I live here in West Ranch in a home with a three-car garage.
I’m the man of my house and my wife says I can have the garage and the garage only, for my man cave.
I am going to put down an epoxy system and have gone to the big box stores as you call them, and found several different epoxy products which all contain the little speckle additions. Some even offer a clear coat for the end result.
What tips can you give me before I take on this project?
Thank you for writing in.
We’ve covered this topic in previous articles, but I’m always willing to revisit, as we are consistently getting new readers and want to make sure that everyone gets the answers to their questions.
Also, sometimes products change, and this would be a situation where any new developments could be shared.
On to your question.
The biggest tip I can give you is to prep your floor prior to any application of an epoxy product.
This prep like most projects, is the most daunting and least fun, but makes the biggest difference in the success of the results.
I’ll tell you right off what will happen if you don’t strip this concrete of any debris or oils – your brand new, beautiful epoxy floor will peel up on your vehicle tires, darn near the first time you roll on it.
This would be the most challenging situation, getting all of the grease and oil up as it prevents the proper adhesion of the epoxy product.
If you’re in the West Ranch area, those are relatively newer homes and if you haven’t had a car in your garage that has leaked, you’re probably in pretty good shape.
Use the cleaning solvents/degreaser that they give you, and make sure that the floor is “spic and span.” I would clean it minimally twice; personally I’d do it three times, making sure to rinse it thoroughly.
This is the biggest part of this job aside from moving your things out of the garage, which by the way, will need to be out of the garage for at least 72 hours for the complete process. At this time of year, due to low temps, it will likely take longer even that this 72 hours, because you have to allow proper drying time.
Once you think you have the floor completely clean and rinsed, and it is dry, run your hand across the floor in many areas. There should be not even the slightest of film on your hand. If there is, go back to the drawing board of rinsing, making sure that the rinse is thorough.
Any residue left will prevent the adhesion and you’ll waste your efforts and money. You should feel what is similar to a clean dinner plate.
You’ll need to buy two kits due to the size of your garage. Put your first coat down and let it dry, then put a second coat down and add the “chips” or “sprinkles” (but, if this is a man-cave, let’s go with “chips!”) if you wish to have them.
Let this dry thoroughly and then this next step isn’t mandatory but I would definitely add the clear coat at this point because it will make it shine and help the resiliency against grease and grime.
Now be patient and give this an absolute minimum of 72 hours to dry completely before you pull a car in this area.
If you follow these guidelines you’ll have an awesome man cave with a great floor that will last quite some time. Good luck with this, you’ll love the results.
I’m on the Board of Directors of an HOA in Stevenson Ranch and we’ve had several instances where the stones above the garage areas have fallen. One even fell on the hood of a car.
Because this is considered common area, the HOA owns the responsibility of the repairs to this vehicle.
The development is only 12 years old and yet the stone is already falling off.
What are your recommendations for this issue? We trust your opinion and are worried about future liabilities especially with any personal injuries due to falling stones.
I would have someone trustworthy out to inspect every area, especially the overhead areas.
Any stone that has seemingly moved or is potentially loose, needs to be removed and the mortar below ground off, as well as the mortar on the stone itself.
The area will need to be roughed up before the new mortar is applied and the stones reset. If this is done it should take care of your issues.
Without photos I am guessing on the materials but it sounds like you may have stack stone or brick veneer. This can happen, sometimes the mix is not made correctly and in a matter of time, these things fall.
This will be a time-consuming task, but it’s necessary under these circumstances.
The costs incurred with checking and repairing what is found as issues will be much less than a damage claim – especially physical damage.
Make sure they take the time to physically touch each stone and check them all, on each area of each building.
Document that you had this work done, it will be good to keep record of this. Good luck to you.
Robert Lamoureux has 38 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at firstname.lastname@example.org.