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Concrete shop floor coating

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by firehawgcfd, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    CutawayAl
    Member
    from MI

    Years ago I had no garage and none of my car friends did either. Sometimes clubs or groups of guys would chip in and rent a small commercial/industrial space to work on their cars. Many times I have worked on my car laying on a piece of cardboard in the snow. Floor jack.... individuals didn't own those. Roller tool chests.... only professional mechanics had them, and those weren't the Snap-On Hilton sized boxes so common today. Everyone didn't have a torque wrench. If you were lucky someone among your group of friends had a spray gun or knew someone who did. Not that there is anything wrong with having a garage, tools, or equipment, how did we get from getting by with very little to obsessing about spots on a concrete floor? Why do so many people now want their garage to look like Liberace lives there? I am always hearing that money doesn't buy what it used to. With so many spending hundreds of dollars to color coordinate a garage floor things overall can't be that bad.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  2. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,810

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    Most of the shops won't waste the money on that. As I posted earlier the best solution I have ever seen for a really nice floor is to color the concrete mix.

    The power plant I worked at for a lot of years had the whole main floor pour mixed in a real nice red.

    We did my dads 32x48 shop in the same brick red color and after power troweling it is very nice.

    The color mix is also a hardener so it increases the surface strength of the concrete as well as having the color go right through the mix.

    Again, it is far better than any coating could ever be.
     
  3. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,555

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC

    It's not a waste, and if you don't seal the concrete with something, and stain doesn't, it absorbs chemicals that not only stain it and break it down, but can make it flammable. So I think you're opinion that it is the best is just that, your opinion.
     
  4. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    CutawayAl
    Member
    from MI

    There are products that toughen and seal concrete, they are most effective on newly poured concrete. The info is out there if you are willing to look.

    I had a shop that had a fairly porous concrete floor. Before me fasteners were made in the building. Decades of oil soaking had saturated the floor. When we moved in we removed(manually scraped) away up to a 1/4 inch of oil soaked dirt(and whatever) that was near asphalt in consistency. Even after repeated cleanings over time where the floor was bone white, seaping oil would darken it within a couple weeks. When digging had to be done to install floor drains we found the soil under the building was saturated with oil. In spite of all that, the floor was not close to being combustible. So long as a concrete floor is kept clean I can't see it burning.

    Contrary to what some say, I have never seen an instance where oil/grease caused concrete to deteriorate. Salt for sure, but not oil.
     
  5. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,555

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC

    And I use these. I have used multiple different brands at different shops and had success with some and failure with others. Both self applied and professionally applied. The best is to coat fresh concrete, and my new shop will get the treatment as soon as the roof is up.

    My shop space 2 shops ago had areas that would catch fire. It had last been boat repair, but had been everything from the Harley dealership to a radiator shop to the Dolly Madison. I don't know exactly what had been absorbed into the concrete but I hadn't seen anything quite as bad since I worked at a place in the 80's and the space where the parts washer used to be had the same issue, I know Varsol was used amongst other solvents. So maybe not oil, but there is a lot more than oil used in shops.

    Same shop had some soft spots, and coincidentally a couple of the same areas that would catch fire were soft as well. But like I said there is a lot more than oil and grease used in shops. Plenty of solvents and other chemicals that can do serious damage.
     
  6. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,810

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    The color mix acts as a strengthener and surface hardener and also seals the concrete when it is finished so no sealer is needed.

    The floor at the power plant had large quantities of black gear oil spilled on it in the coal grinding mill bay when the millwrights would rebuild one of the big gear boxes.

    The spills were contained and cleaned up properly of course and the concrete was never stained.

    The floor in my dads shop has oil dropped on it regularly from his leaky old Harley or his old International truck and it does not stain, a little wipe up and a spray cleaner removes the oil from the surface.

    Like I said, the floor surface is hard and sealed and a very nice brick red color.

    It resists damage if something heavy falls on it and you can forget about damaging it with welding or with heavy loads rolling on steel caster wheels. If you do manage to chip it the color goes all through the mix so it isn't too noticeable.

    The power plants floor routinely had many ton loads of big gear boxes rolled over it on 10" steel wheels and it never marked it.

    So, as you can see this is a little more than just my opinion, it's based on practical experience with colored -hardened concrete.

