Keeping your Coated Garage Floor Clean

In order to maintain a good looking garage floor for years to come, you must keep your coated garage floor clean.  Dirt and debris are abrasive and over time will scratch, stain, and dull the surface of your epoxy, polyurea, polyaspartic, polyurethane, or other types of floor coating finish.  Just like inside your home, hardwood floors, tile, and carpet can all be ruined if not kept free of dirt and debris.  Here are some tips to help keep your garage floor looking great for years.

  • Sweep the garage floor daily if needed.  Dirt is the enemy and the force of heavy vehicular traffic is basically driving it into the surface.

Garage Mop

  • Once a week the floor should be mopped with common household detergents and rinsed completely.  Be sure to check with your floor coatings manufacturer for recommended cleaning products.  The mop should be rinsed and the water changed often.  An industrial style mop bucket with squeezer works best with a synthetic mop head.  Cotton mop heads tend to catch and fuzz on textured surfaces more than synthetic.  A good scrubbing with a bristled brush may be required to remove stubborn marks from tires and hard rubber castors.
  • Do not allow grease, and other contaminants sit on the surface of the floor.  Wipe them up as soon as they occur when possible.  Many products claim they are resistant to most chemicals; however this does not mean the chemicals will not stain the surface. Tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) or a biodegradable cleaner like Simple Green work well for removing oily substances.  Just be sure to wear gloves and eye protection when using TSP.
  • If your floor is extremely dirty, I recommend renting a floor scrubber with a white pad for cleaning.  These machines can be rented for about $25 and the pads cost less than $10.  You will be able to scrub the entire garage floor in short order and it will do a much better job that if you do it by hand.
  • Allow the biodegradable cleaner to set for a while and do the work for you on stubborn stains like grease and tire marks.  Then after an aggressive scrubbing, completely rinse the area to remove the dirt and cleaner.
  • Waxing and polishing of garage floor coatings is not required. However, if your floor is dull due to poor maintenance or heavy traffic, you can wax or polish the floor with commercial products designed for that purpose.  You may also consider refinishing your floor coating to renew its appearance.  See our article on how to refinish a garage floor coating.

Has a Garage Floor Sealer been applied?

Are you wondering if a Garage Floor Sealer had previously been applied to your garage floor? Garage Floor Sealers are generally transparent thin liquid when applied, so it may not be easy to tell by looking. Garage floors may have been powered troweled to a point where they exhibit a gloss that can be mistaken for sealant. Sealants penetrate the concrete and must be mechanically removed if they exist prior to applying a floor coating. So how can you tell if a sealer is on the floor?

An easy way to test is to spill some water on the floor. If the concrete had a sealer applied, the water should bead up on the surface. Try the spill test on some similarly finished outdoor concrete to observe the difference. If you have a super smooth finish to your concrete floor, the water may appear to puddle. However if you quickly wipe up the spill and notice the concrete is darker where the spill occurred, the concrete is absorbing the water and a sealant is not present.

Another method is to pour a little muriatic acid on the concrete. If you get some foaming and bubbling, its working and sealer is not present. Use safety precautions when using the acid such as wearing eye protection, rubber gloves, and make sure there is plenty of ventilation. I recommend wearing a respirator with organic gas cartridges. Do not wear good clothing, because it only takes a drop to burn through and ruin them. You can find muriatic acid at most home improvement stores or a pool supply store.

If you discover a sealant had been applied, you will need to diamond grind or vacuum shot blast the floor to remove any sealant. Diamond grinders are available at commercial rental companies.


Paint Roller Tips for Epoxy Floor Coatings

When coating a garage floor with epoxy, polyurea, or polyurethane coatings, it is important to consider the size, nap, and type of paint roller require for the job. 

Size MattersPaint Roller

Epoxy coatings have a short working time, requiring inexperienced applicators less time to apply the material than they may be comfortable with.  With this in mind, coating a large garage floor area with a standard 9” roller will take twice as long as the slightly more expensive 18” roller.

Roller Nap 

When applying the base/primer coat of material, a 3/8” nap roller may be used.  However, our experience has proved that either a 1/4” inch nap or 5/16” is most appropriate.  Using a heavy nap roller for applying epoxy or urethane top coats may introduce air in the coating, which will then bubble to the surface during curing.  These bubbles may or may not pop, but either way they will make a mess of the final finish and look bad.

DE-Fuzz

To keep fuzz and lint from appearing in your coating, you should use some vinyl tape to de-shed your rollers.  I find 2” packaging tape works well.  Simply roll the roller over the adhesive side of the tape to lift the lint from the roller.

Roller Type

When using Polyurea  or urethane coatings,  be sure to use a roller with a solvent resistant core.  The roller will simply melt and fall apart if you don’t use this tip.  Hope these tips save you some aggravation when coating your floor.

