Congratulations! By virtue of the fact that you are viewing this website you are most likely considering epoxy coating your garage. If you are anything like me, you do a massive amount of research before you jump into any project like this. You want to learn as much as possible about the available products, processes, and possible pitfalls. My name is Jack Severens. I'm looking forward to meeting you in person in the near future. I would like to use this page to answer some of the questions that my customers most frequently ask me. I believe that the most common source of misunderstanding is unmet expectations. Therefore, it is very important to me that my customers clearly understand as much about the epoxy flooring process as possible.
100% solids epoxy is the most cost effective garage floor coatings when comparing thickness and durability.
Q. What do your customers like most about their Garage floors?
A. My customers LOVE the way their garage floors look upon completion. If that isn't enough, having a epoxy floor reduces the dirt that gets tracked into the house. An epoxy floor adds value to your home. As you will see your epoxy floor is very easy to clean. The 100% solids epoxy material that I use is extremely durable and long lasting.
Q. What kind of epoxy do you use and why?
A. I use 100% solids epoxy. The epoxy base coat when cured is 13.7 mils thick. Some of the other available epoxies (some of these used by the competition) are water based epoxy or solvent based epoxy. What occurs when the water or solvent based epoxies cures is that the water (or solvent) cures out of the epoxy. The cured thickness of these epoxies is typically 2 - 3 mils thick. So, after doing extensive research I decided to use 100% solids epoxy and the manufacturer that I buy my epoxy from has been making epoxy and Industrial floor coating for over 30 years. This manufacturers epoxy products are routinely used by all branches of the U.S. military and their 100% solids epoxy is used in buildings with heavy traffic such as airplane hangars.
Q. Why should I consider LKN Garage Epoxy Flooring?
A. Product, Labor, Quality, Durability and Price.
Product - After extensive research I decided to use 100% solids epoxy because I felt that it was the best epoxy that I could offer my clients. Then I set out to find the manufacturer that offered the best 100% solids epoxy. After comparing all of the specifications on this epoxy (abrasion resistance, strength, cured thickness, etc.) and stacking those stats to the others I settled on the epoxy that Armorclad offers.
Labor - I personally complete all of the epoxy floor installations myself. By making this decision it limits the number of customers that I can service on a monthly basis. But the benefit to my customers is that they know that a professional with extensive experience will be personally completing their installation. By not utilizing employees I can assure that the process is done right, the first time, to my high standards of quality... on every job!
Durability - Unlike many of my competitors, I use a 3 coat process including a 2 part epoxy primer, followed by a coat of 100% solids epoxy. The final coat is a polyurethane fortified clear topcoat with a slip resistant admixture. All told, the system is over 20 mils thick. From my research the products that I apply are the best epoxy / polyurethane products on the market.
Price - Many of my customers have told me that my total price is at least $700 less than my local competition. In some cases they have told me that they saved over $1,000 by using my services.
Just because I have a more competitive price doesn't mean that I skimp on quality or products. I'm able to keep my prices competitive because I run a lean operation.
I don't have high overhead and, as I said, I have chosen not to use employees. The bottom line for my customers is that they receive the best epoxy floor for the best price.
It really is a
win / win situation for all involved.
Q. Does weather impact the schedule?
A. That's a possibility. There are two conditions that can impact the schedule; humidity and cold temperatures. If the humidity is greater than 80% I can't apply the epoxy. Or, if the temperature is lower than 50 degrees I can't apply the epoxy. However, I will do everything that I can to start on the start date that we agree upon and end on the agreed upon ending date. On occasion I have looked at the weather report and called my customer and asked if I can start a day or two early to "beat the rain". If my customers are flexible I can typically determine how to best finesse the schedule to account for the inclement weather.
Q. Why is it important to utilize both epoxy and polyurethane?
A. Having both epoxy and polyurethane applied to the floor gives your garage floor a complete, superior system that cannot be attained if just one of these components are used without the other. The epoxy component mechanically binds to the pores of the concrete. This acts to permanently bond the system to the concrete substrate. The epoxy alone is extremely durable, but when the polyurethane fortified topcoat is applied over it the end result is a floor system with superior durability, abrasion resistance (resistant to scratching) and stain resistance. Also, without a topcoat over the flakes, the edges of the flakes would collect dirt and grime. But by adding the topcoat it seals the flakes in so that they are permanently protected. This allows the floor to be easily cleaned and the flakes will not dull or become permanently soiled. The polyurethane ensures that your floor will maintain its showroom quality, high gloss finish for years to come.
