There is so much to know about garage floor coatings. In many cases, people do not even realize what they are purchasing until they receive it and follow the instructions. While our site focuses on educating the consumer, not every site is that way.
#1 Your Floor Will Fail If you Do Not Address these Things
We all say prep is key, and your floor will fail without proper surface prep. The problem is that it is industry jargon and means absolutely nothing to the average consumer.
- Your floor should be clean and dry with no moisture issues. Moisture issues don’t mean a puddle on the floor. You won’t know if you have a moisture issue unless you test for moisture.
- Before grinding or etching, make sure to remove oil stains and tire marks. Any residue from your tires will break the bond of the coating – as will dust, oil, grease, moisture, and other contaminants.
- Follow the instructions. Read them before you start, and then follow them as you go.
#2 Coatings Don’t Fill Cracks and Joints
Coatings do not fill cracks and expansion joints or saw cuts. Cracks must be repaired. Expansion joints or saw cuts are at the discretion of the installer. Filling them is likely to be the hardest part of the job.
Crack filler is not flexible. The filler for expansion joints and saw cuts is flexible. Expansion joint fillers are a pain to work with and cure very fast.
#3 Top Coats are Necessary
We all love the idea of throwing down a coat of gray ‘paint’ sprinkling some flake, and being done. It’s a terrible idea.
A clear top coat, or in the case of some epoxy systems, a tinted urethane top coat, are necessary. They protect from UV, keep the flake in place, and provide a sacrificial layer that can easily be repaired. In most cases, the clear is more durable than the color, even when it is the same material.
#4 Mil Thickness is King
First, you can’t compare a urethane-based system to an epoxy system. A good urethane system requires substantially less thickness than an epoxy-based garage coating.
A Mil is 1/1000th of an inch. You are not going to measure that with a tape measure.
The easiest way to achieve the correct Mil thickness is to follow the spread rate for the product in question. For example, with our polyurea garage floor coating, if you spread the product at 200 square feet per gallon (every coat), you will have the most effective Mil thickness.
#5 Percentage of Solids
Think of a bag of potato chips. The chips are your solids. The rest of the bag is air. If I were to guess, that bag of chips is 50% solids.
In round numbers, our Polyurea is 70% solids. That means that roughly 1/3 of each gallon is a solvent that will evaporate.
Our 100% solids epoxy, as the name implies, is all solids. Nothing evaporates. A gallon is a gallon. Our high-solids epoxy is 90% solids. 10% is solvents.
I find the high-solids epoxy easier to work with than 100%. Given a choice, unless I have damaged concrete or high-impact industrial, I will use Polyurea.