During the past 6 years garage restoration has emerged as the largest growth market in home remodeling. Franchises have been built selling garage cabinets, organizing systems and epoxy coated decorative flooring.
The one area that has stifled growth of this market is the concrete flooring. Most garage floor concrete slabs are built on grade. The problem is that earth has a lot of moisture. When the earth gets saturated with moisture it pushes upward from pressure. The pressure can be so strong that moisture vapor will push upwards through concrete. This is called hydrostatic pressure.
If you ever put a rubber mat on a concrete floor and found moisture underneath, hydrostatic pressure is the cause. Moisture pressure underneath a garage floor concrete slab will push upwards through air holes, capillaries and cracks. Moisture will push to the surface and pushes salts in the concrete upwards as well. When the moisture and salts reach an epoxy coating it starts breaking down the chemical cross linking of the coating. This causes chipping and delaminates coatings. In some cases a coating will peel off the floor in sheets.
The theory to solve the problem is to etch the floor providing more surface area for the coating to stick to. Some products promote etching the floor with an acid solution. The problem is two-fold. First, acid particles can get into small pinholes in the concrete. Even when washing the surface it does not remove all the small acid particles. Secondly washing the acid off saturates the concrete with water. It can take weeks for the floor to fully dry even though it looks and feels dry. Later when you add the coating, the coating will reactivate the acid eventually causing chipping. Dirt, sand and tires will abrade the surface and you have an unsightly …Continue Reading