In the Mechanicsburg, Camp Hill and Harrisburg areas (west and east shore of the Susquehanna River), we have some older homes that have a suspended deck garage. This means the garage has a structural floor poured over the basement of the home, instead of being a poured slab on the stone base.
Many of these suspended deck, concrete garage floors are in very poor condition for years of use, movement (before being reinforced from below) and attack from road salts. Often, water coming off the vehicles is migrating through the cracks and onto the metal pan below the concrete. That metal pan then suffers from rust damage and may be allowing the water to migrate into the basement below.
In September 2015, we completed a garage project for a Mechanicsburg homeowner with just these types of problems. As a matter of fact, we had already fixed and coated a close neighbor with the same floor issues just two years before (about 4 doors down). Also, this project’s next door neighbor had our garage coatings as well (installed when we were PremierGarage).
This new customer had received a quote from a competitor who does garage flooring and organization. This newer company (with less than 2 years experience) had quoted their everyday coatings, which would not have correctly dealt with the issues of this suspended deck garage. Too often, we see these garage makeover companies utilizing a "one size fits all" approach with polymer coatings for garages and commercial installations.
Flexible Epoxy Membranes to the Rescue
So, how do you deal with a garage floor with greater than normal vibration? How about a floor that looks like a jigsaw puzzle? You create a membrane of flexible materials between the concrete floor and the normal decorative chip system. Where our normal epoxy has only a 4% ultimate elongation, our flexible membranes have a 60% ultimate elongation.
This most recent Mechanicsburg project took 4 days instead of the normal 1.5 days. Garage is 545 square feet.
- Day 1 involved surface preparation and major repairs. The repairs involved installing polymer mortars in areas where the concrete had partially or completed failed. In addition, the floor had 4 layers of paint to remove.
- Day 2 involved additional surface preparation and installation of a clear, flexible epoxy primer at nearly 20 MILS dry film thickness.
- Day 3 started with some additional patch work with fast set, epoxy repair materials and ended with application of a pigmented, flexible epoxy coat (approximately 12 MILS) with a full broadcast of ¼” decorative chips (our Franklin blend).
- Day 4 consisted of removal of excess chips and application of our polyaspartic topcoat at 12 MILS (about 20% thicker than normal due to the amount of chip in the binder).
Other uses for Epoxy Flexible Membranes
Besides suspended deck garages, we also use our flexible epoxy membranes for:
- Wood floors - while traditional epoxies stick very well to wood, the movement and potential expansion/contraction of the wood floor requires something with more stretch
- Race car trailers - these floors are subject to a lot of twisting and vibration, so it's critical that the polymers in contact with the surface have movement and elongation potential.
- Concrete floors with extensive hairline cracks - bridging over a lot of very thin cracks is easy with the thick, flexible epoxy.
- Floors susceptible to vibration from wheeled traffic - it's all about that movement and the need for greater elongation than a traditional epoxy, urethane or polyurea.
Notice that all damage to the main floor and apron are now fixed.