Epoxy Floor Installation Pt. 1: Acid Etching
When installing an epoxy floor in a garage, you must first understand the phases your concrete must go through in order to create a durable, long lasting finish. In this article, you will learn the steps to acid etch concrete using muriatic acid to provide a textured surface for the adhesion of epoxy.
Applying Cleaner and Degreaser
You must thoroughly clean and degrease your concrete floor before you apply any acid etching solution. Use a heavy duty D-greaser to remove grease and grime from your floor. While there are dozens of ways to apply cleaning detergents to your floor, one of the easiest ways is using a pump up sprayer. You will also use it to apply your acid later. When purchasing a sprayer, you need one that has no metal parts, not even in the wand or tip. Acid is highly corrosive to metals. With that being said, begin by diluting the detergent according to labeling instructions right inside your sprayer, replace the cap and shake well. Spray a heavy coat of solution the entire surface of your floor. Then, use a stiff concrete broom to work your solution back and forth to loosen dirt and grease.
Removing Your Cleaning Solutions
After scrubbing well, you need to begin removing your cleaning solution from your floor. If you are in a place that will allow you to use a pressure washer, this is an easy way of removing cleaner and will lift any left behind embedded grease. If available, use a shop vac to remove any excess water standing on your floor.
Applying Acid Etching
To apply acid etching, you will be using your pump up sprayer again. Using muriatic acid solution to etch your concrete is terrifying to most people. However, always follow some general rules when working with muriatic acid and you will have nothing to worry about.
Always wear safety glasses when mixing, applying or cleaning up acid. For emergencies, have baking soda on hand, as this neutralizes acid. Now, mix acid solution in your pump up sprayer according to label instructions. Spray an even coat to cover the entire concrete floor. Use a mop to evenly spread your application. Then, begin to rinse your mop to remove most of your acid. Once you have mopped over a few times, pour some water to further rinse and mop. Use a shop vac, if available, to clean up water. Now, allow your concrete to dry completely.
Epoxy is one of the strongest, most durable sealers available for concrete surfaces. There is also additives you may want to add to your epoxy before application, such as metal fleck and glitters to give your floor a great look with very little effort. Using a roller is one of the most common ways to apply it. Begin in one corner and roll evenly to cover the entire floor.
When considering applying acid etching solution yourself, it's not as bad as it sounds. As with anything, treat acid products with care and use common sense and you should have no problems with the application.