Info-Blog


When You Need To Shot Blast & How To Do Full Broadcast

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.


HOW TO DO A BLACK & WHITE CHECKERBOARD 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.


When Should I Do Crack Repairs Before Or After Etching?

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.


What To Do With a Rusting And Or Painted Metal Roof?

Metal roofs are great but if left unattended too long they can start to rust and or have the factory coating wear off. If you’re interested in getting a new roof installed, check out a website like https://austinroofingcompany.org/roof-replacement/ to learn more about what’s involved. Lets start with a roof that is rusting and is bare metal. You first need to remove as much of the surface rust as possible. Power washing and or wire brushing works best. Next you need to apply a high zinc primer to all rusted areas. Be sure the primer you choose can act as a primer for a solvent based coating. Once the zinc primer has dried you can apply our Roof Repair Mastic to any areas that are in need of repair. The mastic is a patch material that can be put over split seams, bolt heads, curbs and other roof flashings. For really bad areas we would embed some roof mesh into the mastic for added strength.
Once the mastic has dried you can apply two coats of the Armor Metal Roof Coating by either roller or spray or a combination of both. Now you have a completely encapsulated metal roof that is protected against rust, water tight and heat reflective.

Alternatively, if your roof is either beyond repair or you do not want to go through the fixing process, you might want to contact an affordable roofing company for a repair or replacement. This is essential if the state of your roof has greatly deteriorated.

Now lets talk about metal roofs that have a paint coating or factory coating on them, that you might find somewhere similar to www.powdercoatservices.com among other places. First thing you need to do is to determine that the coating is still bonded to the metal. If the coating is delaminating from the metal then it must be removed completely. You never want to coat over another coating that is failing. That goes for whether you’re doing your floor, deck or roof. If the coating is still adhered to the metal firmly then clean it, let it dry and then coat with the Bonding Primer. Let the Bonding Primer dry 24 hrs and then apply two coats of the Armor Metal Roof Coating. If there are any rust spots treat them as detailed above.

If you have a bare metal roof you can apply the Armor Metal Roof Coating directly to it.

So to summarize, never coat directly over rust or a paint finish. Zinc prime any rust areas and then coat the entire roof with bonding primer, same goes for painted metal roofs. Roofs with no coatings or rust can be coated directly with two coats. If your seams, bolt heads and flashings need repair. Do the repairs using the Armor Roof Repair Mastic after any zinc and bonding primer application. If you have any questions as to how to properly coat your roof contact us and one of our roof experts will guide you accordingly.

If you’re looking to make improvements to your fascia and are concerned about its longevity, recycled plastic fascia doesn’t rot like wood and doesn’t rust like metal.


COVE BASE & EPOXY FLOORING

When doing an epoxy flooring job where you need a 100% water tight floor or you need a 100% sanitary finish between the wall and the floor, cove base is your answer. As you can see from the picture cove base is curved at the top and bottom so that it finishes flush with the wall and floor. This is important for commercial kitchens and food production areas that cannot have a seam or ledge for bacteria to sit on and grow. It’s also great for wash down areas since it protects the walls from water splatter and makes it easier to wash down the floor.
A lot of times even in residential applications you have a garage or other such room over a finished room below. In the case of a garage application you can get snow melt and rain run off that will work its way through the concrete and into the finished space below. Remember concrete is porous so water can and will penetrate all the way through, so make sure you get a quality waterproofing product from a respectable company like WR Meadows to ensure that the concrete won’t become waterlogged.. With a good floor epoxy and some cove base, you can turn your garage floor or any floor for that matter into a waterproof tub. Simply install the cove base around the entire perimeter of your space and then run any of our epoxy systems across the floor and up the cove base. You now have a monolithic watertight coating over the floor and up your wall. If you’d rather leave this job to the professionals, contact a company like Spec 7 Group to see which type of waterproofing solution they may be able to offer you. No one wants to have a waterlogged room so get it sorted!

Cove base is available in different heights to accommodate any application requirements. It’s easy to install and can be fitted around corners also. We like www.easycove.com. They make a good product that is epoxy paint ready. Or you can make your own cove base out of mortar and a cove base tool. However this very often doesn’t turn out as nice as the easy cove and is very time consuming. Either way you do it, cove base is a great way to finish you epoxy flooring project both from a finished look aspect and for the waterproofing and sanitary benefits.


CAN I EPOXY PAINT MY CURB WALL?

Many garages have a small 6-12” high curb wall around the perimeter. The question is can you epoxy paint that. The answer is yes. But you have to allow for sufficient amount of material to do it. Curb walls are notorious for using up a lot more material than normal. So when you calculate the square footage of the curb wall you should at the very least double it, we like to triple it to be safe, especially if it’s cinder block.

