In the past, concrete floor protection used to be simply a matter of finding a good protective coating. Today, this still remains the primary purpose for applying a floor coating over a concrete surface. However, today floor coatings offer even more perks, such as making a concrete surface more attractive, besides skid resistance.
Using a floor coating makes it easier to maintain the surface, as well as give increase the life span of your garage floor. If you live in Minnesota and are in the market for a residential floor coating, here are some basic considerations when selecting a product.
Consider Coating Thickness
Generally, the thicker the coating, the better the performance a floor coating will give you. Floor coverings are available in various thicknesses. The thinnest films run from 1 to 10 mils. A thicker film, which is classified as “high build”, ranges from 10 to 30 mils. Slurries range in thicknesses of 40 to 125 mils. The thickest ones are called “toppings and overlays” and range from 125 mils to 1/2” thick or even thicker.
Consider the Types of Floor Abuse
When choosing a thickness, consider how much floor abuse your concrete floor will probably have to endure. Foot traffic is one of the main types of abuse a garage floor can be subjected to. There’s also the wear and tear from equipment being regularly used on a floor, such as the steel or rubber wheels from a wheel barrel.
Determine the amount of chemical exposure your floor will have. This doesn’t include minor spills, but a floor that has regular chemical exposure. Floor impact is another important concern when choosing a floor coating. Of course, a floor that will undergo a lot of direct impact from heavy loads will need a thicker coating.
Consider the amount of thermal shock a floor will have. Exposure to extreme temperature changes, such as steam cleaning a floor, can make the surface expand, compromising the quality of the finish. Don’t forget that even here in Minnesota, we can jump from a cold winter to a hot summer without even enjoying mild spring weather.
Consider the Type of Polymer
Residential floor coverings are grouped into polymer types. The most popular ones are polyureas and epoxies. Polyureas provide more flexibility than epoxy coatings, which is so important during the transition from summer to cold weather when concrete is freezing. This can cause the ground to shift and expand, resulting in cracked and fractured floor coatings. It only takes 24 hours for this polymer to completely cure, which is another advantage over epoxy coatings, which can take much longer.
Epoxy is known for resisting moisture and dust. This makes it easier to clean a garage floor and keep it looking clean. Also, epoxy rarely attracts mildew and mold. But because mildew and mold is more of an issue in warmer climates, polyureas can be a better choice for Minnesota homeowners.
Urethanes are the polymers that are mostly used for high-build coatings as they’re remarkably abrasion resistant and offer outstanding wear. They’re also able to accept stain and chemical enhancements. Additionally, urethanes do a superior job of retaining gloss and are exceptionally stain and chemical resistant. You can also find vinyl, methyl, polyester, ester and other polymers.
Advantages of a Full-Chip Floor for Your Minnesota Garage
A full-chip floor is a good choice for Minnesota homeowners because of our harsh winter conditions. Think about all the slush, snow and water you and your family bring into your garage in cold weather.
Even worse, your vehicles drag in winter slush every time you drive them into your garage. But by having a full-chip surface, your garage floor has the right texture to prevent this problem. This makes your floor safer as there’s less likelihood of slipping.
Additional Considerations and Cautions
- Residential floor coatings come in both smooth and textured finishes.
- For your floor to last as long as possible and be guaranteed, it’s critical that you give it proper, periodic maintenance.
- Usually, installing a floor coating involves a tight schedule. Consider that the surface temperature at the installation time can determine the type of material that’s used.
Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We offer both residential and commercial floor coverings, using polyureas throughout our entire flooring coating system because of their exceptionally ability to endure Minnesota winters. Our fully insured and licensed installers have an excellent reputation for providing outstanding service. Please call us and learn more about how we can help you.