The first step to a lasting any concrete coating job starts with a moisture test. There are 2 types we use. The reason for this is that moisture coming up from the ground is the main cause of failure for concrete coatings.
- Plastic sheeting test. This is the test we normally use on residential garage floors. The test is done by using duct tape on a small piece of plastic to the floor. It is left for about 72 hours. After that time if there is no moisture under the plastic we are good to go.
- Calcium chloride test. This test is normally reserved for larger commercial projects. A container of calcium chloride is covered and taped to the floor and then left for 72 hours. The container is then weighed and a formula applied to the weight to gauge the amount of moisture that is coming up.
The downfall of both tests is that we can only know if there is moisture present during the test. It isn’t a guarantee that there will not be moisture present at a later date when environmental changes occur such as a lot of rain and the water table rising. This doesn’t happen very often but it can. Maybe 1 or 2% of the time. There is no test currently available to determine moisture content in the future.
The second step is to prep the floor. We use state of the art equipment to properly prepare the floor for the chosen coating. Each floor is different and needs to be assessed to determine the appropriate method of prep. The most often used method is a Shot Blaster. This is a unit that blasts small steel beads onto the floor to mechanically abrade it to give it the contour for the coating to stick to. The second method is to use a Diamond head grinder in conjunction with a high powered Hepa vacuum system to collect and minimize the dust. Both methods can be used indoors and out. This step is crucial to the longevity of the coating and it not peeling. When cars pull into the garage the heat from the tires is the biggest cause of coating failure if it is not prepped right.
The third step is to repair any cracks, divots or other damage. This is also when the expansion joints are filled if the customer wants a continuous floor.
Next comes the first application of coating. If a Polyaspartic system is being used the first coat will be applied followed immediately by the colored flake (assuming flake is being used). Once dried the flake is scraped and the floor is cleaned. Once the floor has been scraped the final coat (clear) is applied. Normally a Polyaspartic floor can be completed and walked on in one day and can be driven on the following day.
Epoxy floors take longer to complete. The first coat is an epoxy primer and has to dry for a day (temp and humidity dependent). Second coat is the epoxy followed by the flake, dry time one day. Day 3 is scrape the flake and apply clear coat(s) depending on system.
We also do coatings on interior concrete.
If you are in need of a Minneapolis area garage floor coating contractor, do not hesitate to contact Edina Painting Company online or by phone. We look forward to hearing from you!