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Painting A Garage Floor

As we all know, it is notoriously hard to find a truly successful and long-term paint solution for a garage floor.  The two main reasons are:

1.The parking of a vehicle with hot tyres.

Like any other material, tyre rubber expands as it gets hot which causes the tyre size to increase. As the tyre cools, it contracts and shrinks back to its original state. When parked on a painted surface, this contraction of the tyre compounded with the weight of the vehicle causes the tyre to grip the surface and as a result, when the car moves, the paint delaminates from the surface of the substrate.

2.Oil contamination.

Oil contamination is one of the biggest reasons for the failure of a garage floor paint. The reason for this is because soaks down into the pores of the concrete. No matter how clean you make the surface, the residual oil that has soaked into the substrate then rises back up to the surface. By painting the floor with a totally impervious floor paint or sealer, this then makes the floor sweat and cause the oil to rise faster.

An example of this ‘sweating’ can be seen easily if you lay a plastic sheet over grass in the summer. You may have had no rain for weeks but by covering the ground with an impervious sheet of plastic, you will see the grass become wet in only a very short pace of time as the moisture rises from the ground below. Thus, so does the oil on your garage floor when it is covered with an impervious paint.

A Proven and Successful Solution

Polycote OT Primer

Polycote OT Primer has been professionally formulated to tenaciously adhere oil contaminated substrates and is ideal for use in commercial garages. It will take exceptional wear and tear, even under constant use of cars, heavy goods vehicles, and is even used extensively in aircraft hangers.  This resin can bind up to 15% oil into itself whist curing and thus adhere strongly to contaminated surfaces, as has been proven in garages and hangers for well over 30 years, on over 1 million sq.m.

Furthermore, VOSA state that ‘inspection pits must be fully sealed to prevent the ingress of water’.  Polycote OT Primer cures to a completely impervious waterproof seal and as a result, this primer is ideal for the tanking and waterproofing of MOT inspection pits.

Flortex Professional Garage Floor Paint.

We have several top-coats suitable for garages but the most popular by far is Flortex Professional Garage Floor Paint. This is a high build, 100% solids, pure epoxy top-coat capable of withstanding the heaviest traffic, from cars and HGVs to plane hangars and train maintenance depots.  We have even successfully applied it in a tank museum!

Flortex Professional Garage Floor Paint is totally impervious and much easier to clean than standard floor paints.  Furthermore, it is extremely chemical resistant and can withstand oil, petrol, diesel and skydrol, to name but a few.

Polycote’s Greatest Proof of a Successful Garage Floor Paint

For the first 24 years of its life, our own warehouse was used as an HGV workshop and was therefore impregnated with all sorts of oil and grease contamination. It had been painted every 3 months and nothing had proved successful. Due to this contamination, it has worn and peeling paint everywhere and if that wasn’t enough, it even had rising damp issues!!  We removed all the remaining paint, dust and any loose material using a vacuum assisted shot blaster. Back in 2002, we primed the floor with OT Primer and top coated with Flortex Professional and at the time of writing (22 years later), this same floor has never been repainted and is still going strong!! Please be free to come and see!!

Linemarking In Garages and MOT Bays

Safety is paramount within working environments both for the employees and for visitors and the clear identification of walkways, inspection pit edges, traffic zones and other hazardous areas.  These might include black/yellow chevrons, safety yellow lines and cross-hatching and are paramount to ensuring people are aware of their boundaries and/or hazards that might be around them.

The line marking of MOT bays, inspection pits and beam setter markings are required to meet VOSA standards.

Epoxy Line Marking

If you are looking for a professional finish to your garage or MOT Bays, the best and longest lasting markings are with the use of Polycote EPS Linemarker. This has a unique pot-life once mixed of up to 12 hours, giving the applicator plenty of time for both easy and accurate line marking.

PVC Linemarking Tape

We stock a full range of PVC Linemarking Tape including plain colours and two colour chevrons. These are high quality and longer lasting tapes suitable for instant use and will adhere to almost any flooring material such as concrete, painted surfaces, wood, metal, tiles, etc.

Anti-Slip Paint, Anti-Slip Tape and GRP Stair Treads

All our garage floor paints and line marking paints are available as an anti-slip version, along with a full range of anti-slip tapeFurthermore, we have pre-formed GRP Stair Treads that are excellent for use on the steps down into inspection pits. No matter whether the area is hot or cold, wet, or dry, clean, or oily, simply screw the GRP Treads to the top of each tread for an instant and long-lasting anti slip solution.

