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Mike V
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Garage / Concrete Floor Treatment
07/01/17 at 17:45:51
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Wanted to reach out to any of you that have any first hand experience with coating concrete garage floors.  I'm in the final stages of a new garage/shop construction with fresh concrete floor. The garage and shop area is 840sq.ft. I'm investigating what type of treatment to apply to my new garage and shop floor. I won't drag you though all the details, but I've decided against the typical epoxy and flake 2-part water or petroleum based coating for technical reasons. I'm currently doing a Calcium Chloride Test in 3 spots of the floor to determine moisture percolation and content of the concrete which should give me a base line to better determine product and type. Results of this test should be complete on July 4, 10:00 AM PST. This gets to be a complicated technical discussion on who you talk to.

Would appreciate any of you communicating to me with actual first hand experience in regards to durability, function, repair and aesthetics.

-Mike V. / San Diego
  

Mike V. / San Diego
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Bob_Roller
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Re: Garage / Concrete Floor Treatment
Reply #1 - 07/01/17 at 18:09:57
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Curious about this as well Mike, when I moved into my home, new construction, 23 years ago, I wanted to have this done before I moved in .

I heard nothing but horror stories from people that had it done at that time, 1994 and decided not to go through with it ..
  

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Mike V
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Re: Garage / Concrete Floor Treatment
Reply #2 - 07/01/17 at 21:35:09
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Bob,

Funny you mention that, that's where I'm at right now. I first thought this would be a slam dunk with good old epoxy, then the more I researched and discussed with the pros - they all say do not use epoxy. Epoxy seals and caps the concrete and over short time the efflorescence will force its way through the epoxy creating bubbles and separation of the epoxy from the concrete. There's no way around the natural salts and water vapor escaping from the concrete, it's a normal function.  I'm looking into a stain, hardening agent, and/or paint that serves as a protectant but does not totally "seal" the concrete. All these applications can be quite expensive ... in the neighborhood of $4 to $6 per foot.  You can do the math.  So I'm leaning heavily into either doing it myself or just leaving the natural concrete surface.  I have to remind myself "it's a garage".  But I'm learning there are stains, hardening agents, and paints that are porous in nature and may work. Hence the reason for the Vapor Score Test so we can get a value of moisture weight per 24 hours.

Was hoping someone could make this easy for me and make up my mind with a magical formula!

What do you guys use at the airport in the tech areas?

I've seen some pretty fancy looking floors in auto dealerships and even Costco and the like. But I believe those are diamond ground, polished and treated with a special hardening material. I don't plan on spending that kind of money for a floor that's going to get beat up with centerstands and hard metal objects dragged across it.

What to do?!

-M
  

Mike V. / San Diego
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'81 R65 (fully restored)
My 650 restoration project at...
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Bob_Roller
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Re: Garage / Concrete Floor Treatment
Reply #3 - 07/01/17 at 21:55:11
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We've got highly polished sealed concrete in our hangar .

Looks great, but slick as ice when wet .
  

'81 R65
'82 R65 LS  
'84 R65 LS
'87 Moto Guzzi V65 Lario
'02 R1150R
Riding all year long since 1993 .
I'll give up my R65, when they pry my cold dead hands from the handlebars !!!!!
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Justin B.
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Re: Garage / Concrete Floor Treatment
Reply #4 - 07/01/17 at 23:30:19
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Maybe put down linoleum/asphalt tiles?
  

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wilcom
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Re: Garage / Concrete Floor Treatment
Reply #5 - 07/02/17 at 01:23:22
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Justin B. wrote on 07/01/17 at 23:30:19:
Maybe put down linoleum/asphalt tiles?


Have you thought about this type of flooring?

https://www.garageflooringinc.com/tiles/index.html?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cp...
  

Joe Wilkerson
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Mike V
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Re: Garage / Concrete Floor Treatment
Reply #6 - 07/02/17 at 07:37:09
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Joe,

Thanks for the reply, I've considered the examples you mention but am not a big fan of the tiles and snap together application. I can't imagine trying to keep that clean or trying to find a stray ball bearing or wristpin circlip that has gotten away from me. I've considered linoleum for the garage bathroom. I'm pretty much set on treating the actual concrete surface (if I can).
  

Mike V. / San Diego
'78 R100/7 (original owner)
'81 R65 (fully restored)
My 650 restoration project at...
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wilcom
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Re: Garage / Concrete Floor Treatment
Reply #7 - 07/02/17 at 07:52:16
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Mike V wrote on 07/02/17 at 07:37:09:
I've considered the examples you mention


I was sure you had,  but had to mention it. Cleaning would be the pain for sure. That floor is for folks that look at cars and bikes, not work on them.......
  

