Below you will see a typical unfinished garage that was transformed by first time users Dan & Debbie H with our Armor Granite Garage Epoxy Flooring kit. They used a standard Pattern 3 that has a medium gray epoxy as the base coat but they changed the color flakes to a custom combination of black, white, charcoal and latte with the military topcoat upgrade. As you can see from the images the change to their garage was dramatic and the floor looks like an actual granite slab. They had no prior experience but yet were able to get this better than professional finish by using our DIY complete epoxy flooring kit. The process is very straight forward and easy to do, the hardest part actually is cleaning out your garage! If you want to transform your garage give us a call we have several different types of epoxy floor coating packages with and without color flakes that can meet any application from just parking your cars to full blown workshops.
Take a look at this image and you’ll see that the epoxy has delaminated from the floor in an upward motion. Notice the underside of the epoxy and you’ll see the top layer of the concrete slab stuck to it. notice the granularity of the concrete. The culprit here is the concrete letting loose! This is one of the best examples of sandy or granular concrete we have seen. Usually caused by the contractor using too much aggregate/sand to save some money. The other issue here maybe that there was moisture in the floor and that the moisture pushing up on the epoxy had enough pressure to cause the weak concrete to let loose.
So how do we try to prevent this from happening ? First thing is to always make sure your concrete is 100% dry after etching. We recommend a minimum of 24 hrs to 48 hrs dep[ending on temperature and humidity. If the humidity is very high when you’re floor is drying it will take longer for that moisture to evaporate out of the slab. Secondly take a good look at your floor and if you notice that there is a lot of exposed aggregate or it has sandy type of texture to it use a primer. Our Epoxy Flooring Primer will penetrate into the slab, getting in between the tiny spaces in the aggregate binding them together which greatly strengthens your slab. Also sometimes contractors use pea gravel which are small round stones that are very smooth. This is also a good candidate for the top layer of the concrete letting loose. If you have a pea gravel floor use our Bonding Primer that will bond to the smooth surfaces of the pea gravel thus ensuring a solid bond between your floor and the epoxy.
The good thing is that these types of situations are rare, so chances are you don’t have to worry about this but if you have any doubts just send us a picture and will let you if there’s anything to be concerned about and guide you accordingly. We’ll make sure you use the necessary products so that you don’t have any issues.
In many cases your floor cannot be epoxied all in one shot due to too much stuff to move out or the floor had some repair areas done for lets say for new plumbing. In the case of where you have an existing floor where you cut out some concrete to repair or to install new plumbing. You now have to wait 28 days for the new concrete over the new plumbing to cure but you need the rest of the floor before then. Here’s how you do the floor in sections so you don’t end up with a seam.
Tape off where you need to end the first section then apply the first layer of coating whether it’s a primer or an epoxy. Then apply the next layer and keep back about 12″ from edge of first layer. If you’re using our Ultra Military System you’ll have a third coat to do. So you would apply that and stay back 12″ from second layer. Now you have a stepped layer effect.
Next lightly sand with 100 grit a 12″ strip of each layer that will be overlapped when you do the next section. The reason for this is that after 24 hours our epoxies start to seal up and then it becomes like trying to paint over glass. So always rough up an epoxy that you’re overlapping after 24 hours. This insures a proper bond from the first section with the subsequent sections.
Now in the case with the new concrete areas we would recommend you start your tape line 12″ back from the new concrete. Everything else is the same as above. Just be sure to acid etch the new concrete after 28 days before applying any of our epoxy flooring systems.
And of course if you have any questions please feel free to contact us at email@example.com or 866-532-3979.
So you’re apply your garage floor coating or commercial epoxy flooring and all is going well until you get a few sections along in the application and you look back and suddenly you see to your horror that you have missed a spot!. First thing is not to panic and what every you do do not walk back on the wet epoxy to fix it.
Here’s what you can and should do. This is where those spoke soles come in handy! If you have them and it hasn’t been to long since you noticed the missed spot that walk over to the spot with the spikes and fix. This goes for a missed spot of the color flakes. You can simple add more flakes to a bald spot. If you haven’t noticed it till after you’re completely done and you don’t have spikes. Just wait for the floor to dry and go over and patch it. In the case of wanting to add more flakes you need to apply a very thin layer of epoxy for the flakes to stick onto.
