The above title is a question that we’re asked on a daily basis. If we had a dollar for every time we’ve been asked this question, we probably wouldn’t have to be in business! It’s also a question that we’re happy to answer for potential clients because it gives us yet another opportunity for customer delight, to express our love and belief in our coatings, and to educate people about what it is that we do.
Unfortunately, some people get frustrated that we can’t give a simple answer. For starters, we don’t install epoxy. We install a three tiered flooring system that includes a polyurea base coat, a layer of colored chip, and a polyaspartic top coat, proven to be better than epoxy. Don’t believe us? Check out these videos?
The Hammer Test
The Stretch Test
The Stain Test
The UV Stability Test
As epoxy cures it hardens, in fact, epoxy really never stops curing. Over time as that hardening process continues the epoxy is literally pulling itself off the concrete as its surface area shrinks. Concrete is porous and flexes due to environmental conditions. Epoxy becomes rigid and brittle. As the concrete swells and contracts it causes epoxy to crack, break, and chip. Epoxy also isn’t UV stable. The sun wreaks havoc on it, it will be hot to the touch, it will fade, and ultimately, fail. For these reasons and more, epoxy installers only provide a limited warranty. Our concrete coatings have been proven, time and again, to be everything that epoxy only claims to be.
Our polyurea based coating is unique. It is durable and does not continue to harden over time. It allows for the flexibility that is required to maintain a full bond with the entire concrete surface for which it is applied. The environmental conditions do not play a part in its viability. In fact, tests have demonstrated that our coatings are four times stronger than epoxy while also being slip resistant and easy to clean. It’s 100% UV stable, so the sun won’t cause fading and the coating will stay cooler to the touch than uncoated or epoxied concrete. To top it off, our coatings are 100% antibacterial and antimicrobial. They’ve been used across the world for industries that require such characteristics and work perfectly in homes and businesses. That is why we back our floors with a 15 year residential warranty. The fact is, we rarely are called upon to use it!
Testing a Floor’s Moisture Content
The Number of Cracks Effect the Price
Not All Cracks Are Equal, Some Are Deep!
While our product is superior to epoxy the true reason why the estimating process isn’t simple has to do with the complexities that arise with each individual job. Frankly, we would love to provide a price over the phone, or via email or facebook, but the reality is that we cannot until we inspect the concrete in person. There are so many things that we need to look and test for:
Condition: While we can mend concrete with our special mander product, there are times where concrete is in poor condition and it financially wouldn’t make sense for us to attempt to mend it.
Type of Concrete: Some concrete consists of “aggregate,” small stones. These stones don’t always allow us to grind a thin layer off of the top of the surface as they cause the grinders to bounce and miss spots. Grinding is an essential part of the installation process as it opens the pores of the concrete to allow for maximum bonding. Likewise some concrete is harder, or softer for that matter, than others. Our grinders are attached to HEPA filtered vacuums to minimize the amount of dust that is released at the job site. Some concrete will produce more dust than others and thus our vacuum/filter settings will need to be adjusted. Likewise, we will use more vacuum bags and filters will require more maintenance when the dust level is increased.
Moisture Levels: Our coatings are applied both indoors and outdoors and can handle any and all moisture after installation. Prior to application, though, the area has to fall within an acceptable moisture range. We test the area for the amount of moisture and if the level is too high we have to apply a moisture block product which, in most cases, lowers the overall moisture seeping out of the concrete. When the moisture block is required, at least, one day is added onto the project. We prep the area, apply the moisture block and allow a minimum of one day for the moisture block to dry and adhere to the concrete. We’ll test again to make sure levels are within the correct range and when then happens we move ahead with installation, however, if the area remains too moist installation may not take place.
Hardness: Our grinders use special diamond plated blades to take a thin layer off of the top of the concrete and open the pores. We test how hard the concrete is so that we can be prepared with the correct blades for the job. Using the incorrect blade can cause damage to the concrete when the blade is too aggressive or the pores will not be opened enough when the blade is not aggressive enough.
The Amount of Cracking and/or Pitting: We measure cracking and pitting in linear feet as all cracking and pitting will need to be mended prior to installation. We also gauge how wide the crack is to make sure that the floor can be coated. We try to get the concrete to be as close to perfect as possible before we begin. To do that we grind out the crack and apply our mender product to fill the crack. We grind again to flatten and smooth as well as to open the pores of the concrete.
The Amount of Vertical Space to be Covered: Oftentimes in garages the concrete floor is surrounded by vertical space (like a curb). If the vertical space isn’t too high we recommend that it is coated to look more uniform and attractive. There are times where vertical space is part of a wall, as is the case in many basements or low grade areas, and coating wouldn’t look right. In those cases we recommend not coating the vertical space. In any event, measuring the vertical space allows for us to be prepared with the correct amount of materials, tools, the amount of time it will take to coat, and the correct number of installers needed to complete the scope of the job.
Access For Our Large Pieces of Equipment: We are completely self contained and bring our own generators so that we are not drawing power from the customer. Being able to set up in close proximity to the work area is ideal and we need to be prepared for when that is not possible. Similarly, our grinders are big! Like 800 pounds big! They aren’t easy to bring up and down stairs and when that is the case we either need more people to help carry the load or determine if smaller hand grinders are more appropriate for the job. Hand grinding typically means installation will take longer.
Obstacles to Work Around: Sometimes there are obstacles that we are going to have to work around; stairs, built-in shelving, whole home generators, central air conditioning units, pools, hot tubs, irrigation system controls, just to name a few. The more obstacles that are in play may cause delay in installation or more time required to spend on site.
The Scope of What Will be Needed to Prep the Area Thoroughly For Installation: We welcome the opportunity to be welcomed into so many homes and businesses. If there is one thing that we are guilty of is being overly prepared. Clients may not know what they’re looking at within the construction or installation process but they sure do know what a mess looks like! With that in mind we want to be cleanly throughout the entire process and we want to ensure that obstacles are in no way damaged or worn. When we prep the area for installation it is with the goal that the only evidence of our being there is a beautiful new floor.
Size: Like in any other industry size does matter. In most instances we can install in just one day, however, when it comes to bigger jobs, they may require more time for all the reasons listed above. Obviously, the bigger the job the more materials needed to complete the job to meet our high standards and the client’s expectations.
This is why we offer a free, in home, consultation. Once we see the area and assess the concrete we are able to provide the exact price, in which we will honor for 12 months. We want to make sure that all of our customers are making educated decisions based on actual pricing instead of a guess.
Customer service is a cornerstone of our business and anything less than customer delight is unacceptable. Our customer service begins the moment a prospective customer makes an inquiry. While we understand that there is some skepticism or frustration in our process of providing an estimate, those feelings are quickly erased as our coatings specialist walks everyone through the process and answers any questions with professionalism and in an easygoing manner. The last thing that we want is anyone to feel pressured. We strive to assess and educate as each job is different. We are honored by the numerous positive reviews and recommendations that we receive on a daily basis.
How much to coat a garage floor? Have no fear, invite us to your home, and we’ll let you know exactly!