Seal Your Garage Floor
Whether you’ve just started shopping for residential garage doors or you’re currently in the process of having your entire garage revamped, it’s time to consider how to seal your garage floor! Living near Cleveland; in Northeast Ohio, your garage floor takes a beating and the “wear and tear” add up each year. Garage floors are most commonly made of concrete and the wear from vehicles, foot traffic, salt and chemicals brought in from the road during the winter months in Cleveland and everything else a garage floor is exposed to, makes it important to seal those porous concrete garage floor. The concrete material is necessary to stand up to all that abuse, but to keep your garage floor in the best shape possible for many years, you should apply a sealant. Additionally, a properly sealed garage floor looks much more aesthetically pleasing and can really make your entire house just seem nicer. Don’t fret – while it sounds like an overwhelming task it is really not as difficult as it sounds.
Types of Garage Floor Sealers
Just like with most activities, having the right supplies is critical to a successful job. There are many different types of floor sealants used on garage floors, divided into two categories: penetrating or topical.
Topical Garage Floor Sealers
Topical sealers stick to your garage floor’s concrete and add a protective layer. They vary from penetrating sealers because they mainly adhere to the concretes surface and do not bond with the upper layers of lime as penetrating sealers are designed to do.
Acrylic Garage Floor Sealers
Acrylic sealers are the most affordable type of garage floor sealer. Acrylic sealers can be applied with either a roller or a sprayer. It is recommended that you use two coats of acrylic sealer, and allow 24 hours for it to set before walking or driving on it.
Epoxy Garage Floor Sealers
Epoxy is the next most common type of floor sealer used in garages after Acrylic. It’s slightly thicker, and more expensive than Acrylic, but it does form a stronger bond. One thing to keep in mind with Epoxy sealers is that you need to do the entire area you plan to seal at the same time, rather than doing a little piece here and there as time allows. Some people prefer to supplement their epoxy floor sealer with a slip-resistant coating such as metal chips or granite.
Polyurethane Garage Floor Sealers
Polyurethane is an uncommon topical sealant, probably due to its higher price tag and more involved application process – a primer must be applied to the floor before applying Polyurethane sealers. The main advantage of Polyurethane sealers is they are more durable than other topical sealers and inherently protect against UV radiation.
Penetrating Garage Floor Sealers
The other main type of garage floor sealers are known as “penetrating sealers”, which differs from topical sealers in the sense that they actually bond with the available lime in the upper layer of concrete and form calcium silicate. This adds a lot more liquid protection to your garage floor and help protect it from nasty gas or oil spills. Most penetrating sealers are silicon water based. Another advantage of penetrating sealers is that they only require one coat, which can save you time on labor whether you’re doing it yourself or paying someone else.
Prepare Your Garage Floor
Before you can actually add your sealer, you must do some basic prepping of your garage floor. This helps ensure the best bond between the concrete and the sealer you have chosen. Here are some guidelines to follow for the preparation process:
- Avoid temperatures below 50 degrees fahrenheit as they will impede your sealers ability to bond to the concrete.
- The garage floor needs to be as clean as possible, so make sure to give it a thorough cleaning and sweeping. Then use a pressure washer (a hose will work if you don’t have a pressure washer, but we recommend renting one) and thoroughly wash away any remaining dirt or debris that was left after you swept.
- Apply an etchant, which is a type of acid that helps remove any chemicals that remain after the sweeping and pressure washing. The etchant will bubble after you pour it. While it is bubbling, use a stiff brush to scrub the floor. Rinse the etchant away, and wait 24 hours before applying your sealer.
Applying and Maintaining Your Garage Floor Sealer
When it’s time to apply your garage floor sealer, the actual process is quite similar to painting. Depending on the type of sealer you use, you will most likely use either a pump sprayer or some type of roller. You can even use painters tape on the wall to prevent accidental sealing of the walls etc.
Be sure to add a thick layer of your sealant and be sure to give it plenty of time to dry. Our advice is to add 10-20% more time than the manufacturer suggests just to be extra cautious. The more time the sealer has to bond with the concrete, the better.
To make your garage floor sealer last as long as possible, there are some basic maintenance steps you should take. For one, any chemical spills, whether oil, gas, or grease, should be cleaned immediately. The less time these chemicals have to permeate into the sealer, the better. This is especially true with topical sealers as they are not as protective against spills as their penetrating counterparts.
That’s really all there is to it! A well sealed garage floor will provide years of improved durability and aesthetic value to your garage. When applied properly, they will make your concrete garage floor last much longer.
Action Door is Cleveland, Ohio’s expert and your source for all things related to garages. We take pride in catering to the needs of businesses and consumers alike. Apart from offering a variety of residential and commercial garage doors, we also offer other door solutions including commercial entry doors, rolling doors, high speed commercial doors and so much more. We’re also proud to offer some of the fastest and most responsive 24 hour emergency garage door services in the business. Whether your needs are for the home or business, Action Door is near you and ready to help.