Then apply the topcoat but stay clear of the patched area if you just did it. Don’t wait for the patch to dry since once you go past 24 hrs between coats you need to sand the surface to rough it up. Just stay about 6″ away from the patch spot. Once the rest of the next coat dries you can simply fill in the patched area,
A very common occurrence is missing a spot with the clear topcoat. Since these topcoats are Gin clear it’s easy to do while you’re applying them. This is no issue at all. After the topcoat dries just very lightly sand the epoxy and perimeter clear coat with 100 grit. Then brush on some clear to fill in. To help avoid missing spots dry to have someone looking at the floor from an angle while you are rolling on the clear.
So in sum, don’t panic, having spikes is a good idea for emergency puposes and for applying the flake into the epoxy, they make getting an even pattern much easier, don’t let the main part of the floor dry for over 24 hrs before apply next layer and if you have a more serious issue just contact us and one of our expert support guys or gals will get you back on the right track.
We get asked so many times about using a primer that it deserves a blog post. The majority of Garage Floor installations do not require a primer if you are using a high quality epoxy. There are times however that a primer is recommended. If your floor has concrete that is old it may be in poor condition from being uncoated for many years. Road salts may have started to break it down. You may have pitted areas, a primer will help in filling in the pitted areas. Your floor may have become what we call chalky or dusty, this is where no matter how much you clean the floor there always seems to be concrete dust or chalk on it when you rub your hand over it. This is where a primer comes into play. It will penetrate into your concrete and bind up the chalky loose top layer of the floor. You should shop vac your floor thoroughly to get down to the solid part of the floor as best as possible before applying the primer.
You may be doing your floor and your square footage is slightly above the standard kit coverage. Your choice is to buy an additional Add On Half Kit or you can purchase the Epoxy Flooring Primer that will do several things. It will penetrate into the slab deeper which provides better adhesion and it will extend the coverage of the epoxy by up to 20% since the epoxy is now going over a sealed surface. So in addition to giving you another layer of epoxy for a thicker floor finish(thicker is always better) it can also save you some money.
You may have a floor that you previously coated with another epoxy that is failing. If it’s not a Home Improvement Store epoxy you can possibly still save it by coating directly over it with one of our epoxy kits. But first you must sand the floor to clean it and rough it up and then put down a coating of our Proprietary Bonding Primer. This lets our coating stick to any other kind of coating. This is not to be confused with the Epoxy Flooring Primer above which is strictly for bare concrete. The Bonding Primer can be used to go over Wood Floors or Molding prior to applying an epoxy coating to them. Or you may have a plastic or metal drain cover you want to coat with the epoxy to make the floor look really nice. Epoxies don’t stick will to metal or plastic, Bonding Primer solves that issue.
You may be the type of person who has large toys in their Garage or Man Cave or uses their space as a work shop. Or you may be the type that just wants the strongest, toughest epoxy flooring there is. This where you need and want a primer. If you have a heavy tonnage vehicle like a large Motor Home that can weigh up to 50,000lbs, you definitely want a primer. Any heavy vehicle that will have twisting or turning tires with standstill dead weight on them requires the highest amount of adhesion to avoid the epoxy being literally ripped off the floor. This is where a high performance primer is needed. Our primers are really high quality epoxies that don’t have as much Solids in them as are actual floor epoxies do, to allow them to soak a little more into the slab. They lock deep into the slab and provide a surface that the Epoxy to actually chemically bonds into thus making an inseparable layer of primer and epoxy. If you stopped at our Primer layer you would still have a better coating on your floor than the vast majority of other actual epoxy coatings you can purchase.
So there are many uses and times when you need and should use a primer and often times when you don’t. If you are unsure of whether you should or shouldn’t simply give us a call-866-532-3979 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We have been getting an increasing amount of callers asking about doing a metallic finish epoxy floor. The first thing we ask is if they have any experience in doing this sort of floor. The answer is always no and that they saw it on YouTube and that it looked fairly easy to do. This is when we tell them it’s not as easy as it looks. It looks easy cause the person doing it most likely does it for a living or has done it many times before. Most of the companies selling metallic epoxy state on their websites or will tell you that their products are not that easy to work with if they’re honest. They say this at the same time as stating that there is no wrong way to do it. While that statement is true because the finish is random, there is definitely good and bad results and sometimes even very bad results. So while it looks like you are just splashing different colors on the floor it really takes skill and experience to get the ratios and the spreading of each color right for it to actually come out looking good rather than an eye sore.
