Whenever Steve and I are with a potential client, we make every effort to educate them on pros and cons for the various types of products available on the market today. While those things are important to know, the most valuable nugget we share is the proper installation process.
A quality installation of a full chip system will include at least three layers: base coat, 100% coverage of chip and a topcoat. Full chip coverage is important because that is what provides the texture on the floor adding protection against slipping. Sparse chip coverage provides no anti-slip protection. Expect the installation process on a standard two car garage with no existing coating to take a full day. Add a day if there is a coating that needs to be removed. Once the topcoat is applied you will need to let the coating cure. Our Polyurea product will cure and be suitable for 100% use within 24 hours. Most epoxies reach full chemical cure within 7 days of application.
Garage Force offers a commercial grade topcoat as a fourth layer that we use in commercial spaces or in residential spaces where the homeowner uses their garage a bit more aggressively than the typical homeowner. This would add half a day to the installation process.
When interviewing contractors, if the contractor tells you a good acid wash is sufficient preparation of the concrete surface, walk away. RUN! While the surface will be super clean, this does nothing to prepare the substrate and allow the base coat to adhere properly for a solid coating foundation. The best way to properly prepare the concrete substrate is to use commercial shot blasters or commercial grinders with diamond tooling. Also be wary if anyone tells you they can apply a coating over your existing epoxy floor coating. This approach does nothing to solve the root cause for your failing epoxy floor.
We certainly understand the appeal of trying a DIY kit. They are indeed cost effective if you don’t include your time and labor. The problem with DIY kits is that they never supply you with enough product to get the right coverage on your floor. And it is likely you don’t already have the proper equipment or tools to do the job properly.
At the end of the day, if the floor is not properly prepared and a disciplined installation process is not followed, it does not matter what product you choose or who you partner with for your project, the coating will ultimately fail.
For more information on how to navigate through your project and discuss all the solutions we offer, call Garage Force DFW North West at (817) 888-8474.