From floor prep to finish coat, we hope you can see how much goes into the whole process. Here are some common reasons why DIY floor projects fail.
Lack of Proper Prep
- Proper machines are needed to grind and prep the floor to the required Concrete Surface Profile (CSP) needed to make a mechanical bond. Even with renting a grinder, do you know which diamond to use? How smooth or rough the floor is will affect the bond.
- New concrete must cure for 28 days to allow moisture to be released before the coatings are applied. If coatings are applied to soon they will not bond to the surface affectively.
- Dirty floors can cause big problems, too. Previous coatings and sealers must be removed, with special attention to making sure there’s no oil, dust or other contaminants on the floor.
- Testing for moisture — a heavy presence of moisture will cause delamination; you don’t want moisture wicking to the surface under the coating.
- DIYers may not be educated on applying a moisture barrier or using the correct one versus the amount of moisture present in the concrete. If you do apply a moisture barrier, you may not understand which type to use versus the amount of moisture present within their concrete.
- We have moisture testing equipment to tell us the exact amount present and which type of product (primer/moisture barrier) that must be used to adequately prevent moisture wicking to the surface and delaminating the coating from underneath it.
- You can’t just test with plastic taped down or taping down the tub. This will not give an exact measurement like we can obtain with our meter.
Never wash your floor to clean it prior to application because that will introduce additional moisture causing the coating to fail.
Not Measuring or Mixing Correctly
- If the ratios of your mix are not accurate, the coating will not cure correctly. Or if you do not mix products enough before applying, you may have a coating that NEVER hardens.
- You must also make sure to use the correct primers under base coats or else you may have a poor bond between the two.
Incorrect Application and MIL Thickness
- Different products require different techniques for application to ensure full coverage and guarantee the coating will not fail prematurely. For example, some products require roll on and while others may use squeegees or brooms.
- The correct roller and squeegee size must be used to ensure product is uniformly spread throughout entire floor to achieve the proper mil thickness.
- During the application, you can’t roll the product too quickly because that will introduce air, which will cause bubbles or imperfections in the coating. It’s also important to sand before the next coat if the proper amount of time to achieve a chemical bond has passed. You must ensure that you’re applying enough coats to achieve the proper MIL thickness.
- What if you choose the wrong product for your need?
Gauging the Temperature
- Did you know that different products must be laid within a certain temperature range?
- Wind speeds, humidity, and other atmospheric conditions can affect the working time of each products pot life and curing cycle.
- When and what to use for primer makes a difference for the rest of the application process, and the time that you can work with each coating thereafter. Once mixed, every product has a certain amount of time it must be applied before curing begins. If this time is extended too long it will not have the correct appearance. Product will get ”hot”, meaning it is ruined and will have to be scraped or grinded off of the floor.
- It’s important to know how long to wait and/or how soon to apply the next coat to achieve the best possible chemical bond available.
- You may not realize some products can be applied wet-on-wet. However, others must be applied once the previous coat is dry but before the cure time elapses for the chemical bond. Otherwise, you will need to sand the previous surface to gain the mechanical bond strength.
Education is key
- What are the top reasons for causing DIY failures — inadequate floor prep and moisture mitigation issues!
- Knowing how to achieve the correct CSP, vacuuming and what chemicals to clean with make a huge difference.
- You must know how to measure and mix each product and apply within the correct time using the right application techniques.
- DIYers may walk on or drive vehicle on floor before proper cure of coating is reached. So understanding cure times for each product is a must to ensure a long-lasting floor.