    But all this won't convince you anyway, I obviously know nothing so I'm done :)
     
  7. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,555

    zman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Garner, NC

    Which brand of "color mix" does this? The majority of color mixes are merely pigments added. Maybe it was something extra with the pigment. Give us a brand. :eek:

    And explain to the op how he's going to do this to his existing slab...

    now you can leave. :D
     
  8. firehawgcfd
    Joined: Sep 13, 2009
    Posts: 40

    firehawgcfd
    Member

    Just received a follow up sales call from the rep of National Coatings inc. who said that he is the general sales manager. He wanted to know if I had made a decision about using their product "SURFACE MASTER PROTECTIVE COATING" on my shop floor. I brought up all of the issues that have been mentioned by all of you in this thread. He's a very smooth talker but many of his claims are ridiculous. I asked again about it standing up to sparks from welding and grinding as well as standing up to slag falling on it as he originally stated. He says it will with no problem. He tells me that epoxy will only withstand 400 or so degrees. He states his product is good up to 2000 degrees. He further states that it will hold up to any fluids spilled on it including brake and transmission fluid, oil, etc.
    He then goes on to tell me that he restores mopars and often drags motors and rear ends around on the floor with out leaving a mark on the floor at all in 14 years. He says that the surface hardens to over 2000psi. I don't even know what that means. I was not aware that psi was a measure of the hardness of a material.
    Then he tells me about the unconditional 100% money back guarantee. If I am not happy for any reason they will refund all of my money. I told him that even if they did give me back all of my money I still would have to deal with a shitty finish on my floor and figure out how to remove it to do something else. He assures me that will not happen.
    I then tell him that it all sounds great but I would like to talk to some folks that have used the product in similar shops and find out how their results were.
    "Oh I would never give out my customers names and numbers, its a privacy issue"
    All of this only confirmed my decision to heed the advice of many that posted on this thread and stay away from this company.
    If his product really is all that he claims then I guess I will be missing out. I am just not willing to take the chance.
    Thanks much to all of you for the advice. I feel like you have provided some very viable options.
     
  9. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    CutawayAl
    Member
    from MI

    Per my post earlier in the discussion, check out silicate.
    http://www.mightyseal.com/concrete_sealer_types.htm

    The above link is a good summary, but for anyone interested there is a lot more info available.

    It does the more good on new concrete, but it also works on cleaned existing concrete. It both strengthens and seals the concrete by imparting a glassy substance(calcium silicate). It also helps new concrete cure stronger. It is a penetrating sealer, not a paint or coating.

    There are latex additives which can be mixed into concrete before pouring. I know those are beneficial in some applications, but not sure whether it's worthwhile for a commercial/industrial floor.
     
  10. wsdad
    Joined: Dec 31, 2005
    Posts: 1,255

    wsdad
    Member

    I've coated my floor by splattering it with brake fluid, used motor oil and then fence stain. After it all soaked in, I splattered it again. I repeated the process until it could stay wet for an entire day on its own. Then I sprinkled some native dirt from just outside the shop on it. I let it sit for a week. It soaked the excess oils up like kitty litter, and added it's own colors into the mix. It left behind a beautiful randomly blotchy splatter effect that you would have to see to believe. Then I cured it with a blow torch. I gave it a "distressed look" by hitting it all over with a hammer (similar to what they do to some furniture to make it look antique). For the final touch, a slight dusting blended together and softened all the contrasting colors and hues.

    I've found it never needs maintenance no matter what I spill on it or do to it. In fact, the high traffic/work areas get naturally re-coated as they wear. You can't even tell that I haven't swept it in years because it's the same color as the dirt outside.

    On a semi-related topic, I'm also taping a blank color swatch to the front of my car so it will pick up all the natural road rash colors from my part of the country. After a few weeks, I'll take it to the painters to get it color-matched. After painting my car that color, I'll never have to wash it again.

    I'm always thinking.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  11. wco56
    Joined: Feb 3, 2013
    Posts: 1

    wco56
    Member
    from Upstate NY

    Just a quick note to everyone on this product. I bought it and applied per the instructions. It started to peel under the tires right away, and when winter hit here in the Northeast it wrinkles and peels up when water lays on it. I just signed up to this website so I know it is late in the game, but the company (Natl. Coatings in Lindenhurst,NY) was no help and now does not even respond to my emails. If you didn't buy it, good. For anyone still contemplating it, I would stay away from it.
     
  12. PKap
    Joined: Jan 5, 2011
    Posts: 593

    PKap
    Member
    from Alberta

    My previous company installed shop floor coatings for the last couple of years. We did highly decorative finishes with logos and pinstripes etc. Our products were essentially polyeurathanes, and a couple hundred bucks a gallon. Our suppliers have had professional garages look good after 10 years of use, but there is no coating that will stand up to dragging crap across the floor. That will even scratch concrete. We have looked all over for a coating on welding floors. Many will be fine, but if you drop a slag booger on the floor, they all will be affected. The biggest number one reason that coatings fail on concrete is prep. We shot blasted every job to open the surface. Cheap home depot coatings stand up great on a shot blasted surface, acid etching and grinding are not good enough. Just like a car, proper prep is EVERYTHING.


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