Garage Floor Refinishing
Garage Floor Refinishing 101
Garage floor refinishing offers a better option for homeowners wanting to revitalize their concrete. It is easier and cheaper than replacing the floor completely. The process is also relatively quick. Even a large garage can be refinished in less than a day. Afterward, it will take another 24 hours before the floor can be walked on again and about three days before you will want to park your car on it. With a complete floor replacement, on the other hand, you are looking at a huge project that will takes weeks and cost thousands of dollars. You will need a professional as this job is usually way too big for a DIY guy or gal. But, such actions are not required with refinishing, as the process can be completed in just a few simple steps.
These steps begin with a thorough garage floor cleaning. Sweep up any visible dust or dirt. If there are fixtures that you cannot move (like attached floor to ceiling length shelving or your furnace), cover them up in plastic to avoid splashing. Complete your cleaning by pressure washing your floors. Use a degreasing agent to dissolve any oil stains.
After your floor is thoroughly cleaned, you need to investigate its existing finish. If the existing garage floor paint is not chipping, you will want to keep it intact as it can serve as a base coat. It is recommended that you roughen the surface with a sander. From there, you could either apply an opaque sealant to make the paint glossier, or you could start over with a colorized sealant.
However, if the paint is chipping, you will need to remove it completely. Paint strippers offer the easiest method for removal, but this is assuming the floor’s paint responds. If the paint does not fizzle, you will need to take more extreme action for removal. Enter the floor grinder. It will remove all of your existing paint without chemicals or complex construction procedures. All you have to do is run it over your flooring. This is a great job for your teenager who needs a lesson in hard work.
At this point, for the best results, most floor refinishing kits will recommend that you etch the surface to improve bonding. This is done with a weak Muriatic acid solution that you spread on and let work. After the mixture quits working you can rinse it off with a lot of water. I mean a lot. Remember, this is an acid and if you just let it wash onto your grass or plants then you will more than likely cause damage.
Next, you need to repair any cracks that are on your concrete. DIY kits are best for quick filling. Make sure they are epoxy-based, as epoxies can solidify themselves within the opening. Then, after the filler has been applied, sprinkle sand over the area. Wait for the filler to dry and then vacuum up the sand.
Now comes the fun part: the actual refinishing process. It is the simplest of all the steps, as all you really have to do is roll epoxy or polyurea sealant over the concrete. A basic ½” nap roller roller will do fine for beginning handymen. As for the sealant itself, consider going with a kit yet again. Some brands will give you an all-in-one finishing solution, where you get sealants, etchers and decorative paint chips in the same package. You will still have to mix the components together, but the process is straightforward. Usually it as simple as placing the elements of Can A into Can B. Make sure you apply the non skid material that either comes with the kit or you can purchase separately. This type of garage floor coating is very slick and you can fall if you don’t have a material on top to help with your footing.
The final step of garage floor refinishing involves waiting for the sealant to dry. The exact amount of time varies depending on which paint you use, but in general you should give it at least 18 hours before you walk on it and about 3 days before driving. In the meantime, open up the garage door to help the area ventilate. You do not want the smell of paint to linger in your garage, as that is very unhealthy for the body.
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