If you sometime spill oil or other automotive liquids on your garage floor one of the best things you can do is to apply a coating to protect it and make it secure to walk on. Since any business can not afford a slide and fall injury for one of their employees, if you observe a car dealers shop they always have a coating on the floor. The safest remedy is a garage floor paint with an anti-slip topping. This will not just make the floor more secure, but it will also protect the surface from most of the accidents including sparks from a welding bench.
Concrete epoxy floor coatings are of two kinds, namely the standard two-part resin / hardener and a water based garage floor paint epoxy. The two-part system has existed for years and it works great. The idea of the resin and hardener have been utilized in fiberglass construction for decades to give a tough and lasting result that is strong enough for large power boats and Epoxy floor coating sailboats. The major distinction between the fiberglass and the covering for the garage floor is that fiberglass also has a woven blanket that provides the longitudinal force. This fiberglass mesh is very strong and provides the epoxy something to form to. When administering epoxy to a concrete floor surface the underlying concrete slab provides the support so no webbing or mesh is required.
The real key to a durable epoxy floor is to use a lot of time on the prep work. Abe Lincoln once said: “If I had six hours to cut down a tree, I would spend four hours sharpening my ax.” It is the same thing with a floor covering. By spending the time in advance to prepare the surface properly you will get better adhesion and thus a durable surface.
The first step is preparing the ground by sweeping and removing all loose concrete chips and dirt. Secondly, rub any oil stained areas with a high quality degreaser so as to remove all petroleum products. If you do not remove all the oil the resin in the epoxy will no stick to the surface. You can use the water bead test to check whether you removed all the oil by spraying a film of water on the floor and checking for beading. You still have to do more degreasing if the water beads up, but if the water seems to soak in then you can move to the next step.
Older concrete is very hard and epoxy does not usually seem to stick to the surface, so you will have to etch it using a weak acid mixture which you can get at any home store. Follow the instructions as to how long to keep it on and clean up. It can harm plants and pets so be cautious when applying it.
Once the floor is completely prepped leave it over night to dry. Using a space heater will speed this process. The next day just start in the back corner and mix enough epoxy for a 6 foot square area. Roll this out and then spread on the anti-slip additive. Do this in small patches until the entire floor is done. Let is set for about a day before walking on the surface and don’t park you car for three days ( a week if you have to turn the steering wheels).