From bare to flair
Garage floors need a little TLC as they are subject to harsh conditions that can damage the concrete and cause hygiene issues. An epoxy floor coating can not only protect the floor but turn a bare gray concrete slab into something aesthetically pleasing.
According to Chris Bauer, Head of Flooring at Hychem, there are a number of benefits for choosing to use an epoxy to protect a garage floor.
Epoxy seals bare concrete giving it anti-dusting properties. Dust on garage floors comes not only from outside elements but is also created by the cement itself as well in the form of a powder that it sheds.
“When you walk or drive on an unsealed concrete slab it is easy to stir up the dust the concrete makes.
“Dust collecting on cars, bikes, benches and cupboards in the garage can cause hygiene issues and also spread inside the house which can be problematic for people with respiratory issues,” Mr Bauer said.
- Harsh chemicals
Home garage floors can be exposed to harsh chemicals. Cars require a range of different fluids to keep working and it is not unusual for leaks to occur in the storage tanks or pipes during a car’s life.
“Anywhere you park your car, including your garage, can be damaged if you have oil or petrol dripping from the car. These chemicals are harsh and easily penetrate the concrete which can cause corrosion on unsealed concrete as well as stain the floor permanently,” Mr Bauer said.
Getting a garage floor sealed is also about aesthetics. Epoxy coatings come in a wide range of options including decorative coatings.
Mr Bauer said, “Epoxy coatings can be decorative – a floor that’s coated will be more visually appealing than having a bare concrete slab.”
Choosing a coating
According to Mr Bauer, there are two types of epoxy floor coatings for garages. The first is a roller applied product which can be applied in the same way as you would paint a wall.
“Roller applied epoxy looks fantastic and for most garage applications they will hold up to most wear and tear but they can be a bit thin for heavier duty traffic,” he said.
He recommends the application of a trowel applied epoxy as the coating can be applied thicker and is self-levelling ensuring the application is even and areas are not missed.
“When it comes to strength, the thicker you apply the product, the better. There is a lot of wear and tear to the average garage and a thicker product will able to withstand more traffic,” he said.
There are also a number of options available to make garage floor coatings decorative.
Mr Bauer recommends Hychem SL20 for a solid colour – it is a self-smoothing product which provides a glossy, impervious, easy to clean, hygienic and seamless floor coating. It also comes in a variety of solid colours including gray and green.
He also recommends HyFlake which gives floors a speckled decorative finish.
“HyFlake’s speckled finish not only looks nice but also hides dirt or grease on the surface as it makes it difficult to spot. It’s also easy to clean,” Mr Bauer said.
“HyFlake comes in many different colours and we can customise it to suit whatever the client may be after.”
The application process
When applying HyFlake, it is important to grind the concrete first.
“Preparation is really important as if you don’t grind the concrete before applying the coating, it might not stick as well,” Mr Bauer said.
After grinding, a primer should be applied to the concrete to aid adhesion, then a base coat of colour is put down. The HyFlakes are then sprinkled onto the surface to give the desired decorative look.
“Finally, it’s sealed in with two coats of a UV stable clear polyaspartic called PA500.
“The process generally takes about two days but in some cases it can be done in one, with the floor able to be used again the following day.”
HyFlake is not limited to garage flooring. Mr Bauer said it can be used for a variety of other flooring projects such as at schools, universities, hospitals, offices and retail stores.
For more information on HyFlake and other decorative flooring options please call Hychem on (02) 4646 1660.