Floor coatings add an air of luxury to any garage, and they improve the longevity and durability of the floors they are applied to. They are an excellent investment, but installing one requires a bit of forethought. Are you thinking it’s time for you to install a garage floor coating? First consider these factors: type of coating, installation time, weather conditions.
The Benefits of Garage Floor Coatings
We’ll never get tired of singing the praises of garage floor coatings. There is no better way to extend the lifetime of your floor. They make floors chemical resistant and block external moisture that would otherwise expand and crack the concrete. They also provide excellent impact and abrasion resistance and hold up well under the pressure of vehicles and foot traffic.
Garage floor coatings are hardy. They prevent peeling, cracking, blistering, flaking, and UV degradation. A good coating has the dual benefit of making floors smooth and easy to clean while offering greater traction for safety purposes. They are also resistant to heat and fire.
Can something so durable also be beautiful? Absolutely. Garage floor coatings are completely customizable and come in a broad range of colors and designs. They also have a UV stable topcoat that prevents the floor from fading and yellowing over time. They are truly the best thing you can do for your floors.
Can You Install a Garage Floor in Winter?
Work on the driveway or in the garage often feels like summer work, but is it possible to install a garage floor in the winter? The answer is entirely dependent on the type of coating you choose to install. With the right kind of coating, you can install whether it’s June or January, provided you can find an installer who works during the cold months. In fact, if you can find a team to do so, they will likely have shorter lead times in the winter, shooting your project to the top of the list.
When Should I Coat My Garage Floor?
When you install a garage floor, both the ambient air and the concrete itself must fall within the ideal temperature range. We’ll talk more specifically about temperature in a minute, but that is not the only consideration to think about when you install a garage floor. Moisture also plays a big role, and too much can make or break your installation.
Never install when it is rainy or even very humid. The concrete has to be completely dry, otherwise you run the risk of breaking the bond between floor coating and concrete. In order to test your moisture levels, tape a plastic bag to your garage floor for approximately 24 hours. After the allotted time, pull up a corner of the bag and check to see if the concrete is damp. If you see moisture, you’ll need to wait or dehumidify the garage.
Coating with Epoxy
Epoxy floor coatings are proven to be hardy and enduring as long as they are installed properly. When it comes to the installation process, they can be a bit finicky. In order to cure correctly, you must install an epoxy garage floor coating in temperatures no less than 55°F, ideally when ambient temperatures are between 60°F and 80°F.
This narrow window pretty well rules out winter installations. Curing time effectively does the same and ropes summer into the bargain. Epoxy takes 1–4 days to cure under normal conditions, with a minimum of three days being the recommended time to keep weight off the surface. This means that after you install a garage floor, your car must be left off of the surface for several days.
If you perform the installation during the summer, that puts your car in the baking sun for days on end, which isn’t ideal. This means it is best to handle epoxy installation during the mild months. It also means that you should handle installation over a weekend or even right before you leave on vacation.
Coating with Polyaspartic
Opting for a polyaspartic coat, on the other hand, gives homeowners a lot more flexibility about when they can install. This is true for two reasons. Polyaspartic coatings cure even when ambient temperatures are extreme. This includes the blistering heat of summer as well as temperatures as low as -40°F. This essentially makes temperature a nonissue, so you can install a garage floor coating of aspartic at pretty much any time of year. Polyaspartic coatings also cure much more rapidly than epoxy coatings. While the cure time may be a little longer under cold conditions, polyaspartic coatings are typically usable within four hours of installation. This makes planning around the disruption installation causes much easier. If you don’t have your heart set on a certain kind of coating but do have a deadline for installation, you may err on the side of polyaspartic.