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boba7523 08-18-2008 11:02 AM

Epoxy Garage Flooring
Hi guys, I'm thinking of laying epoxy onto my new cement garage floor. I've heard some bad things about the epoxy peeling after 2-3 yrs. To anyone using epoxy for their garage flooring, how is it holding up? I've read on the 2 other epoxy threads and it's helped me a lot. Thanks.

Bud Cline 08-18-2008 09:07 PM

Epoxy wouldn't be a problem. Moisture is the problem. You would have to determine if your garage floor is subject to ongoing or even occaisional rising moisture.:)

boba7523 08-18-2008 09:23 PM

I saw somewhere on this forum about how to test the moisture of the floor, might you have any idea? Also, how can I get the most accurate reading out of my moisture testing? I mean, moisture and humidity level is different in different seasons.

drillbit 08-18-2008 10:34 PM

I have been researching different concrete treatments.

My thought is that a polished slab is the best possible scenerio. It is what I plan to do to my slab.

Paints, epoxys and sealers will deteriorate over time. The most permanent, maintenance free finish is a polish. Even still this requires alot of prep and an occasional buffing here and there depending on use. However, I think it might be worth it, in my case.

I guess it is what you want, versus what you want to upkeep.

The moisture test is to put water on the slap and see if any area beads up. Like wax on a car. In those places the sealer/epoxy will not adhere.

Perhaps someone more experienced will chime in.

I am interested in this subject as well, and I wish you good luck.

ccarlisle 08-19-2008 07:04 AM

Well, one of the main things you want to establish in a concrete slab in a garage setting is the amount of moisture underneath it and how much of that will permeate into the garage space itself, as Bud says. For that, you do a simple test to see what is coming through. You tightly tape down a square foot of plastic onto the floor and let it sit for 24+ hours. Clear plastic is best. Take it off and note the amount of water on the underside of the plastic. None = you're OK to go...but more than a droplet or two means that somewhere down the road, the finish you put onto the floor will lift.

Epoxies give you great shine and resisitance to garage chemicals (oil, gas etc) and the better systems are 2-components mixtures of resin and hardener. But no matter what you pay for an epoxy floor, the key is in the prior preparation of the concrete. Best is if it's been cleaned and neutralized...smooth, of course, and no cracks. Already that's a tall order for any floor and a huge requirement for any system - but the more you put into it now, the better the final product.

The best epoxy is on top of a dry, insulated, clean and polished floor. :( ...Like marines, few are chosen...

bob22 08-19-2008 07:39 AM

this month's the family handyman magazine has an article on garage floor painting including epoxies. It also does not suggest using the plastic film taped over the floor method; they recommend some calcium test but get the magazine for the details.

ccarlisle 08-19-2008 08:29 AM

The calcium chloride test is not within the means of every DIY'er out there; contractors use it sometimes but not homeowners.

The plastic film test is a visual, not a quantitative method to give you an idea of what may be a problem. For exact % moisture under there and what to do or not to do with your slab or foundation, go for the calcium chloride test. But you'll get a good idea what the extent of your problem will be.

Bud Cline 08-19-2008 04:32 PM

Moisture contents in slabs can change seasonally, there are other reasons that a slab can collect and emit moisture. The "plastic" test is a good start. If moisture develops then of course you know it is there and would want to pursue that issue using the Ca Cl (cackle - Calcium Chloride) test which will determine "how much" moisture is present, AT THAT TIME. All floor coverings have their limits when it comes to the moisture content of a slab. This includes topical coatings.

Ca Cl tests are used routinely by professional floor covering installers and retailers but can be costly in some opinions. Even if your floor has no moisture at this time doesn't mean it never will. At lot of factors determine when and how a cement slab attracts moisture.

If you were to entertain an acid stain finish the floor could then be coated with a "vapor-transmissive" sealer that would allow the floor to breath and would likely save the surface from delaminating over time if moisture was ever present.

normanr 10-17-2008 07:01 AM

Can anyone tell me how the clean the epoxy floor after it is completed? I have the 2 part quikcrete kits and sealer applied and having trouble with tire marks on the surface. Any ideas on what to use to clean?

Nestor_Kelebay 10-17-2008 08:07 PM

Norman R: I use ordinary paint thinner to clean rubber bicycle tire marks off of acrylic floor finish. Try that first. If that doesn't work as well as you like, try using a Magic Eraser to remove those tire marks. Other than that, I'd suggest that a regular sweeping and occasional damp mopping would be all you'd need. Epoxy is very stain resistant.

Carlisle said "You tightly tape down a square foot of plastic onto the floor and let it sit for 24+ hours. Clear plastic is best. Take it off and note the amount of water on the underside of the plastic. None = you're OK to go...but more than a droplet or two means that somewhere down the road, the finish you put onto the floor will lift."

A.) Why one square foot of plastic? Why wouldn't you get exactly the same results regardless of what size of plastic sheet you use?

