If you have decided on a garage floor coating, we recommend considering 3 items before selecting the coating system:
- Current floor condition
- Required Performance
- Desired Look
In this article, we will discuss how to evaluate the current floor condition.
STEP ONE: Determine the current garage floor surface condition
What is the current state of my garage floor?
Even though we tend to pass through our garage each day, many times we don’t pay much attention to the condition of our garage’s concrete floor. After all, we often pull into the garage and don’t look under the vehicles to see the mess. Taking a detailed look will identify the current condition of the surface, such as the amount of staining, cracking, dusting, surface wear or pitting.
Why does it matter?
Before a proper garage floor coating can be considered, the condition of the existing concrete will determine the surface repair and preparation required, along with the proper type of coating system.
Surface conditions can exist for a number of reasons, such as concrete mix design, types of installed joints, and amount of stone base under the slab.
Some conditions are introduced by contractors or home- owners, such as sealers, chemical spills and snow melting agents.
What Should I consider?
Q: What is required to properly repair any issues or surface conditions?
A: Coatings must have a structurally sound surface to bond to. If the garage floor has a lot of damage, large cracks or pitting, these issues must be filled with repair materials that: 1) have compressive strength equaling or exceeding the concrete, 2) have a bond strength as strength equaling or exceeding the concrete and 3) be constructed of a material that allows proper adhesion by epoxies or other polymers.
Unfortunately, most repair materials available at big box and hardware stores will not suffice. Better repair materials are available online and also installed by professional coatings companies.
Q: What caused the surface issues to begin with and whether those issues are likely to happen again?
A: Most pitting is caused by chemical attack (ex. Road salts, acidic cleaners) or overly aggressive cleaning with pressure sprayers.
A professional grade coating will hold up to most chemical attacks and does not require cleaning with pressure sprayers.
Q: Are there hazards involved with the continued use or correcting issues with the existing floor?
A: Some older garages may have applied paint kits that contained lead (prior to 1979), have asbestos tiles (typically 9”x9” in size) or have cracks that create trip hazards.
Before applying any coatings or other type of garage floor coverings, lead or asbestos should be removed by a properly certified company. All heaved cracking or spalling should be fixed to remove any trip hazards in the surface.
Step One Conclusions
The condition of the floor often assists a homeowner with determining if a Do It Yourself, epoxy kit or garage floor paint is something they even wish to consider.
A good, professional coating company can deal with any of the surface conditions listed above as part of their installation process. Without properly dealing with the surface conditions, any new floor coating and many floor coverings will have issues.
The Next Step
This is the first of four articles dealing with garage floor coatings and their selection criteria.
In our next article, we will look at Part 2 – Determining the Performance Requirements.
The team at Stronghold Floors has conducted over 6000 home visits to assist homeowners with selecting a garage floor solution. Chances are, we have seen it and dealt with it. Our crews have extensive experienced in surface and crack repair, as well as alleviating surface contaminants.