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How to Choose the Best Garage Floor Coating Company in Your Area
How to Choose the Best Garage Floor Coating Company in Your Area
Did you know that concrete expands and contracts when water freezes and thaws inside it? It's one reason why your garage floor has seen better days. So you've decided to hire a coating company to revitalize your garage floor.
However, you have two problems; the first is that you're unfamiliar with the garage floor coating process. The second issue is you're not sure how to find a reputable floor coating service. There are various things to look for in the ideal floor coating service. Keep reading to discover what you need to know to hire the right garage floor coating company.
All About Garage Floor Coating
First, research different types of floor coatings before hiring someone. It'll save you a lot of trouble. For example, did you know that there are three popular kinds of garage floor coatings:
Epoxy is the most widely used coating for a good reason. It's tough, has a lower upfront cost, and is relatively easy to DIY apply. However, it does have disadvantages. Epoxy pours on thickly. This prevents it from sinking into all the cracks and crevices in your floor. The lack of deep penetration will lead to adhesion issues in the future.
You'll also need more maintenance than with polyurea and polyaspartic. While epoxy is durable, it's not the toughest garage floor coating. Chips and delamination will eventually occur. It also lacks UV resistance.
Polyurea is an elastomer or a polymer with elastic properties. Polyurea is strong – much stronger than epoxy. This polyurethane subtype is more resistant to damage thanks to its elasticity, but it also has drawbacks. Polyurea dries so rapidly that it may not enter all the cracks inside your floor. It's not ideal for DIY installations because of its quick drying time. This may prevent proper bonding and create imperfections during installation.
The type of polyurea you choose also matters. Aromatic polyurea contains stable molecule rings that allow the polymer to carry colors well. But, the stability also means it's likelier to fade in UV light. Aliphatic polyurea has less stable molecule rings and can withstand ultraviolet radiation better than its aromatic counterpart. One way around fading romantic coating is to apply an aliphatic top coat.
Poor wetting out is also a potential issue. “Wetting out” refers to how much an adhesive spreads across a surface. If the polyurea doesn't wet out well enough, it may not stick properly to your floor.
Polyaspartic and polyurea are the same thing. Specifically, polyaspartics are aliphatic polyureas. Polyaspartics aren't much better or worse than polyurea because the former is a variation of the latter. They share many of the same strengths and weaknesses. Both are hardier and more flexible than epoxy garage floor coatings. Both dry quickly, which makes them problematic for DIY installation. Both contain fewer VOCs (volatile organic compounds) than epoxy. Polyaspartic and polyurea floor coatings have little off-gassing. Installers won't need protective breathing gear during installation.
Perhaps the one true advantage polyaspartic has over polyurea is its UV resistance. Polyaspartic garage floors don't yellow over time. A garage floor expert can tell you more about polyurea and polyaspartic garage floor protection and provide a glimpse into a professional installation process. For more details, read up on the Garage Force process.
Of course, there are other considerations aside from choosing epoxy, polyurea, or polyaspartic garage floor coating. Aesthetics matter also. Do you want a solid color floor or color flakes/chips? How do you feel about metallic colors or low gloss coating? Perhaps you want a high-gloss floor instead. Polyurea and polyaspartic are smooth and can cause slipping, so you may desire traction additives.
You should know all these things because understanding garage floor coatings will enable you to choose your coating company. Knowing the differences and options help you make an informed decision.
Choosing Your Floor Coating Service
You've researched, so it's time to find the floor coating service that'll give you what you want. Here is where you'll learn how to pick the best company for your garage floor protection.
Ensure They're Licensed and Insured
You do not want unqualified people working on any part of your home. A license ensures the floor coating service you choose can legally operate within their jurisdiction. Most states require licensing for a garage floor coating. Ask for the company's license and search for it online to see if it's valid within your state. Do not work with a company that either:
- Has no license
- Refuses to provide proof of a license
Odds are there's a reason they don't have or won't give evidence of licensing. These reasons may include:
- Violation of local codes or ordinances
- Violation of state law
- Failure to renew
- Business misconduct
- Failure to pay fees, judgments, or taxes
- Lapsed requirements
Failure to obtain surety bonds or insurance certificates
Speaking of insurance, make sure your potential coating company is insured. You can ask if they'll provide a copy of their insurance documentation (or online proof). Make sure they have liability and workers' compensation. Liability insurance helps cover fees for injuries and damages while on the job. Workers' comp provides medical and wage benefits for injured or sick workers.
You should also seriously consider a floor coating company with bonding insurance. Bonding insurance acts as protection for customers. Bonding guarantees you'll receive compensation (potentially as a lien) for an incomplete job or a refusal to meet financial obligations for materials.
Check How Long They've Been in Business
How long a business has operated may indicate the quality of its work. It takes companies approximately seven to 10 years to become successful. Running for about a decade probably means they're a reputable establishment. However, shorter operation duration doesn't mean they're not a good business. Some recently opened companies may have teams of contractors who've worked for another enterprise for many years.
Ask for References
A good floor coating service will have people willing to testify on their behalf. A coating company that doesn't have references could be hiding something nasty in its past. Today, companies often share testimonials on their websites. If they don't have a testimonials section, ask for a portfolio. Many companies are proud to display their work. Ask why they don't have a portfolio or testimonials. Their answer could be the difference between choosing them or someone else.
Research Their Reputation
Another way to confirm you're picking a reputable garage floor coating company is to research its reputation. This is important because testimonials can be faked, and you need something to compensate for missing portfolios.
You can check your state's consumer protection agency. The website lets you check if the coating company had (or has) dissatisfied customers filing actions against them for poor service or misconduct. Some of you may be more familiar with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB will provide ratings for companies and let you know if their garage floor protection services are worth enlisting.
Get Written Copies of Warranties and Contracts
Do not work with a company that does not provide written copies of warranties and contracts. Verbal contracts and handshakes aren't reliable and can result in companies reneging on services. Physical warranties are vital because they guarantee you'll receive repairs and service if something goes wrong and you need repairs. Don't settle for a business that promises to repair your floor in case of damage.
Your contract should detail the materials and coating systems used and payment terms. Some contractors request partial payment upfront for larger jobs. Carefully read over your warranties and contracts. Look over the fine print and discuss anything you don't understand or are uncomfortable with.
Other Factors to Consider
There are various other factors to consider than reputation, contract copies, insurance, and licenses. Asking about the brand of materials is crucial because you want to know if they understand what they're doing. An expert can explain in detail what they do and what they use to do it. Here are a few more things you should consider when choosing your coating company:
- Floor prep methods
- Don't choose a company that profiles with acid etching/washing
- Acid etching/washing is a corner-cutting method to profile floors
- Moisture testing
- Applying coating to wet garage floors may not cure properly
- Stem wall coverage
- Stem walls are often not included in the cost
- Some companies will offer to coat it at an additional price
- Polyurea and polyaspartic garage floors cost more
- Higher prices mean better garage floor protection
- Negotiable prices
- Some contractors are willing to lower or eliminate prices if asked
Don't be afraid to ask questions about the company's floor coating process and business practices. You could be stuck with shoddy work or unnecessary fees if you don't inquire about these services.
In Need of Garage Floor Protection?
Choosing the best garage floor service takes a lot of thought and consideration. It may help to use this article as a checklist for vetting coating companies. Remember to research and ask questions before deciding who you want to install your garage floor coating.
Home maintenance can be challenging and require a bit of outside guidance sometimes. But we've got articles to help with that. Check out our home and entertaining section for more home improvement advice!