The DIY revolution has changed the dynamic for certain trades. As many consumers search YouTube and Reddit for solutions to common household upgrades and problems. I myself search these sites, I also live on a farm, and it can get pretty expensive to have contract work done out here. Plus, I work in the construction industry and have a very good understanding of things, so my self-confidence is pretty high.
Can you as a consumer prep concrete for a coating on your own? Well, if you go to the big box stores and look at some of the concrete paints or their versions of “epoxy,” then you may see that their data sheets tell you that it’s possible. Let’s remember one thing though, and that is they want to sell you a product. If you put it down and a week later it peels off, they will not send a contractor out to assess and fix the problem, they may give you a refund albeit more than likely not. So now you have spent money, taken your weekend and for what, nothing it seems. Yes, in some light duty areas and I mean light duty you may get away with their recommended concrete prep. I can tell you that we have redone many a DIY floor in our decade of business.
Think about a concrete coating contractors equipment set up. This is of course if they are professional and established and have your best interest at heart. When they unload to do your job, they will pull of their trailer or box truck about $25,000 worth of equipment meant to properly prepare your concrete. This equipment doesn’t fit in the trunk of a car so no you can’t run to a rental place and pick it up. More than likely they will use a planetary grinder, and if they are really professional a shot blaster as well. The grinder has diamond tooling on it, for standard garages about nine diamonds. This tooling is designed to scratch the surface removing loose or weak points of the concrete matrix and create a surface profile or CSP for the coating to grab hold of.
Now we can get really technical and confusing and go into the various coatings and their different CSP requirements, but we’ll save that for another blog. The purpose of this blog is to help you understand that though it may be possible to install a concrete coating on your own, you are far better off looking to a professional to do so. We charge by the situation. If we are coming into an uncontaminated slab, meaning no previous coating, then the price will be less than if we have to remove a mistake. Removal takes longer than prep and it is worked into your bid.
I will leave you with this one piece of advice that will save you a lot of hassle. If you have a contractor show up for an estimate, ask them how they intend to prep your floor. If they tell you they will acid etch it, then do yourself a huge favor and show them the door.
Feel free to contact me through this website if you would like more information.