Epoxy floor coatings are being requested more and more by home owners who want to add a layer of protection to their garage floors and/or make it look better than the old concrete that it already has. The application of an epoxy coating will leave the floor with a long-lasting finish that protects the concrete from damage caused by water or chemicals. They make it easy to keep floors clean and the shine lasts for a long time. Although many of the applications are made in newly built homes, do-it-yourselves can also turn applying a coating to their existing concrete floor a DIY project.
1. The first step is to choose the coating that will provide you with the best results. There are basically three different types of coatings to choose from: 100% Solids, Water-Based, and Solvent-Based. Most Epoxy floor coating professionals recommend not using the water-based coating on your garage floor as it is meant to be used as a primer in spite of the fact that it is what is included in many DIY kits. This type of coating does guard against stains, chemicals and abrasion but existing concrete needs to be de-greased prior to application. The same is true for the solvent-based epoxy as the type of solvent used is often non-compliant with modern VO regulations.
The 100% Solid epoxy floor coatings are the most durable of the three types, making them the most recommended for applying to garage floors. While this type is typically more expensive than the others, it is effective at protecting the floor in high-traffic areas, tire marks, abrasives and chemicals. It is also highly durable, lasting for as long as 20 years. Also, consider whether you want skid-resistant additives that will prevent the floor from being dangerous to walk on when wet.
2. Prep the floor. While this is the most time-intensive part of the process, failure to properly prepare the floor will often results in floor failure. If the concrete has been smoothly trowel, it will need to be roughened by using shot blasting or acid washing. Again, the easier choice is the acid washing but shot blasting will provide better results. If you decide to do the job right, local equipment rentals should have the shot blaster equipment needed for the process. However, many professionals get sufficient results by mopping on and rinsing off muriatic acid. Part of the prep also includes filling cracks and holes.