To sell a home today requires every edge possible. Remodeling the garage is an inexpensive way to get the edge. When a prospective buyer opens the garage door seeing a nice floor, cabinets and wall organization shelving they get excited. The house has credibility giving the prospective buyer confidence that the home is solid.
Start With A High Performance Coating
There are lots of options available. You may have seen kits available at home improvement stores. Don’t be fooled by the nice labeling on the box with a nice yellow or red car sports car. Inexpensive epoxy paint doesn’t have the capability to perform on most concrete floors. Moisture which is in every piece of concrete is continually emitting a vapor and pushes salts to the surface. This is what causes chipping and demanination. It’s caused by capillary pressure or in extreme cases hydrostatic pressure.
The inexpensive coatings are very thin with every blemish bleeding through. A high performance epoxy is a thick coating of approximately 11-15 mils. Thin, inexpensive floor paints might be only 4-5 mils when wet and less when they dry. Ask about mil thickness before you buy.
Surface Prep Is Critical For Long Term Performance
80% of all floor coating failures is due to improper surface preparation. Make sure that you use a high quality crack filler or patch product. Cutting corners on quality means problems later. If your patch or crack delaminates so will your coating. Again, just because the product says crack filler on the label doesn’t mean it works.
Make sure that you etch the concrete surface first. Professional applicators use a shotblaster which is a walk behind machine that shoots tiny ball bearings at the surface. This abrades the concrete making the surface feel and look like coarse sandpaper. This process increases the surface area for the epoxy to adhere to.
As effective is etching the concrete with an acid. There are two types, gel and liquid acid. Liquid acids are typically very weak, inconsistent and overly saturate your concrete with water. Again moisture is the enemy of any coating. You can get the same result etching your concrete with a gel acid. Gel acids have been a big breakthrough for the Do It Yourself epoxy market. They are safe and easy to apply by just rolling on and they work. The results are just like shotblasting.
Hot Tire and Chemical Resistance
You’ve probably seen painted garage floors that are peeling off the floor where the tires travel. Some times you’ll even see a path that follows the tires with extreme failure where tires stop. Tires get hot from friction with the road. This extreme heat will cause all but high performance epoxies to break down. When epoxies are mixed the chemicals cross link like a chain which gives them strength. Inexpensive products don’t have the capability to handle the extreme heat from tires. Their cross linking is weak.
Decorative Chip Systems
Concrete floors are never flat. They have highs and lows that are the result of human imperfection and how concrete cures. When you apply decorative chips into epoxy it takes your eye away from imperfections and adds a decorative result. You can apply a light chip broadcast which lightly scatters the chips or a full chip broadcast that gives complete coverage. Only a thick high performance epoxy will enable you to apply a full broadcast.
Cabinets and Shelving
Once your floor is complete you can think about adding cabinets and shelves. The full package of flooring and cabinets really creates the wow factor if you are looking to add value to a home. The garage remodeling market is huge but not everyone has made the investment. If you are a seller looking for a solution to make your property stand out a few thousand dollar investment in your garage will make all the difference.