Do it yourself vs do it right!

We get a lot of questions about the “DIY” Do It Yourself Garage Coating Kits being sold online or in the hardware stores. We also see a definite trend with these kits where people have purchased them installed them and they begin to fail within six months to one year.

There are several reasons why these may fail.

1) Poor Surface Preparation

As we have discussed before 73% of coating failures are a result of improper surface preparation. The ICRI (International Concrete Repair Institute) states that a CSP (Concrete Surface Profile) of 2-3 is required for epoxy to have a true mechanical bond with the concrete substrate and to avoid failure. This is achieved using a concrete grinder or steel shot blaster. The DIY kits only use an acid etching product, to wash the floor, that may help you achieve a CSP rating of only 1 and certainly not sufficient to create the lasting mechanical bond you need for your floor to last and not peel off like paint.
See our Blog on “Concrete Surface Profile” – CSP for more information on proper surface preparation.

2) Contaminants in Floor

There are likely going to be contaminants on your floor such as motor oil, grease, rust stains, hydraulic fluid or anything that has mysteriously managed to leak from your garbage. There can also be remnants of curing agents, or topical sealers left from the concrete finishing process. The acid wash/etching is not going to remove these and they will certainly hinder the bonding process and lead to future failures. The grinding or shot blasting can get through these bond inhibiting substances and provide a clean concrete base for the epoxy to bond to

3) Moisture or Humidity

It is important to test your garage floor for moisture and temperature before applying any coating. Failure to do this can result in failure of the coating.

Temperature, humidity and moisture can have a dramatic effect on the curing time, and success of your floor.

4) Quality of Product

The DIY kit is much less cost than a professionally installed Epoxy floor and there are several reasons for this. The main reason is the composition of the product. Many of these kits contain an epoxy fortified paint and not a true High Grade 100% Epoxy.

This makes the DIY kits easy to apply but not having the strength required to provide the permanent mechanical bond with your concrete.

5) Improper Application

Properly installing an Epoxy floor is not as simple as some people think it is. It is not just “painting” a floor coating on your concrete. Certified installers attend training courses, follow industry protocol and have hundreds or thousands of hours of practical experience under their belt.

What we have seen is.

  • Product not being mixed properly.
  • Not being applied in the “workable” time.
  • Applications too thick or too thin.
  • Improper tools used to apply coating.
  • Even trying to mix paint with it when they didn’t buy enough product.
  • And more….

In Summary

Yes it is true that a High Grade 100% Epoxy base and Polyaspartic top coat in your garage with the proper surface preparation by trained installers will cost more than the DIY kit…..but the investment will last the test of time and will save you a lot of frustration.

Strong Bond…..Epoxy Floors Done RIGHT!


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