Garage Concrete Floor Coatings Installation: Garage/Photo Studio
Before & After Photos – Drag the Slider to Reveal
For the past couple of years, George had wanted to improve the finish of his garage floor; it has a dual purpose; sometimes, it is the floor for his summer cars, and on other days, it is the floor of his photography studio (George Ross Photography). Ten years ago, he took his first step to improving the garage/studio floor by applying an epoxy coating himself. He was delighted with the outcome; the new floor offered a professional presentation to his clients. Additionally, one of the problems with raw concrete is dust entering the house; after applying the epoxy coating, that problem was gone!
Years later, George was very unhappy with how his epoxy-coated floor had aged; he said, “it looks very sad.”
When we first spoke to George, he told us that he had wanted a concrete floor coating, but the fact that he had an epoxy coating on his garage stopped him from moving forward. He had presumed -incorrectly – that he was not a candidate for a Distefano Brother’s concrete coating but was pretty excited when we explained that we have a process to grind off the epoxy for a small fee.
We scheduled a date to visit, and our salesperson met with George at the appointed time; we measured the space’s square footage and measured the moisture content of the concrete. We also surveyed the floor for cracks; George’s floor has one long crack about 10′ in length. The crack is not a problem because we can grind it to increase its size and fill it with a mender to repair it; he will never know there was a crack there!
One of the challenges we face when dealing with prospective clients is that when they ask for a quote, they expect us to provide a cost per square foot, but that is impossible. It is not that we want to be difficult, but the amount of moisture in the concrete and the number of cracks can significantly impact the price.
While surveying his garage, he asked if we could coat the 2′ high concrete vertical walls in the garage foundation. When we said we could, he was delighted. When adding a concrete coating to vertical surfaces, the finished coating is not as resilient as the floor coating because we cannot grind the verticals. We rough up the surface as best we can and then apply the coating. It is a decorative finish and not functional; george was more than happy with this answer.
Now onto colors; when we initially spoke, he was interested in the ‘Tidal Wave’ pattern. When we visit customers, we take a set of 12″ x 12″ swatch panels. George started laying the different swatches on the floor against the garage furniture and settled on our ‘Midnight’ pattern, which is as far away from ‘Tidal Wave’ as is possible! However, this is the benefit of providing our customers with large color swatches.
We asked George if he had any concerns, “only one,” “what do I do with all my tools, photography equipment, and collection of bikes while the installation is underway?”
‘This’ is a question we face on every job; sometimes, the garages do not have much equipment, but there was a lot of property in this case. We suggested that he rent portable storage, which could be delivered to his drive to store his gear temporarily until the installation was complete and the surface was ready to receive heavy equipment.
We sent George a quote, and he gave us the go-ahead to move forward; we sent a contract electronically, and he provided us with a deposit check.
We were ready to go to work, we set up an installation date, and George contracted with MiBox Rhode Island to deliver a temporary storage pod.
On the day of our installation, our crew arrived at 8 am and immediately set to work. The first step in our process is to protect our client’s property; we placed dropcloths outside the garage to protect the driveway from footprints and to collect any debris.
We met the client and reviewed the scope of work:
Coverage area: floor and all verticals
Anti-slip grade: Shark Bite
Everything was in synch.; we set to work.
We applied masking tape to all edges; we fired up the generator and began to surface-grind the floor to remove the old epoxy coating to give us a nice, clean surface to start the coating process.
Airborne dust is minimized by connecting our grinders to HEPA-filtered vacuums.
We cannot grind the verticals, but we roughed up the vertical surface to provide a good adhesion base. This finish would not be as durable as the floor but putting the coating on the vertical surfaces is purely decorative, whereas the garage floor’s working surface is functional.
After the grinding process, we set to work to repair a crack in the concrete floor. George’s garage floor had a 10′ long crack; we used a grinder to make the crack large enough to accept the polyurethane concrete mender and joint repair system. For this time of year, we used the winter-grade filler material, which has a 15-minute cure time. With that complete, we had finished the preparation work and were ready to start the application of the new flooring materials. We train our technicians to spend as much time as is needed on preparation work because an excellent floor can only follow excellent preparation work.
The next step was the garage’s vertical concrete walls; we used a brush to apply the polyurea base coat along the edges and a roller on the main vertical sections. With bags of premixed Midnight colored chips, we broadcast them on top of the base coat. Even after the base coat is covered, we continue broadcasting chips to ensure 100% coverage. With the excess chips removed, we turned our attention to the floor.
The base coat is applied evenly using a large roller; our technicians wear special spiked shoes to permit them to walk on the base coat without damaging the continuity of the surface. With the base coat complete, the chips are broadcast onto the floor to the point of rejection. This leaves a layer of excess chips on top of those bonded to the base coat.
Now we wait!
Once the chip and basecoat have cured, we scrape off the excess chips, ensuring there is even coverage throughout the floor.
The last step is to roll and squeegee on the 2-part polyaspartic clear topcoat, making the floor antibacterial, antimicrobial, UV stable, and non-porous.
We met with George at the end of installation (3:30 pm) and went over a few important items that he need pay attention to:
1) Polyurea has an odor; we left the garage windows open and the door open with a 12″ gap to air it out. The garage door could be closed fully before he went to bed.
2) He could walk on the floor at 6:30 am tomorrow (Tuesday)
3) The garage could return to full use on Wednesday at 3: 30pm
After we put our equipment away, we cleaned up the work area to make it look like we were never here; we met with George one final time to give him a written copy of the usage instructions and a copy of the ‘Limited Lifetime Warranty.‘
George’s studio was ready to welcome his clients (and offer a beautiful floor for his summer cars!)