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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?

Let’s go!

Does the garage epoxy floor belong outside?

“Felipe man, this is your third article, give it to us straight; do you believe the flake floor belongs outside?”

Short answer?
I do not believe it belongs outside.

Long answer?
I also believe it does not belong outside.

“Can it be done outside?”
I mean, yeah… People do it every day.

“Can it be done to your high standards?”
Absolutely!
The quality of the work itself has nothing to do with it.
But as biased as it this may be, I still wouldn’t do it.
I’ll explain.

Let’s roll!

Garage Epoxy Floor Outside Overview

Table of Contents

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. And the quality will be great!
That statement right there, sign a waiver, 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 anywhere 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 of option, one day install or a two/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 or urethane.

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. Issue #1 leads to issue #2, then issue #3 is separate all together) does not disappear.
Even though there’s a “fix” for it, TO ME, not worth 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.

Why not?
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, the installer did a stellar job, 11/10, then maybe, just maybe, WITH aluminum Oxide, it COULD fly.
I have yet to see a concrete that is THAT perfect in our neck of the woods.

Because the concrete is probably not perfect, it leads to issue #2.
Read below.

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 intended.
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, because 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 sure they are ok.
But what now?
You know if you are the parent of that child, most likely, you 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.

Anyways, 
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 argue something along the lines of “This accident happen on your land. Your insurance should have to cover it.”
The homeowner will most definitely say it was not their fault. Which, in all reality, it might not have been.
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!”

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

That last sentence right there is all that needs to be said for all the blame to be laid on the installer.

Why?

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, therefore, are held 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 knowledge/skill of the task.
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 who installed it.

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.

Of course, I would never be liable for it in court because the only way this scenario would occur is IF you, the client, signed our waiver.

Let’s examine another example. This time, a back patio.

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 through 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 run away.
The kid that got hurt, because no one got to that child in time, is now dead.

Imagine that?
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.

By now 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 lost wages, this or that, well, it won’t end well for someone.

See why I make people sign waivers?
Negligence will never be on our end.
If any, it will be on yours.
And yours alone.

Have fun in court.

Issue #3 – Vapor Barrier

This particular issue no one gets hurt. Promise,
This issue is more of the longevity of the coat itself.
Or if it will even cure.
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.
Why?
It’s not cheap.

With that said, none of these materials (resins) breathe.
If enough pressure builds up under it, it will “bubble up” and if you take a razor blade to it, it’ll pop.
Why?
Because mother nature will always win.
And if this were to happen no, we wouldn’t come back to fix it for free.

Here is another very plausible example:
Let’s take a pool deck.
Pool decks have pumps to circulate the water, right?
Let’s say you got a leak somewhere.
Meaning, every time you run that pump, concrete gets saturated from underneath.
May not be a big leak so it’s not noticed.

Well, everyone’s working on that beautiful flake floor and boom, job is done.
They got paid, and you think you got a beautiful flake floor around your pool.
Well, next day you start walking on it and just doesn’t feel right.
Because of your leak, the concrete is saturated and since epoxy and water doesn’t mix, product didn’t bond or didn’t cure right.
You call them to come back and fix it, and of course, the leak is not their fault, it’s yours.
And on that perspective, they are right.
Sure, you could sue, but it may cost more to sue than the job is worth.
Feel free to call us to replace with something that was meant to be there.
If not, I guess you could always put a rug over the crummy areas and call it a day.

Garage Epoxy Floor Outside – Conclusion about Issues

These three 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, odds are, 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, and it gets wet, it gets slick. Not safe.

Feel free to call us.
We can make that problem go away.

Can’t replace a life of a loved one though.
Period.

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.
Like I’ve stated before, never done it.

And guess what?
In court, in front of a judge, jury, and my client who’s not so happy with me, and possibly someone else who’s child no longer walks amongst us, is not when I would want to figure that 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.
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

When writing this article, I didn’t want to be such a bad new bear.
And from the start, I did say this was going to be a very biased one-sided article due to the fact that from the get-go, I believe it should not be outside. For all the reasons stated up above. 

“Do people do it?”
Yes, everyday!

“Does it look pretty?”
If done right, absolutely!

“Even after reading this article will people still do it?”
Probably!
“Stupid is as stupid does”, right?
(If you don’t know where that’s from. Go watch the movie. Great movie by the way.)

“If all these things can happen, why do companies install them outside?”
Look through all my services.

Opinion#1: Flake is the service that takes the least amount of skill, the least amount of work, and has the least amount of chance of something going wrong (as far as doing the project itself). Therefore, it’s the easy option. The easy road to take.

Opinion #2: Humans are inherently lazy. “Let’s take the easy road. Write in our terms and conditions A,B,C so we don’t get sued. Throw a great sales pitch, get the job, get paid, go home. Life goes on.”
May not be what’s best for you, but it’s best for their pocket.

