|Posted on March 28, 2012 at 11:30 AM|
Ready to do your own DYI garage floor project?
Preparing To Seal The Garage Floor
A) Prior to deciding which type of garage epoxy coating to buy and use, like what solid color of epoxy to use and chip material and color, you will need to prepare the garage floor surface for the application of the epoxy preferably by grinding the garage surface area. You can find and rent a concrete grinder from a local industrial equipment rental shop, so you can mechanically grind and profile the concrete floor. By grinding the concrete floor prior to coating application, this will ensure that a proper bonding with the coating will take place.
B) Repair all large fractures in the concrete first if any exist, and correct any slopping problems if need be as part of the floor preparation. Any areas of the garage that have sunk, will need tobe patched and sinking occured in several areas, then in such extreme cases, an entire garage floor may need to be resurfaced with self-leveling cement mix which is a topic I may write about another day. Self-leveling cement and cement patching compounds can be purchased at commrcial concrete supply dealers, if one does exist in your area, then try your local hardware store like Lowes or Home Depot perhaps. It is important to make sure that the garage floor is flat and has a very slight slope running away from the house, so water does not stand or pool and able to run off from the house and towards the outside of the garage.
C) Throughly clean the grounded and patched concrete floor, with a good strong shop vac and ensure the entire surface area as clean as possible.
Choose The Epoxy Sealer To Apply
Several option are available depending on the type of final look that you desire of your concrete garage floor. The most common coating for residential car garage floors as mentioned, is epoxy resin coatings. For purpose of keeping it simple here, I will describe how to apply either solid color epoxy and an epoxy chip floor finish how to application.
To achieve a clean bright look with least amount of work, you can choose to apply a solid color epoxy coating alone, or for a more fancier finish, you can use an epoxy chip finish.
It is very important to purchase a quality 100% solid resin epoxy sealer to application. Avoid buying epoxy from local hardware store if possible. Your first choice is to find a commercial epoxy dealer that will sell you the quality stuff. Commercial epoxy dealers will also stock standard choices of solid color epoxies to choose from, and carry clear coat epoxies that you will need to purchase too as well as the quartz or vinyl chips. Check to see the coverage rates of the epoxy product so you know how much quantity to buy. A quality epoxy sealer is not going to be cheap so you don't want to over buy if do not have to, nor do you want to be short of product when applying epoxy as this may ruin your esthetic appeal of the garage floor if not completed at once. So make certain to buy the right quantity of epoxy sealer. Planning to do an epoxy quartz or vinyl chip floor finish, you will require to buy both solid color and clear coat epoxy, to cover your garage floor twice after you apply the solid color base coat. Most industrial grade epoxy dealers will likely stock quartz or vinyl chips you will need too. Calculate how much materials you will need to purchase basedon the concentration of chip coverage you want to broadcast For heavy coverage for a typical 2 car garage, can easily consume as much as 50 pounds of chips easily when achieving a heavy coverage. For light coverage, as little as 2 or 3 one pound bags of chips can be enough. So you will need to do the calculations before proceeding. You do not want to be left short in the middle of spreading the chips.. One thing to keep in mind though, when planning for lighter chip coverage you will need to apply 2 coats of epoxy clear coats after broadcasting the chips as one coat may no preperlycover over the chips.
The following tools will be required to apply the epoxy coating on your garage floor. They are as follows; an epoxy floor squeege, a lint free nap roller with good roller handle, a hand mixer with mixing paddle designed for epoxy application which you can purchase at your local hardware store, and anti-slip additive usually sold in 1 lb. bags, and also find a good helper to help you with cthe task of coating and the broadcasting process.
1. Start the process with mixing part A and part B of the 100% solid resin epoxy kit in the proportion specified by the epoxy manufacturer.
2. Pour the mixed epoxy batch onto the garage floor and spread evenly throughout with the floor squeegee, while the helper follows you by back rolling (back rolling only) the epoxy you just spread until you complete the entire garage. If you are not planing to stop and not broadcast vinyl or quartz chips, then go to part B
A) If you are not planing to proceed to broadcasting the chips, then wait till the base coat you applied is fully dry before applying a second coat, generally 24 hours. Once you apply the 2nd coat in same fashion, it's a good time to broadcast the fine anti-slip powder additive by taking handful of the additive and throwing it up into the air to land randomly over the wet coat of epoxy.
B) While the base coat is still wet, begin to broadcast the chips by grabbng handfuls of chips and throwing them up into the air over the wet epoxy so the chips fall randomly in your desired (light to heavy)coverage rate. When you finish broadcasting the chips, let the floor dry till the following day.
3. If do not have a sander, buy a good floor scrapper and go around and remove any loose chips that did not adhere to the epoxy during broadcasting process.
4. Apply a final clear coat of epoxy in a similar fashion as described in paragraph 1, once the clear coat has fully cured, go around and review the appearance of the floor finish to see if the coat of epoxy you applied totally covered the chip surface, and the surface is perfectly smooth. If not, then proceed to the next step (5). If the floor surface is smooth, then broadcast the anti-slip additive while the epoxy is wet onto areas you want the anti-slip to be placed in the same broadcasting technique as described above and allow for proper curing over the next 24 hrs or so before walking over it and wait at least 3 to 5 days before parking your car in the garage.
5. If heavy chip coverage is desired, then it is very likely that you will require need to apply a 3rd and final coat of clear coat epoxy as described in step 4, and then apply the anti-slip material as final step.
If the above is done with care and attention, you should be a new proud owner of beautiful garage floor. preperlycover over the chips.