If the size of your garage is 550 square feet, you should not order just one Armor Chip Kit since that is right at the max coverage. You would need to order the Add On Half Kit. With the half kit you will have plenty of material to do your curb wall. If you don’t have a curb wall and your floor size is close to or just over the max coverage, the other option is to purchase the Epoxy Primer. The primer will add an extra layer of epoxy so that you end up with a thicker coating and it also will increase the coverage of the epoxy since it is now going over a sealed surface.

To prep your curb wall you can simply scrub some etching solution on it and rinse well. Prep on the curb wall is not as critical as it is on the floor since you will not be driving or walking on it. You can apply the color flakes to the curb wall by tossing them underhanded at the curb in small quantities. Using a brush is usually the best option to apply the epoxy.
You can do the curb wall first and cut in the floor edges at the same time. We would do a cut in strip of at least 6” on the floor so that you can have at least a 4” strip of wet epoxy without flakes in it. This lets you overlap onto the epoxy without chips in it for a smoother finish when you do the floor.

Topcoating your curb wall is optional. Again since there is not traffic load a topcoat is not necessary. But if you ordered a sufficient amount of product you should have plenty of topcoat on hand. So you might as well go ahead and use all the topcoat.


HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET MY GARAGE EPOXY ORDER

When ordering epoxy coatings it’s never a good idea to wait to order so that it arrives a day or two before you plan on doing the job. Many times we get calls from customers who placed an order on a Tuesday or Wednesday expecting to do their project that weekend. If you are in the Tri State area in the Northeast that may be fine but if you are on the west coast or thereabouts then that will be an issue. We do our best to get orders out the door as fast as possible but you have to allow sufficient ground delivery time.

Only water based epoxies can be overnighted so none of our epoxies can be overnighted. When planning to epoxy paint your floor allow as much lead time as possible for several reasons. The epoxy has a shelf life of 1 year and the military topcoat has a shelf life of 6 months. So if you order ahead of time the product will be fine when you’re ready to apply. Also during busy season we tend to get back logged on epoxy orders and it could take a couple of extra days for the warehouse to ship out your epoxy, which is the case as of this righting. We have a sizable backlog of epoxy and deck coating orders. Severe weather can delay FedEx deliveries, or FedEx can lose or damage your order.
As a general guideline always allow a week for delivery, if you are on the west coast allow 7-8 business days to be safe. During summer months lead time for our Renew It Deck Coating can stretch out to two weeks due to demand. Ahead of major holidays you should allow an extra week for delivery.

So plan ahead and if you have an urgent situation gives a call at 866-532-3979 and will do the best we can to accommodate you.


PREPPING A BRAND NEW CONCRETE FLOOR AND CRACK REPAIR

One of the most frequent questions we get does I still need to do an acid etching on my floor if it’s brand new. The answer is Yes. New concrete floors need to be etched twice, in fact, to get all the curing residues cleared out of the pores, plus you need to wait 28 days prior to applying an epoxy coating to achieve that Polished concrete floors look you’re after. We recommend doing a strong etch first with some store-bought muriatic acid diluted in a 3:1 ratio with water. After scrubbing in the solution and letting it sit for 10 minutes, rinse off thoroughly and do the second etch with the etching solution provided in one of your ArmorGarage epoxy flooring kits in a 4:1 ratio. If your kit contained TSP powder scrub that in after the 10-minute wait and just prior to your final rinse off. This will neutralize the acid and bring your slab back to the proper PH to ensure the highest level of adhesion between the concrete and your epoxy coating. If your kit did not come with TSP, pick some up at any Hardware Store or Home Improvement store. 1 lb per every 750 square feet is sufficient.

The second most common question is, I have some hairline cracks, do I need to fill them in? The answer is yes and no. If the cracks are truly cosmetic cracks at the surface, the epoxy will fill them in. However, even hairline cracks can sometimes run the depth of the slab making it difficult to fill in with your epoxy coating. Our coatings are very thick and they will fill in hairline cracks but be advised that if the cracks are 4 or more inches deep some settling can occur overnight as the epoxy cures. So the best course of action is to V out those hairline cracks with a grinding wheel on a small hand grinder. Then fill them in with a good quality concrete repair compound. Epoxy-based repair compounds are the best to use. They are the strongest and are the most compatible with epoxy coatings. Do not use any silicone-based products to repair cracks if you’re planning to paint your floor with any type of epoxy coating. Also, try to avoid any premixed type of products in a tub or plastic container. While these products are inexpensive and easy to use, you get what you pay for and they more often than not crack or chip out of the cracks or divots you applied them too which ruins the look of your new High Gloss epoxy floor. ArmorGarage has two great crack and divot repair compounds that are just as easy to use. We have an epoxy crack repair compound that you can mix, putty knife into your cracks and divots and then immediately epoxy paint over it. No need to wait for it to cure and it will never crack or chip apart. Use this product after the floor has been etched and dried. It’s good for cracks up to ¼” wide, divots up to 3/8″ deep and small pitted areas. Use our Crack & Joint Filling Compound for larger cracks, divots and for filling in holes. If you wanted to get a forklift rental, no worries. Once cured our repair compounds are rated A* for these duties so you’ll never have to worry about doing the repairs again.


