You see epoxy flooring companies left and right, preaching why is smarter to choose them and not use D.I.Y kits bought from the hardware store. You see D.I.Y epoxy kits preaching how you should not spend your hard-earned money on something that you can do yourself in just an afternoon.
Well, the truth is simple. If you want to save money in the long run, choose a flooring company. If you want to spend money on your floor every year, then choose an epoxy D.I.Y kit.
Doing your garage floor is not like painting your walls or ceiling. Since our floors and especially our garage floors take a lot more beating than our walls, we need to use a different technique when painting them and most importantly true epoxy flooring product.
For a start, our floors collect a lot more dirt, grime, dust, oil, than our walls. When we apply epoxy resin on them, we need to make sure that our floors are exceptionally clean. There are no traces of all of the beating and foot/tire traffic they've been through throughout the years.
The way we do this is by spending extra time cleaning the floor. But we don't just clean and scrub with a mop and water. We use concrete grinders, that take the top layer of the concrete slab away, leaving a fresh and clean slab underneath. We vacuum all of the concrete dust, left behind in between grinding and we do this until we make sure that the concrete slab is squeaky clean and the concrete pores are open enough.
We spend time, patching and repairing any cracks and holes that are on the concrete floor. This process alone takes a whole day.
It's simple really.
Imagine you want to paint your walls, but they are covered with wallpaper. Now you technically can put paint on top of the wallpaper, but the chances are that the wallpaper will just get soaked, it will start peeling or lifting up and in the end, you'll just end up wasting paint, time, and money. The paint won't stick to the wall and you'll just be left frustrated. But if the wall was free from wallpaper and clean, the paint would bond with the wall perfectly.
Well, this is why we grind the concrete. Epoxy needs a surface that can bond with once is cured. If the concrete pores are open enough, the epoxy can penetrate them and bond with them, creating unity. This is what makes epoxy lasts for decades and this is why floor preparation is the most important part of the whole process.
Think about what our floors endure every day. We walk on them, we drive on them, we spill things on them, we use chemicals to clean them, we drag things on them. Our floors might be prone to moisture or there might be direct sunlight on them all day long. There are so many factors we need to consider when choosing the product we need to seal our concrete floors with.
Most of the time the DIY kits together with improper floor preparation have no chance of withstanding everything we throw at our floor.
Not to forget that epoxy consists of two parts, which need to be mixed correctly and applied correctly.
If the epoxy is stretched too much, it will dry too thin and if it's applied too thick it might not cure and bond properly. Both times leading to a shorter lifespan and essentially peeling off your floor.
So to summarize, always go with a professional company. It might look 10 times expensive compared to a DIY kit, but you will have a guarantee that your floor is prepared properly and the epoxy is mixed and applied correctly.
Always choose a company which can give warranty on their work, provide references to previous projects, has references from customers and in general sound confident in their work and skills.