Before starting the process of applying a coating system to a garage floor, there are a few items that must be tackled. As a professional floor coating crew, what should you be paying particular attention to?
Below are five important things that every professional contractor must do in order to transform damaged and/or unattractive garage floors into sleek, eye-appealing, and durable surfaces.
1. Explain the installation process.
Keep in mind that customers must be well-informed about the benefits of garage floor coatings. That means that all flooring installation experts must thoroughly describe every step of the preparation process, give exact information about the quality of the products they apply, and explain how the very installation process works. If you want your client to choose you over some other flooring company, he or she must be convinced that your work will be long-lasting, stain-resistant, and easy to maintain. Let the client choose from a variety of different color finishes.
A true professional garage flooring contractor must:
• arrive on-site by the arranged time;
• explain in detail what a garage floor coating process involves; and
• answer all the questions and remove all doubts concerning the process.
2. Do a thorough investigation of the surface.
Before your professional team undertakes the necessary preparation steps, it must determine the condition of the concrete surface and see if there are any pre-existing coatings or other toppings. If you find out that there is a pre-existing coating, determine its type and use the adequate method to remove it. If excessive laitance (a less stable layer of cement) is present on the surface, it must also be removed. Old concrete surfaces must be structurally sound so it’s important that all unsound areas be repaired before proceeding with the coating installation.
3. Prepare the surface for coating.
You will need to safely remove stains and imperfections from the concrete. The preparation of concrete surface takes time. Old floors are rarely clean — they are often covered with oil and grease stains that must be removed. Make sure that the products you use for removal are environmentally friendly, because health and safety should be the top priority on every professional contractor’s list.
Make the surface even and repair all the cracks, holes, and scratches on the surface. Keep in mind that patching holes can take some time before applying the garage floor coating system. Also, if there are any other traces of residue or dirt, they should be removed because dirt can badly influence the adhesion of coating. If you want the coating/surface bonding to adhere, don’t rush through this important step!
Finally, use an adequate profiling method. Depending on the surface and the type of coating you want to apply, you must use an adequate technique of profiling to prepare the surface. The right surface prep method will help to ensure that the client won’t see signs of fading and peeling prematurely.
4. Measure the level of moisture.
This step is very important when dealing with concrete. Every flooring expert must know that the true moisture condition of the surface does not show the real condition of the concrete as a whole. That’s why you must approach it with a well-confirmed method, such as relative humidity (RH) testing. RH testing is a scientifically proven method that shows the exact degree of moisture that a sealed concrete will have to deal with. This method is fast, accurate, and economical, and it enables the flooring experts to decide when is the right time to apply the garage floor coating system. You mustn’t risk applying the coating too soon or without the proper moisture mitigation because the moisture inside the concrete can cause peeling, de-bonding, or blistering of the coating.
5. Prime the surface.
Although determining the ideal day for flooring may seem like an inconvenience, timing often plays a huge role in the outcome of applying a garage floor coating system. The best time to start with the flooring project is on days that are neither damp nor too hot or cold. Ideal conditions would be at a temperature ranging between 50 and 80 °F (10.0‒26.7 °C). If you convey the application process at extreme temperatures outside of that range, there is always a risk of peeling, bubbling, and wasting both your time and your client’s.
Floor coatings are not rocket science, but if not conveyed correctly, many problems can occur. That’s why you must make sure that your company undertakes the five basic steps that will raise the confidence of a customer to hire you and not another flooring company.
Keep in mind that each homeowner wants his or her garage floor to be both safe and beautiful, and a professional company must come up with ideal solutions for all kinds of situations. The trick is that you make the customer see the cosmetic enhancement, while you, the contractor, enable the invisible protection using the top quality products and processes.
About the Author:
Fahad Qayumi, garage flooring expert at Garage Design Source, has more than 20 years’ experience in residential floor building and renovation business. His specialty is superior garage enhancement solutions, and he’s professionally trained and licensed. He has completed numerous floor installations throughout the United States using the best equipment on the market. For more information, contact: Garage Design Source, www.garagedesignsource.com