Garage Floor Care and Maintenance Tips | Best Pick Reports

Once a dark, neglected space, the garage is an area of the house that more homeowners are starting to pay closer attention to. Custom-designed storage shelving, built-in cabinets, and upgraded lighting are becoming mainstays in garage design and improvement. And along with walls and ceilings, the garage floor is also starting to get some special consideration with the rise in the applications of garage floor coatings.

The bare, cold concrete that has for decades been the standard garage floor endures for years but has a number of drawbacks. After only a few years of traffic and storage of heavy equipment, the concrete develops unsightly cracks. The porous nature of the concrete also contributes to more oil and fluid stains, which in turn hold onto more grime and dirt, leaving the concrete dingy-looking and difficult to clean. Homeowners commonly attempt to literally paint a good face on the garage floor by rolling a coat of oil-based paint over the surface, but this cover-up is usually ineffective. Water vapor escaping from the concrete leads to bubbling in the paint and heat from tires can peel it up, leaving the floor looking even worse. A much more permanent and elegant solution is to engage a professional garage floor coating installer.

Garage floor coating oor are usually epoxy or polyurea, and while epoxy tends to be slightly cheaper, most professionals prefer polyurea materials for their numerous advantages. Polyurea coatings are considered a vapor barrier and will not bubble or peel. They have a high tensile strength, which means that they can form a bridge for concrete cracks and construction or contraction joints up to one-eighth of an inch. The surface can be smoothed or have texture applied for a decorative or non-slip finish, and the material is available in many colors that will remain glossy and fade-resistant in the presence of UV ray exposure. In addition, polyurea applications are dry to the touch within two to four hours and cure within 24 to 36 hours, meaning the garage is returned to use more rapidly.

Professional installation is very important in garage floor coatings. Oftentimes the underlying concrete needs to be repaired or resurfaced in order to bring it to a uniform height and more even surface. Since the ployurea material tends to follow the contour of the underlying surface rather than fill in low-lying areas, careful preparation of the floor is key and can be the difference between a beautifully coated garage floor and a less-than-satisfying result.