Is Adding Epoxy Flooring to the Garage a Good Idea?

Is Adding Epoxy Flooring to the Garage a Good Idea

Thinking about the cost of a quality epoxy floor for your garage in Vancouver? It’s easy to decide if it’s a good idea when you think about the fact that the garage is likely one of the biggest rooms in the home. It’s also the first part of the home you see when you get back from a day at work. Epoxy flooring is a great option if you’d like to pull into a garage that has a colorful floor that’s easy to keep clean and helps protect the concrete below.

Are you looking for a way to upgrade the garage, increase its functionality, and help protect the concrete from potential damage over the years? An epoxy floor is a great idea. The cost can vary by type of epoxy used. Most homeowners will fall in the mid-range for costs, though this does depend on whether a lot of prep work is needed, the size of the garage, and the quality of products used to create the perfect floor.

For many areas, the most durable type of flooring available for a garage is likely to be a full coating of epoxy. With a full broadcast garage floor coating, the garage will become colorful and easy to clean, but it won’t become slippery. Driving in the rain or snow and then pulling into the garage can make the concrete wet, which can be hazardous but won’t be a problem for epoxy floors. Plus the texture available in the full broadcast floors helps to make the floors look cleaner, as dust, dirt, leaves, and other contaminants aren’t as easily seen. Since this is the best option for most homeowners, this article will talk about the costs of a full broadcast floor.

Garage Floor Epoxy

There is often a little confusion about what garage floor epoxy is. An epoxy floor doesn’t paint the floor. Painting is done with latex acrylic paint, though they can have a little bit of epoxy added to make them more durable. These are known as epoxy paints, but they are not the same thing as an epoxy floor.

Instead, epoxy is made from a thermosetting resin compound that’s added as a coating or sealant to the concrete floor. Two different parts, an epoxide resin and a polyamine hardener, are mixed to create the epoxy and provide added strength.

Instead of drying like paint, epoxy flooring needs to cure. A chemical reaction begins as soon as the two components are mixed, which allows the epoxy to cure. The curing process, known as exothermic curing, creates microscopic structures that are closely linked, which is what makes epoxy stronger and more durable. Epoxy is thicker than paint and will bond completely to a surface that has been properly prepared.

Benefits of Using Epoxy in the Garage in Greater Vancouver

Benefits of Using Epoxy in the Garage in Greater Vancouver

So, why is epoxy a great option for flooring in the garage? Along with looking great, the epoxy coating is hardened and thickened, which makes it more durable and helps it resist chipping, staining, chemicals, and more. If a wrench is dropped or a bicycle falls over, there’s no need to worry about damaging the floor.

Because epoxy is thicker, it also helps to cover any small imperfections and flaws in the concrete. It’s a topical sealer, so it’s also protection against dust. With concrete, powder shed by the cement floor creates a significant amount of dust, which can collect on cars, stored items, tool benches, and anything else in the garage, plus it may be tracked into the home.

Epoxy is also moisture resistant, which is perfect in Greater Vancouver where it snows. Icy brines and road salts that collect on the concrete through the winter months can be cleaned with just a little bit of soap and water. Any dust or debris can be swept away when the floor is dry.

It’s possible to add colored acrylic flakes to the epoxy floor and there are different topcoats that can be used, though some of them may be slippery when the floor is wet. This might not be a problem during summer when it doesn’t rain as often, but homeowners who want extra traction can have a slip-resistant aggregate added to the final coat. This creates a non-skid surface, making the floor safer to walk on.

Most home mechanics and hobbyists rate epoxy flooring highly. It is resistant against chemicals and stains, so oil, anti-freeze, gas, brake fluids, and other chemicals used in cars can be wiped away with ease even if they end up sitting for a period of time. There’s no need to worry about damage from jacks and jack stands or rolling toolboxes, and the coating can help brighten the garage, depending on the type of finish chosen, because of how it reflects light.

