Garage Floor Coatings in Winter?
Every year we interact with homeowners in many states who do not realize we can apply garage floor coatings year round. Everyone assumes we suffer from the same restrictions as shared by common paint and Do-It-Yourself garage epoxy kits. This always leads to several questions:
- How can Stronghold Floors apply garage floor coatings in the cold temperatures?
- How does Stronghold Floors prepare the concrete surface when it’s cold?
- Will the new garage floor coatings cure properly?
- How long until the new garage floor coatings return to service?
- Has Stronghold Floors completed a lot of garage coatings in cold weather?
Let’s look at each of these questions individually.
Q: How can Stronghold Floors apply garage floor coatings in cold temperatures?
A: Unlike many garage coatings companies, we are not a “one size fits all” installation company. We tailor our garage coatings systems to the use model and installation environment – no different than we do for our commercial coating customers.
Throughout the year, we utilize several variations of our base coat materials (the layer that is applied directly to the concrete & often is the binder for a layer of decorative chips). Our winter variant can be applied to concrete slabs that can be as cold as 10 degrees Fahrenheit. We also have the ability to temper our materials in our trucks - allowing us to heat or cool the products as needed.
Q: How does Stronghold Floors prepare the concrete floor surface when it’s cold?
A: Unlike a DIY kit or typical painter, we do not acid etch the concrete to prepare it. In the professional coatings world, to achieve a Concrete Surface Profile of 2 or better, the concrete surface is normally prepared via mechanical diamond grinding or shot blasting.
Stronghold Floors mechanically prepares every garage floor. Nearly all are prepared by our planetary surface grinders. On special circumstances, we will prepare with our shot blaster.
Q: Will the new garage floor coatings cure properly?
We utilize various polymer materials that will cure in low temperatures. It’s true that the epoxies we use in summer would not cure properly in normal winter temperatures. That's why we use multiple products and multiple versions of those products to ensure everyone receives a high quality, warrantied garage floor coating - regardless of the time of year.
While the floor will cure slower, there are actual advantages about this. The polyaspartic materials we use have more work time when it’s colder, so larger rooms can more easily be coated. One of our repair materials will also absorb deeper when the material and the concrete are colder.
Q: How long until the new garage floor coatings return to service?
A: The short answer is “It depends on just how cold it is.” Unless it’s extremely cold, the garage can usually return to normal use in as short as 48 hours after our teams complete the coatings. In cases where the garage requires a lot of surface repairs or filing of joints/cracks, the timeline may be extended by a day or two.
Our team can provide a more definitive timeline based upon the exact conditions of your garage floor.
Q: Has Stronghold Floors completed a lot of garage coatings in cold weather?
A: We sure have. Since 2005, we have completed over a thousand garage floor coatings in cold weather, were the garage floor’s surface temperature was below 55 degrees. To date, we have completed garage coatings on floors as cold as 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mike Mincemoyer is the President of Stronghold Floors and one member of the ownership team. While he really doesn’t like the cold very much, there are a lot of Stronghold Floors team members who enjoy winter. You might find some of them on the ski slopes at Ski Roundtop – just don’t look for Mike to be coming down the mountain when it’s covered in white.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published on Dec 18, 2013 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.