We get a lot of questions via email and online forums about garage floor epoxy. Many of these questions are a daily, if not hourly occurrence. Here are some of the questions people ask most often.
Do I need a primmer?
Yes. While technically speaking primers may be optional, a very large percentage of epoxy project issues gone wrong could have been avoided by using a primer. The bottom line is primer is cheap protection and should never be skipped when coating raw concrete.
My floor is rough, do I still need to prep it?
Yes. All concrete should be prepped. Acid etching can be effective, but grinding is often the option. Shot blasting is also acceptable. When doing more aggressive forms of prep, consider the profile of the concrete and the percentage of solids of the epoxy. You don’t want all of it to soak in.
My floor is new, do I need to prep it
Yes, after the concrete is cured for a month, you should prep the concrete and perform moisture and alkalinity tests. It is important to create a profile that the epoxy can adhere to.
Do I need a top coat?
If you are using flake or other broadcast material, a top coat is required. If you are not broadcasting anything into the coating, you don’t have to top coat it, however, a good urethane is essential and we highly recommend it. I personally would never epoxy my floor and not top coat it. Chemical resistance, UV resistance, scratch resistance and other factors make it important.
Can I put an epoxy down over my old epoxy or paint?
The short answer is no, you should not. Chances are there is a reason you are recoating and the new material is only as good as what it is sticking to. You likely have no idea what is there now, what prep was done or how the products will interact. If you decide to do so, you do so at your own risk and should check with the manufacturer. Generally we suggest sanding the surface and then wiping with denatured alcohol.
Do I need to fill in the expansion joints or saw cuts?
This is completely optional. Some like the looks and feel it is easier to clean.
Do I need to repair cracks and damage to the concrete first?
Some of this depends on mil thickness and product used. General rule of thumb. If the crack is a hairline crack, coat it. If you can fit a putty knife or larger into the crack, fill it. Narrow cracks may need to be widened using an angle grinder first.
Lots of people talk about 100% solids but you are suggesting high solids, why?
Our high solids product uses the same resins as our 100% solids products. The difference is in the ‘Part B’. We add some solvent and this makes application much easier with only a slight difference in mil thickness. There are applications when 100% solids is a better choice. The most notable situation where 100% solids is a better choice is when a high build system is required to cover a lot of repairs and a less then perfect slab.
I need to cut corners to save some money. How would you suggest to get the price down?
You are better off waiting, then trying to cut corners. This is a lot of time and work. Don’t do it half way.
I get what you are saying but this is still to expensive or to much work. What do I do?
Wait or use another product like Rust Bullet or even mats or tiles.