Polyurea Garage Floor Coating Basics and Maintenance Tips
Polyurea is a very durable material used to coat and seal garage floors. Most homeowners prefer using it as a garage floor coating because it’s durable, easy to install, and scratch-resistant. Ideally, polyurea coating bonds to the moisture in your concrete garage floor, creating a barrier that protects against the weather, scratches, and other things that might damage your garage floor.
Although the material is pretty reliable, you should always clean and maintain it well to ensure that it lasts for a long time and you get value for your money.
What Are the Benefits of Using Polyurea?
There are many advantages of using polyurea that make it a perfect option for your garage floor. Here are some of the benefits:
- It’s UV resistant: Polyurea is entirely UV resistant; therefore, it’s an excellent option for places that are in the sun. In addition, unlike some other garage floor coatings, polyurea doesn’t fade or change color over time.
- Moisture resistance: Concrete is porous; therefore, any water in your garage can seep into your concrete garage floor, causing the foundation to crack and eventually break down. However, using polyurea as a garage floor coating can prevent these issues because it’s highly moisture resistant.
- Quick Installation: Polyurea coating is quick and easy to install; therefore, you can protect your concrete garage floor without spending too much time on installation.
- Durability: Polyurea coating can last up to ten years if you maintain it well. Using polyurea on your garage floor will help it look brand new for a long time.
How Much Does it Cost to Polyurea a Garage Floor?
The cost for installing a polyurea garage floor coating depends on the size of your garage floor. The company that will do your polyurea coating will probably charge you by square foot. Generally, installing polyurea coating will cost about $5 to $7 per square foot. Therefore, the estimated cost needed to cover the entire flooring of a typical two-car garage would range from $2,000 to $2,800.
However, it is best to shop around if you’re looking for an excellent price for installing polyurea coating on your garage floor. Most companies will offer free quotes for how much it will cost you to install polyurea.
What Is the Difference Between Epoxy and Polyurea?
When your concrete garage floor shows signs of wear and tear, including staining, chipping, or cracking, then it might be time to install a new durable coat. However, it might be pretty challenging to decide the type of floor coating best for your floor.
Epoxy and polyurea are the most common flooring options. Here are their similarities, differences, and the better floor coating option in different circumstances:
Epoxy Floor Coatings
An epoxy floor coating is more of glue than a type of paint. However, epoxy coatings often resemble paint and come in various colors, just like paint. Additionally, epoxy coatings are meant to protect your floor’s surface from all types of damage. For example, concrete floors are very susceptible to thermal shock, impact damage, chemical damage, water damage, and very much more. A proper epoxy coating will firmly adhere to the concrete and keep these potential damages at bay.
There are three primary epoxy floor coatings; solvent-based, water-based, and 100% solids. 100% solid epoxy is the most durable, thickest, and most expensive option. The solvent and water-based options are thinner, cheaper, and less durable; however, they will do the job if installed correctly.
Epoxy floor coatings are relatively easy to apply and can take professionals about a day to get the entire job done. It might take a day or a couple of more days to get the coat completely dry and cured; however, this will depend on the size of your floor and the chosen type of epoxy floor coating.
Polyurea Floor Coatings
Polyurea serves the same purpose as epoxy coatings; however, they also have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Polyurea is a flexible synthetic material used for several products and purposes, such as lining trucks and tanks.
Polyurea is also excellent for concrete floors because it quickly and strongly bonds to concrete and provides it with a smooth, waterproof surface, which protects the floor from water damage, impact, chemicals, heat, sunlight, and damage.
Polyurea is more durable and flexible than the most robust epoxy material. Its flexibility enables the material to move with concrete even during significant shifts in temperature or weight. However, the durability and flexibility come at a cost because polyurea coatings tend to be more expensive than epoxy ones.
Is Polyurea Better Than Epoxy?
Every contractor might give you a slightly different answer on whether you should choose epoxy or polyurea. The matter is a bit subjective because various people require other solutions for their unique situation and floor. Many factors will come into play when choosing the ideal option, such as budgetary concerns, aesthetic preferences, floor type and function, and so many more factors.
How to Prepare Your Garage Floor for a Polyurea Coating
The greatest challenge of polyurea floor coatings is that they are not very DIY friendly due to their short pot life. Therefore, they need to go down fast and with an expert hand. Here is how you can prepare your garage floor for a polyurea coating:
Prepare the Surface
You can start the preparation process by removing sealers, laitance, and contaminants from the concrete floor to ensure that the installation process is a success. Preparing the surface adequately allows the coating material to penetrate and adhere to the surface.
