Understanding Moisture Issues in Garage Floors

Garage Floor CoatingEpoxy Flooring, Garage Floor Coating

In Montana, the rugged landscape and varying weather conditions can present unique challenges for garage floors. Moisture, often overlooked, can become a hidden enemy when it comes to concrete coatings. Failing to assess the moisture content in the concrete can lead to significant problems, including separation and flaking of coatings, which are costly to fix.

How does moisture cause these problems?

Water vapor trapped beneath the concrete slab can create hydrostatic pressure over time, pushing the coating away from the surface. (The entire coating system is only as strong as the direct-to-concrete primer coat). This issue often emerges within six to twelve months, necessitating re-coating. Many one-day polyurea contractors and DIY enthusiasts skip the crucial step of moisture assessment, resulting in premature failures.

What can I do?

Professional installers in Montana conduct thorough moisture assessments, looking for signs like efflorescence and dark spots. They use calibrated moisture vapor transmission meters to get accurate readings. If medium to high moisture levels are detected, a moisture-mitigating epoxy primer is applied. This primer penetrates deeply into the substrate, providing a solid foundation for a flake broadcast and two polyaspartic clear topcoats.

What is never applied direct-to-concrete in medium to high moisture concrete conditions is a polyurea! These coatings cure quickly (well under one hour)…and quicker still in the presence of moisture. There simply isn’t enough time to properly penetrate and bond with the concrete substrate. This is what makes polyurea primers susceptible to peeling.

The use of a slower-curing, moisture-mitigating epoxy primer typically requires a two-day installation process. (One full day is allowed for proper curing and penetration of the epoxy primer). While quick-fix, “1-day” solutions may seem appealing, they’re not going to address underlying moisture issues that wreak havoc on your floors. It’s as simple as that.

Proper preparation, including concrete grinding and proper primer selection, is key to achieving a long-lasting and beautiful garage floor. By addressing moisture issues upfront, you can prevent expensive repairs and enjoy a strong floor that also enhances the value of your home.