Most people will choose epoxy when looking to transform a dull garage floor into a sturdy, durable, and good-looking surface because epoxy creates a tougher coating than paint. However, the coating can be a little tricky to apply, especially if you do not know much about the details of installing it. As such, a good number of property owners turn to professionals to get the job done correctly and enjoy long-lasting results.
To achieve a successful garage floor coating that meets your clients' expectations, you should start by doing proper floor preparation. Applying a good proxy product on a poorly prepared surface will compromise the quality of the entire project.
The first thing you want to do is to check whether the surface can accept a floor coating. Epoxy floor coatings will not bond well to concrete that has been sealed or painted. You should also inspect the floor to ensure it is in good shape. Any cracks, spalls, and chips on the surface will require repair and patching work before applying the epoxy coating.
For a strong and durable bond, you will need to make sure that the concrete is dry. Because water pressure will break the bond, quality work will involve analyzing both the floor and weather to establish whether the surface is suitable for epoxy. A simple test for dampness will entail taping a plastic bag to the floor and checking for moisture underneath after 24 hours.
What you will need
Below are the tools and materials you will need to make your work easier and ensure you achieve the desired results:
Stiff bristle brush
Wet-dry shop vacuum
9-inch roller and roller pole
Concrete degreaser fluid
Epoxy floor coating kit
How to apply epoxy floor coating
Provided you do the prep work well, applying an epoxy coating to a concrete garage floor will be as easy as painting the surface.
When handling any flooring project, you should always prioritize safety. To minimize the chances of accidents, you should wear the appropriate personal protective equipment and avoid smoking while working. Turn off any appliances near the garage, make sure the space is well ventilated and keep children and pets away from the area. These measures will help to mitigate the health and safety risks associated with exposure to epoxy fumes.
Clean and deCrease the floor
You will want to make sure that the garage floor is free of debris and oil stains. A wet-dry vacuum and broom will help clean any hardened debris while a stiff brush and decreaser will be effective in getting rid of grease. After you have cleaned the concrete surface, rinse the decreaser, and let the floor dry.
Etch the floor
Mix the etching solution in the epoxy coating kit with water, ensuring you follow the manufacturer's directions. Pour the solution onto the garage floor and use a stiff brush to work it in. Foaming and fizzing will show you that the solution is doing its job. Once the entire surface is etched, rinse the area thoroughly with a garden hose and let it dry completely.
Choose the right epoxy floor coating
There are three types of epoxy paint: solid, water-base and solvent-base. The resin base paints come in two distinct parts that have to be mixed before application. The purest form of epoxy is in solid-state and does not contain solvents that evaporate. It should be applied by a professional contractor. The solvent-base epoxies penetrate concrete surfaces and adhere well but are potentially hazardous, making it important to wear protective equipment when handling them. Lastly, water-base epoxies contain no hazardous fumes and can be found in most local hardware stores.
Prepare the garage
Once the garage floor is completely dry, apply some painter's tape along the edges at the point where the walls meet the floor. You can also tape plastic sheeting about a foot or two from the point where the walls and floor meet to protect the walls from being coated in epoxy. Whenever possible, you can remove baseboards so you can apply the epoxy as close as possible to the wall.
Mix epoxy coating
A two-part epoxy comprises a catalyst and resin, solutions that have to be mixed just before application. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to ensure complete blending. Cover the mixture and allow it to rest for the amount of time recommended by the manufacturer.
Apply the epoxy
Immediately the mix is ready, start applying the coating. Depending on the weather, you will have a maximum of two hours to complete the project. Use a paintbrush to apply along the perimeter and a roller to spread the epoxy on the floor. You should consider dividing the floor into sections to prevent noticeable lines from forming as you work.
Add a non-skid floor coating to the epoxy and apply a second coat if you do not want a glossy floor. If you want to use decorative color chips, simply scatter them lightly on the floor after spreading epoxy over each section. Wait at least 12 hours before applying a second coat if you plan to have it.
Put the finish touches
To be on the safe side, you should mask off the lower part of the wall to protect them from epoxy that may splatter during application. You can do this by painting the bottom four inches of the wall with the epoxy mix spread over the floor. Let the garage floor dry for at least 24 hours before you start walking on the surface and for several days before pulling a car into the garage.
Using the right tools for various flooring applications will go a long way toward delivering exceptional services to your clients. At Onfloor Technologies, we manufacture a wide range of quality machines to ensure efficiency at every stage of epoxy garage floor coating application. Contact us to find out more about our products.