Q - Why did the coating peel when I tried it myself?
A - According to Sherwin Williams, "As high as 80% of all coating failures can be directly attributed to an inadequate surface preparation."
The most important part of our process is the preparation. No matter how high the quality of a coating being used, if the surface being coated is not properly prepared, the coating will fail.
Concrete Surface Profile - Coatings will NOT stick to a smooth surface. It must have something rough to grip onto. The roughness of the concrete being coated is referred to as its concrete surface profile. We profile concrete by means of diamond grinding.
No Water- We Do Not Acid Wash Concrete. Why Not? Since your home was built the concrete in your garage floor has been dry, so why would you want to add water to the concrete that could potentially migrate upwards while the coating is trying to dry?
Inspection for Laitance- We inspect all garage floors before installation for laitance which is the thin and powdery layer of concrete at the top of most concrete slabs. Laitance is characterized by brittleness. Laitance must be removed before the concrete surface can be coated. This is because laitance is brittle and can easily crumble underneath the epoxy when driven on with a vehicle or when struck with a sharp impact. Most concrete slabs have a small to moderate amount of laitance which is removed in the diamond grinding process. Unfortunately there are some concrete slabs that are so chalky and weak (characterized as having laitance through and through) that they are not ideal candidates for a floor coating system. Which is why we test all concrete slabs for laitance by means of a spark test (to test for sufficient or deficient concrete strength) before the installation of any coating.
Moisture Vapor Emission (MVE)- Describes a rare occurrence in which water moisture is forced to travel up and through the pours of a concrete slab until it reaches the top and is trapped underneath the tile, laminate flooring, or floor coating causing it to buckle or peel. The classic sign of MVE is spontaneous manifestations of small piles of salt deposits appearing on the top surface of a bare concrete slab. MVE looks like cotton is growing from the concrete. These piles of salt form when water moisture from under the slab attaches itself to salt molecules that are in the concrete and literally ride the salt molecule through the slab until it reaches the top where it immediately evaporates into the air and leaves the salt deposit behind on the floors surface. The water is forced thru the slab because it is attracted to cold temperatures. You can demonstrate the phenomena of water being attracted to cold temperatures by placing ice in a glass of water to see water droplets form on the outside of the glass. The water from the air attaches itself to the cold glass and then loses its attraction and falls to the ground after the glass gets warm. It is possible for the air in a garage to drop in temperature at the end of a hot day faster than the earth below drops in temperature thus causing a cold room to be on top of a hot earth which would create MVE as the moisture in the earth below would be forced to migrate thru the concrete towards to the cold room in the garage. If you have an air conditioner in your garage you are more likely to get MVE. The good thing is that homes built after 1970 were subject to code that required the installation of a moisture vapor barrier (plastic sheet) below the concrete slab to mitigate against this. Generally speaking healthy concrete is a barrier to moisture vapor, however since concrete will eventually brake apart if it gets old enough we recommend that homes build before 1970 have a breathable water based epoxy and water based urethane system installed to mitigate against failure due to MVE. Our water based systems are breathable and designed to allow the water to pass thru the coating instead of causing it to buckle or peel while filtering out the salt so that it does not pile up on top of your floor. A non breathable system such as our advertised systems may have higher performance characteristics in certain areas but would fail if facing MVE. So why not just give everyone a breathable epoxy and urethane system? 1. Because they cost $2 to $3 per sq foot more. 2. They don't have the same wearability, strength, flexibility or cleanability as our full urethane systems. 3. They take 2-3 days to install and 72 hours before you can drive them.
Q- Should I paint my walls before or after I have the floor coating installed?
A - AFTER. If you plan on having the walls of your garage painted, we highly recommend on waiting until AFTER the floor coating has been installed before doing so. This is because floor coating may splatter onto your walls during its application and mess up your new walls. For the sake of your walls we use sensitive surface painters tape to protect your bottom baseboards and walls. However, no tape is perfect. So if you have freshly painted walls, or only have a thin coat of primer paint over the sheetrock then the removal of our painters tape may peel the freshly applied paint upon its removal or damage the walls if they were not sufficiently covered with paint. Even sensitive surface painters tape will sometimes damage freshly applied wall paint or sheetrock paper that was not adequately covered with paint by the home builder upon the tapes removal. Therefore it is highly recommended to wait until after the floor coating application is completed before having your walls painted. Getting wall paint onto your floor coating is actually not a big deal, it easily wipes up with a damp rag, or scrapes up after it has dried because it has a hard time sticking to our smooth floors after we apply the clear coating. I still recommend that the painters cover the floor with tarps when they paint your walls after we have installed your floor, but a few drops of paint that lands and then dries on the floor can be rubbed out with a thumb and leave no damage whatsoever. These floors are tough.
"We didn't invent the garage floor, we just packaged it!" TM
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More information about proper surface testing procedures can be found at the American Society for Testing and Materials, http://www.astm.org.
Information about acceptable coating procedures can be found at The Society for Protective Coatings, http://www.sspc.org.
Q - I have a lot of stuff in my garage, do you offer moving services?
A - At this time we do not offer moving services. We respectfully request that all items from the garage floor & working area be removed and cleared prior to our scheduled arrival for installation.
Q - How did you think of your name?
A - We were the first of our kind. So thinking of a good name was natural.
Q - Do you warranty your floors?
A - We provide a warranty for our floors against peeling and hot-tire pickup for one full year from the date of installation.
Q - Which is better? Acid Washing or Diamond Grinding?
