12 Tips for Use & Care of Your Epoxy Floor Coatings
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 nearly 900 square foot floor still looks 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 floor coating's maintenance. It's not really that much. 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. It's 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.
12 Tips for Taking Care of Your Epoxy Floor Coatings
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. Read the tips below for how to maintain your garage floor coatings:
- 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 heavy 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 you're unable to remove the stain 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 becomes increasingly slippery should the floor get wet.
- Use a walk-off mat (welcome mat) inside any entry door to assist with 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.
I should stress that if you frequently mop your floors, like many of our commercial floor coatings 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. The dried paint was easily removed.
- Numerous homeowners have called with driveway sealer all over the edge of their coatings. It was 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 was 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.
- Road tar was accidentally tracked in from tires. We were able to remove it. Read "Removing Road Tar from Garage Floor Epoxy Coatings" to find out how.
So, whether its an "oops" or a "how did that happen", give us a call. We help you to ensure your garage floor coatings look great for years to come. Don't have a garage floor coating yet? Request a free quote today!