Garage floors are often subjected to all forms of abuse, from chemical exposure to impact, thermal attack and abrasion. Concrete floors cannot withstand this form of distress, and if a protective coating is not applied, these floors can lose their appeal and diminish in value. Floor coatings are used to improve floor aesthetics in addition to increasing a floor's durability and protecting it from physical distress. However, there are various types of coatings, and understanding the needs of your garage floor can help you choose the ideal coating. Here are some steps that will enable you to select the perfect coating for concrete garage floors.
Examine the concrete surface
Before selecting a coating for your garage floors, you should evaluate the floor's surface. Ideally, the concrete should be structurally sound with no cracks, spalls and areas of unevenness. The floor should be cleaned to get rid of any surface debris and contaminants such as oil, grease and chemicals. A structurally unsound floor or one with debris and contaminants on the surface may prevent the coating from adhering properly.
If your garage floor has any signs of defect, you should have it repaired. This will increase the durability of the coating and ensure that it protects from impacts, contaminants and elements as intended.
Determine the performance conditions
Various types of floor coatings are available on the market today, and they have specific conditions under which they operate efficiently. These include epoxy, solvent-based, water-based, wax and green coatings. Determining the kind of environment that the coating will be exposed to will enable you to select the ideal one which will endure these conditions. Here are some of the factors that you should consider when determining the performance requirements of the coatings.
- Impact from vehicles, equipment and machinery that are usually stored in the garage
- Exposure to chemicals like grease and oils
- Abrasive machinery and equipment which can scratch the coatings and expose concrete to the elements
- Exposure to heat, especially if you use power equipment in the garage or use steam cleaning techniques as some coatings can lose their chemical bond when exposed to heat
Once you have identified the conditions that the floor will be exposed to, you should choose a coating with protective properties against them. For instance, solvent-based coatings are ideal for heavy traffic areas and have a high resistance to chemicals and heat.
Hire a contractor
Choosing the best coating for your concrete garage floors is not enough. You need to ensure that the coating is applied correctly. DIY floor coating is not recommended, especially if you lack the expertise in determining the number of coats to apply and the required thickness. A professional floor coating service will create a properly coated and durable garage floor.