Whether you have an existing garage or opt to go with one of our metal and steel garages, you’re left with a choice. What are you going to do with the garage floor?
According to garage renovation website GarageLiving, one of the top mistakes people make when upgrading or renovating a garage is choosing an inferior garage floor coating. You pretty much get what you pay for. If you choose an inexpensive solution, it won’t look good, it won’t last long, and it won’t offer much protection.
Looking at Costs
Concrete is the usual substance used for garage floors. A newly poured concrete pad for a DIY metal and steel garage makes the perfect blank slate for a beautiful upgraded floor. If you’re upgrading an older garage floor, it might be necessary to bring in a concrete mason to take care of repairs, first.
The most important prerequisite is that the concrete must be clean. Motor oils and other chemicals can interfere with the color or even the substance you plan to use to cover the concrete. Experts recommend using a pressure washer that produces from 1,200 to 2,000 psi, along with concrete cleaners you can buy at most paint stores.
Moisture: the Culprit
One of the top problems with most garage floor upgrades is moisture. Not water that sits on it, but vapor from the ground that rises and then loosens the floor coating’s bond with the concrete. Many garage floor coatings are made of alkyd paints. The moisture vapor reacts with the alkaline materials in the concrete to form a type of soap. The process is known as saponification. This “concrete soap” ultimately loosens the paint’s bond with the garage concrete floor. Today, most garage floor coatings no longer use alkyd or modified alkyd paints – but that might be the culprit if your garage floor is older.
One of the most economical options for upgrading your garage floor is to apply a stain. Color can be added by using chemical stains made of acrylic or acid. The acrylic gives a more high-tech result, but it can highlight cracks and chips in the concrete.
An acid stain can be used on new or existing slabs. It’s most commonly made of a mixture of muriatic acid and metallic salts. The acid etches the surface of the concrete up to about a 16th of an inch, allowing the salts to penetrate and apply color. A sealant must be applied afterwards to coat.
Many of the most popular garage floor coatings now incorporate epoxy shields. This is a waterborne coating made of epoxy and acrylic resins. After applying, you sprinkle color chips to add further depth and color.
The formulation can withstand moisture vapor, oils and other vehicle liquids, and even hot-tire pickup. It can be more expensive than staining, but the result is often more attractive. Our prefabricated garage and workshop building kits are cost effective solutions that give you the ability to afford upgrades to your garage floor. Check out our gallery of metal and steel garages and shops put up by Miracle Truss® customers.