary preparation in detail.
How to know if a garage is suitable for floor coating?
There are a few things that need to be determined before doing anything and one of them is the moisture. Whether there is a moisture problem in your garage? If there is a moisture problem, you are not going to be able to coat that floor. The most common signs of moisture are – white powder or visible white crystals on the surface. The moisture problem can be due to the water migration or pipe leakage underground. When the moisture is migrating, it forms a layer on the surface. If there is enough moisture, chances are high that no coating is going to stay on that surface.
How can you make sure that you don’t have a moisture problem?
Now, to make sure that you don’t have the moisture problem in the garage, do test the floor with the plastic sheet. To do the test, tape an 18×18” square of a transparent plastic sheet on all the sides. Don’t place the plastic sheet in the direct sunlight. Leave the plastic sheet for 16 hours, afterward, if you see condensation under the plastic or if the surface is darkened, the floor is considered too wet for coating. The temperature variation may affect the test, but, if you see even a minor signal of moisture, don’t attempt to epoxy coat that floor.
For contamination test, pour water on the garage floor. If the water sits there for a long time or if there are beads of water on the surface, the floor is likely contaminated with oil or grease. If the concrete is saturated with oil or grease then any type of coating will never be successful. If the floor is not so contaminated, then you can try luck with a degreaser.
Is moisture the only potential problem to look for?
Other than the moisture problem, you have to concern yourself with all types of contamination. The previously applied additive or sealers can also affect the coating. If you see any contamination with oil or grease, then clean the surface with a commercial degreaser and alkaline detergent cleaner. Let the solution to soak for 5-7 minutes. Keep the surface wet with the solution all the time; when cleaning. If the surface gets dry during cleaning, reapply the solution and complete the remaining process. If the contamination does not go off easily, use a scouring pad or bristle brush to rub the surface.
Cleaning is so important for preparing the surface and it plays a vital role in a successful coating. After completing the cycle, wash the surface with clean water to remove the contamination. Wash the surface until there is no contamination left on the surface.
Other than the contamination, any kind of sealer or concrete additives can also cause the epoxy coating to fail. The additives may include – bond-breaking agents, chemical hardeners, curing compounds, concrete workability, and accelerated curing.
So, you have to concern yourself with the moisture or any kind of contamination. The coating can also fail if the floor is previously painted and the paint is peeling off.
The Surface prep is the most significant part of the epoxy coating process.
Why is surface prep so important?
It’s so because the failure doesn’t appear the next day after coating. It can take several months for the failure to appear. By then, you are too late to take any step and remove everything; all of your resources go in waste. That’s the reason why preparing the surface is so important.
What are the options for preparing the surface?
Likely there are three ways for the surface preparation – acid etching, shot blasting, and grinding.
Mechanical shot blasting:
The most common method of surface preparation for commercial projects is the mechanical shot blasting. The mechanical shot blasting involves blasting the surface with the small steel shot at very high speeds. This method is not affordable for the homeowners.
Acid Etching involves the application of water solution which reacts with the concrete and makes it porous enough to form a strong bond with the coating. When using the acid etching method, make sure that the solution stays in contact with the surface for a long time. Be very careful when applying the acid and take the precautionary measures. After giving several minutes to the acid, rinse the surface several times to make sure that there is no acid left on the surface.
For the most residential areas, the grinding is recommended rather than acid etching. A simple mechanical grinder is used for grinding; you can also grab a mechanical grinder on rent. The grinder makes the surface porous enough to accept the coating.
Let the surface to dry thoroughly. Use the fans or heat to accelerate the drying process. A properly prepped surface has a feeling of 80-120 grit sandpaper. If the floor gives a feeling as mentioned, it is ideal for coating.
Reasons why epoxy coating fails
Where there are many benefits of epoxy coating, there are chances of failure too. Very often, the epoxy coating fails and there may be different reasons for the failure. I am going to mention some of the reasons here which are very common.
Substandard Surface Prep
This is one of the important steps to prepare the garage floor before coating. The floors that stay for a long time are well prepared before coating. If the surface is not properly cleaned and made dust free, then, the coating won’t stay for a long time.
Poor Epoxy Kit
The second most important reason for the coating failure is a poor epoxy kit. Some people prefer quantity over quality and waste their money on buying a poor epoxy kit. Such folks eventually lose their investment. So, buying the best epoxy kit is very important for successful coating and long term results.
Weak Bond Strength
Sometimes, the weak bond strength causes the flooring to fail and it may happen because of the unskilled person. So, if you can afford, call a professional to epoxy coat the garage floor.
Due to the water migration or poor construction, the moisture problem may arise which causes the coating to fail. When there is moisture the epoxy can’t form a strong bond. To check whether your floor has the moisture problem or not, you can try the method elaborated in the section above. Therefore, to get the best results, make sure that the surface is dry enough.
If the floor is contaminated with the lubricants, fatty acid, or silicon then the chances of failure increase. Make sure that the surface is not contaminated. If you don’t want to lose your investment, use a degreaser or acid etching to remove any type of contamination.
What is the best epoxy for a garage floor?
Confused to recognize the best epoxy system? I considered shortlisting the two best epoxy systems for your convenience. One is a bit expensive while the other one is budget friendly. However, they really pay off. Buy any system as per your convenience.
Rust-Oleum 261845 Epoxy Shield Garage Floor Coating
By the time, the Rust Oleum provides the unbeatable epoxy floor coating. The Rust-Oleum 261845 makes the surface to shine like a showroom floor. It works great on indoor concrete surfaces like – garage floors, workshops, basements, and industrial floors. It makes the floor more resistant to cracking, peeling, lubricant stains, and more. The Rust Oleum epoxy coated floor is ready for the automobile traffic after 3 days. The package includes – stir stick, decorative flakes, 2-part water based epoxy coating, cleaners, and a DVD containing instructional video.
Valspar (81052) Premium Clear Epoxy Kit
If you want to save some money while buying an epoxy system or you want an alternative to the Rust Oleum epoxy system, look none other than the Valspar Premium Epoxy Kit. The Valspar Premium Kit is a two-component water based epoxy. With the advanced bonding technology, it provides super adhesion force and a long-term solution. It gives a shiny finish and makes the floor resistant enough to bear the depreciation. The Valspar 81052 epoxy kit is extremely budget-friendly, grab it from Amazon.combefore the prices go up!
The reality is if you don’t epoxy coat the garage floor, it won’t stop you from working. However, the epoxy coated garage floor takes a new look which is appealing and keeps the environment clean and keeps you motivated, please correct me if I am wrong at this point.