Polyurea-Polyaspartic 1-Day Coating Systems: A Recipe for Disaster

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Polyurea-polyaspartics are excellent products for use in coating concrete. However, when used direct-to-concrete in the often hyped "1-day coating systems", these products can be a recipe for disaster. In this release, we describe the many benefits of polyurea-polyaspartics and the drawbacks of these products when used in 1-day garage floor coating systems. Garage Floor Coating Franchise System, Inc.

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Epoxy Polyurea-Polyaspartic Garage Floor Coatings

If you don't have the time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it over?

Polyurea-polyaspartic 1-day coating systems can be a recipe for disaster. Concrete coating expert Robert Hanson of corporate GarageFloorCoating.com cautions consumers and coating companies about quick-cure, 1-day polyurea-polyaspartic garage floor coating systems.

The More Things Change

In an article written way back in 2007 in Residential Concrete Magazine (Jeanne Fields, December 15, 2007), titled “Garage Floor Coatings Pickup Speed”, Fields reported that epoxy garage floor contractors were discovering that polyurea-polyaspartic quick-cure systems could increase profits because of their quick installation time. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

1-Day Systems: A Recipe for Disaster

Flash forward 13 years and many less experienced floor coating contractors still hype these systems. But Robert Hanson, founder of GarageFloorCoating.com, warns that polyurea-polyaspartic 1-day coating systems are a “recipe for disaster.”

“Our concern is that the public is being misled about the capability and performance of these products and systems,” says Hanson. “The allure to the customer is the promise of a coated garage in one day. So many companies are jumping on this 1-day-system bandwagon.”

The Truth about 1-Day Systems

The reality? 1-day garage floor systems simply don’t meet commercial specifications. Application of a polyurea-polyaspartic direct to concrete isn’t recommended...unless the average measured moisture level in the concrete is less than 1.0%. Why? The ability of a polyurea-polyaspartic to bond strongly to concrete is hindered by moisture. Anything above 1.0% is a problem. And the flooring system is only as strong as the first (“primer”) coat. How many concrete slabs will have moisture readings below 1.0%? Not many!

In addition, this simple 2-coat system uses far less material. In fact, it creates a floor that is about half the thickness of a commercial-grade installation. The result is that 1-day polyurea-polyaspartic flooring systems are less durable and susceptible to peeling.

Hanson reminds us that “When a product fails, the cost and time to remove it and re-apply it proves very costly. As well, it’s a major inconvenience to the customer. We learned the hard way years ago when we had to re-coat close to one hundred floors due to failures with these 1-day systems. It’s a recipe for disaster.”

An Alternative to the 1-Day System

Hanson recommends using a 100% solids epoxy as the primer coat (or a moisture-mitigating epoxy if moisture levels are higher than 4.0%). In any space with vehicular traffic (garages, driveways), the primer coat is topped with a polyurea-polyaspartic. Then, one or more clear coats will produce the most durable flooring system. With this correct approach, the installation time is at least 2 days in duration...certainly not one!

How does Hanson know this? His company, GarageFloorCoating.com has been installing residential and commercial floor coating applications for over 23 years. They use water-based moisture mitigating or 100% solids epoxies as the primer coat. Only in the rarest of occasions will a polyurea-polyaspartic go direct-to-concrete.

Advantages of Polyurea-Polyaspartics

But once the primer coat is applied, polyurea-polyaspartics make for great color and top coats. In fact, these products are in a category all their own. Polyaspartics provide excellent wear, extreme UV and chemical resistance (oils, gasoline, acids). And they prevent plasticizer migration from hot car tires. Best of all, the quick-cure characteristic of a polyurea-polyaspartic allows for faster installations in hot or cold temperatures.

Where Can Polyurea-Polyaspartics Be Used?

Polyurea-polyaspartics are excellent for use in garages, driveways and anywhere vehicles are parked. They’re also excellent choices for most industrial settings and businesses (like an auto repair shop) that just can’t shut down for days. We’ve successfully used this product in large commercial spaces too, including aircraft hangars and automobile dealerships.

The Final Say

There’s an old saying that goes “If you don’t have the time to do it right, then when will you have the time to do it over?” This certainly applies to mass-marketed 1-day polyurea-polyaspartic flooring systems. So many coating companies are telling their customers that these 1-day systems are a magic bullet.

But why would a contractor emphatically hype a “1-day” flooring system? Because less material and less labor equals more profit. If your prospective installer suggests a 1-day polyurea-polyaspartic system without first measuring the moisture in your concrete floor, let the buyer beware!

Headquartered in Phoenix, AZ, Garage Floor Coating.com (GFC) has been coating concrete with their proprietary epoxy, polyurethane and polyurea-polyaspartic products for over twenty-three years. With dealerships and franchises throughout the US, the company continues to expand and is always looking for individuals with a strong business acumen to open new dealership locations.

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Robert Hanson
Garage Floor Coating
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