Concrete is a highly functional flooring option, but one that’s prone to damage, deterioration and cracking over time. Occasionally concrete slabs also become weak and damaged because they weren’t constructed to code to begin with. On top of this, the concreter may have used products or methods that can compromise the structural integrity, such as accelerants or retarders, or over watering.
Taking steps to protect your concrete floor by sealing it will improve its strength, durability, appearance and longevity, meaning you’ll get more from it for longer.
However, there are factors to consider when deciding how to seal a garage floor; namely, what end result you want to achieve and what level of surface protection you’re looking for.
Why seal a garage floor?
Sealing your concrete garage floor can protect it from being damaged by:
- Wear and tear
- Chemicals – the protection is mostly limited to light chemicals. Anything heavy or not typical for the area being coated needs to be discussed so an appropriate system can be recommended
Deciding to seal a garage floor is a sound decision. However, the next decision is what type of sealant is best for your requirements, and what result you want from it.
Types of concrete sealants
There are two main types of sealant for concrete floors:
- Penetrating (densifying) sealers — used extensively by concrete polishers for solidifying the concrete before they commence the polishing process
- Topical sealers
Both will achieve the end result of sealing your concrete, but with different effect.
Penetrating sealers make concrete denser by penetrating the pores of the concrete, creating a protective bond through a chemical reaction with the minerals in the concrete. This forms a barrier at the subsurface that doesn’t leave a coating on the surface of the concrete.
A garage floor coated with a penetrating sealer leaves a surface that’s water-repellent, but not waterproof. As long as any spilt fluid is cleaned promptly, the surface shouldn’t stain, but if left sitting too long then it will definitely stain.
Types of penetrating sealers include:
Topical sealers create a coating on top of the concrete by adhering to it. This creates a protective, hard and durable layer over the concrete that delivers a high level of protection against stains and abrasions. It also allows for decorative coatings such as a coloured or flake finish. The advantages of using a topical sealer are that it’s waterproof, easy to clean, and has a higher durability (although, naturally, that depends on the quality of the coating).
Types of topical sealers include:
- Epoxy resin
Which is best?
If you’re looking to seal a garage floor, which type of sealant is best will come down to the result and finish you’re looking to achieve. The biggest benefits of a topical sealant like epoxy resins are that the surface is:
- Protective with a hard coating that prevents moisture and liquid from seeping into the concrete
- Highly durable and resistant to abrasions when you accidentally drop something
- UV stable – keep in mind that the level of protection is going to be reliant on the chosen product. You may also opt to fully UV proof an area of which certain products can achieve.
- Easy to maintain and clean – mostly with a mop and detergent style cleaning products. Higher slip rated areas and commercial projects may require something more practical like an auto scrubber
- Long lasting – it has been said that ‘if you look after the floor the floor will look after you’ and this has been proven with several revisited projects done 8-10 years previously
- Able to have a decorative flake or coloured finish
When choosing what to seal a garage floor with, your best bet is to talk to an expert who understands what you want to achieve. Garage floors should be highly functional, low maintenance, and designed to stand the test of time. With a high-quality epoxy resin coating to seal your garage floor, you’ll get this.
Here at Tough Floors, we pride ourselves on being epoxy flooring experts in Brisbane, and we’re all about results. We want you to have the best finish possible; one that’s cost effective, robust, and looks great for years to come. Get in touch with us today to have a chat about sealing your garage floor, and what your options are – we’re here to help!