Garage Floor Coating - DIY Vs Professional
Epoxy flooring is ideal for garage surfaces. But with the passage of time and lot of trafficking they tend to wear off. Good epoxy flooring done can actually stay on forever. There are plenty of DIY kits available in the market for this purpose. But yet it is highly recommended that you hire a professional to do the job. Here is why we will always prefer a professional doing it for you!
Surface Repairs and Preparation
- DIY kits include a mild acid wash, which is not strong enough to prepare hard surfaces and does not remove oil stains or cure the concrete. Generally acid washing needs multiple clear water rinses, which allows moisture to get trapped in the concrete pores for days. If prep isn’t done correctly, it will cause the epoxy to peel off over time.
- An experienced professional installer will carefully evaluate your garage floor surface. Grinding the surface is the most recommended way to prepare the concrete floor as it removes not only surface dirt and oil stains but also the smooth, top surface of the concrete. That allows the pores to be exposed, which allows the new epoxy coating to seep into the concrete, resulting in a very strong bond. A professional will also repair any surface cracks.
- DIY: DIY kits are water based and the resins provided are generally diluted to make the application easier. Most DIY kits will include a 30% – 40% solid content, which in turn means the material is very brittle. That is why DIY kits are cheaper and the coverage rates go much farther, which means the mil thickness of the coating is super thin.
- Professionals: Floor coating professionals use a solvent based, high build epoxy that has a solid content of 90% – 100%, which means it has very strong strength and will hold up to hard impacts and normal wear and tear. The adhesives seep into the concrete to make them adhere for solid reasons.
Color Flake Broadcast
- DIY: Broadcasting the color flakes into the wet epoxy is the most technical part in how the floor looks. Most people have never broadcast flake and the finished product usually is very blotchy with heavy and light flaked areas. Most people don’t want to purchase a $100 set of shoe spikes either, so getting the flake even throughout the floor is pretty much impossible.
- Professionals: Broadcasting color flakes are a technique learned by installing many floors. A good professional will broadcast the flake into the floor very evenly throughout. The flake broadcast is so crucial in having a floor that looks professionally done.
Quality of Top Coat
- DIY: It is very thin and diluted for easy application purposes. But it tends to wear off quickly.
- Professional: Professionals use top coats which include a high solid content .They include strong tensile strength and high chemical resistance. Only a good quality coat will resist the wear.
- DIY: DIY kits usually take 3 days to finish up and require 5-7 days of drying time to be fully functional.
- Professional: Most professional installers can complete the floor install in 1 – 1.5 days, and can be driven on within 2-3 days.
- DIY: Long-term performance doesn’t exist in a DIY coating. They are pretty much a cover up that needs to be re-coated constantly.
- Professional: Of course a professional grade floor coating system is designed to withstand the test of time and if the concrete is prepped right, and high solid coating is used, you won’t ever have to re-do it again.