Isn't it about time you showed your garage floors some love?
The days of living with a dull, dingy, or downright ugly garage floor are long gone. Today, upgrading to a seamless epoxy garage floor is one of the most popular trends in home improvement. Why? Besides simply looking fantastic, a properly prepared and applied epoxy garage floor creates a seamless coating that is durable and resilient to stains, chipping, accidental impacts, chemicals, and surface abrasions. Today's modern epoxy garage floors which come in a wide variety of colors, hues and textures can be tailored to complement nearly any taste or design style, from a sophisticated and upscale look intended to showcase a classic automobile to the vibrant colors of your favorite sports team and everything in between.
Let’s face it whether you are a homeowner looking to dramatically increase the livability and salability of your home, or a weekend hobbyist or mechanic ready to improve the brightness and visual appeal of your work space a new epoxy garage floor is something nearly everyone can appreciate.
Commercial grade epoxy vs. Garage floor paint.
First, let's start with a little clarification, an epoxy garage floor coating is not paint. Garage floor paint (the kind purchased at the local home improvement box store) is typically a latex acrylic product. Some may even have a small percentage of epoxy added to make the product more durable but make no mistake, it's still just paint. Unlike paint, epoxies derive their strength from a chemical reaction that begins when an epoxide resin is mixed with a polyamine hardener. When the two parts are mixed together an exothermic curing process is started. It is that curing process which produces polymer structures that are closely cross-linked giving epoxy its superior strength and durability. The bottom line is epoxy is a coating that is much thicker product than paint and which aggressively bonds to a properly prepared concrete surface.
Proper preparations ensure a job well done.
As is true with many things, the most important step in creating a quality and long-lasting epoxy garage floor begins with the preparation stage. Typically after a hardness and moisture test has been performed the first step in preparing any garage floor for an epoxy coating is the removal of any grease, oil, or contaminants from the surface. This crucial step is accomplished with an industrial grade floor scrubber and a quality detergent and degreasing agent. After ensuring that any grease, or oil has been completely removed from the surface of the concrete, we begin repairing any damaged areas of the concrete. This is accomplished by first grinding out any loose concrete from the surface cracks. We then eliminate these surface defects, cracks, pits, chips, grooves or depressions by filling them prior to profiling the concrete surface.
For proper bonding of an epoxy or decorative concrete overlay to occur a proper concrete surface profile must first be created. What is a concrete surface profile? A concrete surface profile, also known as a CSP, is a standardized measurement of the roughness that is defined by the International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI). A very rough surface will have a high CSP number, such as CSP 9, whereas a very smooth surface will have a lower CSP number, such as CSP 1. As a general rule, a CSP of 3-4 is required for the average residential garage floor.
Mechanical diamond grinding vs. acid etching.
The best method when it comes to preparing a garage floor for a new epoxy coating is to mechanically diamond grind or shot blast the surface.
Unlike the “epoxy paints” found in most home improvement centers, which typically recommend acid etching as a method to open the pores of the concrete. This method although it may seem convenient for your average weekend do-it-yourselfer is, to put it bluntly, completely inadequate to ensure a proper, long lasting adhesion. The problem with acid etching concrete as a preparatory step for epoxy is that due to the varying degrees of hardness found across a typical power troweled concrete slab. Acid etching will not produce the consistent porosity or the uniform degree of profiling required across the entirety of the concrete slab to guarantee proper adhesion in all areas. This is because acid etching does not uniformly remove the excess laitancy, the fine, loose, powdery layer found on the surface of a slab of concrete. At Armortech Resurfacing, we always use either a mechanical diamond grinder or a shot blaster to properly prepare the concrete surface prior to any epoxy floor installation.
We do this knowing that this essential step will ensure our epoxy floors will not fail due to insufficient concrete profiling. Be wary of any contractor that suggests acid etching as a viable alternative to mechanical grinding or shot blasting. Additionally, most contractors that promote acid etching in lieu of mechanical profiling will be unwilling to provide any sort of warranty for their work. That in itself should be a very telling factor as to their confidence in the long-term durability of their work. At Armortech we provide a limited five year written warranty on every epoxy garage floor we install.
Quality epoxy floor systems involve multiple coats.
Once the surface has been ground to the manufacturers CSP specifications the fun work begins. In order to ensure a tough and durable coating that will last for years to come a quality epoxy flooring system will involve the application of multiple coats.
The first of which is typically a moisture barrier, which is designed to prevent moisture from wicking up through the slab. The moisture barrier may be applied as a separate layer or in some cases depending on the manufacturer may be integrated into an epoxy primer. The moisture barrier is then followed up by the application of an epoxy primer. It is this epoxy primer that bonds to the concrete slab in order to provide adhesion for the following layers and provides for a higher build.
The next coat is the color coat or base coat layer. Depending on the type of floor you have requested this coat may also receive any number of added effects, the most common of which involves the broadcast application of acrylic paint chips, or any variety of colored aggregates to add to the floors density and texture. The final layer is the clear top coat. It is this clear top coat that gives epoxy floors that sharp, glossy finish and depth that everyone loves.
More benefits of a new epoxy garage floor.
- Creates a room you actually want to spend time in.
- Increases your property value.
- Provides a safe area for children and pets to play during inclement weather.
- Adds to the usable square footage of your home.
- Brightens up an otherwise dull and visually unappealing area.
- Increased safety with slip resistant finishes.
- Helps to make your garage much easier to keep clean.
At Armortech, we provide a broad selection of custom solutions to make your home or business more valuable and more beautiful all while delivering you the highest quality craftsmanship and products on the market today. Please take a little time to look through our site and feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like to schedule a free on-site consultation.
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We look forward for the opportunity to earn your business.
Give us a call at 1-866-308-2400, and let's talk about the scope of your project.
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Armortech Resurfacing, Inc. operates in Oregon & Southwest Washington. Our service area includes the greater Portland Vancouver metro area, all the way to the North Oregon Coast. And, extends from Portland to Beaverton, Hillsboro to Lake Oswego, Vancouver to Longview Kelso, Woodland to Ridgefield, and everywhere in between including Astoria, Warrenton, and Seaside.
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