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Garage floor epoxy comes in varying degrees of quality and performance. The first question to ask yourself is do you even know there is a difference? Do you just assume that price is the biggest factor and anything more than the cheapest is a ripoff? If so you will learn an expensive lesson or you can read on and become enlightened.
Garage Floor Epoxy Paint
This is one of the most searched terms in the garage market indicating that consumers at least know there is a difference house paint and concrete paint. I challenge anyone to show if there is such a thing as concrete paint that hasn't peeled of the floor. Even though you can buy concrete paint kits at the major home improvement stores it likely won't last long. Despite the fact that it has been a flawed product since the beginning of time consumers still buy and install it.
The main problem is that concrete is perpetually moist emitting moisture vapor that delaminates paint or what many manufacturers refer to as epoxy. Most consumers look at the nice packaging an imagine that's what they get, a beautiful floor with a nice yellow sports car. Wrong!
High Performance Garage Floor Epoxy
If you search online you will find specialty online retailers that sell high quality concrete coatings. The enemy to epoxies is moisture. The process for applying an epoxy is to etch the concrete then apply the coating. However DIY coating manufacturers recommend using a liquid acid etch solution that is mixed with water. Concrete is porous like a sponge and is full of air holes. Airholes are caused by moisture bleed the day the concrete is poured. As moisture evaporated and concrete hardens a vein is left behind. Get down on your hands and knees and look closely. You will see thousands of tiny holes.
When you apply an acid etch solution here's what happens. First, the acid particles get caught in the tiny air holes. Eventually they dry but are reactivated when your coating is applied. This breaks down the chemical cross linking weakening the coating. The result is chips and peeling no matter how high the quality.
Secondly, the water you dumped on the floor has saturated the concrete. Sure the concrete might look dry the next day but in fact is wet. It will take weeks to dry but most people don't know that. Instead they mix up their garage floor epoxy and apply. When complete it looks excellent. However you have just trapped moisture, the enemy, in your floor and it wants to get out and will. But first it has to push your coating off the floor. It might chip, peel off in pieces or sheets. It might eventually sound hollow which means it has separated from the floor. Not every DIY coating fails but a high percentage do.
Should I Hire A Professional?
The question is, what is a professional? Just because someone gets paid to do a job doesn't mean they are a professional. Without any knowledge or experience anyone can get in the coating business but that doesn't mean they can do a better job than you. Concrete coatings has varying degrees of competent professionals. Just because they use the highest quality products doesn't guarantee a quality job. Many projects take 6 months to a year before they fail and the contractor is long gone by then.
Make sure you get an extensive list of completed projects and references you can check out. A coating that is properly applied by an experienced professional will last years.
Source by Edward Winslow