Epoxy coatings are among the most durable coatings you can apply on your concrete garage floor. Epoxy is a two-part mixture made up of resin and hardener. When applied to concrete floors, the compound adheres to the concrete and forms a coating that can withstand foot and machine traffic, high temperatures, and chemical spills. However, to realize the benefits of epoxy coatings on your garage floor, you must install the product correctly. Read on for tips to achieve long-lasting results with garage floor epoxy coatings.
Address Moisture Issues in the Concrete Floor
Epoxy coatings are often used to fix cracks, holes, and imperfections in concrete garage floors. However, epoxy cannot address moisture issues. If your concrete floor has moisture problems, the new coatings won't last long. Moisture in the concrete will cause epoxy coatings to delaminate. Over time, the layer will peel off, leaving your floors with unsightly flakes. Therefore, conduct a moisture test on your concrete floor before applying the epoxy. Use a vapor barrier over the concrete to protect the epoxy coatings from peeling.
Choose the Right Epoxy Coating
Epoxy coatings come in three general types: solvent-based, water-based, and solid-based epoxies. Solvent-based epoxy uses a solvent hardener and is incredibly hardy and durable. It is ideal for garage floors that receive heavy machinery traffic. On the downside, solvent-based epoxy releases toxic fumes during application and curing.
Water-based epoxy uses water in place of a solvent hardener; therefore, it doesn't emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). However, the absence of a solvent hardener leads to a slightly inferior product. Water-based epoxy coating is only ideal for garages with low vehicular traffic. Heavy machinery can cause the epoxy surface to peel off.
Solid-based epoxies don't use water or solvents. They have a thick consistency and require a proper application to achieve a desirable finish. When properly applied, solid-based epoxy delivers a sturdy surface with high resistance to abrasion, heavy traffic, and chemical damage. Therefore, it is suitable for garages exposed to heavy traffic. It doesn't emit fumes; thus, it is a great alternative to solvent-based epoxy.
Consider Anti-Slip Additives
Epoxy floors can get slippery when wet. Therefore, liquid spills on the garage floor can easily cause slip and fall accidents. Avoid this by using anti-slip additives in your epoxy mix. These are ground polymer beads added to the mix to add texture to the coating—a textured surface is less likely to become slippery when wet. You can also achieve a beautiful, textured surface by adding decorative vinyl chips to the final epoxy coat.
The above tips will help you choose quality and durable epoxy coatings for your garage floor. Avoid DIY epoxy kits, as they can be of inferior quality. For professional epoxy floor installation services, contact a flooring contractor.