Top Tips for Epoxy Garage Flooring
A garage floor coated with epoxy is a great way to enhance the visual appeal of your garage. Epoxy creates a tough coating on the floor, but it is not as simple as applying the paint. The epoxy garage floor coating application can be trickier and requires careful preparation. The techniques may vary from product to product. Therefore, it is crucial to check the instructions before applying any epoxy product on your garage floor. Let us explore the best tips for epoxy garage flooring.
Garage Floor Preparation
Epoxy floor coatings work best on concrete floors in perfect condition. The floor should not have serious chips, cracks, or spalls. The old concrete floors can also work best if you perform the required repairs and patching. Repair minor cracks and chips using any concrete patching product like our Concrete Repair Kit. Let the patch areas dry completely before applying epoxy over them.
Clean the surface of the garage floor
Your garage floor needs to be clean and clear before applying epoxy. Clean the floor using a leaf blower or vacuum cleaner to get the job done. If the surface is greasy, use a stiff brush or a concrete sander and degreaser to clean the floor. Then rinse the degreaser with a garden hose and leave the floor for some time to dry completely.
Perform a moisture test
You should conduct a moisture test on your floor to ensure it does not have a moisture problem. Moisture problems in concrete can indicate some severe issues with the floor. The epoxy does not adhere well to a concrete surface with moisture. Check the moisture content using duct tape to secure a large plastic or Visqueen piece to the floor. Spread the material and cover every edge with duct tape.
Let the plastic stay there for 24 hours. After 24 hours, check if there are any signs of moisture in the plastic. If there are any signs of condensation under the plastic, you need to call a concrete repairs service to assess the condition. In case of no signs of moisture, you can move towards the next step, epoxy garage flooring. (Another way to test moisture in concrete is using a calcium chloride kit.)
Etch the garage floor concrete
The next step to epoxy floor coatings is to etch the concrete surface, especially where you see contaminants and tire tracks. Before beginning this step, make sure to wear the recommended safety gear and there is plenty of ventilation. Use the etching solution in the epoxy coating kit to etch the concrete floor.
Mix the etching solution with water as given in the instructions on the package. Then spread the solution on the floor uniformly using a broom or stiff brush. The solution will create foam and fizz that tells you it's doing the job perfectly. Finally, rinse the floor with water using a garden hose or high-pressure washer with at least 3000 psi. Leave the garage floor to dry fully, which may take a few days.
Applying the Epoxy to the Garage Floor
Mixing the epoxy
Before mixing the epoxy, you need to get a plastic container and stirrer. Then, you can use a basic bucket for mixing the epoxy. It should be wide enough to accommodate the paint roller you will be using for application.
The epoxy flooring solution comes in two parts – resin (paint) and the activator/hardener. Once you mix the resin and hardener, it is usable for up to 2 hours, after which it hardens too much and becomes unusable. So, it is better to mix in smaller batches that you can use within an hour.
Pour the required amount of resin into the container or bucket and stir it with a stick or a professional-grade mixer. Then pour the hardener while continuing to stir. Mix both the resin and hardener in the right quantities as recommended by the manufacturer. Stir the solution for a few minutes to mix it thoroughly and get the right consistency before application. Be careful not to introduce air bubbles into the solution. When mixing, mix contents below the surface.
Applying the epoxy to the garage floor
As the epoxy solution begins to harden within two hours or less, it then becomes critical that you apply the epoxy solution as soon as the epoxy solution is prepared. Use a 9-inch paint roller to spread the epoxy over the garage floor and use a 3-inch brush to cut in along the corners and edges of the space.
To work faster and apply the epoxy more efficiently, hire a helper, or have a friend or family member work with you. Once the first person lays the initial coat, after a few minutes, the other person can roll perpendicular in direction. The process is called backrolling your epoxy. This helps create a uniform layer, reduces risk of bubbles and reduces the chance of roller marks on the concrete.
Maintain a wet edge by rolling the paint roller over the edges of the previous epoxy application. Roll the roller uniformly to get a uniform final coating. If you prefer applying a second coat, wait for at least 12 hours to let the previous application dry completely.
Epoxy drying and setting time
Leave the garage floor to dry fully for at least 24 hours before stepping on the floor. Make sure nobody enters the space for 24 hours to prevent the step marks on the floor.
Summing It All Up
The above steps are a quick reference to achieving the best garage floor coatings for DIY homeowners or epoxy professionals. Please follow the directions from the manufacturer, and take into consideration your impending weather conditions. Lots of wind and rain are not a good mix for epoxy garage floor projects. Preparing the floor, conducting the moisture test, and cleaning the concrete floor are crucial steps before beginning the application of garage floor epoxy coating. Following these steps can help you to get the aesthetic appeal you want from your garage floor.
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