Have you ever wondered how professional companies prepare garage floor concrete for epoxy installation? If you’ve decided to have epoxy flooring added to your garage or another concrete surface, there are several prepping applications that an epoxy installation company will do to prepare your concrete floor so your epoxy design comes out the way you envisioned it.
Read on to learn how professional epoxy floor installers make sure your garage floor is ready for epoxy installation.
Fixing Concrete Substrate
An epoxy company that has any worth its salt will begin every epoxy floor project with a thorough evaluation of the concrete substrate. Are there any chips or cracks in the concrete? Is the concrete level? Most importantly, you can tell a professional epoxy installer from the rest when they can foresee issues with your concrete foundation that will impede the life of an epoxy floor. If you’ve got any unresolved moisture issues, for example, your epoxy floor is in serious jeopardy.
Being experts in concrete substrates in addition to epoxy formulations, professional epoxy installers know a thing or two about concrete repair and making sure your concrete can effectively take on an epoxy floor design.
All cracks in the concrete must be fixed. Most often, to successfully take care of cracked concrete, the crack is prepped and cleaned out to accept the filler. At Advanced Surface Solutions, we take a methodical approach to “opening up the cracks,” cleaning them out, and applying a formula that literally bites into the concrete crack and fills the crack with a solid seal. We even apply the formula beyond the crack for good measure.
To successfully accomplish the crack repair, we use nothing but commercial machinery and top-of-the-line products to get the job done right the first time.
Getting your concrete floor in good shape first allows the successful application of other epoxy floor prepping processes.
Acid etching is one of the oldest methods of concrete preparation that is also used for DIY epoxy applicators. This method is done by applying an acid solution to the concrete floor and spreading it out evenly using a scrubber or a stiff bristle broom.
The acid will have to stay on the concrete for up to 10 minutes to allow the process to take effect. Thereafter, the acid must be removed using a pressure washer or water blaster. Once the water has completely dried, you need to vacuum the floor to remove the residue.
As a final step, you need to neutralize any of the remaining acid residues. Using a high-quality household cleaner - we recommend Simple Green - add approximately 4oz of the cleaning solution to a gallon of water.
A diamond grinding machine is a type of concrete grinder that spins against the concrete floor. The grinder has a diamond-tipped disc, hence its name. The tool grinds away the top layer of the concrete to create an even, texture surface. Concrete grinding is also used for creating a non-slip texture on concrete or fixing small irregularities on concrete slabs. But for epoxy installation, diamond blasting helps prepare the concrete and restore the concrete's smoothness allowing for a stunning epoxy finish for your flooring.
Diamond blasting requires a side-by-side swaying motion to smoothen out the entire surface of your floor. Once completed, the concrete floor is vacuumed heavily to clear away any concrete residue and dust left behind. One word of caution: You should make sure to keep the grinder in motion to avoid grinding in circular rings and lowing spots on the floor.
Although diamond blasting machines are not as powerful as blasting machines, they have several advantages. Because of their ability to smoothen and level the surface of the concrete simultaneously, the machines are often used for showrooms, high-end garages, and retail spaces.
Shot blasting is a floor preparation technique used to remove debris and irregularities from concrete layers. It is almost similar to the sandblasting process but different in both execution and effectiveness.
As a significant difference, shot blasting utilizes a centrifugal blast wheel that shoots media or steel shots on the concrete surface at high velocity. The process cleans the surface from debris and other materials. Any concrete stains are quickly removed with the blasting technique.
Depending on the condition of the concrete floor, the shot media can vary from steel shot, cut wire, to nut shells. The media are loaded into a hopper that feeds the blast wheel. The entire process is called a “shot blast” because the media can blast off anything – from rust, old paints, and old epoxy to irregularities on the concrete floor.
In many garages with floor epoxy coating, workers often prefer diamond blasting because of its finer results. It removes even the tiniest residue from the concrete so the floor is ultimately ready for epoxy installation.
Installing an epoxy floor takes a bit of finesse and fine detail. There is an art and science to ensuring you have a beautiful epoxy floor. As professional epoxy floor installers, we are experts in concrete floor prepping as well as epoxy installation.
If you have any questions about epoxy garage floors, feel free to contact us or call us at 863.243.9508.