Whether you spend a lot of your time working out in the garage and you want a nice, professional-looking work zone or you simply want your garage to look and feel clean, adding epoxy to your floor could be your answer. Epoxy is tough and durable and resists oil and moisture, making it much easier to keep your garage clean and stain-free!
Why should I consider epoxy?
Epoxy is one of the toughest, most durable finishes you can use on your garage floor. It protects against stains and moisture, it’s easy to clean, and it can give a garage an attractive, professional appearance. Epoxy is thick and strong; it won’t chip as easily as plain cement, and it stands up against chemical, oil, and other fluid spills.
Should I apply the epoxy myself?
The answer depends on several factors. Applying epoxy is not an easy task. The cement floor must be prepared first, or the epoxy may not adhere properly. Cracks or damaged areas need to be sealed and fixed, and special equipment must be used.
Before you start, you need to evaluate whether epoxy is even a viable option for you. First, determine what type of concrete you have; epoxy doesn’t work well on every type. Also, determine if moisture is coming up through your garage floor or if your floor has been previously treated with a sealer. You shouldn’t use epoxy in either of these cases.
If the concrete slab in your garage is brand new, you should wait a month or two before applying the epoxy. If the floor’s been painted previously, the paint may need to be removed before the epoxy is applied.
Preparing Your Garage
If you’ve gone through the list above and decided an epoxy is still a good option, you need to pick a warm, dry day to apply the coating; the temperature should fall between 60 and 90 degrees.
First, empty your garage. The entire floor should be cleared before you begin. This project could last up to five days, so you may need to rent a storage facility for your items temporarily. If you’re having a professional apply the covering, they may provide a storage unit for you.
Next, you’ll need to thoroughly clean the floor. Scrub and remove stains and debris using a concrete cleaner/degreaser, then vacuum it all up so the product doesn’t flow into the sewers. After vacuuming as best as you can, use a hose to spray out your garage and driveway. Then, sprinkle the floor with an acid/water solution, ensuring to carefully follow all safety precautions, and scrub the floor again. Rinse with water, flush, and squeegee, then let the floor dry overnight. When you come back to it the next day, it should be white.
Applying Epoxy to Your Floor
At this point, your floor should feel like sandpaper. It’s time to choose an epoxy! There are three main types: solid, water-based, and solvent-based. Research which type is best for you and your garage. You’ll need to apply two coats using proper protection—gloves, boots, goggles, and a respirator to avoid breathing in the fumes.
If you have any cracks or holes in your floor, you’ll need to patch them with an epoxy crack filler before applying the epoxy coats.
Make sure you follow all instructions precisely. You’ll need to use specific tools and materials to do the job right. If you’re a handy do-it-yourselfer, this could be a good project for you to take on. If not, leave it to the pros. To learn how to apply epoxy carefully and correctly (with detailed instructions), check out How to Apply Epoxy Floor Paint to Your Garage by The Family Handyman.
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