During your next deep spring cleaning, you may notice that your garage floor has become stained and spotted over years of being exposed to the constant drip of car fluids and other rough chemicals being stored in the garage. Many see this and try to solve the problem with a fresh coat of grey paint, but the issue with this is that hot car tires can easily peel up layers of paint, essentially reversing the beautiful work you’ve done in an attempt to neaten up your garage space. There are better approaches to take here. Here is a quick guide on working with existing stains, giving your floor a fresh look, and preventing future damage to your garage floor.
Cleaning Up Existing Stains
It can’t be expected that all the stains on your garage’s concrete floor are going to lift up easily, but there are definitely options out there to help greatly reduce the damage done by greases, oils, and other chemicals. You’ll want to start by clearing out everything that is standing on your garage floor and giving your garage a good sweep so that you can assess what you’re working with. Then, use a wet rag to pick up any existing oil or grease spills. Next, you will want to apply a specialized solution from the hardware store that is made for lifting old stains from concrete. This can be a special degreaser and absorbent that dries to a powder after several hours of being left to sit on the stain; or it can be a specialized oil and grease cleaner that is rinsed from the stained area with a heavy stream of water a few minutes after being applied to the stain.
Priming Your Floor for Treatment
Keep in mind that in order to successfully coat your garage floor with a protective coating, it will need to be as clean and pristine as possible. Beyond clearing up existing stains as best you can, you’ll need to remove years of built-up dirt, grime, and debris. This is best done with etching. Etching does involve working with dangerous chemicals, so if you do not feel comfortable doing this yourself, it’s best to hire a professional. The general process of etching a garage floor is as follows: A diluted form of the concrete cleaner/etcher is applied with a sprayer, left to sit for 10 to 20 minutes, scrubbed with a stiff brush or broom, then thoroughly rinsed with a pressure washer. Once thoroughly dry, the concrete floor is ready to accept a protective coating. One thing of note: If your garage floor already has a sealant, that will first need to be removed with a chemical stripper before any etching can be done.
Epoxy paint coating is more and more popular these days for its durability and the variety of color options available. Finishing your garage floor with an epoxy coating will protect it from future oil and grease stains while giving it a beautiful sheen that is easy to maintain. Epoxy coating is generally sold at hardware stores in kit form because it involves first mixing an epoxy resin with any desired pigments, then mixing in the catalyst just before application. Once mixed, the coating is applied to a concrete floor using a brush or roller, which must be done quickly because epoxy coating has a short working time. Then the coat must fully cure, and it’s best to apply a second coat thereafter. This is another area where it may be a good idea to hire a professional.