My friend, Carl, is a brewmaster the lucky guy. He recently posted an article on his blog talking about the construction of his new brewery. Specifically, Carl talks about the hardness of the concrete slab and how he had never gave concrete much thought before this project began.
Funny how little we think about the most common construction material in the world. Concrete! Under foot, under tires, over bodies of water its everywhere. Wikipedia states Concrete is used more than any other man-made material in the world. As of 2006, about 7.5 billion cubic meters of concrete are made each yearmore than one cubic meter for every person on Earth. It says our use of concrete is only exceeded by our use of natural water. I think most of us, when asked to think about a huge concrete project think of something like the Hoover Dam or the Chesapeake Bay Bridge & Tunnel system. We dont consider than nearly all construction projects have concrete involved.
For all of its strengths (compressive strength, longevity, cost), it quickly falls prey to degradation from chemical attack, physical damage and erosion. Thats where protective coatings come to the rescue.
At least once a week, I get asked So why would I coat my concrete floor?. For most of our customers, there is at least some asthetics involved. But, all coatings provide surface protection. In residential garage floors, that cool decorative chip floor coating is more than just window dressing. It will help protect the wear path from daily driving, stop road salt damage and keep oil from staining the surface.
A professional garage floor coating makes the surface easy to clean, which is far more important than many people realize. How do people usually clean their garage floor? Pressure sprayer? Perhaps. Concrete surface cleaners purchased at the big box store? Sometimes.
Guess what? Both of those cleaning methods begin the breakdown of the concretes surface and lead to a floor that now 1) gets dirty faster, 2) harder to clean the next time and 3) more prone to further erosion due to water and road salt.
While not as common in Baltimore or Leesburg, we really see this damage on the garage floors from State College down to Harrisburg, PA. When we get a request from those areas, its either a customer who needs a lot of concrete surface repair prior to getting the epoxy floor coating or its the customer who wants to protect their new floor before the process can even get going. For the former request, its rarely ever too late. We can usually fix the issues and get back to a great finish product. For the latter request, KUDOS to you for being proactive.
To all of our 3500+ customers, next time you see the neighbor waxing his car, be sure to ask him why he protects his vehicle (big investment) but doesnt take care of its parking spot (even bigger investment). Even if he does have very hard concrete like my friends brewery floor, its only a matter of time.
Oh, and No, we are not coating Carls brewery floors. That hard concrete is in Tennessee. Perhaps in the not so distant future, he will open another location in Maryland or Pennsylvania. Virginia would be OK too. Hint, hint.