This is a look at some of the steps and considerations to be taken by “Do-It-Yourselfers” also known as DIY’ers.
Before you begin coating your garage floor there are several things you should do to prepare. First, set aside at least 3 days to apply an epoxy coating properly so be sure you have time for this project before you attempt to start. Secondly, you must ensure that the weather for the next few days will be right to allow proper drying. The temperature of the concrete must be at least 55°F so the air temperature should be somewhere between 60° and 90°F for optimum drying. The concrete must also be dry so try to pick a sunny weekend without high levels of humidity. Depending on where you live, these conditions may be more common in the spring, summer, or fall so choose when you will complete this project accordingly.
Success Requires Preparation
Before purchasing all of the requisite supplies and dedicating an entire weekend to this project you will want to test your garage floor to ensure it is suitable for an epoxy coating. Not all concrete floors are the same and some will not hold a coating. To determine if your floor is suitable to proceed, test to determine if dampness is coming up through the concrete from the ground below. If moisture is evident, the floor cannot be coated. Similarly, if a concrete sealer has been used on the floor previously you will not be able to apply an epoxy coating. If the concrete is new you must wait at least 28 days -2 months for it to properly cure and dry. Finally, if the floor has been painted, remove the paint before beginning.
To test the concrete for moisture, tape a plastic bag to the garage floor for 24 hours. Lift a corner and check to see if the concrete below is dry. If you see moisture, do not coat the floor as the water pressure will break the bond.
Renting a walk-behind power floor scrubber with a stiff brush attachment can make this job much easier and help prevent back injury while cleaning. You will also want a wet vacuum in order to expedite drying once the floor is clean.
Much of the first day will be spent cleaning and degreasing, removing oil spots, and etching the garage floor in preparation for the coating. Using a stiff bristle brush and cleaner or degreaser, scrub oil stains aggressively then wipe with cotton rags or paper shop towels. Repeat until the spot no longer feels greasy and water does not bead up on the surface.
Wet the entire floor with a hose and scrub back and forth with the electric floor scrubber using a brush attachment or coarse scrubbing pad. Pour cleaner or degreaser onto the floor as you go. When the floor is clean, use the wet vacuum to clean up the leftover water and degreaser. Allow the floor to dry completely before filling cracks and applying the first coat of epoxy the following day. The first coat must dry thoroughly before applying a second coat on day 3 of the project.
Some of you may not be DIY’ers. With time constraints, this is a certainly a daunting task and hiring help is your best option. Reach out to Garage Living for an estimate backed by a warranty. The Garage Living proprietary process and specialized equipment and products are tried and true to overcome DIY challenges and obstacles.