If you are planning on resurfacing your garage floor with a polyaspartic or epoxy coating there are some things to know to prevent problems later.
1. Moisture in Concrete
Concrete is mixed with water, which is a clear statement, but what happens during the curing procedure? The water combined with ash, sand, aggregates, and water makes a chemical reaction that turns the mixture into a hard substance. The curing cycle called hydration is part of the chemical process. Excess moisture will make its way to the surface leaving a trail behind it. As moisture rises to the surface, the concrete hardens and the path behind the water is an air hole or a vein. The moisture pressure pushes up and moves towards the surface through these pores.
2. Checking Moisture in Your Slab
The easiest way is to stick plastic tape to the floor in some areas. You can put heavy rubber mats on the floor as well. If after 24-48 hours you have concentration underneath, you have a moisture problem. It is possible to obtain various readings at different times of the year. In colder climates, it will have a minimum of humidity in winter or early spring that may enhance when the soil melts. If your concrete is above ground level with a basement below, it is likely to have little moisture.
3. Choosing a Coating
There are epoxies and polyaspartic products to cover the floor of a garage. What you choose to prepare the surface is the most significant first step. The cracks must be filled with a polyurea filler to obtain better results. The polyureas can be thin sufficient to fully fill a crack in the bottom. Your concrete is probably about four inches thick. A crack will cross all the way. Fill the crack to the bottom with a filler that will cure below ground level, absorb the walls of the crack and bending will prevent moisture vapor from moving to the surface. There are also some heavy duties epoxies designed for waterproofing that are an outstanding alternative.
4. Open the Pores of the Concrete
The next step is to engrave, granulate or grind the surface to provide an increased surface area or open the pores of the concrete. Burn with a gel acid is an effective way to profile the concrete with results like those of the shot blasting machine. Shot blasting is the process of shooting thousands of small ball bearings on the surface. Either process will erode the feel of the surface like 100-grit sandpaper. This is the process before applying a garage floor coating. Check here.
5. Floor Grinding
Grinding the floor is another method of surface preparation that opens the air holes and veins of the concrete while eliminating the highs and lows of the floor. This is the right process if an epoxy coating is used. These two materials are different from epoxies. The polyureas are absorbed in the ventilation holes and veins of the concrete and, in fact, cover the surface to prevent moisture damage. Epoxies do not have the ability to absorb in concrete. Instead, they adhere to the surface. The etching or shot blasting process considerably increases the area of the surface for the epoxy to stick to.
If you have little traffic and there is no moisture, you can get away with epoxy paint. In a garage, a high-performance epoxy is the best option to resist hot tires caused by friction on the road and chemicals that can fall to the floor. If moisture is a problem, properly prepared the soil with a tackling garage floor coating is your best option.