garage floor coating


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Old 01-06-07, 06:47 AM
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garage floor coating

I'm planning on top coating my garage floor. At the moment it's just bare concrete. This morning I taped down four polyethene squares on different areas of the floor to see if moisture is present. I had planned on epoxy coating but I think the moisture test will likely be positive. What are other options then?? Can a chemical stain be used on concrete with high moisture?? If I did stain what is the best way to prepare the surface and remove oil stains? thanks
 
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Old 01-06-07, 07:25 AM
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Chemical stains will not be adversely affected by moisture in the concrete. However, chemical stains are NOT coatings. The do not apply any film over the concrete whatsoever, like paint, pigmented stain, concrete sealer, or epoxy does. Chemical stain (a.k.a. acid stain) colors the cement paste through chemical reaction. It colors and that is all. To protect the color and the floor, a sealer would need to be applied over it. This could be concrete sealer, epoxy, etc., which ARE adversely affected by rising moisture. The moisture gets trapped under the sealer and turns white, and causes delamination. If rising misture is a problem, DO NOT use epoxy.

Some acrylic concrete sealers are vapor permeable, so rising moisture can get out. Check with the manufacturer to find out if what you are using is vapor permeable. The downside is that oils can eat right through acrylic sealer and seep into the concrete.

There is no great way that I know of to make existing oil stains go away. You can repeatedly clean them with a degreaser, but the concrete will probably still show a stain. Chemical stain (in a dark color) could mask the oil stain somewhat by making the whole floor dark. But the whole thing would then have to be sealed, and there you are back to your moisture problem. If your vehicles leak oil, you will get more staining unless you clean up the oil before it can get into the sealer.

You should do all the research you can prior to attempting chemical staining. It's not just a "apply stain and seal over it" scenario. There are several steps that must be strictly adhered to, including a TON of cleaning up of residue after the chemical reaction and prior to sealing. Do a search for chemical stain or acid stain and you will find a lot of info. Good luck.

Pecos
 
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Old 01-06-07, 07:34 AM
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thanks. Today is set aside for the research. I also checked to see if there is a sealer present. I put drops of water on the floor and it didn't soak in right away. Took about 10 minutes. I assume this means it's sealed. From what I understand unsealed concrete soaks up water instantly.
 
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Old 01-06-07, 07:39 AM
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There are penetrating sealers that are 100% vapor permeable.
 
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Old 01-06-07, 09:15 AM
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Good point twelvepole. Penetrating sealer would be great. However, they require some study before applying as well, and are not going to be found at a big box. You will find them at a contractor's supply though.

Pecos
 
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Old 01-06-07, 10:09 AM
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I read some material on preparing the surface for stain. Roughing up the surface seems to be the most important step. Since my floor was treated with some sort of sealer I thought that was the end of the staining idea. From what I read though it seems that either etching or sanding the concrete with a buffing machine will cause it to become porous enough to accept stain regardless whether or not a sealer is present. Is that right?? Like I said in a previous post the concrete doesn't appear to have any coating on it but water does bead and is absorbed very slowly.
 
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Old 01-06-07, 11:50 AM
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Your first post asked about chemical stain. If you truly mean chemical stain and not a pigmented paint-like stain such as you will find in big box stores or paint stores, then roughing up the surface may do it. Read the prep directions for whatever product you buy.
If you are using chemical stain (aka acid stain) then all sealer or anything that keeps the stain from penetrating has to be removed first. This cannot be done by acid etching because the acid will destroy the chemicals that the stain needs to react with. And yes, if the water beads for a while, there is probably some type of sealer on the slab. There are many good environmentally friendly strippers on the market. good luck.

Pecos
 
 

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