Polyaspartic garage flooring is used to describe a wide variety of products in the decorative concrete floors industry. Perhaps second only to epoxy, it may be one of the most overused terms. Most of the time a true Polyaspartic coating is not applied directly over a concrete surface but as a top coat over epoxy floors.
Most Polyurea coatings and Polyaspartic garage floor coatings are aliphatic in nature. While technically Aliphatic means of, relating to, or being an organic compound (such as an alkane) having an open-chain structure. (Source: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aliphatic ) In the coating system world, it means a urethane that because of its molecular structure and other properties is very resistant to yellowing and UV damage in general
WHAT ARE POLYASPARTIC FLOOR COATINGS?
“Polyaspartics are materials that are considered to be a subset of polyureas. Specifically, the term is usually used to refer to aliphatic polyureas. Polyaspartic floor coatings are typically two-part systems that consist of a resin and a catalyst to facilitate the curing process. ” Source: https://www.corrosionpedia.com/definition/4401/polyaspartic
They are typically 100% solids and very fast curing.
A More Durable, Beautiful Epoxy Floor Alternative
You might be unsure whether to choose Polyaspartic vs epoxy flooring for your application, but the fact is that Polyaspartic and Polyurea garage floor coating are often the better options for these applications.
The appeal of Polyaspartic garage floor coating and Polyurea coating is that because of the composition and structure discussed above a good Polyaspartic garage floor coating or polyurea coating system will be more durable, more chemical resistant, abrasion resistant, and UV stable than epoxy floors.
Epoxy coating systems are actually harder than Polyurea or Polyaspartic coating systems. Hardness is not the key. These urethane-based systems are hard enough to resist scratching but their flexibility allows them to resist impact.
If you are having trouble making sense of that, consider throwing a cement block at a piece of glass. What is the likely outcome? Now throw that same concrete block at a trampoline. The give of the trampoline should allow it to absorb the impact. That is the same idea that makes Polyurea Polyaspartic desirable for concrete coating.
Polyaspartic garage floor coating is a durable, versatile option that will make your garage the envy of your neighborhood
In addition to the durability of the concrete coating, the floor coating can be dressed up with a full or partial broadcast of flake. Multiple layers of clear top coat give the floor an unimaginable depth and attractive appearance.
Aromatic Polyurea Garage Floor Coatings
According to Corossionpedia, the technical definition is as follows Aromatic polyurea is a type of elastomer derived from the one-step reaction between an isocyanate component and a synthetic resin blend component. The compound is referred to as aromatic due to its superior stability compared to other chemical arrangements with the same set of atoms. Aromatic polyurea is relatively fast curing and insensitive to moisture, making it a popular ingredient in several types of paints and coatings.
While there are desirable properties in aromatic polyureas, they may be suitable base coats but are inferior and frankly cheap alternatives and should not be used for top coats.
Polyaspartics vs. Polyureas Garage Floor Coating
At the end of the day, the real question is which product is best suited for a garage floor coating. The answer is a qualified “both”
Polyaspartics are chemically and technically superior to other Polyureas. They have higher solid content, go on thicker, and can cover a full flake system in a single coat. The downsides are they cure so fast that the average DIYer can’t work with them. The high solids content means it’s all but impossible to get good adhesion direct to concrete. While there are things that can be done to slow down the cure rate, that is not generally DIY friendly either.
Polyurea coatings is a generic term. Most of the Polyurea garage floor coatings on the market today are not as durable, chemical resistant or UV resistant as Polyaspartic garage floor coating. What you gain is the ease of installation, but you lose in product performance.
Until the early 2000’s that left consumers in a predicament. Most were still going with epoxy floor coating or epoxy with a polyaspartic garage floor coating top coating system. But then there was a breakthrough.
All Weather Floors (AWF) launched a hybrid polyurea poly aspartic coating. It is a high-solids aliphatic polyurea with almost all the properties of a Polyaspartic garage floor coating system. At 70% solids, it contains enough solvent to wet the garage floor and promote good adhesion. It does not yellow, is very scratch resistant, and can be installed by a professional or a DIYer. Not all polyureas are the same and the properties of this one make it the best coating option for most garage floors.
