Does the garage epoxy floor belong outside?
My name is Felipe Andrade, and I am the owner of Rossi Decorative Concrete & Epoxy. I believe that main part of our job here at Rossi DCE is to educate our customers in order to achieve the best results for our customers; not necessarily what is best for our pocket.
You see the famous flake floor, known to a lot of people as the standard “garage epoxy floor” on pool decks, porches, patios, etc, but is it a good idea?
“Felipe man, this is your third article, give it to us straight; do you believe the flake floor belongs outside?”
I do not believe it belongs outside.
I also believe it does not belong outside.
“Can it be done outside?”
I mean, yeah… People do it everyday.
“Can it be done to your standards?”
But as biased as it this may be, I still wouldn’t do it.
Let’s get to it!
Garage Epoxy Floor Outside Overview
Table of Contents
- Issues (essentially why we don’t do it)
d) Manufacturer’s Instructions
e) Vapor Barrier
- Conclusion about issues
- Why do companies do it then?
- Where one day installs make sense
- One More
- Final Thoughts
- Summary for those who did not want to read all of it (I know, it’s long)
Garage Epoxy Floor Outside - Introduction
As many of you already know, I like to be very thorough in everything I do.
Especially when I am explaining something to someone who may not know what I am talking about initially.
As always, I’m going to break this topic down barney style and as the why I strongly do not believe the garage epoxy floor belongs outside.
Or any resin for that matter.
Of course, you sign our waiver we’ll make it happen best we can.
That statement right there is usually enough for people to pause and analyze.
This article will be on why it doesn’t belong outside vs speed (completion of job) and/or strength.
This article won’t be no where near as long as the 4x stronger than epoxy or the 1-day garage epoxy floor day install I’ve already written.
Regardless of strength or time, if it doesn’t belong outside, it should not be outside. Period.
As always, I will write the long version, but feel free to read the little summary at the bottom if you so choose to not read the long version.
This article maybe your third article, but it could be someone else’s first.
Let’s get to it!
Garage Epoxy Floor Outside - Process
The process for the garage epoxy floor, also known as the flake floor, is rather simple.
Regardless if it is a one day install or a two to three day install.
They come in, prep the floor, lay down the resin
– Option #1 – 1 day install: polyurea polyaspartic or polyurea
– Option #2 – 2 day install: 100% solids epoxy
flake into it, then, regardless of option listed up above, topcoat with polyaspartic.
Depending on who did it, it’ll look pretty, UV-stable, etc. etc. etc.
So why not?
What’s the problem?
Let’s dig into it.
Garage Epoxy Floor Outside - Issues
Regardless of who you call.
Regardless of how good they are.
Regardless of what brand of materials they bought.
Does not matter, my main concern (I will discuss 2 issues though) won’t disappear.
Even though there’s a “fix” for it, TO ME, still not risking it.
Issue #1 – Safety
Before I explain anything, safety to me is priority number one. Period.
There’s a couple more reasons why not, but this one is the only one I need to say “nope, we’re not doing it.”
If I install a floor, will it be safe for that particular location?
If I believe it will not be, I am not doing it.
Unless of course, you sign my waiver.
All resins, regardless of it being 100% solids epoxy, polyurea polyaspartic or polyurea, are slick.
Sure, aluminum oxide can be added to it to give it grip, but now it won’t look the same.
Go on google, then images, and type “Aluminum Oxide epoxy”.
You’ll see that the aluminum oxide comes in different grits (for more/less grip) and also, it is white.
I’ve never done aluminum oxide over any epoxy floor that I’ve done, regardless of location, because I have yet to have someone that wants to change the aesthetics of their floor for better grip.
Coming back to the slick point, as soon as I bring out my flake sample board and say feel when dry, most go cool, no problem.
Then, I dump water and tell them to feel the wet area, they go “ahhhhhhh, got it. Never thought about that. Makes sense.”
If your concrete is PERFECT; angling 2 degree or a quarter inch per linear foot leaning away from foundation of the house (or where you want the water to go away from), no puddles, nothing of the sort, than maybe, just maybe, WITH aluminum Oxide, it would fly.
I have yet to see a concrete that is THAT perfect.
Issue #2 – Injuries or worse. And of course, legality.
Let’s take a pool deck as the first example.
Say around that pool deck you called company A to do the flake floor and they did an AWESOME job.
