Few surfaces take as much abuse as the concrete floor of your garage. Every day it withstands the weight of vehicles and a barrage of substances they carry in and leave behind—water, oil, dirt, snow, salt, sand, and the occasional leaking fluid. Sealing the floor with specific paints or specialty products can help reduce future damage while maintaining cleanliness.
Check for sealant
First, test to make sure your garage floor hasn’t already been sealed. Pour a little water on the floor and see if it beads. If it does, the floor has been sealed already and new sealants may not adhere. If your floor has an old paint job, check the adherence of the paint by cutting the surface with a razor, applying a piece of duct tape, and ripping upward. If more than 25 percent of the paint comes off with the tape, the floor will likely need to be stripped before you can apply a sealant.
Prepare the floor
Before you apply anything to your garage floor, a thorough cleaning is in order. Sweep or blow out any leaves or loose dirt, spray the floor with a hose, and use a broom to push the now dirty water outside. Use mineral spirits and a scrub brush to remove oil or grease stains. Any large cracks should be repaired with concrete repair caulk and allowed to dry.
Choose your sealant
Because concrete is actually porous, water that is allowed to penetrate the surface can freeze and cause serious structural damage. Though applying a sealant is very important, choosing the correct one can be a difficult task, as the list of available sealants covers a broad range of utility and price. Visit radonseal.com for a comprehensive list of the various kinds of sealants available, or contact a professional contractor or installer for suggestions.