Now that winter’s grey skies are gone and spring has finally emerged, get off to a great start by letting your mind imagine the sweet smell of freshly mown grass, woodsy mulch and fragrant flowers soon to head your way.
And while you are doing that, here is a dynamite way to better prepare yourself and your outdoor work room (i.e. garage) for the onslaught of mowers, trimmers, blowers, sticky wet soils, gas and oil soon to dirty up (and potentially damage) the garage’s concrete floor.
Epoxy is not just a glue…
If you are looking for a practical and economically rewarding DIY upgrade for your house, look no further than the garage floor beneath your feet! Epoxy garage floor coatings are not only attractive, durable and strong, they also serve to protect the concrete from chipping, staining and cracking. All-in-one epoxy flooring kits come in various styles and colors and can be purchased from your local hardware store to make this task even simpler.
How does it work?
- First, give your garage floor a good initial rinse by spraying it with water to clean it and look for any standing water and/or stains like oil, grease or paint that may appear. Clean these spots or stains, if any, with a biodegradable degreaser to remove as much of the stain(s) as you can and let the floor dry.
- Next, use an acid wash (that you can also purchase at your local hardware store) to further clean and prepare the concrete floor for good adhesion with the epoxy. The acid wash chemically reacts with the surface of the concrete and removes a very thin layer of it (i.e. etches it) while converting the acid to salt. The results of this process produce small particles and porous crevices that help the concrete better grip the epoxy once applied.
- Following the acid wash, rinse the garage floor with water once again and squeegee or wet vacuum off the excess water and any remaining loose particles and allow the floor to dry completely before the next step.
- Once the floor is dry, mix the epoxy together (it comes in two parts) but don’t mix all of it at once as it only has a “shelf-life” of 2 to 2 1/2 hours once mixed.
- Begin by first coating the garage floor “walls” up to the height of the exposed concrete (i.e. 6-8 inches). Then, starting in a corner at the very back of the garage and pulling back/away from the back wall, cover the floor in 3-foot deep parallel strips all across the width of the garage using a paint roller on an extension pole. Continue in this fashion until you have coated the floor all the way to the front of the garage.
- Once you have covered the entire garage floor with the epoxy, let it dry overnight and then inspect the floor for adhesion and bare spots and, if needed, cover these spots again with an extra coat of epoxy.
- For one final step, recoat/recover the entire garage floor (excluding the walls) with a second coat of epoxy in similar fashion, and while still wet, sprinkle the floor with multi-colored plastic chips provided with the kits to help cover any cracks that may exist and to make the floor more visually appealing.
Please note this basic epoxy flooring process is a job that most DIY’s can handle if they know how to wield a hose, squeegee and/or wet vacuum and a paint roller. However, there are also many companies like us that can do this work for you, and in much more elaborate ways. For example: Grinding the concrete surface perfectly flush with diamond blades; filling in and sealing any cracks in the concrete prior to adding the epoxy; and protecting the finish with a final coat of polyurethane.
As you can imagine, these last methods are best left up to professionals like us at Daniel Builders, and we would be happy to help, so just give us a call!