Seriously, no sarcasm here. They laid down the flakes awesome, no bald spots, they scraped it beautifully as to ensure that no flake will cut your feet as you walk. Did everything right.
The job itself is 11/10. Just that good.
Now, you have a pool party. You got kids running everywhere, cause you know, they’re kids, and water is splashing everywhere, and well, and one of the kids runs over that small puddle on the side, slips, falls, hits their head on the edge of the pool and gets seriously hurt.
Of course, take the child to the hospital and make they are ok.
But what now?
You know if you are the parent of that child you most likely are suing.
At the bare minimum, you want your child’s hospital bill to be paid. And we ALL know those are not cheap.
On the opposite end of that spectrum, you may be suing for a lot more than just the hospital bill.
Everyone is in court now; including the installer. After all, someone gets hurt on installer A’s floor, they’ll be dragged along for the ride too.
The injured child’s parents will say “This accident happen on your land. Your insurance should have to cover it.” Or well, something along the lines of.
The homeowner will most definitely say it was not their fault. They’ll say something along the lines of “This was an accident. we didn’t know this could have happen. If the installer had told us this was a bad idea we would have never done it!”
That last sentence right there is all that needs to be said for all blame to be laid on the installer.
The judge will say something along the lines of this to the installer “in the eyes of the courtroom, you are the professional. You should have known better. You are therefore, hold liable for this accident due to negligence or at least, decimation of information.”
Again, something along the lines of.
Just like anyone else reading this, I call on companies to do work for me for which I have no time or I have no knowledge of the situation.
If I call an electrician to add an outlet for me, I am expecting that outlet to be done correctly. After all, they are the professionals.
If my house catches fires and it was deemed to be that the reason why my house caught on fire was because of poor wiring or installation of that particular outlet, well, there’s only one person liable for it. And that person is the electrician.
If I were to install a floor that I knew did not belong in that location, or at least their lawyers can argue so, I would be done for in the courtroom.
Now, I would be liable for all damages related to that accident.
Let’s exam another example. This time, a back porch.
Let’s say it is open. Meaning, it is not fenced in.
Now, you get someone to come in, install that flake floor.
Job came out stellar.
Now, it rains.
Neighborhood kids are running around from one end to another, shortcut to where they are going is right though your backyard, and one of those kids just so happens to be running, slips on a puddle and hit their head on the edge of the concrete.
The other kids, after all, they are just kids, they get scared and just leave.
The kid that got hurt, because no one got to that child in time, is dead.
Walking out to your back porch on a Saturday morning to a bloody porch with a dead child on it.
Sound like oh so much fun! -__-
(I really hope you guys saw the sarcasm in that one)
I cannot think of a single person who would not proceed with some sort of legal action if their child died because they slipped on someone’s back porch.
It would be one thing if the floor coating was meant to be there, but as soon as someone figures out it really should not have been there, or at the bare minimum figured out that this was a plausible scenario with that particular floor coating, whoever installed that coating is done.
Let’s take third example; your front porch.
Let’s say again, someone came in, installed this beautiful flake floor correctly, job is stellar, all is well.
Then again, it rains.
The UPS guy unloads a heavy box from his truck to your porch.
Guy slips and gets hurt and cannot work for X weeks.
You all know where this is all going, right?
Don’t need to sound like a broken clock here, but if that UPS guy sues for loss wages, this or that, well, it won’t end well for someone.
See why I make people sign waivers?
Negligence will never be on my end.
If any, it will be on yours.
And yours alone.
Issue #3 – Vapor Barrier
This particular issue no one gets hurt. Promise,
This issue is more of the longevity of the coat itself.
Here’s what I mean
There is a ridiculously high chance they did not install a vapor barrier on your pool deck, back porch, front patio, etc.
It’s not cheap.
With that said, none of these materials breathe.
If enough pressure builds up under it, it will “bubble up” and if you take a razor blade to it, it’ll pop.
Because mother nature will always win.
And no, I wouldn’t come back for free to fix it.
Garage Epoxy Floor Outside – Conclusion about Issues
These two issues are the only issues I can think of as to why I do not believe it belongs outside.
Sure, the vapor barrier issue may not get anyone in court.
As long as it looks pretty and no one gets hurt, no one is suing.
The safety issue however, is a different conversation.
Someone gets hurt, or worse, severely injured or dead, you know the second phone call you’re making is to your lawyer.
We can always replace the coating.
