5 Steps For Preparing Garage Floors For Epoxy Coating Installation

Epoxy coatings are a durable and attractive way to protect your garage floor against stains and damage. You can choose from a variety of colors, add designs, and even texture the coating so it's slip-resistant. These coatings are strong enough to last decades, as long as the concrete is properly prepared prior to installation.

1. Moisture Concerns

Moisture present in the concrete can prevent the epoxy from adhering properly. For this reason newly poured concrete must cure completely before coating application, which is a process that can take a month or longer depending on relative humidity. Moisture in the air due to weather or trapped humidity in the garage must also be removed, so your installer may need to run a dehumidifier in the space for a few days in advance of the coating installation.

2. Existing Sealers

On older garage floors it's not uncommon to find sealer over the surface. These sealers are often applied soon after installation in order to provide a waterproof barrier and protect the floor. Even if the floor is old and the sealer is wearing off, some may remain that can interfere with the epoxy coating application. Your installer must check the floor thoroughly for the presence of sealers so they can be sure to remove it completely before application.

3. Crack Repairs

Coatings can be applied on garage floors with minor damages, such as small cracks, as long as there are no gaping holes or crumbling materials. First, these damages must be repaired, though, so that the coating goes on smooth and with no cracks of its own. Generally, an epoxy-concrete mix is used as a filler, as traditional latex fillers tend to shrink and damage the epoxy surface over time. 

4. Stain Removal

Although a coating will cover most stains, you must ensure there are no longer any staining materials left on the floor that could interfere with the epoxy adhesion. Oil and grease stains are particularly problematic when it comes to coating installation. Your installer will use a special absorbent product that helps pull out any oil from the concrete. They may also need to pressure wash and then thoroughly dry the floor to remove surface penetrating stains.

5. Surface Grinding

The final step is grinding and cleanup. Grinding removes things like mastic, glue, old sealer, and paint from the floor. It will also level out and smooth the filler from any repairs. Finally, a slightly ground-down surface provides texturing so that the coating clings to the floor more securely. After grinding, all the dust is cleaned up and the coating application begins.

Your garage floor coating installer can further help with preparing your garage for its new epoxy coating.