“Everyone wants a beautiful automobile, but it’s what that is under the hood that matters most.” — Henry Ford
Epoxy is being utilized more frequently for flooring inside homes and garages in northeast Johnson County. Homeowners and builders have gravitated to epoxy over over carpet, tile, and laminate due to epoxy’s durability, maintainability, affordability, and being extremely easy to clean.
Years ago, a common opinion on epoxy flooring was that it was beautiful, but that it would not last very long. Much of this misconception was derived from the way epoxy was installed. DIY epoxy installation kits typically bought at local hardware stores recommended minimal preparation to the floor prior to the application. Some kits recommended acid etching the concrete prior to applying the coating. In addition, whether epoxy flooring was installed by a homeowner or a pro, little had been done historically to provide a solution for addressing any cracks, spalling, or concrete damage.
The component that lacked in non-professional epoxy installations was proper surface preparation. Prior to any coatings being installed, the preparation is paramount to ensure that longevity is attained. Prairie Village-based, Granite Garage Floors intalls epoxy coating systems thoughout the KC-metro.
“Nothing is more important in epoxy coating systems than thorough and proper preparation of the concrete substrate,” said Granite Garage Flooring owner Greg Slicker.
Whether his team installs a 400 square foot garage or a 4,000 square foot warehouse, Slicker estimates that 65 to 70 percent of the total installation time is spent on the preparation of the concrete.
Diamond grinding of the concrete substrate is a must.
“We don’t use harmful chemicals to prepare the concrete,” said Slicker. “Diamond grinding is the only way to properly etch the concrete to achieve the profile and porosity needed for epoxy to permanently adhere and wick into the to concrete, forming a tenacious bond”.
The goal of any professionally-installed epoxy flooring system should be permanent adhesion of the epoxy to the concrete underneath.
Our temperature ranges are wide and our weather each year here in KC is extremely harsh. Consequently, the thermal expansion and contraction of our concrete causes it to weaken at a much more rapid rate than other areas of the country. No matter where you live in the KC-metro, you will experience salt, sand, and chemicals on your garage floor that will slowly crumble the substrate. Often, homeowners allow deterioration to overcome the concrete in their garages to the extent that they may feel they need to replace their entire garage slab and start over. This may not be the case as epoxy can repair and restore most deteriorated concrete floors and save them from demolition.
Many of the garage and basement slabs in northeast Johnson County are 50 to 60 years old and extremely dated and damaged. Whether this deterioration consists of small cracks, concrete gaps, or even rebar heaving, Slicker reiterates his team’s expertise with repairing the concrete.
“Diamond grinding is an important part of the process, but patching the damaged concrete with industrial-strength epoxy prior to installing a coating is equally as important,” he said. “This patching with epoxy helps to add integrity and strength back to the concrete.”
The patching prep of the concrete is an important part of the preparation to ensure the surface is strong and flat without imperfections. Slicker’s Prairie-Village based company frequently works in older homes due to their proximity to older neighborhoods. Working frequently in older homes highlights the expertise that they have with proficiently fixing deteriorated concrete in northeast Johnson County.
The correct preparation of concrete is directly tied to the longevity of a professionally-installed epoxy coating system. The beauty of an epoxy coating system, such as Slicker’s Granite Garage Floors system, is undeniable. Howeve, -when considering a durable flooring system, what is “under the hood” from a prep standpoint will dictate the longevity of professionally-epoxy coating systems.