Hardly anyone who sees the finished garage or basement floor coating or walks on one is not impressed with the level of upgrade from basic concrete. That is not say concrete is not a great surface that offers its own versatility. However, the clean appearance, the high sheen, the superb protection all contribute to garage floor coating getting high praise along with the immense sense of satisfaction.
The Do It Yourself Garage Floor
There is no shortage of products available at your favorite hardware store to treat your concrete floors. From epoxy to polyurethane, you can achieve the results you are looking for including the following:
- Pristine finish
- High gloss appearance
- Durable surface
- UV resistance
Among the many purposes of finishing your garage floor is to protect it from oil, gas and other elements that tend to leak or spill. It makes clean up easier and protects from the moisture, as in the way a basement is susceptible to mold or mildew.
The DIY Process
Applying a coating to your garage floor takes some patience. There is a good deal of preparation in cleaning the surface with chemicals and some hard rubbing, but the effort pays off. Once the surface is cleaned of stains, any residue and debris must be swept up.
The surface then must be made ready to accept the epoxy. Using a concrete etch and cleaner will give the concrete the teeth it needs for the epoxy to adhere nicely. You have a good six hours to devote to this application. Between coats you have another hosing down with hose and broom and then another six hours for the drying time.
You take the whole effort in stages. Once the cleaning is done you can address filling any cracks. A concrete and patch repair kit gives you the material to create a surface with no voids. This stage needs another eight hours to cure followed by another sweeping. Finally, you can apply a self-priming epoxy. Two coats with fours hours each to cure should do it.
At this last coating of epoxy, you have the choice to sprinkle decorative chips while it is still wet. This helps mask any obvious flaws while providing a non-slip surface. After a long two-day cure, you can apply clear resin if you choose to. You want to allow at least 48 hours before parking the car on it.
What to Watch For
After all that work, you want to preserve your garage floor coating. While you can save up to 80 percent in the expense of a DIY floor over one produced by custom floor coating professionals, you want to be careful how you use your new floor so you are not spending more in touching up or repairs.
First, your garage floor is typically a high-traffic zone. Another issue that might present a challenge is allowing the hot tires from the car to rest on the paint. The chemical reaction along with the intensity of pressure from the vehicle weight can leave you with bare spots when you pull out the next day. This is why the initial preparation and attraction of the surface to receive the paint is crucial.
Consider Having the Professionals Perform the Work
A Do It Yourself garage floor coating is a commendable effort. If you have the patience to properly prepare and carefully carry through with each step, you can achieve the kind of floor that others envy. If you are the least bit shy about making the effort, there are some valid reasons for considering the professionals to perform the work.
First, the pros have the equipment that DIYers generally do not such as a diamond cutting wheel attached to mechanical grinder to prepare the surface. This level of preparation is the secret to a garage paint job that has a long life. They come equipped with a powerful vacuum to efficiently inhale every speck of debris. Corners can be an issue to prepare, but with the right equipment, the underlying concrete pores are properly exposed.
In addition, the chemicals used are of the best quality and durability including acrylic latex caulking and polyurea coating. They also have more than one crew member to make the squeegee process more efficient. They will also have the right kind of shoes to walk on the surface while it is wet. The pros make quick work of leveling things out between coats to ensure your surface is true and perfect.
The pros also offer a guarantee for the work performed. You can count on a polyurea floor being one that stands up to the typical wear and tear of a floor you enjoy using.