You’re looking to have your concrete surface coated but have no idea what you should know when choosing a product or company for the job.
Maybe you just had your garage coated a few years ago, and it’s already starting to chip. You want to make sure you do your research and learn about the products you are considering and what all goes into a concrete coating.
It can get tedious and quite frankly annoying to continue Googling your questions, having 30 or more tabs open, and reading article after article just to answer one question.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could have all of your questions asked in one simple article? That’s what we’re here for.
Southwest Exteriors is an expert in concrete coatings from garages, patios, sidewalks, and indoor kitchens or basements, and our installers have been doing concrete coatings for three years now.
Although we only offer a polyurea coating, our team answers hundreds of questions about all concrete coatings daily.
In this article, we will outline the top frequently asked questions about concrete coatings from cost and customizations to preparation and durability.
We want to answer your questions before you have to ask them so you can be prepared for your concrete coating project. While some questions are specific to Southwest Exteriors products, other questions will help you in your research no matter who you choose to do the job.
So, let’s answer your questions.
1. How much does a standard concrete coating cost for a garage floor?
If you DIY your garage floor, you can buy coating kits anywhere from $45 to just under $200.
When thinking about cost, it is important to factor in what is included like installation, product, and warranty.
One company may offer to coat your entire garage for $500, but what all does that include? How long is the product going to last? Are there installation fees applied on top of that? What is the warranty?
Asking questions while investigating a company you may potentially hire is extremely important during your researching phase to avoid any blindsides in the future.
2. How thick is the coating on top of the concrete?
Generally, the amount of thickness that is added to your concrete no matter the type of coating is not even worth mentioning. Think of it like a coat of paint on the walls.
A Penntek polyurea coating with vinyl chips can add close to 20 millimeters on top of the concrete depending on the distribution of the chips.
3. What are the chips made of?
A Penntek polyurea coating with chips uses vinyl chips that are similar to shredded paper.
The chips give the flooring an orange-peel-like feel to the finish and help with slip resistance.
Various color combinations are offered for chip flooring, and of course, customizing your colors is always an option.
4. What customization options are available?
With Southwest Exteriors, we can customize geometric patterns or borders on your surface, logos, and custom color and chip mixture.
Customizing a geometric pattern is similar to painting a wall with the process consisting of taping off the pattern you desire.
Adding a logo to your surface is no problem either and is similar to putting a decal on a car windshield. Adding a logo, however, does add another layer of a polyaspartic topcoat to level out the surface.
Custom chip mixtures are available as well. You can also add layers of silica sand to the topcoat to aid with slip resistance.
Depending on the contractor or product you choose, customizations will vary. Typically, custom color or a wide color range is standard.
Remember that with any project, customizations are going to add to your total cost depending on the size and complexity of the customizations.
5. Can I change my mind on colors?
You can change your mind on your chip and coating color up to the day of the installation though the earlier the better.
If you decide to change your chip colors, note that this will delay your project date by about a month. It takes about two weeks for us to receive a sample of your custom order which will then be delivered to you for approval.
Once you have approved the colors, it takes another 2 weeks for the entire chip order to come in.
6. How should I prep my garage or surface for a concrete coating?
Any surface to be coated must be completely cleared before the installation team arrives on the project day. If you have any heavy objects that you need assistance moving, you will need to hire a moving crew which we can help with.
It is important that you do not power wash your surface before the project day and turn off any sprinkler systems that could reach the surface. Excess moisture in the concrete does not allow the product to apply properly.
For garages specifically, many ask about what they should do with their water softener. There are three options for dealing with this:
Cut around the entire tank. We can tape off a square around the tank and simply coat around it.
Remove the salt tank to get more area coated.
Remove the entire system for the day. You may want to hire a plumber if you decide to remove your entire tank, but it can be a simple process that you can do yourself with the right preparation.
7. How slippery is the Penntek product?
Penntek products have an orange-peel-like finish to aid with slip resistance. However, like any solid surface, it can be slippery when wet.
You can add layers of silica sand ranging from low, medium, and high to the topcoat of your surface to aid with slip resistance.
8. What makes a polyurea coating better than epoxy?
There are many reasons why polyurea is considered better than epoxy for concrete coatings.
Polyurea is more durable and lasts longer than epoxy coatings. It can withstand higher amounts of UV rays and does not yellow in the sun which makes epoxy unideal for outdoor coatings.
However, it all depends on what you are looking to get out of your project when determining if polyurea or epoxy is better. If you are looking to spruce your garage up before selling your home, an inexpensive epoxy coating might be right for you.
If you are looking to have a coating that is built to last a lifetime, polyurea is a better option.
9. How do Penntek products withstand tire marks, oil, grease, etc.?
A polyurea coating with Penntek turns your concrete surface from a porous material to a solid surface. Bare concrete can soak up water, oil, and any other liquid substance that comes in contact.
A Penntek coating allows you to wipe up any spills and wipe away any skid marks easily.
10. Are polyurea coatings flammable?
To answer whether or not it is flammable can be a trick question.
If anything gets hot enough, it can catch on fire, however, a polyurea coating can withstand heat up to 430℉.
However, in terms of flammability, if you were to drop a match on the coating, it is not going to go up in flames like gasoline.
11. How long does the coating process take?
For a Penntek coating, it is a one-day process that allows you to typically walk on the surface four hours later and park your cars on it 24 hours later.
With other coating products, like epoxy, for example, the cure time can take up to five days.
12. Why should I hire a professional for my concrete coating?
Like any project, a DIY job comes with the risk of improper installation which can cause problems in your final product and be potentially dangerous if handling chemicals.
For a concrete coating, hiring a professional is important in ensuring you get the job done right and with quality. There is a lot of prep work required for an even coating, and many professionals use a special diamond grinder that you do not find in your typical garage storage.
The diamond grinder sands the concrete down to its smoothest state so that the coating will go on correctly and as evenly as possible.
Deciding whether or not to hire a professional for your concrete coating comes down to what your goals are for the project. If you are not concerned with the longevity of your coating, doing it yourself might be the right option for you.
However, if you are wanting your concrete coating to last, hiring a professional and choosing a quality product will be your best solution.
Are you prepared for your concrete coating?
While researching different types of concrete coatings and contractors in the area, it is always important to ask questions.
Reading a concrete coating FAQ list will help you get a lot of information with minimal effort, and now you have a better understanding of concrete coating products, processes, and specifics to what we offer at Southwest Exteriors.
We want you to be prepared for what you’re getting into no matter if you choose to do your concrete coating with us or not. Communication and education throughout the entire process are extremely important to us, and we want you to have all of the information you need to feel comfortable and confident in your project.