Throughout the course of years, our garage floors can take some abuse and usage, which leads it to be deeply stained and not very pretty to look at. A great way to solve this issue and to prevent it from ever happening again is placing an epoxy coat on top of the cement. It’s long lasting and helps keep your work place look nice as well as its easier to keep clean.
To get started, here is what you will need:
- Paint roller plus extension
- Safety goggles
- Nylon paintbrush
- Floor scraper
- Carbon filter paint order mask
- 5 gallon bucket
- Stiff-bristled push broom
- Plastic spackle knife
- Floor scraper
- Concrete floor patch
- Two-part high-gloss epoxy kit
- Clay cat litter
- Painter’s tape
- Half inch nap roller cover
First Step: The first and most important step is to check for moisture. The reason why this is needed is because if your slab was laid out without a vapor barrier or if you have high ground water, this can cause water vapor pressure that can lift off any coatings from the surface. There is a simple way to test for this, all you need to do is tape down a 2’ b 2’ clear piece of plastic all along its edges and leave it for 24 hours. When you come back to check on it, if the concrete is dark or there are water droplets on the plastic, it is then best to speak to an epoxy professional to find out if there is a solution to place a vapor barrier.
Second Step: Next, you’ll need to check the temperature and make sure that the temperature outside is at least 60 and rising, and that the concrete itself is at least 50 degrees or higher. This is best done during the spring or summer seasons due to the temperature.
Third Step: Grab your broom and give the concrete a nice sweep, getting all the dirt and debris out. Make sure to get along the walls as well as around the tracks to the garage door.
Fourth Step: Then you will use your scrapper and scrape away all dirt and grease. Any areas that are deep stains that this doesn’t work use the degreaser on and continue to scrape the area. Using the dry clay cat litter will help bring out the oils that are embedded in the concrete. Then just scrape it away with the scrapper.
Fifth Step: Washing the concrete is the next step that needs to be done. Using a diluted degreaser across the concrete and then scrubbing it will wash away everything else that is left. Then taking the squeegee, immediately remove all the standing liquid from the concrete. Removing all liquid from the concrete will help it dry quicker.
Sixth Step: Now, you need to apply the etching pretreatment. Mix the mix with warm water according to the instructions. Then you will apply and scrubs the floors with it, followed by squeegee it off. This process is done so that it opens up the top pores in the concrete so the epoxy will adhere with no issues.
Seventh Step: From there you need to allow the concrete to dry, bringing in fans will help speed up the process.
Eighth Step: Now you need to test for a sealer, You simply drop a drop of water onto the surface, if it seeps in then there is no sealer, but if it beads then there is still sealer and if not removed, it will cause issues with the epoxy adhering to the concrete. Usually repeating the etching process will help remove the remaining sealant.
Ninth Step: Walk through and make sure that there are no cracks or holes throughout the concrete. If these are not fixed, this can show imperfections through the epoxy. You can easily fix this by using the mixture that in usually included in the epoxy kit. Applying this with a plastic spackle knife and allow it to harden for eight hours, and finally sanding and smoothing it out with a coarse sanding block will eliminate the issues.
Tenth Step: The final step before applying the epoxy is doing a final clean throughout the floor. Make sure that you pay attention to edges and walls for any pieces that can get in the finish. Like with painting, using painter’s tape will help keep the epoxy off anything you don’t wish to have it one such as base boards.
Eleventh Step: Next is mixing the epoxy mixture together. You can get epoxy in various colors, though the two most popular are gray and tan. You’ll know that it is mixed when the liquid is no longer swirly looking in color, but one solid color.
Twelfth Step: Check on the can and see if how long the reaction time is recommended depending on the temperature outside. It is best to be as accurate as possible on this step so that you are not left with a non-hardening sticky mess.
Thirteenth Step: Now here comes the applying stage. Pour some of the mixture into a roller tray and use your paint brush to apply this to the edges. It is best to start applying these in small sections as a time such as 4’ by 4’, that way the epoxy doesn’t harden and dry before you apply the flakes that help prevent it from being slippery. Fill in the section with the roller paint brush.
Fourteenth Step: You need to make sure that you are rolling out the epoxy much heavier than you expect and don’t use a bunch of the flakes in one section. You want the epoxy to soak and be absorbed into the pores of the concrete and will not have a glossy sheen if it is not applied heavy enough. Also make sure that you are strategic in painting so you do not pin yourself in a corner, unable to leave the garage.
Fifteenth Step: With the flakes, make sure that you are tossing them as high and thin as possible. This will create a light random pattern that way it does not miss a small section of the epoxy and thus not making that spot slip resistance.
Sixteenth Step: After finishing, allow the floor to dry and set. This generally will take anywhere from one to three days.
Though this is possible to accomplish on one’s own, sometimes with projects this large, with this many steps, a professional comes in handy so that if any issues arise they know what ways to solve the issue or overcome it. Also, that way no steps are missed and you get the most professional and beautiful work you are wishing to have.
Please feel free to contact us today to schedule your appointment to polish your granite flooring or if you have any questions.
Floor ReNew Houston
Natural Stone Restoration
4530 W. 34th Street Suite C
Houston, TX 77092