We seldom think about the garage floor. However, this important surface undergoes continuous abuse. It must bear the weight of vehicles, withstand damage caused by debris tracked in on tires and shoes and hold its own against leaking automotive fluids. Fluctuating temperatures of sweltering summer heat and frigid Canadian winters cause concrete floors to expand and contract. Then there is the battle of the elements: rain, sleet, snow and salt that gets tracked in on shoes and tires.
Protect the Garage Floor from the Elements
Winterizing your garage floor may not be the first thing on your garage renovation list of to-do’s, but it is important not to be missed. Your car and your family will undoubtedly track snow and salt into your garage this winter. Ensure the protection of your floor from road salt and other damaging de-icers. Road salt on an untreated concrete floor can easily be absorbed and within a few years, it can destroy an unprotected floor.
By preparing your garage floor now, you can reduce the inevitable damage to your floor this winter. Consider applying a durable waterproof and stain-resistant protective floor coating to prevent harsh damage and preserve the life of your garage floor.
Prepare the Garage Floor
There are several reasons why durable garage flooring is a key part of a long-lasting garage renovation. Concrete floors are vulnerable to degradation caused by the elements including salt and oil. Thus, concrete floors often become pitted, which is not only unsightly, but generates dust causing the concrete to become more difficult to keep clean and maintain.
Bare concrete floors generate dust and are susceptible to staining and cracking that gets worse with moisture. Garage floor coatings and coverings are not only beautiful, but functional. They protect concrete floors from stains and other damage.
Refinishing your floor will protect it from the elements, while at the same time reducing the dust which covers your tools, bikes, garden equipment and other items. The household items and tools stored in the garage become easy to appreciate when you’re reducing the concrete dust that can affect the operation of work and garden tools or that can give your belongings a prematurely aged look. Of course, garage floor coatings or floor tiles look great too!
Painted Garage Floors Peel Up After Just a Season or Two
A lot of people consider painting floors. The issue with paint is it only coats the top layer of your concrete. Whether you prepare a concrete floor or not, paint based materials sit on the top of concrete which means that paint doesn’t protect or enhance the concrete floor unlike some other options.
Because paint sits atop the concrete, it’s not forgiving when the concrete floor expands and contracts with the changing seasons. Whether we know it or not, our garage floor is subject to thermal expansion and contraction. This means that the concrete swells up and expands in the heat. In cool weather, the opposite effect occurs; your concrete floor shrinks or contracts. Often times, it is these expansion and contraction cycles that tend to lead to cracking and peeling of painted floors.
Polyaspartic Floor Coatings are Durable and Last
Polyaspartic flooring is always a great choice for any garage, but especially those with drywall that extends down to the floor. A polyaspartic flooring system is a tough, durable floor coating with the sophisticated look of granite. Unlike paint which sits on top of the concrete, the polyaspartic coating seals concrete and keeps moisture out to prevent the garage floor from cracking. Not only does a polyaspartic floor coating reduce concrete dust, it provides a non-slip grip to make the garage a safer place for little ones during wet and slushy weather. All the snow and mud of the various seasons get tracked into the garage by everyone in the family but having a floor coating makes the garage easy to keep clean and dry.
A professionally installed polyaspartic flooring system includes a ten-year warranty and is available in a wide range of colours. The colours of the floor can be selected to match the exterior brick, siding or trim of your home for a matching look and feel as seen from the sidewalk or edge of the property. The variety of coloured flakes makes it possible to transition from exterior house colours to interior colour schemes.
The granite arrangement of colour flakes also camouflage the dirt, dust and debris left behind! You’ll be glad to know that this system also protects concrete floors from corrosive elements including winter’s biggest culprit – salt.
The quality of a polyaspartic floor coating system is in the preparation of the concrete floor before applying the polyaspartic coating. By grinding and preparing the concrete floor, any application of the polyaspartic floor coating bonds to the concrete for lasting results.
Challenges of Other Floor Coatings
Other types of floor coating include epoxy which is also applied concrete floors. While it is sold in big box stores, homeowners run into problems when applying epoxy because they miss the importance of surface preparation. More than a simple, weekend DIY project, applying epoxy to a garage floor still requires several steps and specialized equipment.
Unlike polyaspartic floor coating, epoxy floor coating can take a few days to cure and it tends to be more brittle the polyaspartic. On the other hand, the 100% UV resistant polyaspartic floor coating doesn’t yellow with time.
PVC Garage Floor Tiles
Alternately, a garage floor made of an interlocking PVC tile floor will hide imperfections and protect floors from further damage.
Interlocking PVC tiles are sturdy, attractive and chemical-resistant. They can easily be adapted to fit any garage configuration. Since no adhesive is used, simply remove and replace a single tile in the event of damage. PVC tile can be hosed down, pressure washed, mopped or hand scrubbed.
A variety of floor designs can be accomplished with a series of coloured floor tiles.
Baseboards in the Garage Protect Walls, Brick and Concrete Blocks
The baseboard in your garage serves a couple of functions. Perhaps the most important function is that of protection. If your baseboard is installed properly, it protects the interior of your garage from small animals from making a home in your garage. Baseboards also provide protection from dust, dirt and water seeping behind the drywall or slatwall and into the exposed brick or concrete.
Another function of your garage baseboard is aesthetics. Some of the baseboard finishes include a polyaspartic finish, vinyl baseboards or even, punched aluminum wainscoting or baseboards. With a garage flooring makeover, many homeowners choose to finish the floors with a baseboard trim.
Planning You New Garage Floor This Spring
There are several factors to consider when selecting the best garage flooring system. Budget and personal preference play a major role. However, the condition of your garage floor is also a factor. Substantial pitting or cracking requires that voids be filled before any coating is applied.
Consult with a garage renovation specialist and then plan the de-cluttering of belongings so there is unrestricted access to the entire garage floor space to apply a new floor to your garage.