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Floor Preparation For Concrete

No matter what type of flooring option you are going to choose for your new project, the floor preparation phase is going to be the most important. If you don’t get this right then there really isn’t much hope that you are going to get the results that you want. Unfortunately, this is usually the most boring and tedious part of the process so many people try to take short cuts and this ends up costing in the end. I understand why you would want to just cruise through this part and get to the fun part of painting or coating but you really do need to understand that this work is tied to how your floor will end up looking.
No matter what the coating material or flooring you use, the sub-base will have an effect. If you are going to paint something on, whether it is a latex, acrylic, or epoxy, you have to get a good bond with the surface or the product will just peel right up. There can be no contamination. If you are laying tile with adhesive then you must have a surface that the adhesive will adhere to so the tiles will stay down where you put them, also you need a surface with no bumps because that will telegraph right through the vinyl tile. Even if you install a floating floor system it is important that the surface be absolutely smooth so you don’t feel lumps and bumps.
Concrete Floor Preparation
If you are wondering about garage floor preparation before installing an epoxy coating (the most popular for the garage) then cleanliness is going to be the big issues. You will also want to be sure the surface is ready to accept the resin and hardener mixture. The two main problems faced will be if you have any oil or grease stains and if the concrete slab has a sealer on it. Both of these will affect the bonding action of the floor coating.
Start your concrete slab preparation by brooming off any dirt and foreign matter and then looking for loose pieces of the surface. All of this needs to be removed first. Next, scrub the floor surface with soap and water to get any remaining dirt. Now you are ready to check for stains and sealers. This is done with the water bead test.
First, spray a light coating of water onto the surface of the floor. Then note how the water reacts. If it appears to soak into the concrete then you are ready to move onto the next stage. If it beads ups then you have more work to do. If you only see beads in some areas then this usually indicates that you have petroleum contamination which will affect the bond. Use a degreaser in these areas and scrub with a stiff bristle brush or floor broom. Rinse and check again. If you still have beading, or if you see beading over all or a large portion of the floor then you probably have a sealer that will need to be removed.

You can remove a sealer either with mechanical means or with sealant removers. The mechanical removal process will include such things as grinding and shot blasting. Both of this have a negative effect on the smoothness of the surface and they take a long time. You will be better off to use a stripper. These can be caustic based or solvent based depending on the type of coating you are trying to remove. Caustic strippers work well with alkyds, latex, or enamel paints but not for epoxies or polyurethanes. Solvent based strippers work on resin type products like epoxy and polyurethane but they need to be kept liquid in order to work. Once the solvent evaporates the stripping action stops and you need to apply more. Both solvents and caustics are hazardous to plants, animals, and humans. Be sure to absolutely follow all safety directions.
Once everything is stripped and cleaned off, if you are going to use a resin product, then you will want to etch the floor as part of the cement floor preparation. This is done with a weak solution of Muriatic acid. As you know any acid can be harmful so be very careful that you follow all safety precautions as listed on the container. Even the runoff when you rinse the etching solution off can be harmful so don’t just let it run onto your grass or plants as it may kill them. Also, be sure to keep all animals away.
If you are doing vinyl floor preparation or you intend to lay down a floating laminate then you don’t need to go through the etching process. But for the most common garage floor coatings it is highly recommended.

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Are you looking for up to date information on Garages, Floors, and Coatings? If so, this is the place you need to be.

This site came about one day because I was looking for the Best Floor Coating to install in my garage. I just couldn’t find any good information that would help me to make a decision.

I was complaining about the lack of a good site and so I decided to just do it my self. This is the result. A place where you can get unbiased answers and ask questions. I hope you find it useful.

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