Epoxy is a long-lasting, tough resin you can apply to concrete. This material is typically applied on the garage floor for a beautiful, oil and grease resistant finish. The good news is, you do not have to hire a professional to apply epoxy on your garage floor. Just keep these tips in mind and you will achieve a sparkling clean finish that will last for years to come:
Prepping the Floor
The single most important aspect of a paint job is prep work. If you failed to prep the floor, the epoxy will not adhere to the surface properly. You want to spend the day surveying the area to prep. Eliminate oil spots and grime using a mild acid. Rinse the floor several times for best results.
On your second day, you have to fill any cracks to achieve an even finish. This job does not require special tools but we recommend renting a power floor scrubber with a stiff brush attachment.
Checking for Moisture and Weather
Moisture will affect how well the epoxy adheres to the floor. If the floor is constantly exposed to dampness, it is not suitable for epoxy coating. The same thing goes if the concrete sealer was used previously. If the floor is new, you have to wait for a minimum of 28 days up to 20 months to dry and cure the floor before applying the coating. If the floor was painted, remove all traces of the paint before going ahead with the project.
The weather is equally important too. The last thing you want is a ruined floor thanks to a 15-minute rain shower! The ideal temperature for applying epoxy on the garage floor is a minimum of 55 degrees Fahrenheit and air temperature between 60 and 90 degrees for curing or drying the epoxy surface.
What Epoxy to Use?
There are different types of epoxy formulas to consider: 100% solid, solvent and water based. Usually, the resin comes in two separate parts. You have to mix both parts well before applying it.
100% solid is made from pure epoxy. This product does not contain solvents of any kind. It is the most expensive of all types of epoxy. Because 100% solids harden very fast, the application may be difficult for a DIY-er. This product is best left to the pros.
Solvent-based epoxy contains 40% to 60% solids. This product adheres well to the surface and is most preferred by pros. Solvent-based epoxies come in various colors. However, because it contains solvents, solvent-based epoxy generates fumes that are potentially hazardous to the health. Applying this product will require a respirator or a facemask that effectively blocks noxious fumes. Make sure the respirator fits your face very well so you do not breathe in the fumes! Also, solvent-based epoxy is harder to find.
Water-based epoxy comes in two parts that have to be mixed together before application. It contains about 40% to 60% solids. Unlike solvent-based epoxy, water-based epoxy does not generate noxious fumes upon application. In addition, water-based epoxy is very accessible. You can get it from your local hardware store.