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Tips On Choosing Garage Floor Coatings

When choosing which of the many available garage floor coatings available there are many items that must be taken into consideration.  It can be a waste of money if you don’t understand all the aspects of you new garage flooring system.  The most important aspect of getting a great floor job that you are happy with is to spend time before hand choosing the product and then preparing the existing surface of the floor to accept the coating and allow for proper adhesion.  If the floor is not properly prepared you will not get a result you are happy with as you will be busy patching holes and bubbled coating.

The first decision to make is which garage floor coating method you will choose.  The majority of people choose an epoxy product because it gives a good tough, durable finish that can last for years.  Epoxy floor coatings are wear and chemical resistant which is important if you are planning to do any types of repairs or maintenance in your garage.  No mater how hard you try there will be spills and you definitely don’t want a coating that will bubble up and peal off if it gets something like gasoline or brake fluid spilled on it.

Epoxies consist of two parts, a resin and a hardener.  The resin by itself is not very durable and would never stand up to any kind of traffic.  When the hardener is mixed with the resin there is a chemical reaction that makes the surface very strong.  A good example of this type of product is fiberglass.  Although fiberglass resin will eventually dry when left to the air, the VOC’s will dissipate, it ends up being soft and pliable and it does not have any adhesion characteristics.  But, if you add a hardner to the resin it will cure very hard indeed and structural components such as boat hulls and camper shells have been manufactured with this method for years.  This is definitely an example of two compounds when mixed together which are much better than the sum of the characteristics of the individual items.

When you are choosing which garage floor coatings to use one thing to consider is the level of VOC’s.  VOC stands for volatile organic compounds.  These are organic compounds whose physical characteristics include a high enough vapor pressure that they will vaporized significantly under normal conditions in the earth’s atmosphere.  There are many, many types of volatile organic compounds and they may be harmful or toxic if breathed.  These VOCs may be manmade (synthetic) or natural occurring.  Generally a rule of thumb indicates that if the nose detects a smell for the compound it is usually a VOC.

The reason that VOCs are important when deciding on a garage floor epoxy coating is because garages are usually enclosed and these compounds have been found to cause several health problems including respiratory concerns and possible links to leukemia and lymphoma.  There are two options if you want to limit your exposure (and you definitely should).  Some epoxy garage floor products are advertised as low VOC or minimal odor.  These are usually water based and although not as tough as the solvent-based products, they will do a good job in a normal home garage.  The other option is to be sure there is very good ventilation while you are mixing and applying the product.  Opening the windows and doors and creating a cross draft with a fan will usually give you the proper amount of air circulation.  You can also wear a respirator which has been approved for VOC atmospheres but these are fairly uncomfortable. Be sure to always follow the safety instructions that come with the particular epoxy garage floor coatings you are using.

Another issue when it comes to safety is the clean up of any product you have accidentally got on your skin.  You should always wear non-porous gloves that reach above the forearm to limit splashing onto the arm.  Also wear a long sleeve shirt and long pants with shoes and socks.  Some compounds can actually be absorbed through the skin so you want to limit exposure.  Cleaning any spills from your skin should also only be done by following the safety advice that comes with the particular product.  Cleaning by the use of solvents can actually introduce the chemicals through the skin.  Many people use vinegar as good way to get the resin and hardener off without using dangerous solvents.

A third consideration is which surface to use.  You can either choose a gloss surface or a non-skid surface.  The non-skid is recommended if you plan to have any type of liquid on the floor as the glossy surface can become very slick.  The non-skid comes in two styles.  There can be a substance added to the resin, such as silicon sand, or an antiskid additive can be added broadcast style after the compound is rolled out and before it cures.  Usually the broadcast method gives a more aggressive surface.

These are a few of the garage floor coatings issues to think about.  Epoxy based floor systems have been used for decades and they are safe when applied by the instructions.  Be sure to follow all the guidelines and you will have a result that will give you good longevity for years to come.


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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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