Epoxy vs. Polyurea
Epoxy is found in many garages. The main reason being that it’s cheap. It’s also marketed as an easy do-it-yourself application. Like most things in the consumer industry, you get what you pay for. Epoxy is deceiving because when first installed, it looks pretty good. However, if you research the details of epoxy, you will find it has some serious drawbacks.
- Epoxy has many failures
- Installation takes a few days
- You must prepare the concrete very carefully
- There is a very short warranty, if any at all
A common failure of epoxy is hot tire pick-up. On a hot Minnesota summer day, your tires get very hot from the street and asphalt. When you park those hot tires on your epoxy floor and drive off the next day, your tires can tear away the epoxy film and leave a delaminated tire mark.
Epoxy is also not impervious to staining, unlike polyurea. Although it can help, epoxy can still be stained or damaged from chemicals like salt, street de-ice fluid, oil and gas.
Delamination is a common epoxy failure. If the concrete isn’t prepared correctly, epoxy will delaminate and wear away in a short amount of time. This delamination is common with many of the the concrete coatings out there. It’s not unique to just epoxy.
The only advantage epoxy has over polyurea is the equipment needed for installation. For example, “This Old House” recommends needing only:
- Large broom
- Paint tray
- Paint rollers and extension handles
- Plastic watering can
- Floor grinder (optional)
Although an incredibly durable polyaspartic, polyurea too has some drawbacks. For example, it sets up very fast, you have to be quick and know what you are doing. You also need a dual feed pump among other unique tools. It has a natural tendency to adhere to anything it’s sprayed on. However, it does not bond with concrete as well as other coatings.
Polyurea has a big upside, however. Fast cure times, flexibility and abrasion-resistance and nearly unlimited color options are all inherent properties of Polyurea. This makes it a natural choice for the high demands of a garage floor coating.
- Requires as little as a one day application
- Fast cure times; walk on in 4-8 hours, drive on in 24 hours
- Chemically resistant to harsh chemicals including gas, oil and salt
- Extremely durable – 20 times stronger than epoxy
- 98% more flexible than epoxy; will not crack or peel
- No VOC’s and little to no odor
Technology behind protecting your concrete
Polyurea is an organic polymer that is the reaction of isocyanate with an amine terminated polyether resin, forming a plastic-like or rubber-like compound that may be used in many of the same ways as older technologies – polyurethane, epoxy, vinyl ester, neoprene; to name a few. Find more details at the wikipedia definition. In other words, it’s flexible so it won’t crack like an epoxy would and it has a natural ability to bond to the surface it’s sprayed on.
Numerous coating applications
Polyurea has a long history in industrial applications such as pipe/pipeline coatings, water treatment plants, manhole & sewer linings and of course concrete coatings. In fact, if you are familiar with spray-on pickup truck bed liners, you are familiar with Polyurea. It’s popularity these days is in concrete coatings, but the possibilities for its use are endless!
Superior Garage Floor’s Hybrid Product
We use a combination of a penetrating polymer and polyurea. The penetrating polymer is best for truly bonding to the concrete. Then a coat of color flakes. Over the top of the flakes comes the sealing polyurea. This combination, hybrid coating, is what allows us to offer our lifetime warranty. Learn more about our installation process here.
Of course, all of these details are taken care of if you hire Superior Garage Floors. Get started by filling out our online quote form.