Preparation Of the Garage Floor Is Vital for Success

The importance of correct preparation cannot be overstated and to help you do this, we you need to identify your specific needs.

My Floor Is Already Sealed with A Floor Sealer.

 This can actually prove to be a real problem as the existing sealer prevents the new epoxy from adhering to the concrete itself. Whilst the epoxy will grip tenaciously to the existing sealer, the strengths and adhesive qualities of the epoxy are effectively lost as the final finish will only be adhered as good or poor as the original sealer is to the floor!  It is therefore strongly advised to remove this sealer prior to applying any new coating.

My Floor Is Already Painted with A Floor Paint.

If the floor has been previously painted with a floor paint or sealer, please make absolutely sure that any paint left on the surface (prior to your new paint or screed) has fully adhered to the surface.

If you have any flaking or peeling paint, then it is absolutely vital you remove all the existing paint, down the hard substrate.  This is mostly achieved with the use of vacuum assisted machinery such as diamond grinders and/or shot blasters.

This further note may sound a little rudimentary but please remember that if you apply a coating or screed over an existing paint that has not adhered well to the surface, you might as well paint over a sheet of A4 paper and wonder why your new paint is lifting!

You simply MUST remove all loose, flaking, peeling material if you want a success long lasting job.

My Garage Floor Is Brand New

 One of the biggest causes of failures is when people think a ‘new’ floor is perfect to paint.  Unfortunately, 99 times out of 100, this is far from the truth!

Newly laid and untreated floors are extremely porous and attract every bit of contamination possible, especially when vehicles and trucks have been driven over them during construction.  Rubber from tyres as well as oil drips and spills. Plaster, paint, and overspray from other trades. And the biggest problem of all – dust and surface laitance.

Even with brand new and well power floated floors, a professional painter would NEVER paint such floors without first preparing them with either an acid etch (Polycote Etch IT) or mechanically, using a vacuum assisted diamond grinder or shot blaster.

My Garage Floor Is Dusty / Porous / Weak

It is extremely important to vacuum or brush the floor to remove all loose/friable material. It is also advisable to key the surface even if it is hard, either with the use of acid etch (Polycote Etch It) or mechanically.

If, after you have completed the preparation and the substrate is still delaminating or dusting, then this needs to be properly treated with a suitable primer otherwise you will be completely wasting your time. Obviously, each matter needs to be considered on an individual basis, but the only way to be able to achieve success on such poor or weak surfaces is to ‘flood’ the floor with a low viscosity pure epoxy – Polycote EP Primer. This ‘pure’ epoxy is not water or solvent based and cures only by chemical reaction.  Therefore, it can be applied thickly, enough to be able to penetrate well into the substrate and fully cure within the substrate, thus almost turning the existing concrete into ‘a form of’ an epoxy screed.  However, as already mentioned, each situation needs to be carefully considered on a case by case basis.

My Garage Floor Has Rising Damp

If your floor has rising damp, this is another major reason why floor paints and screeds fail.

Having fully prepared the floor, apply one coat of DPM Primer. This is a twin pack epoxy resin primer formulated specifically to adhere surfaces where rising water may be present.  However, please note that such primers are not suitable if water is ‘running’ into the area as the resin will not have time to cure before being affected by the water. Whilst one coat is often sufficient, it is highly advised to apply two coats to help ensure there are no pin holes, and that a complete 100% coverage is achieved.

A Smart Investment

Painting your garage floor is a simple and cost-effective way to improve the appearance, durability, maintenance, and safety of your garage. With so many colours and textures to choose from, you can create a custom look that matches your preferences and style. Whether you use your garage as a heavy-duty commercial workspace or simply as a place to park your car, a painted garage floor is a smart investment that can pay off in the long term.

Improved Appearance

A dull, stained garage floor can detract from the overall look of your garage, making it a less attractive space to work in and less attractive to your customers. Conversely, to paint the garage floor will transform its appearance, making the space more visually appealing and a far more pleasant customer experience.

With a wide variety of colours and textures to choose from, you can create a custom look that matches your preferences and style.