B.) The problem with this is that it's an "all or nothing" measurement. If you don't see any water under that plastic when you pull it up, then you conclude there is ZERO moisture coming through the concrete, and that's not necessarily true. Had you left that plastic taped down for a little longer, you very well could have found condensation under it.

A better way is to buy a cheap hygrometer (measures relative humidity) from Lee Valley or any hobby shop. Slip that under the clear plastic and tape it's perimeter down to the floor. That way you can tell what's happening under that plastic while it's still taped down. You might find that the hygrometer needle goes from 30 to 90 percent in 26 hours. Without the hygrometer, you'll conclude that there's no moisture coming up through the concrete, and that would be wrong. You'd end up like so many others with peeling epoxy paint on your garage floor.

Also, the hygrometer doesn't have to be accurate or precise; a cheap one will do fine. You don't care what the hygrometer reading is, only whether or not it's detecting an increase in the humidity.

C.) Since this is a garage floor and not a basement floor, we need to mention that condensation depends on relative humidity, and relative humidity depends on temperature. If you put the plastic down during the heat of the day, you could find condensation under it at night, which may be gone again the following day. Also, falling day time temperatures could create condensation even if you don't have moisture coming out of the slab, and increasing day time temperatures could prevent condensation from forming even if water is coming out of the slab.

A concrete slab is a particularily good thermal mass. It's great weight means that it takes a long time to heat up or cool down to the temperature of it's surroundings. That means it maintains a much more consistant temperature from day to night, or over the span of several days and nights than ambient temperatures. So, if it wuz me, I'd lay a batt or two of insulation over that plastic to also keep the air under the plastic at that same relatively constant temperature too. Then, just pull up the batt(s) periodically to check the hygrometer reading to see if it's going up or not.

Drill Bit - Wouldn't polished concrete be pretty slippery when wet?
What about putting something like old scrap carpet (liberated from the dumpsters behind carpet retail outlets) on top of the concrete in winter? That would ensure good traction even when wet. Only problem is that then you couldn't see that nice polished concrete floor, only ugly old wet oil stained carpeting salvaged from someone's house. I like the idea of polished concrete because it wouldn't be as porous and wouldn't stain as easily as ordinary concrete floors. But, any smooth surface is slippery when wet, and that would be a definite disadvantage in places where snow falls in winter.

So, whaddaya think Bud? Did I just copy and paste this stuff out of some "Garage Floors 'R Us" website? Here's a hint:

jamiedolan 10-19-2008 01:13 PM

I did some research on the topic a couple months ago. I plan on doing my garage floor, but I won't have time till spring, so I don't have first hand experience.

I found this product: It is more of a commercial version of epoxy floor coating and is suppose to last more like 20 years. It is fairly expensive, but I like things I only have to do once. I plan to buy there product when I am ready to do my floor.

They respond to my e-mail messages with questions about there products. They also have some useful info on there web site and some photos of garages that were painted with there product -- they look really really sharp.


yesitsconcrete 10-20-2008 10:38 AM

have to say its extremely interesting reading all the posts on this thread,,, we do this item as part of our work so have used most of the methods listed depending on the circumstances,,, please list more as this is fun :thumbup:

proofer 10-24-2008 04:40 PM

I just picked up a couple of brochures on epoxy for the garage floor. There's products by Rust-oleum and Quikrete. Is one product better than the other? It says that it takes 3 hours to put down. I know the prep work will take a lot longer (getting up the oil stains, sealing the cracks, etc.). Has anyone done this recently that can share their experience? Do's and don'ts that I should know before going in? With these color flakes in the kit, although they call them "decorative," it seems like using them will also make it more skid-resistant.

yesitsconcrete 10-24-2008 05:18 PM

they're both fine &, probably, made by the same private labeler,,, 1 especially nice feature is the ease in which they're remov'd next year when you need to diy over.

we can't use them because we have to guarantee our work but that shouldn't stop you a bit,,, fwiw, my daughter's b/f decided to do her floor just as a favor :laughing: w/apron store mtl,,, think it lasted 1wk before hot tires started to pick up the finish :whistling2:

who says cracks have to be sealed, how prep'd, & w/what sealant ? ? ? if you seal the crks w/epoxy, they'll just reflect back,,, if you seal w/sealant, epoxy won't adhere,,,

vinyl flakes're for hiding imperfections in a poorly laid floor rather'n add skidproofing imn-s-hfo,,, since most of our epoxy floors're protected w/urethane top coats, we don't often use flakes,,, my own garage'll have acid-stain/urethane (7d keep-off-it) OR poly-aspartic (1d k-o-i),,, my bride hasn't decided yet :thumbsup:

proofer 10-24-2008 05:18 PM

I can't tell, so I'll ask. Are you kidding about saying it doesn't last long? I don't want to go to all the work and spend $150 or so, and find out it's going to peel up soon.

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