Q. How long does the process take to complete?
A. The actual work takes four days to complete. On the first day I acid etch the floor. A high RPM rotary floor buffer is used to agitate the acid into the pores of the concrete. The second day is when the two part epoxy primer is applied to the concrete floor. On the second day I will also patch any cracks or gouges or divots in the concrete floor. On the third day I apply the 100% solids epoxy. At that time I broadcast the epoxy flakes into the wet epoxy. This ensures that the flakes are permanently bonded to the epoxy material. On the final day (and once I ensure that the epoxy has sufficiently cured) I apply the clear topcoat.
Following the completion of the work you can walk on your new floor 24 hours after the topcoat is applied. Your items that you store in the garage can be replaced on the surface of the garage floor 48 hours after the topcoat is applied. As far as parking cars in your garage the manufacturer suggests that you wait one full week after topcoat installation to park in the garage.
Q. Is this epoxy resistant to spills?
A. Yes. It is resistant to almost anything that you could possibly spill in your garage. Here is just a brief list of the substances that it is resistant to: xylene, methanol, sulfuric acid, sodium hydroxide, acetic acid, gasoline and petroleum distillates. Have you ever worked with xylene? It is an extremely powerful solvent. It can dissolve the chrome off a bumper (well, not literally, but suffice to say that it is extremely strong). This is one of the key features that I considered when choosing a manufacturer for the epoxy that I would use on my customers garage floors. I wanted an epoxy that was not only durable but also extremely resistant to spills. Now, all that being said, I have found that the standard topcoat that I typically utilize is not resistant to brake fluid. So, if you think that you will be using your garage frequently for car repairs and there is a possibility that brake fluid will possibly leak out onto the floor routinely I suggest that you request an upgrade to our military strength topcoat. In addition to the chemicals listed above I have learned from experience that it is also resistant to brake fluid (as well as having greater abrasion resistant properties.
Q. If the house is new will acid etching preparation still be required?
A. Yes. Even though the house and garage is new the garage has most likely been walked on extensively during the months preceding your move in. By acid etching the floor it cleans out the pores of the new concrete. Some of the foreign matter that may be clogging these pores are concrete dust, dirt, drywall dust, etc. Remember, for the epoxy to mechanically bind to the concrete it is crucial that these pores be clean and open.
Q. Can my stem walls be coated too?
A. Absolutely. We recommend that the stem walls be coated with a high gloss enamel paint color coded to match the epoxy. Sometimes the price of the stem wall painting can be included in the base price of the epoxy work. Whether or not it can be included at no extra cost will be determined by the height and length of stem walls and upon the square footage of the garage. Painting of the stem walls to match the color of the garage epoxy is a nice touch and is very aesthetically pleasing. It gives the garage a nice, finished look.
Q. Do I have to worry about hot tire pickup?
A. NO. Hot tire pickup is a common issue with water based and solvent based epoxies. Remember, these type of epoxies cure at about 2-3 mils thick. The 3 coat system that I apply cures at over 20 mils thick. It is EXTREMELY more durable than other, cheap materials. Hot tire pickup occurs when hot tires soften cheap and thin epoxy coatings. When the tires cool down the tread from the tires contracts causing it to pull the epoxy right off the floor. Typically the store bought kits are only about 30% solids epoxy. I have professionally completed over 100 epoxy floors and haven't had a single floor experience hot tire pickup! That's a pretty good track record, don't you think?
Q. Will you epoxy over the old epoxy (or sealer) that has failed in my garage?
A. The good news is that the floor can be given a beautiful new epoxy finish. The challenge is that before new epoxy can be applied the old epoxy or sealer will need to be grinded up at additional expense. There is no set rate for this grinding. The price depends upon what type of material is already applied and what type of equipment will be necessary to remove it. The reason that we will not epoxy over anything other than properly prepared concrete is that the bond of the new epoxy to the floor is only as good as the substrate. So, if you are applying good epoxy over bad epoxy there is a chance that the new epoxy will peel up (because the old material is not properly affixing itself to the floor).
Q. How do I clean my new floor?
A. Clean up is very straight forward. Remove any items from the floor that you want removed prior to cleaning. Next use a blower to blow out any debris and dust. Wet mop the surface of the floor. Be sure to change the mop water as often as necessary to assure that you have clean water without excess residual. Finally, allow the floor to air dry. This process can be completed as often as you deem necessary. I recently met with a customer that I had completed her black epoxy floor for her over a year ago. The floor looked beautiful and had a very high gloss to it. I asked her when was the last time that she cleaned the floor. She told me that it had been over 4 months since she mopped it. The color of epoxy that you choose (and the amount of activity in your garage) will determine how often you will decide to clean the floor.