Epoxy is the standard for garage floor surfaces, but the best results come from the best preparation. If you are unfamiliar with the process, it’s important to understand all of the different factors at play.
There are standard preparation procedures for applying epoxy, but keep in mind that different products may have variations. By checking the instructions and following the steps listed below, you should have no problem creating a tough, good-looking surface for your garage.
Inspect the Floor
When you inspect the floor, you’re looking for stains, cracks, holes, and other damaged areas, as you will want to get these spots taken care of before applying the epoxy. You can buy concrete patches for cracks and small holes.
Check for Moisture Spots
You definitely don’t want your garage floor to have a moisture content, and there are two ways to check for moisture. The first method is called the “plastic-sheet” test, which involves taping a heavy piece of plastic to the floor and letting it sit for a couple days, afterward checking for moisture on the plastic. The other way is called a “calcium-chloride” test, and for this one, you will likely need to buy the materials. While the former method is simple, the latter is more reliable.
Clean and Degrease
After making any repairs and checking for moisture, you will want to get it all cleaned. With degreaser and a brush, you can remove grease and rinse away the mess. Use a wet-dry vacuum to clear the floor of debris. Once it’s all cleaned, just make sure you wait until it has thoroughly dried before applying the epoxy.
Choose the Right Epoxy
Similar to paint, there are a vast number of epoxy products, all of which will vary in quality. Take the time to explore your options and choose the best product that fits your budget.
Choose the Right Tools
If you are thorough, there is a long list of tools that you might need to do things correctly and in a way that minimizes your risk of a disaster. You will need mixing tools, which might include a tarp, a drill, and a mixing paddle, among other things. Gloves, rags, paint trays, rollers, painter’s tape, and drop cloths will all be necessary. Spiked shoes and acetone for cleanup are also recommended, and different job types may require additional tools.
Profiling the Floor
Profiling the garage floor is the process of exposing the pores in the surface of the concrete, and it’s one of the most important preparation procedures. Epoxy bonds better to a floor with a slightly textured surface, and that’s what profiling sets out to do. The best way to do it is to use a diamond grinder or shotblaster, both of which can be rented.
Other ways include etching and acid washing. You can find epoxy kits that come with etching materials, or you can choose the muriatic acid route. This involves mixing muriatic acid with water, neutralizing the acid with baking soda, and rinsing. If you choose this route, just make sure you have gloves and goggles for protection.