A little preventative maintenance with a garage concrete floor sealer will help extend the life of any garage floor surface. Almost all garage floors are made of concrete. Although it is durable, concrete is not indestructible. Concrete, especially the less smoothly-finished pours, is a fairly porous material. It will absorb water, motor oil, and other solvents spilled on the surface, many times leaving an unsightly stain. Of course, continual scrubbing to keep the surface spot free is an option. A better plan is as little preemptive work. Applying a garage floor sealer is both an easy task and an inexpensive one.
There are many brands on the market. Thomson’s, probably best known for its line of wood sealers, also makes an excellent garage concrete floor sealer. Other companies’ product lines can be found under the names Rust-Oleum, Seal Krete or Scot’s Tuff. Regardless of what brand is preferred, only spend what is necessary. In other words, if your garage primarily needs something to keep water from seeping into the surface, then it is not necessary to buy an industrial-grade concrete sealer with a high level of corrosion resistance. On the other hand, if the area is used as a paint shop, or work shop, or is routinely used for automobile repair, then the best concrete floor sealer you can afford is the proper route to follow.
Concrete floor sealers can be epoxy based, acrylic, oil, or even latex. All have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, epoxy gives a more durable, longer-lasting finish, but breaks down over time with extended exposure to sunlight. Acrylic, though, doesn’t wear as well but isn’t as affected by UV light.
Before applying the concrete sealer (as with any project of this type) the surface must be clean and free of loose debris. Whatever is on the surface will be sealed in the finish so it is best to go ahead and commit to a hands-and-knees scrubbing with a heavy brush and stain remover where needed, or a power wash under heavy pressure. Allow the floor to completely dry before starting the job.
Garage ventilation is critical – although you may want to wear a breathing mask, leaving the garage door open while working should be sufficient for proper air circulation (on a calm day – no wind-blown debris needs to be settling on the damp sealer as it dries). Also, in consideration of the remote possibly of splashing the liquid sealant in the eyes, safety glasses should be worn.
Applying the concrete sealer is easy. It can be put on using a spray air-gun set up. Or, it can be applied with a standard paint roller. Although only one coat is probably necessary, manufacturers (dependent upon brand) may recommend two coats. Follow the instructions.
Finally, once the sealer has set up and cured, it is just a matter, if desired, of painting the surface with a color of your choosing. In the future, if the floor has been sealed properly and the paint is beginning to show wear, you only have to re-paint, you do not have to re-seal the floor.
And if painting the floor after it has been sealed sounds like more work than you want to do, a solution for that exists as well. Starting with clear sealers, almost every manufacturer offers its garage concrete floor sealer in many colors or which can have tint added. So, you would be sealing and painting at the same time – one job, double the reward, and a great looking custom garage floor.