Garage floor preparation is the first step to achieving a successful epoxy garage floor finish. It consists of de-greasing and scrubbing the floor to the point that there is no grease, dirt or poorly bonded old paint left upon the surface that will interfere with the bonding process of the epoxy garage floor finish you are going to apply.
Step 1- Garage Floor Preparation
In order to successfully prepare the floor surface to receive the epoxy garage floor finish you will need the following items:
♦ Household dish soap such as Dawn® or other concentrated liquid soap.
♦ Abrasive powder cleaner such as Ajax® or Bon-Ami® for tough spots.
♦ Automotive de-greasing liquid for oil or grease stain buildup.
♦ A long handled stiff-bristled scrub brush.
♦ A long handled 16" to 24" wide squeegee.
The best approach is to divide the area of your garage floor into roughly 12' x 12' zones and then broom-clean all visible and loose dirt by pushing it towards the overhead door. Then, if you have a Wet-Dry garage vacuum, go over the entire floor for those particles of dirt that are in the cracks and along the perimeter. You want to remove as much of this as possible.
If you have heavy grease or oil stains on the floor, liberally apply the de-greasing liquid to them and start working the petroleum base loose with the stiff scrub brush from all directions - working from just outside the stain towards the center. Rinse away the remains with a hose or high-pressure sprayer.
If the grease or oil stains are still visible, then repeat the above step until they are completely dissolved and no longer visible. If needed, try a cleaning using the abrasive powder and heavy scrubbing with hot-water. The epoxy garage floor finish will first fail at these locations on your garage floor, so heavy garage floor preparation on these spots is essential.
If you have and old paint finish on your garage floor you will need to remove any loose portions that failed to bond with the concrete. You can scrape them from their edges with a putty-knife until no loose patches remain. You must get all loose portions removed.
Next, A general scrubbing of the 12' x 12' zones is needed. Wet the surface with a hose and liberally apply the liquid soap and work it into the floor surface with the stiff-bristled brush with a back and forth motion. Once you have scrubbed the entire zone, rinse and squeegee away the excess water towards the overhead doors. It is best to start this process at the back of the garage floor and work in the direction that it slopes.
Once you have scrubbed the entire floor with the liquid soap - let it dry completely and then test it for any chalky residue or remnants of dirt left behind. If you detect even the slightest amount of chalking or residue, repeat the scrubbing, rinsing, and squeegee process until the floor is completely clean. It is hard to estimate how many times this phase of garage floor preparation will be required because it depends upon the age and use of your garage floor. Whatever it takes is what we recommend in order to have a successful bond between the garage floor surface and the epoxy garage floor coating.
Once you have completed your garage floor preparation, you will need to fill any cracks in the floor. You need to do this now so the crack-fill material gets etched when you get to that phase.
Next, read our page: Garage Floor Repair to learn about crack repairs.
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