The installation process starts with determining the type of concrete you have depending on its hardness, moisture content, and structural condition. Each of these variables contributes to how we approach the next and most important step—concrete preparation.
Our main form of preparation is shot blasting, which extends the life of your floor by giving you the greatest adhesion possible. Blastrac Walk-Behind Shot Blasting Systems use a high performance, airless, centrifugal wheel for propelling blast media at a high velocity, in a controlled pattern and direction.
Metal abrasives, thrown by the rapidly rotating blast wheel, are accelerated toward the surface being prepared. The media strikes the surface and rebounds, along with the removed contaminants, into a recovery chamber or separator. The dust collector removes pulverized abrasives, dust, and contaminants. Very little abrasive is lost and the usable media is returned to the storage hopper for recirculation by the blast wheel.
Different surface profiles can be achieved by varying the shot size, shot flow rate, and machine travel speed. Shot blasting produces the most course profile while removing any deteriorated or weak concrete, leaving the surface immediately ready for coating. This is the number one form of preparation used in the coatings industry today.
In applications where a shot blaster is not preferred we use a diamond grinding process. Typically this process is used when you have soft deteriorated concrete or a thick preexisting coating. The use of course grit diamonds or polycrystalin diamonds help us achieve the required profile. Our diamond grinders consist of eight rotating heads. By varying the grits and bonds used, diamond grinders can be affective on differing concrete types. Diamond grinders are especially helpful when cracks or joints are at different profiles and need to be leveled.
In the case of many floors in Minnesota, we have to use special menders and fillers in order to fix any pits, cracks, and/or spalls that are present in the existing concrete floor.
- First we use a diamond grinder with a V-blade to open up and abrade both sides of the crack. By doing this, we gain additional surface area for better product adhesion.
- Next we mix our mender material and overfill the crack.
- When the material is fully cured (typically seven to ten minutes) we grind the overfilled material flush with the concrete surface. This leaves the floor smooth and level.
- All floor pits are prepped using the shot blaster to clean and remove weak concrete. This gives the damaged area a course profile for our repair material to bond to.Next, just like repairing a crack, we mix our mender material and overfill the pit.
- When the material is fully cured (typically seven to ten minutes) we grind the overfilled material flush with the concrete surface. This will leave the floor smooth and level.
- We prepare all spalled areas just like we repair pits. We use the shot blaster to remove all the deteriorated concrete. The remaining concrete is strong and ready for our repair material to bond to it.
- Next, depending on the severity of the spalling, we mix up a small to large batch of mender material and use a trowel/squeegee to pull the material into the spalled areas. Again, we over fill these areas to be able to grind them back down. This step may be repeated on floors with severe spalling.
- When our material is fully cured (typically seven to ten minutes) we grind the overfilled material flush with the concrete surface. We check to make sure that all the areas are level with the floor and refill any uneven areas.
We feel that it is best to leave all control joints open to allow for the movement of the concrete and relieve the stress. Although, control joints can be filled if specified.
The repair process is followed by vacuuming the floor and using a leaf blower to flush out any remaining debris.
Typically in garage floor applications we will apply a polyurea full chip coating system.
Prior to coating the floor we will start with coating all vertical surfaces:
- “Curbing” is the vertical surface typically found around the perimeter of the concrete slab.
- Stairs (Concrete or Wood)
We start by mixing up a small amount of our base coat, a 100% solids self-priming pure polyurea, which we brush on to all vertical surfaces. Next, we use a scraper to pull the pile of chip vertically against the wall, leaving the surface fully covered. We then vacuum to recover any loose chip left behind on the floor.
Coating the Floor (Base Coat)
We start by mixing a small amount of our base coat, a 100% solids self-priming pure polyurea, which is used to cut in all the edges around the floor.
When the floor edges are cut in, we mix one gallon of base coat at a time and spread it out at a rate of approximately 175 sq. ft. This is achieved by pouring the mixed coating onto the floor in a line and using a roller/squeegee, to spread the material in an even manner to the desired thickness. We repeat the mixing and rolling process until the whole surface is covered completely.
Broadcasting the Color Flake
When the floor is coated completely, we mix our flake in a big tub to insure an even blend of colors. We then broadcast the flake into the wet coating by hand, covering the whole floor with the flakes. By using mass quantities of flakes, we ensure that the floor is completely covered, leaving it uniform in color and texture.
The drying period on our basecoat is typically a 45-60 minute cure time depending on outside temperatures.
Scraping of the Chip
Once our basecoat is fully cured we “scrape” down the flake. With metal blade scrapers we walk along the floor surface putting pressure on the blade to “cut” and “scrape” any loose or vertically standing flakes. In most applications we scrape the floor from front to back and also side-to-side to ensure we have hit all angles of the chip. This results in the floor having a nice even texture. At this time we also scrape vertical surfaces by hand to knock down any loose flake. We then vacuum to recover any loose chip left behind on the floo.
Clear Coat Application
After our floor is prepped, coated, flaked, scraped, and vacuumed, we can start our final step — the application of the clear coat. Typically, we use a 96% solids Polyaspartic Polyurea UV stable clear coat that is applied at a rate of 145-160 sq. ft. per gallon. We start by clear coating all of the vertical surfaces and then brushing the perimeter of the floor itself. With the clear coat, instead of mixing one gallon of product at a time, we mix the entirety of the product needed to cover the whole floor. We pour the mixed product directly on to the floor and use a soft squeegee to spread the coating to our desired thickness. Then we use an 18 inch roller to back and cross roll the floor. This takes out any lines left behind by the squeegee and leaves a nice and even clear coat over the entire floor.
Your New Floor Coating
At this point we clean up and leave the floor to dry. After four to six hours you can confidently walk on your new coating and after 24 hours you can park and drive on the coating. We hope you fully enjoy your new floor!