Home improvement stores offer DIY kits for installing garage floor coatings, but these fall a step below most professional jobs. Not only do they have to be composed of coating chemicals commercially available for consumers and so are potentially weaker than products available to professionals, they also don’t have all the equipment for a perfect preparation of the underlying floor and a strong finish. However, not all professional jobs are done to the same quality, either, and researching a company’s process before they start can mean the difference between a seamless floor coating that lasts for years of hard use and a floor that starts to crack once winter comes. Here are a few steps you should expect in a commercial floor coating procedure before you hire any particular company:
- Do they repair the underlying concrete before getting started? This floor preparation should come in two distinct forms: removing damaged material and adding high-quality filler. It is important that any installation process begins with removing damaged material because untreated concrete surfaces have been weakened by chemical exposure, physical impact, and even slight expansion and contraction due to the extreme temperature shifts in Minnesota. Experienced professionals remove the damaged top layer generally through shot blasting, which abrades the surface and takes away weakened concrete and contaminants. You also know you’re getting a quality coating when the specialists reconstruct the concrete flooring based on preexisting damage. Corners, stairs, and damaged areas of concrete develop cracks and pits over time, and those depressions or gaps should be filled and then sanding before the coating is applied. Untreated garage floors are also susceptible to spalling, which is splitting or crumbling that happens due to moisture in the concrete freezing and thawing throughout cold weather cycles.
- Do they take care with vertical surfaces? Just like how professional painters have an ordered procedure of what they paint first, floor coating experts start with vertical surfaces before they work on the horizontal floor. This includes the raised curb found around the edge of concrete floors, especially in residential garages, and stairs. It can also include some portions of the walls and any cove bases you may have requested. Even though these vertical surfaces may not face as much impact, they can still face chemical and temperature damage, and preparing them first gives the finished floor a seamless look.
- Is the finished flooring made up of multiple layers? Multiple, thin layers are stronger than a single layer, even one of comparable thickness. It helps keep potential chemical penetration isolated and can better control minute shifts in the concrete as the temperature changes. If you choose a chip coating, a multi-layered process helps protect the design with a clear polyurea coating along the top. Layering also lets you add extra durability to your floor if you anticipate high-frequency, high-impact traffic such as in a factory or commercial garage. Our quartz flooring option, for example, is comprised of five layers for extreme durability and long-lasting chemical resistance.
- Are the chips scraped before the topcoat is applied? Not all chips adhere well to the surface, especially if the surface is already covered; in fact, your installers should use mass quantities of flake to ensure complete coverage. Not only should the loose chips be entirely vacuumed away, the surfaces should be scraped and inspected for chip flakes that don’t adhere well to the basecoat or that aren’t entirely flush with the surface. This helps preserve a smooth, even surface in the final product and also gives the topcoat a better surface to adhere to.
If you’re investing in a floor coating for your garage, it’s important to make sure you’re getting a quality job. Ask questions about each step of the process, the materials, and the long-term benefits you can expect. Go to PolyTek Surface Coatings here to contact our installation experts anytime.