Doing metallic floors are much more labor intensive. You need to grind the floor usually and do a black base coat, then sand it and apply a seal coat and then splash the colors into the seal coat and then sand that when it dries and then you need to apply a topcoat. Some systems use a primer then a black base coat that you sand and then metallic paint that you sand and then a topcoat. Anyway you look at it, it’s a lot more work and the results most likely will not look like what you were expecting. There is skill and artistic talent involved in getting the looks you see on the internet. With traditional epoxy there is no skill level or artistic talent required. Just some good old fashioned elbow grease to clean the floor properly and then just apply the epoxy similar to regular paint. We package our epoxy in turnkey systems to make easy and simple for you to install a complete epoxy flooring job. There is some measuring and mixing involved so that takes a little more consideration than just sticking your roller into the roller tray and rolling the paint on like a semi gloss. But it’s way simpler to do than metallic and 99.999 times out of 100 you are going to be happy with the results. Check out our Epoxy Floor Systems on our Home Page and choose the one that fits your application best or give us a call for some expert advise on which to use.
If you’re truly set on doing metallic, give us a call and we can price our metallic system out for you with a disclaimer that we are not responsible for the results. Also just to let you know that in the New York Tri-State area whenever we get a Metallic job we sub it out to a professional who does only metallic floors. We don’t even let our own professional installers do it! You should take that accordingly.
Finding and fixing roof leaks is very often a frustrating and futile endeavor. It can also be a very costly endeavor if you go about it the wrong way.
First thing you should know is that where you see the water dripping into your home or business is most likely not where the leak is. All roofs are pitched to some degree so leaks can occur on one side of a roof and the water will run to the first opening it finds and leak through. So the source of a leak can be far away from where the actual leak is occurring.
So when you go up on your roof hunting for the source of the leak don’t automatically concentrate on where the drip is located. The best way to find a leak is to walk the roof in sort of a search grid. Up, down and then side to side. You must carefully inspect every inch of the roof. You are looking for any pinhole, crack or split in a seam. Anything that looks like an opening for water to get into. You must also check all HVAC equipment for any loose or damaged panels or shrouds, also check all the curb flashings. These are the usual suspects.
If by chance you locate the source of the leak and it’s simply a split in a seam or small hole from someone stepping on a screw. Then you can apply some roof cement to fix it but make sure you embed some roof mesh into the roof cement. Roof cement is notorious for cracking and needing constant maintenance. Roof mesh will help extend the life of the roof cement. In general roof cement should be viewed as only a temporary fix. Which is ok for a couple of small fixes. What you don’t want to do is go up on your roof with buckets of it and start smearing everything in sight with it.
This will cause more issues than it solves for sure. When you do this you tend to apply the cement way too thick and then in no time it will start to alligator and then crack or chip off. Then you put more on which works for a short time and then when it leaks again you apply more and it now works for an even shorter time and when it fails yet again you have a much bigger problem.
Same goes for when you apply some bargain water based elastomeric roof coating to try and stop your leaks. They always fail way sooner then you think and if you bought it from a Home Improvement Store they will tell you there is no warranty because you didn’t have it professionally installed. Same goes for a lot of other roof coatings. Most times that great sounding warranty isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. The best thing is NOT to ever have to need to make a warranty claim in the first place. That happens when you use a high quality Industrial Roof Coating vs a water based residential grade elastomeric coating.
You must look at the performance specifications so you don’t get fooled into buying what you think is an industrial grade coating when in fact it’s nothing of the sort. Once you start slopping roof cement all over the place and then put on an inferior coating and then have to recoat because your roof keeps developing leaks you end up going down the proverbial rabbit hole and your situation keeps getting worse until you have to rip the roof off and have a new roof installed at a tremendous cost. All of it could have been avoided with the use of the right coating at the start. Yes it cost you more money up front but in the long run you come out way ahead financially and stress wise.