A - Neither is better. We diamond grind not because it is superior to acid washing but because it has less negative side effects. Acid washing (when done correctly) requires a very large amount of acid to properly achieve a concrete surface profile; so much acid that it can be harmful. A two car garage typically requires 8 full gallons of muriatic acid and one or two power washings to remove the burned concrete at the surface to create a Concrete Surface Profile sufficient enough to hold an epoxy floor coating into place. Dumping this much acid onto a garage floor is not good for the environment, for the floor installers, for you, your children, or pets; and it can cause permanent driveway surface burn marks when being washed out of the garage and down your driveway. Additionally, acid washing requires that you allow the garage floor to dry overnight before coating it, thus adding an additional day to the floor coating procedure. Diamond grinding usually only takes a few to several hours depending upon the concrete hardness, and the floor can usually be coated immediately afterwards. Why would you want to add water to the equation anyways? Epoxy flooring is dynamic enough without having a concrete slab with water inside of it that could potentially migrate upwards while your coating is drying.
Q - Do you install coatings in warehouses, commercial buildings, or automotive facilities?
A - YES! We are the #1 Garage Flooring Installer for Residential and Commercial Floors!
Q - Why don't you install metallic epoxy floors?
A - For the same reason that we do not recommend coating a floor with a solid red color, because your guests will see dust, debris, and flaws all over your floor if you get one. Metallic floors and red floors are both a great concept and they are both great for photo shoots when you can control the camera to find a good angle that does not show flaws, but they are both an absolute nightmare to maintain. It actually has to do with the fact that metallic floors do not have a homogeneous texture which is essential for distracting your guests from the pine needles, dirt and the clutter on your garage floor. Although, if I had to choose from owning a red floor or a metallic effects floor I would choose the red floor because it has color through and through unlike a metallic effects floor. Allow me to explain: generally speaking epoxy has color through and through because floor coating manufacturers spend a lot of time and money to ensure that the dye inside of a coating is completely soluble with the coating so that the color will mix well with the coating and not separate from the coating thus floating to the surface. Having color through and through helps the customer in the long run because as the floor wears down it retains the same overall color which is essential for aesthetics. Metallic floors are the exact opposite and the pigment is insoluble with the coating which forces it to stay suspended at the top of the coating. This is why the dye is sprinkled or sprayed on top of the wet floor before it dries while installing a metallic effects floor. It should be understood that dyes in themselves are actually very weak, so as a customer with a metallic effects floor begins to drive or walk on the floor he or she will quickly and easily wear down the pretty pigment at the surface of the floor and thus show the solid color underneath the pigment where the home owner walks and drives the most, quickly leaving footprint and tire marked sections in the floor which are unsightly. Buying a metallic effects floors is like buying ice cream with sprinkles on top and only being able to eat the sprinkles. Heavy Chip Floors are not the same in this manner because the layer of chips in a heavy chip floor is about 100x thicker than the dye in a metallic effects floor.
Q- I previously had my garage floor epoxied and now it is peeling, can you fix it?
A - Yes, we can fix your epoxy floor by patching it (although the patch may be obvious if your floor has faded) or we can resurface the entire floor, just give us a call!
Q - What is your service area?
A - Greater Houston Texas including: West University, Rice Military, Memorial, Hunters Creek, Hedwig Village, Cypress, Spring, River Oaks, The Woodlands, Piney Point Village, The Heights, Sugarland, Magnolia, and More!
Q - When can we start?
Q - Why should I cover the concrete in my garage?
A- The National Center for Biotechnology Information says that you can get silicosis of the lungs (fatal) by being exposed to concrete dust from simply walking down the street! Unfortunately for you and me concrete naturally chalks (creates dust) so when you walk across your garage floor and then into your home you will bring this dust in with you on the bottom of your shoes or feet! How much worse if it is inside your home? Concrete contains carcinogens like hexavalent chromium and silica which can cause cancer in living tissue. Since concrete dust is hazardous in nature arrangements should be made to cover the concrete in your garage in order to Maintain a Healthy Environment. Eliminating the toxic source is the healthiest option.
A- For a cleaner environment! Concrete floors are porous which promotes the collection of grime, dirt, water, and the growth of bacteria. Our floors are relatively non-porous which inhibits the growth of bacteria.
A - Because a home with a professionally finished garage floor sells for a much higher price than one without. They sell much quicker too. This is not only because of their health and sanitation features but also because of their ability to add viable square footage to your home. Just imagine being able to step onto your garage floor with your socks on or even bare footed without the fear of dusty feet! What will you do with all of that extra square footage? When a home buyer sees a finished garage floor they see more square feet!
A- Because Houston Garage Floors fills all cracks up to 1" wide for no extra charge on our heavy chip floor! You have the legal right to fill the concrete cracks in your garage floor!
A- Because homes with cracks and holes sell for less money.
A- For a welcome home for you and your loved ones!
Q - How long have you been in the Floor Coating Industry?
A - I started installing garage floors professionally in the summer of 2003 but I learned the principles of thermoset resins while at Bleyl Junior High School which was the year 1996. I chose to make multi-layered plastic cast molds in shop class which meant that I mixed and then I poured resin into the bottom half of an empty mold on day one and then on day two I would once again mix and then pour resin on top of the first layer and thus complete the mold. The shop class teacher demonstrated that multi layered plastic molds were much stronger than molds of the same thickness that were poured in one layer because the glue that held them together created inward stress and an enormous amount of static tension which results in an engineering term called cold work. We observed that the two layered resin molds were much harder to break with hammers than the molds that we made in one thick layer. Layered resin creates intramolecular forces and thus static tension which means your floor can resist more damage than single layered floors. The concept of installing plastic in layers in order to make it stronger impressed me. Garage Floors are no different and perform better when layered which is just one of the reasons why all of our floors include 2 layers.
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