The key to having an amazing epoxy floor lies in proper preparation. In this regard, your choice of contractor will have a huge impact on your success. Therefore, it is recommended you hire the most experienced contractor to do the installation. In case you are planning to undertake the epoxy coating installation as a DIY project, it is recommended you learn how to prep garage floor for epoxy coating. While you can get the best outcomes when you hire a professional, it is still recommended you learn how concrete garage floors should be prepped. Read on to learn how the garage floor should be prepared before the epoxy coating can be installed.
Cleaning is perhaps the most important surface preparation process that must be done before the epoxy coating can be applied. Cleaning is done to remove oil, grease, paint and other types of impurities. There are many ways to clean a concrete floor. They include :
This is perhaps the simplest way of cleaning and preparing a concrete surface in readiness for the epoxy coating. A normal grinder fitted with a diamond grinding disk is normally used to grind the concrete surface. This is not to say that other types of grinding disks cannot be used. There are many other types of grinders with abrasive disks that can be used to prepare the concrete floor for the epoxy coating.
ii) Sand Blasting
As the name suggests, this process entails blasting/propelling sand particles, steel grits or walnut shells onto the concrete surface to dislodge loose particles and remove both impurities and stains off the surface. The contractor will use special sand blasting equipment to prepare the garage floor for the epoxy coating. This method is similar to shot blasting. Obviously, the surface must be cleaned by vacuuming or any other method after the blasting process before the epoxy coating can be applied.
iii) Chemical Etching Method
The most sophisticated and most effective surface preparation method for garage floors in readiness for epoxy coating application is chemical etching. The process involves using an acid solution to neutralize chemicals, dissolve particles and get rid of stains from the surface. Before chemical etching can be done however, the following steps must be followed by the contractor:
Step #1: Surface Cleaning
Before the acid can be applied to the surface, cleaning must be done using liquid detergent or soap. If the floor is dusty, vacuuming should be done before washing. When washing the floor, you should pay special attention to areas that have water beads as these are usually created by oil or grease stains.
Step #2: Prepare the Acid Solution
There are three types of acid solutions that can be used for surface preparation. These are; phosphoric acid, sulfamic acid and muriatic acid among others. Mix one pound of sulfamic acid powder with one gallon of water to create a solution that can wash around 300 square feet of surface. One gallon of 10-15% dilute muriatic acid can clean up to 50 square feet. If you decide to use phosphoric acid, a 20-40% solution will do the trick.
Step #3: Apply the Acid
After preparing the acid solution, the next step is to apply the solution to the surface. You can pour the solution from a can or you can decide to use an acid pump. Every inch of the floor should be soaked in the acid. Let it sit for around 10 minutes before you move to the next step.
Step #4: Rinse the Floor
After 10 minutes, rinse the surface and mop it to remove excess water. Be sure to vacuum the concrete surface once it is completely dry. Once the surface is clean and dry, you can begin the process of applying the epoxy coating. Be sure to use the instructions provided by the manufacturer to apply the coating. If properly done, you can expect to have a durable, stain-resistant and abrasion-resistant coating on your garage floor.