Opinion #3: Even though it’s no excuse, maybe they don’t know. We’re humans, we don’t know everything, me included.
Not like that would fly in court, since well, they’re the professionals in the eyes of the court room.

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 outside, we just believe that:
1. Due to the nature of the materials, the materials used to flake are not worth the risk.
2. In our professional opinion, you have better options.

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.

We always strive to do what is best for our clients. Period.
After all, that’s the essence of custom work.

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.

I know this is a very biased and opinionated article.

And before anyone gets their panties up in a bunch, the point of the article is NOT to discuss whether the garage flake floor is good or bad, how fast you can get it done, how long it will last, how much stronger it is, blah blah blah. 

The point of the article is to discuss whether this great floor belongs outside or not. PERIOD.

With that said, it is biased and opinionated article because based upon the chemical makeup of the materials themselves, I do not believe they belong outside.

Simply put, the ONLY way you’re going to get me to flake your sidewalk, back porch, front porch is if you sign my waiver.

The ONLY way you’re going to get me to flake your pool deck, or any other area where being constantly wet is a normal scenario, is if you sign my waiver, twice over.

Why?

We’re going to skip the fact the fact that there’s probably no vapor barrier under your pool deck/sidewalk/patio/porch/etc. and if you have water issues or leaks, the coating won’t come out right and to you, that means you spend (probably) a good bit of money to have a crummy finished product.
We’re going to skip that part because no one gets hurt; you’ll just have to spend more money to correct that problem.
Whether that is to ACTUALLY fix the problem or get a bunch of rugs or something, you’ll have to spend even more money to fix the issue.

These products (Resins) are slick when wet, and sure, the flake does give a little bit of grip, but in my opinion, not enough to counter the slickness when wet.

Now say you have a pool party, someone falls (because it’s slick) and gets hurt? Now what?
Now say some kid is cutting through your yard to go to the neighbor’s house. It’s lightly raining on this cloudy Saturday morning. The kid slips, falls, hits his head on the edge of your grill, drops to the floor. Of course, no one is awake to hear the thud. Kid bleeds to death. Now what?
Now say the UPS guy is delivering a very heavy Amazon packaged to you. It rained pretty heavy last night, he slips, falls and gets hurt.
Now what?

I’m not trying to get sued because I did something that, in my professional opinion, I knew I wasn’t supposed to.
I’m not trying to get sued because someone slipped, fell and got hurt. Now they’re in a cast and can’t work to provide for their family.
I’m not trying to get sued because someone slipped, fell and died. Now it’s a one-way conversation at the cemetery.

Oh wait, what am I saying, I won’t get sued. I will never end up in court because of it.
Why?
You signed my waiver!
Negligence is yours!
Not mine.
Have fun in court.

Sure, you can add aluminum oxide to it, but now that changes the aesthetics of the floor. 
Also, make sure to ask how long aluminum oxide SHOULD last because, well, I have no idea.
And if the aluminum oxide does not last as long as the floor does, well, now you got a slick floor again.
Don’t forget to ask about what grit makes more sense for your project as well.

Sure, you can skip the process of scraping from every angle in order to make it a bit rougher, but now you risk being cut by the flakes.
(they’re sharp! How do I know they’re sharp? I cut my hand doing an estimate to fix someone who got their pool deck flaked.)
Sure, you can stretch the product in order for the flakes to be more present, but I don’t believe stretching materials are a good idea: specially resins.

There are things you can do to make it work.

At the end of the day though, I do believe you have better options, and I don’t believe the benefits out weight the risks.

And yes, I may have been a tad dramatic with my examples, but with that said, they are very plausible scenarios.
It’s not like these scenarios are like getting struck by lightning or something.

If it’s outside, odds are, it’s going to get wet if rained on.
And if it’s wet, it’s going to be slick.
And if it’s going to be slick, slipping is something that can easily occur. on a slick surface.
And if you slip, depending on how you fall, you can get severely hurt.
And if you get severely hurt, you can die.
And if you die, well, no one is going to be able to bring you back.

Even though dramatic, see how my examples drive a point?
See how I went from A, to B, to C, to D, to E, so forth and so on?

If you are dead set on this around your pool deck, sidewalk, patio, porch, etc., because it is your cheapest option, I cannot stop you, nor would I try to. You do what you do. 

I heard this one somewhere before and I think it’s a great quote. Don’t ask me where it’s from though, I don’t remember.

“Cheap people have to be rich. They have to be.
  Why?
  Because they’re the only ones that can afford to pay for the same thing over and over and over.”

Write this number down:
(423) 615-9145
Call us if you want a more suitable option for your exterior concrete from the get-go.
OR
Call us to come and fix the problem once something happens.

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