The biggest reason roofs leak and no matter what you do you can’t seam to find the leak is because the actual roofing material or roof coating you used has become porous and water is actually leaking right through the microscopic pores of the material. This is where reading and understanding the specifications come in handy! One of the items in a specification of a roof coating is Perms. Perms is short for permeability, which is how fast moisture can pass through a material. You may have heard of a Perm test for soil, this is where they test the rate water passes through the surface of the soil. Where land that is mostly clay will not be very permeable as compared to soil that is mostly top soil.
Same goes for materials, all physical materials are made up of atoms and the tighter the atoms the less permeable that material is. All roof coatings have microscopic pores, spaces in between the atoms. The size of those pores determine the perm rating. In the case of roof coatings the smaller the Perm number the better. It means moisture has a smaller opening to pass through. When a coating is new the size of it’s pores are smaller than water molecules thus they prevent the water from passing through, much like the clay did in our soil example. However as a coating ages from the sun and begins to stretch out from constant expansion and contraction the pores begin to widen until they get to a point where they are now just slightly larger than water molecules.
So guess what happens, you’re correct, your roof starts leaking. The worst part about it is that you can’t see this so you have no idea why your roof is leaking. Especially since you put a ton of roof cement on everything in sight. What’s even worse your roof may not leak every time it rains. If it’s cold out the roof coating may contract enough to keep water out or if doesn’t rain long enough there won’t be a lot of water weight on the roof coating so again it might not leak. This makes it even more maddening.
So having said all that what you need to take away from this is that you want to start with a roof coating that has the smallest Perm rating to start with. So as your coating stretches and ages it takes a lot longer for that coating’s pores to start passing water. That is why water based elastomerics and most other roof coatings don’t live up to their claims. ArmorGarage uses the highest quality Butyl Rubber and no water in our roof coatings. Butyl rubber is even far superior to EPDM. This gives our coatings the Best Perm ratings by far, compare our Perm rating to your roof coating. This means ArmorGarage roof coatings will stay moisture proof far longer than any elastomeric, water based or EPDM based coating.
So in sum if you go by just the first cost when deciding to do your roof you will most likely end up worse off then you started. Look at the specs, in addition to Perms, you need to look at Hardness ratings and Elongation ratings and what the roof coating is made of ie: water or Butyl rubber and epoxy. A quick word on silicone here, silicone is a must for ponding water and is the only time you should use it. Silicone is soft and subject to damage very easily and once you use silicone you can never use anything else since nothing can stick to it. So when it fails prematurely as most of them do you will be stuck with having to put the same inferior product back on and worse yet you will find out that that amazing sounding warranty is worthless due to one of the small print exceptions they pin on you.
Knowing what you’re buying will help you avoid being in the position of spending untold amounts of time and money trying to fix an ever growing mess you can easily get into. At which time you call in your roofers Roanoke and they are 99.9% of the time going to tell you that you need a new roof for a gazillion dollars. It’s as easy to predict as if you would ask a Barber if you need a haircut.
Take a look at the finish of the concrete in the photo above, you’ll notice that it was very poorly finished, not to mention how dirty and oil stained it is. It’s full of swirl marks with large ridges and deep grooves. 99% of the time diamond grinding can take care of prepping a slab for an epoxy coating but in cases like this where you have deep swirl marks or the floor is pitted then the best solution is to shot blast. Shot blasting will clean out all the low spots while a grinder would ride along the top of the ridges and not get down into the valleys. You can do an aggressive grind followed by a couple of strong Muriatic acid washes if you have the time. The acid will clean out the low spots. We would do a final rinse with TSP powder to neutralize the slab back to the proper PH.
Shot blasting also removes oil stains better than grinding. The drawback of shot blasting is that it’s not a first time user friendly endeavor. You can very easily shot blast parts of the floor more than others resulting in a very uneven finish. Also when overlapping with the machine from one section to another you will get lawnmower lines that can show through your finished epoxy finish. This can happen with any epoxy coating since it’s caused by the fact as you overlap you are creating deeper shot indentations which will hold more epoxy. The more epoxy in those overlap strips have more pigment and therefore will be a shade darker. Most experienced shot blasters know how to avoid this but if you’ve never done it before it could be an issue. Notice the lines in the image below
So if your floor looks like the above and you want to shot blast it yourself we suggest you do either our Armor Granite or a full broadcast color flake installation. Full broadcast is simply covering 100% of the floor with color flakes, thus hiding all the floor’s imperfections. The Armor Granite is about a 90% coverage and in most cases will hide all the imperfections. We offer a full broadcast version of the Armor Chip garage epoxy kit.
