Plenty of people use their garage as a work shop and general hang out spot. So making your garage looks as good as possible is a high priority for a lot of home owners. Good organization and storage is a nice starting point, but if you really want your garage to shine - applying an epoxy floor coating is the perfect way to take your man cave to the next level.
Plenty of companies can do the job for you but at prices that can easily exceed $1000, this is a relatively easy DIY project that you can do over a weekend for as little as $200 if you know how to do the job right.
Here are 5 tips that ensure you get a great epoxy floor result.
Start By Filling Cracks and Holes
Don't make the mistake of assuming that the epoxy coat will work miracles and cover up any cracks or holes. You need to make sure any surface imperfections are addressed before applying the epoxy coating. There are plenty of crack repair products at the big box stores that can fill up imperfections. Just be sure to remove any loose debris before applying the product.
Preparation is Key
After you fill any cracks and holes, empty out the garage. This might take some planning if your garage is filled. Move everything out so that the floor is completely free of any obstructions. Now it's time to clean your floor. Start out by sweeping the whole area thoroughly. A leaf blower can help with the chore but tends to move the dirt around rather than out, so don't skip out on actually sweeping the garage.
Next, we recommend power washing the floor, followed by a degreasing wash. Degreaser is pretty cheap and will ensure that you get any old oil or other stains off the floor that could interfere with adhesion. Call us obsessive, but we power washed our floor a second time to remove the degreaser. It definitely helps the end result when things are as clean as possible.
Etch the Floor
Etching is a critical step in applying an epoxy floor that should not be skipped. The is the final stage is getting the concrete ready to accept the top coat of epoxy. Without getting to deep into the science, etching removes the surface of the concrete so that it is ready for a coating. After the etching process, your floor should feel rough. If it doesn't repeat the process. Many at home kits include an etch in the package. If your kit does not come with one, you can purchase an etching solution at the home improvement store.
Plan for Mother Nature
For epoxy to adhere, the temperature needs to be just right or the coating will not dry or bond to the surface. Check the weather before starting and be sure you have warm weather for at least a few days. This is especially important if you plan to keep any of the junk that was stored in the garage outside. You might need to get tarps or plastic coverings for items that need to be left out because you cannot bring it back into the garage during the drying process.
Allow Proper Dry Time
A common complaint of DIY'ers who do an epoxy floor is that it doesn't stick. When epoxy doesn't have time to cure, hot tire pick up is quite common. You may also notice that the floor begins to flake and wear within a few months. That is why it's so important to follow the manufacturers instructions to a tee and allow the epoxy to cure before allowing traffic on your new floor.
That might mean you have to wait a day or two (depending on weather) before returning items back to the garage. Be especially careful if you are rolling or dragging anything on the floor like shelving or tool boxes. Like we mentioned above, being aware of the upcoming weather is going to help with this step.
Epoxy floors are a easy way to make your garage shine and they will last for years if you prepare properly. What is your experience with epoxy? Comment below.