Joe Wilkerson
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Present:
1984 BMW R65LS "Herr Head"
past:
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1980  R65          
1982 R80RT 
1974 R90/6     
1972  R75        
1964 R50
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Barry
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Re: Garage / Concrete Floor Treatment
Reply #8 - 07/02/17 at 08:37:42
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I've been in the same house for 25 years. The garage floor was painted grey by the builder so I had no choice with the finish and have carried on re-painting every 5 years or so in the intervening period. 

The paint adhesion has never been very satisfactory. If I put the car away wet the tyres stick to paint and lift flakes of it off back to the concrete.  If I could wind the clock back 25 years I would have tiled the floor. Not interlocking tiles perhaps but the type of embossed hard rubber sheet that you see in airports. It's very hard wearing and designed to be stuck down.

  

Barry Cheshire, England 79 R45
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Mike V
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Re: Garage / Concrete Floor Treatment
Reply #9 - 07/02/17 at 09:40:03
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Thanks for throwing another option into the equation Barry! Seriously, I do appreciate all of your opinions and sharing experience. I'll keep you guys in the loop as time goes on.  I should have the Vapor Score (Calcium Chloride) test results on the 4th. I have a lot of trust in my Contractor who is the one who prescribed the test so we can get a better determination of the most viable product to use.  I'm leaning towards a good cleaning, maybe a stain and hardening agent.  We'll see.

Thanks again guys.
  

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Mike V. / San Diego
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'81 R65 (fully restored)
My 650 restoration project at...
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Mike V
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Re: Garage / Concrete Floor Treatment
Reply #10 - 07/02/17 at 09:47:38
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Better shot of the existing floor. Still needs a good cleaning. Drywall dust must be a close cousin to termites.
  

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Mike V. / San Diego
'78 R100/7 (original owner)
'81 R65 (fully restored)
My 650 restoration project at...
http://tinyurl.com/chkytw8
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Justin B.
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Re: Garage / Concrete Floor Treatment
Reply #11 - 07/02/17 at 11:41:41
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Good looking shop!  Wish mine was bigger...  Sad
  

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Barry
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Re: Garage / Concrete Floor Treatment
Reply #12 - 07/06/17 at 14:07:49
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Talking of garages I just had to replace one of my garage door springs. This is a large, very strong and potentially dangerous tension spring which needed to be stretched to get it to fit.

I struggled with it for a while before coming to the conclusion that the brute force approach wasn't working.  I knew I needed to outsmart it but even then it was a while before the literal penny dropped. I remembered the trick we use with the centre stand springs, insert pennies or washers between the coils while the spring is extended.  This was a much larger and stronger spring but after suspending the spring with a container of bricks on the other end I was able to pop in a dozen washers and fit the spring with ease.  And I still have all my fingers.  Result!
  

Barry Cheshire, England 79 R45
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Mike V
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Re: Garage / Concrete Floor Treatment
Reply #13 - 07/09/17 at 23:17:37
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Bob_Roller wrote on 07/01/17 at 21:55:11:
We've got highly polished sealed concrete in our hangar .

Looks great, but slick as ice when wet .


Thought I would follow-up and share what I've learned in case one of you out there ever consider something similar in the way of concrete floor coatings.  Well folks I've learned more about concrete floors and coatings in the past month than I've ever wanted to know. But the effort in research and study has turned out to be quite educational and worthwhile, as it normally does.

I have the results of the Vapor Score, or Calcium Chloride Test. The results of that test was 11.27 pounds (of moisture vapor emissions rate in 1000 sq.ft. over a 24 hour period). Nearly three times the acceptable value for sealers, dyes, and impervious coatings. I had three test positions and each had less than 0.3 pounds deviation in weight.  PH levels of all three averaged out to be 7.5 - which is neutral, neither acid nor alkaline.  So, Bob you hit the target as you almost always do.

I would imagine the surface needs more cure time since it's only a couple months old, and is just too wet to comfortably invest in an expensive coating or sealer that will obviously fail in short time. Something none of the "experts" were notorious to speak to me about.  And I now know why nobody will guarantee or warrantee their work for over 30 to 60 days. In fact one professional coating representative I spoke to about the test results Friday, gracefully told me he is not interested in my project any longer - no big shock to me.

Seems to me the best option is a polish as Bob mentioned which will save me some money and is a process I can do myself with my contractor's help.

Note to self ... It's a garage workshop floor, not a museum.  Thanks for the communication and recommendations guys.

Attached is my test results in case any of you are interested ...
  

Mike V. / San Diego
'78 R100/7 (original owner)
'81 R65 (fully restored)
My 650 restoration project at...
http://tinyurl.com/chkytw8
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