We would strongly recommend the Armor Granite for two reasons, it’s much easier to install and it’s less expensive. It’s also a gorgeous finish. Full broadcast is not as easy as it looks. You need a tremendous amount of chips to start with and it’s very easy to end up with uneven blotches and lumps of the colored flakes.
Here’s a quick rundown of how to do a full broadcast. As you apply each section of the epoxy you walk in the epoxy with spike soles, don’t even think of doing this without spikes. We would suggest you have a good size box of flakes in one arm and with the other take large handfuls and toss them in the air in a left to right arc at about a 45 degree angle. Try to avoid throwing them straight up in the air. This will result in the dreaded lumps and blotches of flakes. You will do the floor one section at a time until complete.
Once the epoxy has dried you will need a good floor scraper such as the one in this photo. Notice how the floor is fully covered with flakes.
With the scraper you will remove all the loose flakes, the flakes sticking up and hopefully any lumps you have created. Once fully scraped down you need to vacuum the floor with a shop vac. If you still see some spots not to your liking, you can hit them with some 80 grit sandpaper to smooth them out some more.
Next you will now need to apply the topcoat and you will have to do two coats since all those flakes create millions of nooks and crannies. Do one coat and let dry, apply second coat with 24 hours with a nonslip additive for traction. Let dry and now you have a full broadcast epoxy floor.
This floor takes a little extra effort and some patience but is a beautiful look when done. After cleaning the floor properly you will apply two coats of our Armor II commercial epoxy base coat in white. Then apply the bright white topcoat. It will be three layers of white in total. That’s how you get the ultra bright white floor that won’t yellow. Then you will mark out in pencil the black squares. The squares in this floor are 23″ square. If you have a laser it will make the job a lot easier to get the lines straight. We recommend you use 3M pin-stripping tape to avoid bleed through. This is where the extra effort and patience comes in. Getting the tape lines down straight is crucial to having the floor look symmetrical when done. Once you have all the squares taped out you will apply the black in one thick coat using a good 3″ cut in brush and a 4″ roller. Take care not to get black paint into the white squares. It’s a good idea to have some Xylene handy in case you do you can clean it up right away.
Let the black epoxy dry about five hours and then remove the tape. That’s it nothing complicated, it just takes some extra time and a little patience.
The Products used on this floor were the Armor II Commercial Epoxy Paint in bright white and the black topcoat. To order just select this option in the Color drop down menu.
Just about every concrete floor will have a crack or two in it. So what is the best way to repair them and when should you do it. Let’s start with surface cracks. These are tiny stress cracks that are at the surface and can be filled in with our Military Epoxy or our Garage Epoxy. Next are Hairline cracks, even though they are relatively small cracks they often run down through the whole depth of the slab. Trying to fill these in with the epoxy may or may not work so best to fill them in to be safe. We would recommend you use our Instant Crack Repair. It’s a two part epoxy you mix together and putty knife it into cracks and divots. Then you can paint right over it. It won’t crack or chip out either. You would do this repair after your floor has been grinded or acid etched.
Next would be cracks lets say from 1/4″ and up. We would recommend you use the Crack & Joint Compound. This product gets mix with Playground sand in about a 50 lbs sand to 1 gallon of mixed liquids. The idea is to add the sand to the mixed epoxy until it gets to a grout consistency. Then you can apply it to cracks, divots, holes or pitted areas. This product should be applied before you do your prep work.
For large areas that are pitted or cracked you can use the Skim Coat Patch or one of the Self Leveling Slurries on our concrete floor repair page. Just keep in mind when using any skim coat or floor slurry it’s strongly recommended to use a primer. The reason being is that the patched areas will absorb the epoxy paint at a different rate than the concrete. This can result in color variations if you don’t use a primer. In the case of resurfacing the entire floor with a slurry. The slurry will absorb more than the concrete yielding much less coverage if you don’t prime first.
If you have concerns about prepping your floor correctly please give us a call and one of our flooring experts will be glad to help you out.