FULL BROADCAST EPOXY FLOOR

SHOULD YOU DO A FULL BROADCAST EPOXY FLOOR?

The short answer is no unless you’re a professional and have done it many times before. Many customers call us and state they would like to do a full broadcast color flake epoxy floor for their garage or shop. Then after speaking with us for a few minutes they change their minds.

Epoxy Flooring ChipsIt may seem like a good idea when you read about it but doing it is much harder than it sounds. First off you need a tremendous amount of flakes, 70-75lbs of flakes for a typical 2 ½ car garage. Trying to do it with less chips and your floor will come out blotchy! Then you have the problem of applying so many flakes without them piling up in uneven lumps. If you’re not experienced in applying the color flakes they will end up in uneven layers and piles. Other companies trying to sell you on this will tell you that you can scrape the chips down. Again easier said than done and even after scraping and even sanding, the floor won’t look right.

So in addition to having your brand new epoxy floor not looking right, you’ll have to spend additional money to purchase a lot more topcoat. When you do a full broadcast, all those chips piled on top of each other create lots of nook and crannies. Those nooks and crannies have to be filled with topcoat, so plan on spending a lot more money on topcoat and time applying it in at least two coats or maybe three.

How do we know this? We know this from the thousands of floors we’ve done with our own guys. They have to know what they’re doing and even they screw it up every now and then. Which means they have to grind the floor off and start over. That’s why over 90% of the floors we do are not full broadcast. ArmorGarage offers two color flake floor options. The Armor Chip Garage Epoxy Flooring kit which provides you with about 75% chip coverage. Our Armor Granite kits provide you with 90% coverage. Both of these floors use the base epoxy color as one of the background colors. They both provide a beautiful finish that looks like you had a Pro do it for you even though you did it yourself for a fraction of the price. In fact, most customers don’t use all the color flakes we provide in each kit. We provide you the most color chips of any company so that you can apply the color chips until you like the pattern without having to worry about running out.

So why spend extra time and money and run the risk of having your floor not looking the way it should when you can get a gorgeous looking floor every time with our Armor Chip or Armor Granite Epoxy flooring kits.


Deck paint this spring

SPRING TIME = DECK TIME

Well it’s almost that time of the year again. The snow and ice will be melting off your decks and for many of you so will your deck coatings. If you don’t deal with this then the elements will damage your deck and you’ll need to get someone like Austin Fence & Deck – Repair & Replacement in to sort it. So you have a choice, do the same thing you do every year, strip and repaint or just repaint or reseal with that same clear sealer. All of which doesn’t work. So why not try something different?

ArmorGarage’s Renew It Coating is not a paint, stain or sealer. It’s a super thick cementitious coating that will stick to your concrete or wood decks like glue and stay looking new for many years. Off the shelf paints, stains and sealers are just not hearty enough to last as long as you want and need them to.

So strip off whatever you have on your deck now or should we say strip off whatever is left of whatever you have on your deck now. Then apply our deck primer and let that dry. Next apply two thick coats of Renew It with our special rollers and see how beautiful your deck can look and stay looking that way.

The key to good results is to clean your deck really good, you want the primer going directly on and into the deck surface. Then make sure the temperature will be above 50 degrees for the next 72 hours and no rain for the next 24 hours. Then roll on one coat and let dry for about 4 hours till hard to the touch. Then roll on the second coat. Don’t try to stretch it out, Renew It goes on really thick. That’s how in fills in cracks and holes. So it coats and repairs your deck surface at the same time. You should have approximately an 1/8″ costing on the surface. Any rotted boards should be replaced. You should replace them with untreated boards and give them a rough sanding prior to priming. This can be quite a long process, but it’s worth it. There are a number of things to consider when fixing your timber deck up, so follow this guide on sanding a timber deck. By following this guide, you’ll be sure to have the perfect decking you desire in no time.

So give Renew It a try and take next spring off from deck chores!