A garage floor is an area of the home that is often overlooked. While the floor does not usually need immediate attention unless there is a spill, the garage floor needs to be regularly cleaned and maintained. Due to epoxy coatings being different from regular concrete floors, they need special attention when it comes to cleaning. This blog will talk about the benefits of having epoxy floor coatings and how to clean epoxy garage floors.
Epoxy Floor Benefits
Applying an epoxy coating to a garage floor offers several benefits, making it a popular choice for homeowners looking to upgrade their garage space. Here are some of the key advantages of using epoxy floor coatings:
- Durability: Epoxy coatings create an exceptionally durable and hard-wearing surface that can withstand heavy traffic, vehicle movement, and impacts. It protects the concrete floor from wear and tear, including cracks, stains, and abrasions.
- Chemical Resistance: Epoxy coatings are highly resistant to chemicals like oil, gasoline, brake fluid, and household cleaners. This makes them ideal for garage floors where these substances are often present and helps prevent damage to the concrete.
- Enhanced Safety: Epoxy coatings can be customized with anti-slip additives, creating a safer surface even when wet. This is especially important in a garage where water, snow, and ice can be tracked in from outside.
- Aesthetic Appeal: Epoxy coatings are available in a variety of colors, styles, and finishes, including metallic and decorative options. They can dramatically improve the appearance of your garage, giving it a polished and professional look.
- Moisture Resistance: Epoxy coatings create a moisture-resistant barrier, preventing water and moisture from seeping into the concrete. This can help prolong the life of your garage floor and reduce the risk of damage due to freeze-thaw cycles.
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Gather Cleaning Supplies
You should start by checking the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and maintenance. Different epoxy coatings may have specific guidelines, so it is essential to follow their instructions. If you had professionals apply your epoxy coating, you can consult them to know how to properly care for your floor if they didn’t inform you at the time of application.
Next, you will need to find the right tools for cleaning. Select soft-bristle brooms, microfiber mops, or soft nylon brushes for routine cleaning. Avoid using any abrasive tools or harsh materials that can scratch the epoxy surface.
For general cleaning, choose a mild, neutral pH cleaner. Avoid acidic or alkaline cleaners, as they can damage the epoxy surface over time. Look for pH-balanced, non-abrasive cleaning solutions. Next, you will have to dilute the cleaner with water. Typically, you will use a few ounces of cleaner per gallon of water. Using the correct dilution ratio is crucial to avoid residue buildup.
Products to Avoid
There are some products that you should avoid when you want to clean epoxy floors to prevent any long term damage. Here are just a few:
Harsh Chemical Cleaners: Avoid using strong acidic or alkaline cleaners, as well as chemical solvents like acetone, turpentine, or paint thinner. These can break down the epoxy coating and cause it to deteriorate over time.
Bleach and Chlorine: Bleach and chlorine-based cleaners can discolor and weaken the epoxy coating. They should be avoided to prevent damage.
Abrasive Tools: Stay away from abrasive cleaning tools like steel wool, abrasive scrub brushes, or scouring pads. These can scratch the epoxy surface, making it look dull and worn.
Vinegar and Citrus: While vinegar is often used as a natural cleaner, it is too acidic for epoxy floors and can harm the coating. Citrus-based cleaners may contain natural acids that can damage the epoxy surface over time. This is why it is best to just avoid them.
Wax or Polish: Epoxy coatings have a natural glossy finish, so waxing or polishing epoxy is not necessary. Adding these products can create an extremely slippery surface and attract dirt and dust.
6 Steps to Clean Epoxy Floors
Now let’s get into the specifics and process of cleaning your floor:
- Start by sweeping or dusting the floor with a soft-bristle broom or a dust mop to remove loose dirt and debris.
- Next, find your pH-balanced cleaning solution and mix it with warm water, making sure you follow the correct ratio suggestions.
- Apply the cleaning solution to a small section of the floor, scrub gently with a soft nylon brush or microfiber mop. Work in small sections to prevent the cleaner from drying before you can rinse it off.
- Rinse the cleaned area thoroughly with clean water. A hose with a gentle spray nozzle is ideal for rinsing. Ensure there is no residue left behind.
- Continue this process, working your way across the entire garage floor. Pay extra attention to areas with stains or spills, using a bit of extra elbow grease if needed.
- After cleaning, use a wet-dry vacuum to remove excess water and speed up the drying process.
Regularly sweep or dust your epoxy floor to prevent dirt buildup, and promptly clean up any spills to maintain its shine and longevity. Following these simple steps will keep your epoxy garage floor looking great for years to come.