Concrete – Not Just For Driveways Anymore

Concrete is often thought of as a construction material that is used in purely plain manners .  Of course, concrete is very practical and cost efficient for things like footings, foundations, walls, slabs and other means of support and usefulness, but concrete can also be an aesthetic addition to new home or remodel.  Using concrete in spaces such as sidewalks, patios, driveways, and garages is a fairly routine practice.  Advancements in how concrete is utilized, worked and places makes concrete a very desirable construction material in applications where one might not think to use concrete.

Concrete is very temperate – meaning it remains stable when cooled and heated.  It heats and cools slowly, and is considered a superior  choice for radiant floor heating systems.   This is one reason concrete is an great choice for actual finished flooring areas in homes and additions.  You may be thinking that a flat, gray concrete floor would not be very desirable in a home.  What you may not know is that concrete can be varied  either at the mixing plant, or by mixing in powdered dyes or stains as it is mixed, to create custom colors.  

Another option with concrete is stamping.  Stamping concrete is only bound by your vision .  There are many custom styles to choose from.  Concrete can be stamped and dyed to look like tile, wood flooring, slate, and intricate design patterns.  A mixture of color and design can bring a very long lasting , practical, and beautiful looking floor to any room or outdoor living space.

Concrete can also be “seeded” with an composite material .  Simply put, decorative rock, glass, or other hardened material is broadcast on the top of the concrete as it is setting up and will eventually be grinded , polished, and sealed making the aggregate “burst” out of the floor, giving a truly custom and unique look.

The benefits of concrete are not purely for looks, cost, or durability .  There are other benefits to using concrete, especially in interior applications .  Most, if not all, interior flooring will need to be installed with the assistance of a chemical adhesive .  These glues will give off fumes and vapors as they go through a process of off gassing, or out gassing.  Certain flooring items such as carpet pads, carpet, and even some treated woods will go through this process .  The biggest worry with this process is the indoor air quality, especially in a stagnated or re-circulated interior air situation .  Concrete doesn’t need the use of glues and doesn’t emit any fumes , making it a great choice for indoor use.
Concrete and its versatility does not have to be limited to just floors, patios, and walkways .  The ample opportunities to stain, polish, etch, stencil, stamp and color concrete makes it a building material that can be used for customized counter tops, fireplace enclosures,  decorative walls, landscaping, or planter boxes—even furniture!

Different techniques of finishing concrete can solve problems that can often be left out in the exciting process of building or remodeling a home.  Live in a damp , rainy climate?  Your new concrete sidewalks can have a broom finish, making the texture of the concrete more slip-resistant.  While a broom finish most likely would not be pretty on a colored and stamped concrete finish, additives are available that gives the concrete sandpaper-like grit, to resist slips and skids when wet.

The benefits and options with concrete no longer limit it to the dull, “concrete jungle grey ” of the past. In the hands of a professional , concrete can add value , class , and utility to your home or remodel—the possibilities are nearly endless.  

Click here to see examples of colored, stamped and broomed concrete!

Quikrete Concrete Resurfacer, 20 Lb

Quikrete Concrete Resurfacer, 20 Lb

A special blend of portland cement, sand, polymer modifiers and other additives. Designed to provide a shrinkage compensated repair material for making thin repairs to sound concrete in need of surface renewal. Great for sidewalks, pool decks, driveways,

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How to Remove Grease and Oil from Concrete Floor

Concrete Oil Grease StainIf you suspect grease and oil are contaminating the surface of the garage floor, these surfactants must be removed before coatings are applied.  Unfortunately, grease and oils are commonly found on existing concrete floors.  Dark spots are one such indication that grease and oil are present. 

A quick test is to sprinkle a little water on the floor to see if  beads up.  Grease and oil will bead water or it may indicate a sealant or concrete curing agent is present.  Another quick test is to apply duct tape to the suspected area and if the tape pulls away very easily, grease or oil are present. 

To remove grease and oil apply a granular oil dry compound (or kitty litter) to the dark spots and areas where it is obvious that oil and grease are present. Allow to stand overnight and then sweep up the compound.  Then,  apply a good commercial oil and grease remover, following the manufacturers recommendations. An electric floor buffer with a scrub pad or a stiff bristle brush helps to work in the degreasing agent.  Another good degreaser is a strong solution of TSP (TriSodium Phosphate).  Be sure to use protective gloves and goggles.  After scrubbing, rinse the area well and allow to dry.  Pressure washers work well for rinsing if available.

The floor color should now be relatively uniform. If there are remaining dark spots, test with a drop of  muriatic acid on the spots. If the acid bubbles, the floor is probably ok to coat. If the acid doesn’t bubble, the contaminents still exist and the floor must be degreased again. Repeat these steps until the floor is completely free of grease and  oil.


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