16 September 2022
Garage floors can be dangerous places. As a disclaimer, we should add, we refer to a garage in the broad sense: a place where cars are parked, we are not just talking about the garage you have at home. We’re talking shopping centre carparks, car dealerships, multi-tenanted building car spaces, office garages etc. And these places can be dangerous. From slippery surfaces to delaminated concrete, to moving vehicles, a garage represents an area people can get hurt if they are not careful.
The good news is, that there are some things you can do to make your garage space safer for all. In today’s blog, we look at some top-level issues and then discuss the role an epoxy floor can play in helping you.
Issues plaguing garage floors
A floor at the best of times (and as we have covered in numerous blogs) sees its fair share of wear and tear. And when we talk car park or garage floors, the wear and tear they have to withstand are magnified. We believe the issues can be categorised into three core areas:
- Mechanical issues
- Safety issues
- Issues due to contaminants
There is a misnomer that just because a floor is poured concrete it will last for eternity. The simple truth is, concrete is far from impervious and, all concrete is not poured equal. This renders flooring surfaces susceptible to structural issues, damage and degradation, especially when exposed to the elements, heavy traffic, and things being dropped.
See, the thing is, when concrete is poured, the moisture content, the aggregate used, the amount of lime, how well the concrete is cured and so on, all affect how durable the concrete surface is once dried. The poorer the pour, the worse the concrete floor will be over time. It may result in rust, delamination of the concrete, cracking, areas where water ponds and so forth. In a garage all of these elements can cause problems. Rust on the underside of the slab may drip onto cars below damaging them, delaminated concrete and cracks can cause trip hazards, and water ponding can lead to slippery surfaces.
Issues due to contaminants
Cars are dirty. There is no nice way to put it really. They bring in dirt, water, drip oil, and items (such as rocks and debris) in the tyres can chew up the concrete. Over time, these elements take a toll on the floor surface leading to slippery spots, damage to the concrete and increasing levels of maintenance to repair.
This brings us to the next issue – safety concerns. Safety obviously relates to the issues above, especially when it can cause harm to people from slips, trips, and falls. However, garages present other safety issues such as the risk of being hit by a car. Poorly marked garage spaces including lack of pedestrian walkways also pose a risk to people.
The role of epoxy flooring
First things first, let’s define that epoxy flooring for your garage is a durable surface coating built from two parts – an epoxy resin and polyamine hardener. When mixed in the right quantities, these two have an intense chemical reaction that results in a mixture that hardens into a durable, long-lasting surface. A third part – polymer grits – can also be added to help increase the slip-rating coefficient.
When an epoxy coating is applied to a correctly-prepared concrete flooring surface, the epoxy forms a very resilient bond, due in large part to the polyamine hardener.
Epoxy floors have over many decades been shown to offer a long-lasting, attractive, low-maintenance and low-slip option for floors that have high demands put upon them. But the truth is, the advantages do not stop there. Here are just a few of the reasons you should consider an epoxy floor for your garage or other high-demand surface.
The unique properties of the epoxy chemical reaction and the way it bonds to the concrete beneath it, ensures you have a resilient and long-lasting substance that is far superior to concrete alone. In fact, there is only a very small chance of cracking or chipping.
Aside from the fact that epoxy floors reduce slipping incidence, epoxy floors can be dyed. This means that you can use different colours to delineate walkways, parking spots, lanes and so forth, making the whole garage safer for all.
Ease of maintenance
Epoxy floors are heat and UV stable, are not damaged by water and offer resilience to mechanical damage such as impact. They are also resistant to chemical spills and oils, with the latter easily cleaned up through approved methods. In fact, a simple soap and water solution is recommended for the cleaning of all epoxy floors, saving you money with regards to ongoing cleaning.
Epoxy floors are cost-effective
The good news is, applying epoxy over concrete is possible, even when the concrete is not new. The concrete does not need to be replaced, or pit marks repaired. Preparing the surface through scrabbling will strip the surface back, remove loose concrete and prepare it for good adhesion to the epoxy. This means that the application is relatively cheap when compared to other options. When combined with the low cost of repairs in the future, it becomes a very viable cost option.
Furthermore, the application of the surface by qualified applicators can be done very efficiently, reducing your downtime.
Ultimately, an epoxy flooring system is an ideal choice for safeguarding your garage floor and your building occupants. Sure, you may think concrete is impervious, and will stand the test of time, or you may be tempted to consider other solutions that promise the world. The key thing is, if you are not sure, you should simply ask for an experts help. We have over 45 years’ of experience helping body corporates, organisations, restaurants and industrial facilities to determine the right floor for their needs, so we know we can help you too. If you would like more information, please, reach out to our team.
Why Owners’ Corporations are Unfairly Unprepared
14 August 2023. By Chris Jakovljevic
We are increasingly seeing a rise in complexity, a reduction in the available hours people have to dedicate to their Strata scheme, and an increase in the prevalence of building defects. Something needs to change.
Ensuring your Balcony is Safe and Compliant to the Code
4 July 2023. By Chris Jakovljevic
A study released in 2020 found that over a 22 year period (1998-2019) there were 381 falls from balconies and windows. Often these were due to non-compliant balconies. In this blog we discuss what you need to know about balcony safety and upgrades
Working at Heights – What you need to know
26 June 2023. By Lorna
Australian work culture has for too long propagated a “Don’t be a wimp” attitude, which has seen employees chided for taking risk precautions. We do not subscribe to this in any shape or form and believe creating a safe work environment should be the top priority for any employer or contractor; especially true when working at heights. Read on