Professionally Coating ConcreteBest prep, people and products!
Proper Concrete Preparation
You have heard – “Proper prep is the most important part of the job”. Well, it is especially true with your garage floor coating. Our installations begin with figuring out your concrete. We need to know this before we even begin prepping!
- What’s its hardness?
- What’s its moisture content?
- Are there structural issues?
Knowing the answers to these questions allows us to take the best approach to the preparation process. Believe it or not, there are many ways to prepare a floor and we want to do the best prep possible to create the best environment for coating adhesion.
Shot blasting is the industries highest standard for concrete preparation and our go-to way of prepping a floor. Our Blastrac Shot Blasting Machine uses blast media (small metal bb’s) and a centrifugal wheel that propels the blast media at a high velocity, in a controlled pattern and direction.
As the media strikes the concrete surface and rebounds into a recovery hopper it profiles the concrete and removes the contaminants. Our industrial vacuum removes the dust and contaminants. This self contained shot blast unit is a walk behind machine and it looks a lot like we are mowing your lawn.
This is a dry process and allows us to continue the coating process immediately. Shot blasting produces the coarsest profile while removing any deteriorated or weak concrete. This is the preferred form of preparation in the coatings industry today.
If using a shot blaster is not preferred or not possible we use industrial diamond grinders. Especially soft and deteriorated concrete or if the floor has been previously coated are typical reasons we would diamond grind a floor. Industrial grinders weigh hundreds of pounds and utilize that weight while the diamond filled “buttons” profile the concrete. It is important to note that some concrete coating contractors use swing buffers or “all-in-one” machines to complete this step. These machines lack the weight, diamond and quality to properly prep concrete.
Proper Concrete Repair
Minnesota garage floors take an exceptional amount of abuse. Salt and the freeze/thaw cycles are brutal on our concrete floors. To combat these issues we use specialzed menders and fillers in order to fill cracks, pits, and/or spalls that may be in your concrete floor.
Concrete cracks are unique. The two faces of the crack are loose and unstable concrete. These two faces of the crack need to be removed in order for there to be a quality bond.
We remove these faces with our bead blaster or a special “V” shaped diamond grinding blade.
We overfill the crack with a special mender material that cures in minutes.
When the material is fully cured we grind it flush with the concrete surface.
With the amount of salt damage we get in Minnesota we need a special way to prepare these areas. Pits and spalls are below the surface of the concrete and need filling. Often filled with contaminants these damaged areas require special attention during the preparation process. Without a bead blaster, these areas can not be properly prepped and are significant areas of weakness. Diamond grinding alone can not properly prep a concrete floor with pits and spalls.
Concrete floor pits and spalls are prepped using a shot blaster which is the only way to remove weak and contaminated concrete. This process gives the damaged area a coarse profile for our repair mender to adhere.
Overfilling the area with mender and grinding level with the concrete is our next course of action.
We believe that control joints are to be left open allowing stress relief and controlled movement of the concrete. If specified, we are can filled the control joints.
After the repairs have been completed we remove any debris by vacuuming and blowing the area with a leaf blower.
Proper Concrete Coating Process
A full flaked 1/4″ polyurea floor is what most customers choose for a garage floor coating.
Similarly to painting a room in your house, our first step is to cut-in the edges of your garage floor. Our base coat is manufactured locally by Penntek Floor Coatings and is a 100% solids self-priming pure polyurea.
After cutting in we mix one gallon of base coat at a time and apply it to your garage floor. Application and desired thickness is achieved by pouring the mixed polyurea coating onto the floor using a squeegee and roller to spread the material in an even manner. This process is repeated until the entire garage floor is coated.
While the polyurea is still wet we broadcast flakes. The flakes are broadcast to cover the entire floor and so there isn’t any base coat showing. By using large quantities of flakes the floor is completely covered, giving it a uniform color.
Once the base coat is fully cured we “scrape” the flakes with metal blade. Scraping evens out the texture of the flakes and breaks off any flakes that may be standing vertically. Scraping in multiple directions removes any patterns and creates a nice even floor. The broken and excess flakes are vacuumed.
With all of the previous work being completed, we can start the clear coat – the final part of the process. Most floors receive a coat of Penntek’s 96% solids Polyaspartic Polyurea UV stable clear coat. We begin again with the edges of the garage floor. We mix enough clear coat to cover the entire floor. The clear coat is poured directly on to the floor and we use a squeegee to spread out the coating. An 18″ roller is used to even out the clear coat and remove any lines from the squeegee.
Your Completed Floor
We do a final area clean up and leave the floor to dry. Just four to six hours after we leave you can confidently walk on your new coating and in 24 hours you can use your new garage.