Other benefits of a polyurea-polyaspartic hybrid floor coating include
- Moderate cost
- Not easily stained
- Resists hot tire lifting
- Industrial quality material
- Durable enough for commercial applications
- No punch through as seen with a sealer
- Wide range of installation temperatures
- The second coat can be done in 2-6 hours
- Slowed down cure rate
- Light Foot traffic in 24 hours
- Automotive traffic in 72 hours (total cure time)
- Easy to install
- Will not peel
- Performs at high temperatures
- Better DTC adhesion than Polyaspartic floors
- Better UV resistance than epoxy floors
- No silica sand is required. Tabular alumina is used for anti-skid
- More difficult to install than paint, but not by much.
- Only the single part and the tint need to be mixed together. No Part A and part B
Whatever product you end up with you want to make sure you perform adequate surface preparation. All cracks need to be filled and you need to maintain the floor. Pay attention to the mixture information and form a solid plan before installation!
If this all sounds like too much there are other options for your garage floor.
Additional Decorative Applications for Polyaspartics
We are garage flooring experts, while there have been examples of countertops, exterior applications, and even interior floor coating, we stick to the garage floor.
What about epoxy garage floors?
Generally speaking, epoxy floor coating is old technology. If you are going to use an epoxy make sure it is high solids (above 90%) and make sure you use a primer and an aliphatic urethane topcoat.
The one instance where we prefer epoxy over polyaspartic polyurea is when a floor is heavily damaged and will not be properly repaired. Epoxy is generally thicker and will hide damage to the concrete surface.
Individual Benefits of Polyurea Polyaspartic Floor Coatings
Since all coatings are different it is important to review the data sheet of the product you have selected. It should show the properties well enough to demonstrate the additional benefits of the specific system in use.
How Does Polyaspartic Garage Floor Coating Cure?
Depending on the system in question in may cure by a chemical reaction caused by the Par B catalyst, air may be the catalyst and it could be a moisture-cured system — moisture in the air.
Different Products, Different Performance
Polyaspartic floor coating and other polyureas are uniquely different. There is no one size fits all. Different products have different performance qualities. But for most residential garages the AWF Polyurea is the best of both worlds
AWF Polyaspartic Floor Coating â€” How It Works
All coats are the exact same material. The base coat(s) will have a pigment that is mixed in. One or more top coats of the same material is applied to achieve an optimal mil thickness. The chemical reaction required for a cure takes place when the coating is exposed to the air. This provides a virtually unlimited pot-life.
Polyurea Floor Coating Installation
Installation is specific to each brand and will have two basic components
Polyaspartic floor coatings is also installable using Polyurea kits that simplify the process.
What Are Other Practical Applications for Polyurea?
In addition Polyurea floor coating, you can use Polyurea in many applications across a range of industries, including:
- Fuel containment and storage
- Line striping
- Playground equipment
The versatility of this material makes it ideal for use in applications extending well beyond Polyaspartic floor coating.
How Long Does Polyurea Garage Floor Coating Last?
Polyurea Polyaspartic garage floor coating can last for a long time after initial application. Depending on the level of care given to these materials, they can specifically last for around 10 to 30 years. If your flooring sees heavy traffic, the coating may wear out sooner and require repairs or replacements.
Repairing Polyurea Garage Floor Coating
If you need to repair your Polyaspartic floor coating, the process may use joint filler and other materials. Concrete garage floor filling is one part of the repair process that many inexperienced installers tend to need help with, making it ideal to consult a professional before applying joint fillers when repairing or applying Polyurea floor coating.
Are Polyurea Floor Coating Materials Safe to Use?
Polyurea garage floor coating materials are generally safe once cured. While it’s not as toxic as the ingredients that combine to create Polyurea, it’s still best for installers to wear gas masks and other protective gear when applying the floor coating.
Also, keep in mind that although Polyurea is flammable before setting and curing, it no longer presents a fire hazard of any kind in most environments. However, Polyurea can burn in the event of a fire or other forms of exposure to high temperatures, but it’s possible to design Polyurea floor coatings with greater heat resistance.
Is It Possible to Paint Over a Polyurea Garage Floor?
After applying Polyurea Polyaspartic garage floor coating, you may be able to paint the finished surface. Ideally, you should use acrylic latex and oil paints to minimize the risk of cracking over time.