Repair Any Cracks and Joints
Once you have prepared the surface properly, you’ll need to repair the cracks and joints. Again, you can use polyurea-based material for repairs for superior flexibility and cure speed.
Taking care of the visible scratches, cracks, and stains will help your new garage floor coating bond with the concrete surface. You should also check for any signs of moisture because the presence of water will derail the flooring process.
You can also diamond grind the surface for better penetration of the solution. Be sure to do some testing to determine if the proper chemical reaction occurs.
How Do You Apply Polyurea Garage Flooring?
When you have prepared your floor adequately, you can apply the polyurea garage flooring. This is how to do it:
Apply the Primer
Your chosen primer coat might be colorless or pigmented. You can squeegee on the recommended number of thicknesses or coats per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Roll the Bed Layer
Your primer will cure enough to walk on within two to four hours, depending on the temperature. You can then apply the second coat for systems that incorporate additional layers such as garage floor systems, Medici, or metallic systems.
If your floor has quartz sand or vinyl chips, the material will immediately broadcast into the second bed layer. When applying polyurea, chips wet out to form a layer parallel to the floor for a laminar effect, which helps in the overall protection of the concrete and durability of the coating.
Apply the Top Coat
Apply the topcoat as soon as the previous coat has cured. Next, you can scrape the floor hard using a floor scraper to clean up any chips. Additionally, scraping also makes the floor smoother and reduces the amount of product needed to cover the entire floor. Once you finish scraping, you can vacuum any loose materials before applying the topcoat using a flat blade squeegee.
You can complete all the steps above in a single day due to the fast cure speed of polyurea. Your new floor will be ready for foot traffic within four to six hours. It will also be ready for vehicle traffic within twenty-four hours.
How Long Does Polyurea Filling Take to Dry?
Polyurea coatings can be categorized as either moisture cure or fast cure. Moisture cure polyurea coatings usually take longer to cure than fast cure.
A polyurea coating will be ready for foot traffic within 4 to 6 hours and ready for vehicle traffic within 24 hours. This quick-drying can be attributed to the fast curing speed of polyurea, especially fast cure polyurea.
How to Clean Your Polyurea Garage Floor
General maintenance, deep cleaning every few months, and dealing with stains promptly can keep your polyurea floors in excellent condition for several years.
Here is how you can clean and remove stains from a polyurea garage floor coating:
It’s best to sweep the floor regularly with a soft-bristle broom or a microfiber dust mop. Regularly removing dust and lose debris will help keep your polyurea garage floor free of scratches and reduce wear and tear.
If there are vehicle drippings or small spills on your polyurea garage floor, you can wipe them with a soft cloth or a paper towel. It’s best to wipe any liquid off as soon as possible because some stains, such as rust, might require hot water and some elbow grease.
How to Remove Stains From a Polyurea Garage Floor Coating
If you’re cleaning a dirty polyurea floor, you will have to start by sweeping away any loose debris and then mop the floor with a microfiber or foam mop, clear ammonia, and hot water.
You can use four to five ounces of clear ammonia per gallon of water to remove the soiling and then rinse the spot thoroughly. You can also opt to use your hose with a pressure nozzle to spray the floor and a floor squeegee to remove the dirty water from the garage floor and onto the driveway.
How to Prevent Your Polyurea Garage Floor From Damage
It’s best to safeguard your floors to ensure they last for a long time. Here is what you should know about protecting your polyurea garage floor coating:
It’s best always to avoid sliding or dragging heavy pallets or equipment across the floor. If you want to move heavy items around, place a soft towel or mat below any equipment, which will bear a heavy load. You should note that any sharp edges combined with this weight might scratch or dig into your coating.
It’s best to avoid using acidic or abrasive cleaners and stiff brushes because they can potentially damage your coating.
If there is a motorcycle kick-stand on your polyurea garage floor coating, you should consider placing a computer mouse pad under it to prevent damaging the coating’s surface.
It’s advisable to avoid soap-based cleaners because they can cause your coating to lose its shine and make it more slippery when wet.
It’s essential to deal with scratches on your polyurea garage floor coating as soon as you notice them because failure to do so might worsen the situation.
Check this too: How to Clean Garage Floor Mats
How Long Does a Polyurea Garage Floor Last?
Polyurea is a very durable and long-lasting coating. If you take good care of your polyurea garage floor, it can last for up to ten years. If you use polyurea on your garage floor, it will look brand new for many years to come.
Polyurea garage floor coatings last longer and are highly resistant to damage. However, you should take good care of them if you want them to last longer and to get value for your money.