At Vuba, we quite often get a phone call from a customer saying ‘I painted my garage floor with a standard floor paint from a local builder’s merchant and is peeling off after 3 months’. There are always number of reasons for the failure. Below there are 5 most common mistakes made by DIY clients.
- ‘It will be better if I seal the floor with a PVA first’…
PVA can be used to prime a floor for a self-levelling compound but not for a floor paint. PVA usually blocks the adhesion between the concrete and floor paint. It creates a layer on the surface that often causes the paint flaking as there is not a chemical bond between the two layers. Although it looks like a perfect sealer and dust-proofer it should not be used as a paint primer. If the floor is weak, porous, contaminated or new, a specialist floor primer might be required. Always contact technical team at Vuba if in doubt.
- ‘I will apply it thick and it will last longer’…
Usually garage floor paints are singe pack floor paint. It means that they’re ready for the application, straight fr
om the tin. There is no resin and hardener to mix. Therefore, a single pack floor coating is an air-drying product that requires a thin application. If applied too thick, it might not cure correctly and effectively peel off when exposed to traffic as the layer of paint is too weak.
- ‘I will just do one coat to rejuvenate the floor’…
Two coats are always recommended for several reasons. When painting onto a bare concrete floor, the first coat will often penetrate to the floor. Concrete absorbency will vary between different area of a room which might create a ‘patchy’ finish. This will also not leave enough of a wearing finish on the floor, therefore the durability of the paint will be sacrificed.
- ‘Before the application, I can just wash the floor and that will be fine’.
Preparation is a key to a successful application. In all circumstances the floor needs to be:
a) Clean – use Vuba Degreaser for oily and greasy areas. Sweep off or vacuum and debris before the application. Any flaking paint should be removed.
b) Dry – most of the floor paints will not adhere well to a wet or a damp concrete. There are paints that can be applied onto a slightly damp concrete e.g. Vuba-Coat Episeal. No coating will stick to a soaking wet floor though!
c) Abraded – floor grinding is usually a preparation method that a flooring contractor would perform. It is not always possible to do for small DIY projects and customers worry too much about the amount of work involved. If grinding is not possible or not cost effective, it is always worth doing something… Even going over the floor with a wire brush attached to a drill or a standard sander. It is to create a ‘key’ for the paint and open the pores for enhanced adhesion.
d) Sound – any holes, cracks and blemishes should be repaired with a suitable product before the application of the paint. This ensures that the desired finish is achieved and the paint doesn’t lift with a breaking floor.
- ‘I like the idea of the epoxy paint but it sounds too complicated’
Where wheeled traffic is involved, we always recommend one of our two-pack coatings which exhibit excellent durability and abrasion resistance. A cheaper floor paint will not last as long as the more advanced coating, meaning it is not always cheaper in a long term. And, it is not a complicated process to apply an epoxy or polyurethane two pack coating. As long as you are aware of the application process and read the datasheet sufficiently well. The main thing is to remember that two pack paint has a ‘pot life, which is a time from mixing of both components (resin and hardener) to when the paint starts going off and become unusable. So, you can’t just mix the paint and leave it to have a coffee first. Usually you will have between 20 and 60 minutes to use the paint depending on the temperature and the type of product (a water based product will have a longer pot life than a pure epoxy coating). The tips for DYI users are to ask someone to help with the application, split the content of a mixed unit into two containers not to leave the paint sat in the tin for extended periods once mixed, as the pot life may be reduced and usability could be compromised quicker than expected.