If you want a sleek and modern look, you can choose a high-gloss finish in a bold colour such as red or blue. If you prefer a more rustic or industrial look, you can choose a textured finish that resembles stone or concrete, even a clear coating. The possibilities are endless, and the result is a garage floor that is not only functional but also looks great.

Corporate Image

In today’s age, it is not only difficult to attract customers to your garage but with increasing competition, we realise that customer retention is equally important.

Corporate image was normally reserved for paperwork, the sign above your door and employees dress code. However, commercial garage floors are now becoming a major part of a professional corporate image.

For the larger customers with several branches, who have left each branch to sort out its own floors with varying degrees of success, along with whatever type of paint and colour they might choose, companies now realise this is far below the standard expected if they are to gain customers and loyalty.

Even the same line marking paint!  Why should you have one branch have yellow lines and another have white?  Why should one branch have 4” wide lines and another with 2” wide?

A full colour scheme can be discussed to ensure all branches are fully aligned with each other and bring in a complete transformation to propel your company into the 21st century!  We will supply the same product and the same company colours to all branches and ensure that each branch can be quickly and easily recognised, not only by customer but suppliers too, no matter whether it is in Plymouth, London, or Edinburgh.

We also highlight the benefits of what we term as ‘Corporate Safety’ and these are mentioned separately.  Please see the subsection entitled ‘Corporate Safety’ below.

Corporate Safety

Safety is an extremely important part within the Corporate Imaging of the company and to this end, the colour coding of specific areas is an important consideration and covers all personnel, no matter whether it is customers, employees and/or suppliers.

Customers

This can include the clear demarcation of waiting areas, customer inspection areas and fire escape routes.

Suppliers

Many garages now colour code both the goods in and goods out areas which they have proven to massively help suppliers and couriers to identify quickly and easily where goods should either be left or collected from.  Garages, particularly large venues can also save a huge amount of time and cost as both suppliers and employees know exactly where products can be found.

Employees

The colour coding of sites has huge safety advantages. Walkways and hazardous areas are easily identifiable. Even fire extinguisher and fire hose positions can be easily defined for quicker identification in an emergency.

Furthermore, this all has a massive advantage as and when employees visit different sites within the company.  Colour coding is self-explanatory, and employees are able to instantly identify any hazardous areas and/or where to look for emergency equipment which has further proved a reduction in the amount of both accidents and injuries.

Increased Durability

Painting your garage floor helps protect it from damage due to wear and tear, such as cracks, chips, and stains. The paint forms a protective barrier, which helps prevent damage from moisture, chemicals, and oil. This added durability can prolong the life span of your garage floor, saving you the cost of repair or replacement in the long term.

In addition to protecting your garage floor from damage, painting it can also make it more resistant to extreme temperatures. This is especially important if you live in an area with harsh winters or hot summers. The paint can even help regulate the temperature of your garage, making it a more comfortable space to work in year-round.

Easier Maintenance

A painted garage floor is easier to keep clean than one with bare concrete. The smooth, coated surface makes it simple to sweep or mop up spills, making the garage floor more functional for everyday use. This is especially important if you use your garage as a workspace or if you have children or pets who spend time in the space.

With a painted garage floor, you don’t have to worry about dirt and grime getting ground into the concrete, which can be difficult to remove. Instead, you can simply wipe the surface clean with a damp cloth or mop, keeping your garage floor looking clean and tidy with minimal effort.

Do You Consider Garage Floor Paint as A Cost or An Investment?

Our advice is to try not to think of the painting of a floor as a ‘cost’ but more as an ‘investment’, and we want to make it clear that this is NOT just sales talk.

To coat the floors not only strengthens the concrete but seals and protects from contamination.  A sealed floor rather than a porous surface makes cleaning routines far quicker and easier, thereby saving time, effort, and money.

A painted floor makes the entire environment a far brighter and happier place to work, which has been proven to raise the morale of the employees as well as the productivity and cleanliness!

By investing in a high-quality paint, this will last far longer and consequently reduces the need and/or frequency of recoating.

In our humble opinion, when considering all the above points, a good quality paint is truly an investment whereas a cheap, poorly laid paint always ends in a far greater cost!

Finally, three ‘old’ sayings worthy of note:

“It is always cheaper to do the job right, the first time.” Philip Crosby

“It’s hard enough to do it the first time, so do it once and do it right!” Steve Britchford

“Cost is often treated as more important than quality, but quality is the best way to reduce cost.” Genichi Taguchi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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