Proper preparation of a concrete floor is essential before any coating material is applied. A coating can add durability and beauty to concrete and make it easier to clean. There are many types of coating products on the market but no matter what type you choose the preparation of the concrete plays a major role in how long the coating will last.
All oily residue and grease needs to be removed from the concrete before any coating or repairs are started. There are many products designed for this to remove all traces of oils that will not cause damage the concrete itself. A pressure washers can be used to thoroughly clean and rinse the surface. A second cleaning will be needed after any sanding or repairs are performed. Sweep or vacuum the entire area well and use mineral spirits or denatured alcohol to remove any remaining dust or residue.
Some concrete coatings will require the use of an etching solution before application. Always mix the solution according to the directions and be sure to rinse thoroughly when the etching is complete. A ten percent muriatic acid solution can also be used for etching concrete. Allow the concrete surface to dry fully before taking any additional steps.
If the concrete surface has a build up of many coatings or types of paint sandblasting may be needed to remove the old layers. Use caution when sandblasting to prevent damage to the surface. Regular sanding can be done in most cases if there is no heavy build up. Coatings need to adhere well to the surface to form a strong bond. Any areas with peeling paint should be thoroughly scraped and sanded to prevent future peeling.
All damaged areas or cracks in the concrete surface should be repaired before applying a coating. Very small cracks can be ignored but use a quality concrete repair product for large cracks or breaks. Be sure to clean away any loose concrete before repairing and allow the repair to dry as directed by the manufacturer.
Know what type of coating you will be using and what additional steps may need to be taken before application. Epoxy and urethane coatings can bubble if exposed to hydrostatic pressure. Epoxy coatings should not be used on exterior concrete surfaces as they are not UV stable and can discolor.
Always allow any type of coating to completely dry before use. Allow several days before driving or parking a vehicle on the new surface. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended drying time and remember to take into account any variables in humidity or temperature. Correctly applied concrete coatings should provide a durable long lasting finish.