Epoxy is highly resistant to a lot, but not everything. Welding can create burn marks on the floor from the hot slag that ends up falling. It’s also not a good idea to use epoxy in garages that have trouble with moisture, as the epoxy can delaminate if the moisture vapor transmission rate is too high underneath the slab.

With low-quality floor coatings, hot tires on the car can soften the coating. When the tires cool down and contract, the treat pulls at the surface of the soft coating, which causes the flooring to delaminate and be pulled up. Called hot tire pick up, this can happen with low-quality epoxy, such as the DIY epoxy paint kits available today. These kits are typically water-based coatings, with fewer solids and a thinner coating once installed. Thicker coatings that don’t have this problem are found with professional-grade products and are professionally installed.

Where multiple, thicker coats of epoxy are used, the floor is durable and it could last beyond 10 years.

Pros of Installing an Epoxy Flooring

There are a number of pros associated with epoxy flooring in the garage, including the following.

How it Appears

Epoxy floors look great and are bright, adding to the overall appearance of the garage. It’s also easier to clean and maintain the surface since there isn’t much that will stick to an epoxy floor. With easy cleanup, it’s simple to make sure the floor always looks great.

More Affordable

The cost per square foot is often less than other types of floors, especially since epoxy can be installed directly onto concrete. One of the biggest advantages of epoxy over other types of flooring is the installation cost, especially when considering how long it lasts.

Resistant to Almost Everything

Oil, bleach, gas, cleaners, transmission fluids, and more are no match for epoxy floors. They’re often used in garages within the automotive industry for this reason. Epoxy also resists the effects of heat and water. Most chemical spills will have no impact on the epoxy coating of the floors.

The floors are also able to resist bacteria or germs, so they’re easy to sanitize when needed. This makes epoxy an excellent option for hospitals or clinics, as it can be maintained and sanitized more easily than other types of flooring.

They’re Durable

Epoxy flooring tends to have a much longer lifespan compared to other types of flooring, especially when high-quality products are installed. Concrete is the only material that will last longer, but concrete does need to be carefully sealed and maintained. An epoxy floor does require concrete beneath it and makes the concrete even more durable. Epoxy has anti-fatigue properties and is easy to install without mortar or glue, so for a more durable flooring, there’s nothing better than installing epoxy over concrete.

Better Protection

Though concrete is durable, it can suffer from stains, grease, cracks, and moisture. Epoxy helps to protect the concrete from all of these. Over time, this helps homeowners save money on cleaning and maintenance, making it reasonably priced for the amount of protection provided and how long it lasts. However, it is important to note that the protective qualities depend on the experience and expertise of the installer. Take time to find installers like Swift Epoxy Flooring Vancouver who will make sure the job is done right.

How Long it Lasts

Epoxy flooring can last a lot longer than other types of flooring. A proper installation can mean the epoxy can last for several decades without worries about peeling or cracking. With such a long lifespan, it’s a popular option for industrial and commercial use, not just residential. Professional installation with high-quality materials will last a lot longer and continue to look better for years.

Options

There are a lot of options for epoxy flooring. Various colors can be chosen for a smooth and elegant shine, including custom colors. It’s also possible to create traditional or personalized designs in the flooring. With the wide variety of options available, it’s a great way to upgrade the concrete and improve the overall look of any garage.

Safer to Use

Epoxy can provide added safety in a few different ways. It does reflect light from the garage floor well, so it can help improve visibility within the garage. The epoxy floors are also slip-resistant, won’t be damaged by temperature fluctuations, and are resistant to extreme impact and fires. No matter what work is happening in the garage, it’s easy to make sure the family can walk around safely.

Professional Warranties

DIY kits or paint from a local store won’t come with a warranty, so if there are any issues, the homeowner will have to cover the cost of repairs or replacements. On the other hand, by working with the professionals like those at Swift Epoxy Flooring Vancouver, homeowners can receive a warranty against staining, defects, or delamination. This offers peace of mind that the flooring will continue to look amazing and provide all of the protection needed.

