I have had my garage coated since 2004. While some of our experiments have done minor damage to my decorative chip coatings, 99% of my floors almost 900 square feet still look like new. For the record, we would never encourage our customers to repeat some of the tests we conducted (acid splashes, burnouts, epoxy and paint drips, gasoline spills and tire chains on a Cub Cadet tractor).
Given the appearance, I get asked about how much time and energy I put into my garage coatings maintenance. Not that much, really. I've probably mopped it 2 or 3 times each year. Occasionally, I vacuum up debris with the shop vac. But, everything else has just been spot cleanups. Not much work to have a floor that is visually attractive and welcomes guests. Compare that to most other garages that have stains, concrete wear, dusting and other issues. You get the picture.
Whether you have one of our coatings for your garage, basement, porch, sun room or pole barn, the maintenance and usage tips are usually the same. A couple items below may only pertain to harder use applications:
- For minor spills or vehicle drippings, simply wipe them up with a paper towel or other soft cloth.
- Routine maintenance cleaning is best achieved with either a soft bristle broom or a blue commercial dust mop (available at any home improvement store).
- For heavy cleaning of a soiled epoxy floor, sweep away any loose debris and then mop floor with a hard foam mop (sometimes called Wonder Mops) with hot water and CLEAR ammonia. 4-5 ounces of ammonia per gallon of water is all that is needed to adequately remove soiling.
- Some winter road "pre-treatment" compounds leave a hazy film on the floor coatings after cleaning. This can normally be removed with hot water and a deck brush (found at most hardware stores). Continuous rinsing may be required to keep the compounds from drying onto new areas of the floor.
- Some stains (including rust) may require light scrubbing with a kitchen scrubbing pad. If unable to remove with just hot water, we recommend using Soft Scrub. Do not use Comet or other abrasive cleaning chemicals on the coatings.
- If desired, the floor can be hosed out and squeegeed dry.
- DO NOT USE any cleaner that contains acids (citrus cleaners, vinegar, etc.) or soap based cleaners. Soap based cleaners leave a residue on the floor that not only detracts from the shine, but also become increasingly slippery should the floor get wet.
- Use a walk-off mat (welcome mat) inside any entry door to assist removal of snow and water from the bottoms of shoes when entering the garage. Longer mats may be required during winter weather.
- Place a computer mouse pad under a motorcycle kick-stand to prevent damage to the coatings surface.
- Ensure all areas are clean before lifting heavy loads with rolling jacks.
- Place pieces of 1/2" plywood under jack stands when bearing heavy loads.
- Use a welding mat when welding above the coatings.
- UPDATE: Our General Manager - Steve adds another tip on How to deal with road tar on your garage floor coatings. Click on over to his article to learn more.
I should stress that if you frequently mop your floors, like many of our commercial customers do, you may build up a soapy residue that dulls the appearance of the floor coatings. This can normally be stripped off by following #3 above. We get several calls per year from our heavily trafficked retail and showroom customers where they state the coatings dulled. To date, every instance has been nothing more than residue build-up from the cleaning method they were using.
While the epoxy coatings are very durable, they are not indestructible. Below are some of things we know have happened to our garage coating installations:
- The homeowner was building his own kayak and bonded fiberglass resins to the coatings (yes - we were able to remove them).
- Homeowners returned home to one bay of the floor covered in dried paints, as their storage cabinet had collapsed. Dried paint was easily removed.
- Numerous homeowners have called with driveway sealer all over the edge of their coatings. Easily removed with paint thinner (call us first, so we can give you guidance if this happens to your garage floor coatings).
- Homeowner's child is learning to drive and does a massive burnout on the way out of the garage. Rubber removed with some elbow grease and paint thinner.
- Battery trickle charger caused the battery to trickle acid down the floor for several weeks. Required some corrections to the damaged clear coat.
So, whether its an "oops" or a "how did that happen", give us a call. We help you to ensure your garage coatings look great for years to come.