Ayla

Don't you hate it when you think you're done, but the garage floor wont come clean?! I have been using the Rustoleum Epoxy kit with the 2-stage Epoxy, etching, and sprinkles.

  • Extensive spraying with hose and dawn (The stuff labeled as grease-cutting) let set approx 1 hour
  • Pressure washer (Cleaned up some of the darkness but the stains are still there)
  • Boxes and boxes of powdered Tide
  • Zep Industrial Purple Degreaser from Home Depot
  • Black Magic priest attempted to remove the curse from my garage by praying the stains away

Cleaning concrete with degreaser/detergent usually only works for fresh stains and grime. If it has set in at all, it's time to go to acid.

Go to your favorite home improvement place or, better yet, find a local concrete products store (the guys that sell stuff like concrete stains, stamps, etc.) and tell them you need to acid wash your garage floor. There are various ways/products to do this. You could also get some muriatic acid from a pool supply store and DIY.

You must dilute it.

Don't go dumping it on the floor before doing research. The pool guys might even have some tips on ratios/equipment, as acid washing is common thing for restoring concrete pools. Keep that pressure washer handy as you'll need it for neutralizing/rinsing the floor, and take all reasonable safety precautions (nitrile gloves, eye protection, etc.) because, ya know, it's fucking muriatic acid.

After much scrubbing, tide, scrubbing, and more scrubbing, the floor was clean enough to put down a nice coat of primer and start rolling on the epoxy. Thank you for all your suggestions, I would have still been attempting to clean it right now.

If all else fails you can always paint your floor. I know its not exactly cleaning it, but it would def look better and you can pick a color that compliments your vehicle

Ayla

I thought of using an epoxy finish on the garage floor of my new house when I moved in a year ago but a combination of paralysis by analysis and a delay getting in the house led me to use a concrete densifier/sealer because that's what the local contractor place had). The delay getting the keys meant I applied the product the day before we moved in and I didn't have time to burnish the floor to shine it up.

The current plan:

  • Saturday - Pour undiluted Simple Green Concrete & Driveway Cleaner directly onto garage floor, let sit for 5-10 minutes, then scrub with this deck brush I bought, let it sit for 5-10 more minutes, then wash out of the garage and down the driveway with a garden hose.
  • Sunday - If Saturday's plan didn't work (and I doubt it'll be enough), repeat the process but with my brother-in-law's pressure washer.
  • Then - Use muriatic acid on any remaining trouble spots. I bought goggles and gloves for this step, but haven't bought the acid yet since I don't know if it's necessary.
  • Eventually - Consider applying epoxy flooring depending on the collective recommendations of the good people at my local contractors.

Unless you're using a clear epoxy, you only really need to worry about surface dirts, oils, or any other paint or sealer impeding the bond between the concrete and the epoxy.

That includes fully rinsing the cleaning solution.

Getting the floor completely stain-free doesn't need to be the goal.

The acids are used more to abrade and etch the surface than to clean it. It roughs up the concrete slightly to allow the epoxy coating to grip into the concrete.
Depending on how smooth/rough/porous your concrete is, acid etching may or may not be necessary.

Ayla

The storm drains in my house are the plastic ribbed type that run under the garage. When it rained heavily water backed up. It eventually drained, but I was worried that heavy rain can force water into garage. And then I learned I had blockage.

The contractor I first contacted wanted to rip it out. Big dollars for sure. I finally found one that was willing to help.

They took a better look and realized that there was a bloackege from some conrete that had slipped in.

Problem solved.

But they thouht there might be more.

They told me how to fix it myself.

Though they thought it wouldn't be necessary, although if it becomes necessary it may not be a horrendous big deal. You can rent a jack hammer/chisel and trench out the drain--then replace and fill with gravel and top off with a few inches of concrete. I've done small patches like that and while it's obvious it is a patch if you do a reasonably careful job--epoxy garage floor paint (2 part system--covers a multitude of sins.

If you can determine where the outlet is you may be able to put a smaller diameter sleeve in and route the outlet to a catch basin but either way the water is probably not draining out from the pipe along its length as intended but seeping out or flowing out-albeit slowly from the outlet end.

It still drains slowly. So far it hasn't been a big problem. If I can't remove the cement, the only other way is breaking up the concrete driveway which I don't want to do..

Ayla

Is painting enough?

Depends how far you want to go.

I would suggest renting a concrete grinder as the easiest fastest method to remove the old coating.

If you drive your vehicle on this floor you will need a two part type garage floor coating that will resistant hot tire pickup. Most retailers (Home Depot, Lowes, and Menard's) stock garage floor kits. Typical kits range in the $100 price range and are ready to drive on in 72 hours. There are also some higher end kits available in retailers now that are drive on ready in 24 hours - While you will pay a premium for these kits they are twice as durable.

You could pressure wash it and see what comes off. Degrease it with a proper cleaner like the ones found in the 5 or 1 gallon jugs at your home store. Then wash again and epoxy it.

Pressure wash with a water/sand system to keep the dust down. That will give a blank canvas so to speak then epoxy or concrete stain.

You could rent a concrete grinder and use progressively finer grit blades then stain/polish. This gives a very nice high end professional look.

Whatever you do I would recommend against any paint. No matter what the manufacturer says. You're in that predicament now. A good solvent based epoxy is much better than a water based one. No matter what you choose to apply surface prep is the key. That means getting rid of grease, oils and stains that would keep the products from adhering correctly. A garage floor is at the top of the list where proper surface prep is essential.

I would steer clear of anything that would require a 30 day cure period. I have used epoxies and stains after 24-36 hours with no issues.

Try to keep a vehicle off for a bit longer or you will have hot tire pickup issues. (Google that)

Ayla

This is one of those things that I think a lot of us struggle with. Especially if we want to apply a clear coat.

Zep Commercial Tile & Terrazzo Cleaner is a concentrated, industrial-strength cleaner and degreaser designed for grout, ceramic, quarry and Mexican tile, concrete, and terrazzo floors.

Buy the clear coat epoxy kit and do what the instructions tell you to do. Anything else will void any hope of a warranty.

Usually people use an Muriatic Acid wash / etch before sealing or top coating. If you don't get it clean the top coat will never work.

You can also use a mechanical method like a floor sander to take the top material off if its too rough or dirty.

You can get pretty into the process and get some concrete stain and color it before sealing. They also make an acid stain that makes it look like marble with the veins and all.

Rinsed properly, it doesn’t leave a slippery film.