Cons of Using Epoxy Floors

It is important to remember that there are pros and cons to everything, including epoxy flooring installation. Some of the cons include the following.

Not Permanent

One of the biggest cons of epoxy is that it won’t last forever. It is durable and easy to maintain, but it will need to be replaced at some point. Everyday wear and tear can take a toll on the epoxy. A new coat will be needed eventually to help make sure the floor continues to look great, especially if there are any heavy items that get dropped on the floor.

Chipping is a common issue and, though they start out small, chips can lead to a bigger area of the flooring peeling off. This will need to be fixed as soon as possible, as wheels on toolboxes and carts can get stuck when they roll over any damaged areas. Cracks can also develop over time and will require repairs.

Can be Slippery

Epoxy flooring can be skid-resistant, but oil can make it slippery, and the flooring can be slippery if it gets wet, leading to an increased potential for slipping and falling. In areas that are more prone to moisture or spills, this can be hazardous. It is possible to remove this risk, however, by using texture in the epoxy coating. The texture helps to provide more traction, making it safer to walk on even when there’s a spill.

Preparing the Floor

It does take quite a bit of work to get the flooring ready for the epoxy to be added. The concrete has to be completely clean, and there cannot be any grease, oil, or other solvents on the floor. Any cracks or other damage will need to be repaired, and cleaning may need to be done multiple times to get everything up and the floor ready for the epoxy. Today, there are advancements in how epoxy is made and installed, so it’s easier to apply than it was in the past. Still, this is something to keep in mind, as the preparation needed can add to the amount of time it takes to install the epoxy.

The Installation

Epoxy does require time to install. There is an extensive amount of preparation needed and it takes time to apply the right number of coats for the epoxy since one coat must be dry before the next one is added. Then, once all of the coats are done, it takes several days for the epoxy to cure. Keep this in mind when planning the installation.

It Smells

Once the epoxy has cured, the smells will be gone. However, wet epoxy does have a strong smell, especially when using some of the darker shades. It typically smells like ammonia while the flooring is drying.

Sensitive During Installation

Epoxy does need to be installed exactly as the directions state or it will not last as long. It’s also possible for the epoxy to get scratched, and it can be difficult to clean paint from it. Moisture can impact the durability of the floor, so it should only be installed when humidity levels are lower. If needed, it’s possible to use a dehumidifier in the garage for at least 24 hours before starting the installation to protect against moisture being trapped under the resin.

Possible Adherence Issues

If the concrete isn’t properly prepared before the epoxy is installed, the epoxy won’t adhere well. In areas where moisture is a concern, like basements, epoxy will not do well over time. It’s likely the epoxy will end up peeling off the floors because of the excess moisture in the room.

Moisture Causes Problems

As mentioned, moisture can cause problems with the installation. Since the epoxy doesn’t breathe, moisture that is trapped underneath can become problematic as it starts to evaporate. Excess moisture can cause bubbling or buckling in the epoxy, which will need to be repaired.

More Costs

There are additional costs to consider on top of the expense for the materials and installation. Cleaning acids and other chemicals are needed to properly prepare the concrete before installation, and there are protective clothing, eyewear, and breathing devices that may be needed to use the cleaning acids. This does increase the cost along with the time and effort needed to prepare the floor for the epoxy.

Removing the Epoxy

Changing the colors or designs is complex and laborious. If the flooring has to be repaired, it can be difficult as well as costly to remove the epoxy.

Epoxy has an incredible amount of benefits to offer for residential, industrial, and commercial properties. It is affordable, durable, long-lasting, and hygienic, making it an excellent option for flooring, and it’s highly customizable. However, it is difficult and sometimes hazardous to have epoxy installed, so doing it correctly is crucial. Despite its durability, it is susceptible to chipping or yellowing over time. If you’re ready to install epoxy flooring in a garage, contact Swift Epoxy Flooring Vancouver as soon as possible.

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