You paint your walls to beautify and protect them. You put siding, stone or stucco on the outside of your home for aesthetics and longevity. You seal and reseal your driveway, decks, pavers and fences. So, why do abuse your garage floor?
I’m talking to those of you who park your vehicles in a garage with bare concrete (and those with pealing paints and worn away sealers). It seems to shock people that concrete needs protected from the elements of abuse, such as road salt, chemical spills and acidic cleaners. No one seems to consider the impact of driving their vehicles in and out of the garage with stones, sand and other grits lodged in their tires. The result is the wearing away of the concrete’s surface (typically the creamy laitance) exposing greater porosity and small stones.
Ultimately, all this abuse begins to break down the concrete’s surface and creating an ugly floor. Subsequent attempts to clean the ugly floor (usually with a pressure sprayer) only make the situation worse by removing even more of the cream and opening even more pores.
So, I ask you again…
Why do you abuse your garage floor?
The most typical answers we hear are:
- I didn’t think there was anything that could be done that really helps. – This answer is typically brought about by hearing about failures of concrete sealers & garage floor paint kits.
- We didn’t realize that cleaning with a pressure sprayer was a bad thing. – Each time it’s cleaned with a pressure sprayer, the garage floor will just get ugly and dirty that much faster. Homeowners just keep repeating this detrimental cycle.
- We tried painting it with an epoxy paint kit, but it didn’t hold up. – These homeowners were tricked by the big box stores into thinking a $100 kit would hold up.
Stop the Abuse
There are solutions and they will vary in price. Here they are:
1) Get a professional garage floor coating. – Obviously, we would recommend this option and we do believe it to be the best option for long-term protection and aesthetics. More can be found at:
- What makes a Professional Garage Floor Coating last?
- Concrete Contemplations: Warranties for Epoxy & Polyaspartic Coatings
- 5 Myths about Garage Floor Coatings
2) Install a high grade garage epoxy kit. – This is not the kits you buy at a store. There are some kits out there on the Internet that really work, but you MUST prepare the surface correctly and install the chemicals exactly as described in the instructions. If your floor is already in bad shape or has sealer on it, this is probably no longer a viable option. Consider:
- 5 Criteria to Consider Before Going All DIY With Concrete Floor Coatings
- Epoxy Floor Coatings: What about the Cracks? (Part 1)
- Epoxy Floor Coatings: What about the Cracks? What if I have a Joint? (Part 2)
3) Install plastic garage floor tiles. – In many respects, this is masking the problem more than solving it. Since some of the items that chemically attack the concrete can work their way under the plastic tiles, you may be hiding further abuse and damage. I mention it to be fair, but do not suggest it for most homeowners (especially those in areas where road salts are used during the winter). More information on tiles can be found at:
- 5 Problems with Plastic Garage Floor Tiles
- Protecting Your Garage Floor: Coating vs. Plastic Tiles
- Frustrations with Plastic Tiles – Coatings vs. Plastic Tiles (part 2)
There are some other products we would not recommend in any circumstance for a garage floor:
- Regular paints – these will never hold up in a garage
- Floor mats – trapping water, residues and grits under a mat will only create more problems down the road
- Spray down liners – neat idea, but our experience is that we can peel them up often by just pulling on them
More BAD ideas for your garage floor can be found at:
Do You Need Help Stopping The Abuse?
Search out a professional. They can help you stop the cycle of garage floor abuse. You don’t have to hide your garage floor anymore. Come home to a garage that looks great and protects itself year round.
Stronghold Floors has assisted homeowners with stopping garage floor abuse since 2004. To date, they have helped nearly 4,500 garage floors to protect themselves and look great. They service central and southeastern Pennsylvania, greater Maryland, northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.