How to Prepare your Garage Floor for Epoxy
The single biggest reason that garage floor coatings fail is due to poor floor preparation. This is where all the hard work is at and is why it is so important to learn how to do properly. Many times a good epoxy product is put to blame when actually it was the fault of applying it to a poorly prepared surface.
The second reason for failure is applicator error. This usually occurs because many epoxy floor coating instructions are rather vague and not detailed enough. When this happens, the installer is left to guess and fill in the details for him or herself.
Applicator error is reduced significantly when you better understand the process of applying a floor coating or epoxy paint product.
Inspect the Floor
Before you purchase your epoxy, the first thing you want to do is inspect the f loor to make sure the concrete will accept a floor coating. Epoxy will not adhere to sealed or painted concrete.
This also includes any cure and seal product that was applied to the concrete after it was poured. If you do have any of these, they w ill need to be removed by mechanical means such as grinding.
You can test for sealers that may be present in bare concrete by sprinkling water on the surface. If the water beads up immediately without turning the surface darker, then you have a sealer that will need to be removed. If the water doesn’t bead and the concrete turns darker as the water slowly soaks into the concrete, then no sealer is present.
If you still are not sure that your garage floor is sealed and you have planned on acid etching the concrete for the surface preparation, then you can go ahead and apply some acid etch to a small area to test it. If it begins to turn yellow and fizz then you do not have sealed concrete. If the acid just sits there with little to no reaction then you have a sealer on the concrete.
Make note of any cracks, pitting, or spalling that needs to be repaired. Though epoxy is self-leveling, it will not fill-in cracks. If you have extensive cracks or repairs that need to be made, you
may want to consider an optional garage floor covering such as interlocking tile or garage f loor mats instead.
For newly poured concrete, you need to let it cure for a minimum of 28 days for a typical 4″ thick slab. Curing concrete is still releasing moisture and will cause the floor coating to delaminate if installed too early.
ProLevel Flooring Inc.