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Applying Epoxy Coating to Your Garage Flooring

October 18, 2010

Many times we don't think about our garages or pay much attention to their appearance. They are merely a place to park the cars and store the extra boxes of Christmas decorations and such. However, like any other room in your house your garage floor needs to be taken care of. Because of the use it gets, combined with water, gas and oil that will inevitable be spilled upon it, garage flooring can easily become damaged and begin to fall apart after a few years of use. Epoxy coating is one solution to your garage flooring challenge. Epoxy coating applies a layer of sealant and protectant to your concrete garage floor to help it resist staining, moisture problems and helps it maintain its appearance.

Installing epoxy flooring takes a little up-front preparation before beginning. The most important step in the process is making sure that the floor you are going to apply the epoxy coating onto is free of moisture, residual paint and does not have a cement sealer or other finishing applied to it.

To test for moisture, take a sheet of plastic and take it to a 3-foot x 3-foot area using masking tape. Keep it there for about two days and then remove and check for any moisture collecting on the side of the plastic facing the floor. If moisture is present, than an epoxy flooring coating is not suitable as epoxy needs a dry surface to properly bond with the flooring.

Next, we'll test to make sure the flooring does not have a sealant already applied to it. This test will also check for the presence of oils in the cement as well. Take a cup of water and pour it directly onto the existing flooring. It should soak into the floor in a reasonable amount of time. If it beads or just sits on top of the flooring then the flooring has probably already been sealed or contains oil contaminants. Epoxy flooring is not suitable for cement floors that have already been sealed or contain any type of oil residue as it will not bond.

Finally, if you are willing to spend several months testing an area of your garage floor for suitability to installing epoxy flooring you can paint a small area with regular, oil-based enamel. If this test area lasts for several months then it is likely an epoxy coating will last as well. However, if you decide to proceed with applying the epoxy coating you will need to remove this enamel coating which will require sanding.

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