Say you got this flake floor done around your pool or something and you notice its cool when fairly dry, but when you got a party it gets slick.
Feel free to call us.
We’ll make that problem go away.
Can’t replace a life of a loved one though.
Garage Epoxy Floor Outside – One more thing
I do want to get the point across that I am not bashing on the flake floor. I just believe it does not belong outside.
Aluminum Oxide can be added to the mix for grip, for sure.
I don’t know anything about it in order to talk about it.
And guess what?
In court, in front of a judge, jury, and my client who’s not so happy with me, is not when I want to figure out.
Because even with aluminum oxide, I got a good feeling that their lawyer will still convince the jury that I may have mixed in the wrong amount, didn’t mix it long enough, blah blah blah, but most importantly though, I think he’ll convince the jury and judge that
“I am the professional, and that I should have known better. The negligence is mine to bear in full for not explaining adequately to the client of all possible consequences. No one else is to shoulder the blame. “
Or something along the lines of.
Oh wait, nah, that won’t happen to me, I make people sign waivers for wanting this type of coating outside.
Garage Epoxy Floor Outside – Final Thoughts
Hopefully after reading the entire article, you guys are beginning to understand that there are too many things that can go wrong, or the cost would be just too high to make it worth it.
And in a nutshell, those are the two reasons as to why we really don’t do the 1-day garage epoxy floor install: Too many things that could wrong, or most people just don’t want to pay for it to be done right.
And that’s not being cheap or anything of the sort, that is literally going “does it make sense to pay extra if we have the time?”
Our answer: “No, it does not!”
I wouldn’t pay the difference, so what makes me think anyone else would?
Also, please read the 4x stronger than epoxy article to understand that there is NOTHING, and I do mean ABSOLUTY NOTHING, that makes a 1-day garage epoxy floor install better than a standard straightforward 2-day install. It is NOT stronger, more durable, blah blah blah.
And yes, I am sure if any of my competitors are reading this OR if they give an estimate and the potential client pulls this page on them, I have NO DOUBT AT ALL that they will play down EVERYTHING I literally just wrote. Which is fair, I have nothing against criticism, after all, that’s how we improve.
With that said though, future client, with the same manner, detail and informativeness, ask them to disprove everything I just wrote.
And if they can do that, future client, please, ask them to call us, I would LOVE to hear their explanation as to WHY a 1-day garage epoxy floor install is better.
Garage Epoxy Floor Outside – To the point
Simply put, the point of this article was to educate you.
We use full transparency and honesty to strengthen our credibility as a company.
in order to provide the best quality and service, we will always use the best quality products available to the market and the method that most make sense for you, the client.
When it comes to doing a garage epoxy floor, we believe the 2-3-day method (depending on prep) is the best option for most clients.
Simply put, you get what you pay for. While that is easier said than done, this is also why we will always take the time to educate you, the client.
Summary for those who did not want to read all of it (I know, it was a long read, but it had to be),
but are willing to take my word for it.
We don’t do the 1-day garage epoxy floor install in garages because we believe they are NOT the best option for most of our clients. Between the possible issues and the additional cost, we do not believe it is worth it. We wouldn’t pay the difference, what makes us think that you would?
I believe the reason why these 1-day garage epoxy floor installs are so common is because they’re more concern with their bottom line and are not really worried about getting sued if it turns out to be a crapshoot job. That’s just my opinion, of course.
That’s not to say that it cannot be done nor that there are not specific locations that a 1-day garage epoxy floor install would make sense. In some specific scenarios it would make perfect sense to have a 1-day garage epoxy floor install done, say an ER in a hospital or something.
Since you guys are reading the short version, because well, you trust me, then I want you guys to remember this very next thing I am going to say.
We believe this is how you should decide as to have a 1-day garage epoxy floor install or not.
If time is more valuable than money, then yes, it makes perfect sense to have a 1-day garage epoxy floor install.
I will say it one more time for the people in the back:
*** IF TIME IS MORE VALUABLE THAN MONEY, THEN IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE TO HAVE A 1-DAY GARAGE EPOXY FLOOR INSTALL. ***
For most people who have time, we don’t believe the extra cost to do a 1-day garage epoxy floor install correctly make sense.
Wow, this was much, much, much shorter to read!
I wrote the long and very detailed version for those that didn’t just “take my word for it.”
Which I am hoping SOME of you guys will ACTUALLY read it so I can say I wrote it for a reason!
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