What if you could keep your garage floor looking amazing from season to season?
Many homeowners embrace epoxy floors to keep their garage looking great, in addition to finishing and painting the garage. But the only way to keep that amazing look is regular cleaning and maintenance.
Wondering how to clean and maintain your garage’s epoxy floors? Keep reading to discover the answer!
More Than Tough
First, though, it’s important to outline why this entire process is so important. It’s true that an epoxy floor is very tough and resilient. That’s likely why you chose it in the first place! But it’s possible for this tough garage floor coating to get dirty and damaged in no time flat.
If you’re not careful, you end up with a garage that looks like you never put any coating down at all. Then you are either stuck with the mess or stuck with putting a new coating on the floor all over again.
Spot Cleaning Is Key
You know the quickest way to avoid big problems? Simple: take care of them when they are only small problems.
That’s why spot cleaning your garage floor is so important. If there is some kind of spill, you should break out the broom, shop vac, and mop right away. Many epoxy floors can reper oil, gas, and other automotive fluids and harsh chemicals for a period of time.
However, the longer they are left on the floor, the more damage they can do to the finish. A simple spill might not damage your floor for a day or two, but can remove the finish if left for a long time.
Keep in mind that while it’s annoying to put this much effort into small spills, they only get worse when left unattended. You might as well take care of the problem while it’s still easy to fix!
Dirt Is the Devil
What do you think could damage your epoxy floor? It’s true that heavy machinery can sometimes damage the coating. More often than not, though, it all comes down to unwanted dirt.
Over time, dirt can scratch up your beautiful floor (and store-bought epoxy scratches pretty easily). And once the scratches are there, dirt will gather in those scratches and make everything look much worse.
You may not need to do this very often. But so long as you clean the dirt as soon as you see it, you can keep your floors from getting scratched.To keep that from happening, you need to be vigilant for dirt and grime. When you see it, bust out a shop vac with a soft brush attached to it.
You can’t catch every single mess or spill as soon as it happens. Eventually, you’ll have to deal with problems like stains after they have already happened.
When you have something like a rust stain, you’ll need to use a scrubbing sponge and some warm water. The keywords here are “soft” and “mild.” If you try to use something like steel wool or chemical cleaner, you may end up damaging the epoxy in your attempt to clean the stain.
Speaking of epoxy, it has a kind of “Kryptonite” you should avoid at all costs: citric acid. Any cleaners with citrus or acid in them can seriously mess up the epoxy. Heck, citrus cleaners are even a recommended way to remove epoxy entirely!
To play it completely safe, stick with warm water!
Soap: Not Always Your Friend
You know to watch out for chemical cleaners and anything with citrus or acid. But did you know that even soap can be too much for your epoxy floor?
Soap is not going to outright damage your epoxy the way that other cleaners will. But it can make your clean epoxy floor look hazy, especially after repeated use.
If you have a serious spill that you just can’t tackle with warm water, you may experiment with using soft soaps. But soap of any other kind may ruin the entire aesthetic of your garage!
Secrets to Cleaning Chemical Spills
So far, we have focused on very basic spills and dirt. But what should you do if you are cleaning oil or other chemicals from your epoxy floor?
First, wipe up the chemicals with some kind of cloth and then safely dispose of the cloth. The sooner you can remove the chemical, the less severe it will stain your floor. Next, use a mild detergent or de-greaser (depending on the chemical you are cleaning). This cleaning protocol works well for all chemical spills. That includes car oil, paint, and antifreeze.
If there is still a stain after you remove the chemical, you can use the cleaning process we have outlined below.
Cleaning in Four Easy Steps
Cleaning up your epoxy floors doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, you can break the entire process down into four easy steps.
- First, remove any major items between you and the floor. This is like cleaning any other large surface. You don’t want to deal with any annoying obstacles!
- Second, sweep up and vacuum the area the best you can.
- Third, use a mop and hot water to try to clean any dirt or stains that have settled into the floor.
- The fourth step is only necessary if the area is still dirty. If so, mop again and replace the water with a water/ammonia mix. Remember, a gallon of water only needs 2 or 3 ounces of ammonia to get the job done!
Professional Help: Knowing When to Call
Some of you probably have only one thought while you’re reading all of this: “that sounds like a lot of work.”
Constant epoxy maintenance can be annoying for most homeowners. And you may eventually encounter a nasty spill that even the best DIY skills can’t clean up.
Be sure to know your limits and call in some local professionals if you ever need help. They can take care of the epoxy problem faster and more efficiently than you can on your own.
If nothing else, calling in a pro will give you your weekend back. And who doesn’t need more weekend?
Cleaning Epoxy Floors: How to Get Your Smooth Back
Now you know the secret to cleaning epoxy floors. But do you know which local pros can put down a durable epoxy finish for you?
At SurePro Painting, we handle all of your residential painting, staining, and coating needs. To see how we can make your garage look better than ever, contact us today!