I wish I had a dollar for every person that has asked me why their DIY Painted Garage Floor started to peel up. Very often the first part of our discussion surrounds this topic. They did it themselves and the paint peeled up starting where the tires of the car first hit the concrete surface. This is called “Hot Tire Pick-up.”
To understand why this happened we have to start with the basics of Concrete structure.
Concrete has a structure that looks a lot like a sponge. It is porous and liquids can penetrate that sponge like structure. There is a reason why liquids generally don’t penetrate Concrete. That is because when concrete is finished properly there is a “concentrated dense past layer” at the surface often called the “cream.” This makes the concrete generally impervious to most liquids.
To properly apply a garage floor that starts out as a liquid you must first remove the “concentrated dense past layer” so that the liquid can penetrate down into the sponge like structure of the concrete. There is really only one way to remove this layer and that is by grinding it off with a diamond grinder. Once you have removed the “concentrated dense past layer” the liquid paint can then penetrate so that it becomes part of the concrete. Some DIY garage floor products recommend the use of Miriatic Acid to remove this layer.
Don’t do it!! It is dangerous stuff to work with and unless you have very soft concrete it typically won’t remove enough of the “cream” to expose the sponge like structure for the paint to penetrate.
To remove the “concentrated dense past layer” rent a walk behind diamond grinder. You must also rent an appropriate “Pulse Vac” as well. It is referred to as a “Pulse Vac” because it will generally have three different filters and while one is being used the other two are having the concrete dust blown out backwards so that it can be used again. This happens every few seconds so that it sounds like it is pulsating. Don’t do this job without a “Pulse Vac” as concrete dust is dangerous to breath. Also don’t use a regular shop vac because it will get plugged up from the dust.
Once the “cream” is removed you may use your flooring products to create a new surface. If the concrete is properly prepared and the right surfacing product is used you should have a floor that will last.
We use products called Polyaspartics. They are 3 times harder and have 3 times the chemical resistance of Epoxy which is the standard in the industry. Polyaspartics also allow us to do most jobs in one day where that is really tough to do with Epoxy without cutting corners.
Once the “concentrated dense past layer” is removed we then apply 2 to 3 layers of our Polyapartics to the concrete. The first layer penetrates and seals the top of the concrete and then the following layers bond to the first layer. Thru this process you wind up with a beautiful floor that will not peel up and will last you a lifetime.
Obviously, this is a lot of work and it has to be done right. Please call us if you need a professional to do the work for you. Good luck and have fun with your garage.
Global Garage, CEO