The garage is the most neglected part of the house. It is because of this that it tend to gets smelly and dirty, and requires constant repairs. The floor space also needs to be constantly touched up with paint because it is utilized the maximum. This information is only to create awareness, and ultimately you will have to take the decision yourself depending on your preferences for the space.
Types of Coatings and Some Tips
Epoxy, polyurethane, acrylic sealer/stainer, and latex are the four kinds that are available in the market. Here is some information about them.
This is the most widely used as it forms a hard durable surface and a strong bond on the concrete. They are a much thicker coating than acrylic and are also believed to be very durable. Further, this covering tends to turn yellow and loses its gloss when it is exposed to sunlight for long periods of time. Remember to prepare the area, before applying the epoxy and ensure that it is completely free of dirt and dust. When that is done, wait for the right temperature and apply it. However, they are difficult to apply as they require thorough concrete preparation and the use of rollers. Moreover, they are time sensitive during the application. Epoxy dries to a touch in a few minutes, however, do wait for many days before you drive your car over it.
These can also give it a more attractive look by providing a somewhat wet and shiny appearance, or you can also opt for a matte finish that is less flashy. When applied, these dry to touch in a few hours. According to the weather conditions at the application time, they can be driven on the next day or earlier than that. It is better to opt for these with UV protection, as the exposed parts can turn yellow over a certain period of time.
Another alternative, polyurethane resists chemical spills much better than epoxy and does not even fade easily. Along with these features, it is a very durable one that dries to a high gloss. Unfortunately, it cannot be used on the floor directly. If you do plan to use polyurethane, you would need to first apply an epoxy primer on the floor and then the same.
The cheapest of all, latex paints are antique looking stains that can create a unique and warm finish. This paint covers imperfections on the concrete and is permanent. The stain coating can be damaged because of exposure to the sun, it is thus advisable to apply a protective coating over it.
Some Painting Tips
When you begin it, ensure that the area in which you are working is well ventilated. Also, wear eye protection and protective gloves in order to protect your hands and eyes against the chemicals.
To begin using the epoxy paint, sweep and clean the area thoroughly.
To remove the stains use a 3 to 1 water to bleach mixture, or a driveway or commercially-prepared cleaner. Use a sprayer to spray the cleaner on to the stains and allow it to soak for a few minutes. Once the time is over, scrub the stain using a stiff-bristle brush.
Now, starting at the back of the garage, rinse the area well with clean water. Use a pressure washer for tough stains.
After that is done, wait for the floor to dry. Use concrete or mortar-repair compound for smaller cracks and concrete patches to repair the smaller cracks and big cracks respectively. When the compound is being applied, make sure that the cracks are clean and dry.
Next, etch the surface of the concrete. Basically, this is a process wherein the pores of the concrete surface are opened. You can check if the floor needs to be etched by sprinkling a small amount of water on the same. If the floor absorbs the water, then the concrete does not need etching.
If you have to etch it, then let it dry thoroughly. To help with the drying process, you can switch on the fan.
Now use a long-handled paint roller to apply a primer coat. Remember to let it dry for at least 8 hours before applying the topcoat.
Use nylon brushes. The roller covers that you use, should be lint-free and solvent and water resistant.
Do a touch-up on the required areas once a year.