Spring has arrived and we’re looking at everything in a new light. That includes the garage. Time to pull out the broom and give the floor a much-needed sweep to rid it of the debris collected over the winter. But does that sweep reveal issues that cannot simply be removed with a broom? Bare concrete floors are prone to cracking over time as well as pitting from the effects of our Canadian climate. Cement is a natural dust generator. As often as you sweep, the dust will just keep returning with a vengeance. Maybe it’s time to look at options for garage flooring?
The big box stores carry various floor coatings and some of my clients have been tempted to go with an inexpensive, do-it-yourself option. While many of these coatings are fine, the downfall is the concrete floor must be properly prepared in order for the product to adhere well and last. And unless you have access to a professional floor grinder to smooth out the concrete, you will never achieve a satisfying result. Coatings applied to floors that are not properly prepared are likely to flake and peel.
Moisture is also an issue. If the moisture in your concrete floor exceeds 70%, any floor coating will be prone to peeling. And if you choose a rolled rubber or vinyl flooring, you’re creating an environment under the flooring that traps the moisture and it will be constantly dirty and smelly. The advantage of having a professionally finished garage floor is it is a one-time investment that will last indefinitely.
How to choose flooring that’s right for you
First, take a look at the state of your cement floor. If there is excessive cracking and pitting, the holes will have to be filled before a coating can be applied. In this situation I recommend a pvc tile that will protect the floor while hiding those imperfections.
If you’ve got some minor cracking (most cement floors do), you can choose to go with a coating. My coating of choice is polyaspartic. It’s a little more expensive than epoxy but its more durable and far more versatile. If you’d like one of the baseboard or wainscoting effects we talked about in last month’s blog, polyaspartic is the only way to go.
How we make your garage floor beautiful with polyaspartic coating
First we’ll test the moisture level and, if the moisture level is more than 70 per cent, you will need a water barrier. Then we repair any cracks and grind the floor down to get rid or minor imperfections and open the pores in the cement for proper penetration of the coating. We’ll also apply a moisture seal if necessary to prevent water from coming through the surface of the floor. You can then choose from myriad colour choices to complement the rest of the garage. We can even custom mix colours to match other design features. A base coat is applied and a combination of colour flakes are sprinkled on and left to cure. We then remove the excess flakes, chip off sharp edges, vacuum and apply a top sealer. The whole process can be completed in less than a day. Then all you need to do to maintain it is to clean it with soap and water or hose it down with a power washer a couple of times a year.
If you choose to do just one thing in your garage this season, think about flooring. It’s an easy fix that makes a big impact.