Preparing your garage floor for the rigors of winter isn’t the something you think of. Fortunately, garage floor protection is available all year around anywhere in the Madison WI area. When roads are coated with salt homeowners realize their concrete garage floors are at risk. Road deicers fall from the bottom of vehicles and leave corrosive deposits on garage floors. The slush melts leaving behind stains. The liquid settles into cracks and concrete erodes. There is good news — it’s never too late to protect the floor. An epoxy garage floor, in the long-run, costs less than major concrete repairs.
Timing Garage Floor Protection
Cold temperatures do not mean delaying application of a new coating to a concrete floor. Epoxy coatings go on when temperatures are no lower than 50°F. Portable heaters allow for early winter and early spring applications. The big drawback of applying floor coatings in cool temperatures is the extended curing time. Cold weather applications extend the length of time you have to stay off the floor from hours to days. In a Wisconsin winter, leaving vehicles outside for several days isn’t a “first choice.”
Protecting your concrete garage floor is the first line of defense. Winter protection centers upon keeping the floor clean – get rid of corrosive slush. Sweep it out. Shovel it out. Better yet, wash it out.
Concrete is resilient but sand, salt and deicers wear it away. The pressure of vehicle tires compact it, too. Untreated concrete is porous so liquids slowly penetrate even if there are no cracks. Liquid dripping into the smallest crack opens it up to serious problems. Unless your garage is insulated and heated drastic weather swings add to the stress. If temperature inside the garage drops below 32°F, liquid in cracks freezes. A freeze/thaw cycle inside these cracks makes them bigger and more serious. Every deicing chemical, no matter how “environmentally-friendly” impacts concrete.
Lesser Know Garage Floor Damage
There are two equally damaging impacts from winter road conditions:
- Spalling – is the result of deicing agents turning to brine. Common deicers like liquid magnesium and road salt melt ice and snow but the slush they create attaches itself to your vehicle. It forms a salt solution known as brine. This liquid salt seeps into concrete where it refreezes. The resulting chipped concrete is spalling.
- Sub-florescence – occurs when moisture on the garage floor evaporates leaving a sale residue behind. The liquid brine becomes salt crystals again. Both in the surface and inside the pores of concrete causing it to flake and chip. You know it’s at work when you see the tell-tale white stains on the floor. When it’s worked enough it leads to spalling.
The Ultimate Garage Floor Surface
An epoxy floor is the ultimate floor protector. It provides style, color and a durable, easy to maintain surface. Epoxy floors are smooth. They can cleaned with a broom and mop. Because they release very little Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) they are idea for confined spaces – great in garages and basements.
Advantages of an epoxy garage floor include:
- UV stable surface won’t fade
- Impact and abrasion resistance
- Resistant to most household and automotive chemicals and liquids
- Available in custom designs and colors
An epoxy sealant isn’t perfect. It won’t fix all the cracks in your concrete floor. The highest quality epoxy coating applied by skilled professionals will conceal slight imperfections and small surface cracks. But no number of applications will repair deep, wide cracks. Serious flaws like this will widen and eventually show up on the epoxy surface, too.
Before scheduling a protective floor installation, work with experienced professionals to outline a plan for fixing cracks. The first step is figuring out what caused the crack. There are two types of cracks to deal with:
- Dormant cracks – often called “spider cracks” because the spread out in tiny fissures from a center spot. They result from moisture entering porous concrete and then drying. They are usually stable and not a threat to expand. High quality epoxy will seal and cover them permanently.
- Active cracks – these are the bad boys to deal with. They’re caused by concrete settling, expansions and contractions due to temperature shifts. They might even form because of poor construction techniques when the garage floor went in. Active cracks start small and expand. Until the cause if found and eliminated, they continue to grow. A professional can assess the situation and outline repairs. Active cracks must be dealt with to ensure successful installation of an epoxy coating.
Professional Installation Insures Garage Floor Protection
There’s more to protecting your garage floor than a fresh concrete sealant. Surface preparation, craftsmanship, experience and the right tools all play a critical role. An epoxy floor provides a smooth, level surface. Done right, it is easy to keep clean all year-round with a mop and broom. Garage Flooring Solutions is a professional epoxy coatings company serving Madison and the surrounding area with a broad selection of coatings for all concrete surfaces.
The right floor covering protects your garage. In addition, your get a dynamic, colorful space. To put the experience and skill of the Garage Flooring Solutions team to work in your home, call 608-630-8855. Make the move to provide garage floor protection anywhere in Madison WI.