There are a few different reasons why you would want to put a coating on concrete, and you also have choices available when you are looking to apply a coating. Unlike paint, a coating on concrete is as much for protection, as it is for the aesthetic value. With the different choices that are available, it is important that you make sure that you choose the best coating available for your intended purpose.
INSPECT THE CONCRETE
The first thing that you will need to do is to inspect the concrete and see what the condition is. It is important to make sure that the concrete is clean and structurally sound, and also ensure that it is free from debris. You will need to inspect the entire surface thoroughly, and make note of any places that will require repair before coating your floor. When you have finished the inspection, you will want to fix any problems areas, and then consider what you will use the area for.
WHAT IS IT USED FOR?
Before you look at the different concrete coatings available, you will need to know what the area is going to be used for and consider the conditions it will be under. You will need to take into account if the concrete is exposed to heavy loads as a thicker coating may be required. The amount of traffic that the concrete will see will also have an effect on the abrasion, so it is something that you will also need to add to the list of criteria. If the concrete is going to be exposed to something such as a steam cleaner, with high temperatures, this could affect the coating if it is not durable and thick enough. You will need to work out if the coating is going to be there for decoration, or functionality.
The desired finished effect is also something to consider before choosing a coating for your concrete, whether you want a smooth finish, or you are looking for something textured. Know what the area is going to be used for and also what you want it to look like, will help you make a decision as to which coating is going to be best, as well as how thick the coating should be. The coatings can be varying thicknesses from a thin film of between 1-10 millimetres, up to an overlay of between 25 millimetres upwards.
There are many different coatings available on the market, and it will pay you to shop around as well as also do some research. There are environmentally friendly coatings such as water-borne coatings which are safe for the person applying the coating. There are also solvent based coatings available which are easy to apply as well as being economical; this is often used in automotive workshops and manufacturing facilities due to its resistance to chemicals. There is also the Enviroflake system which is a modern and decorative finish that you may see in a shop or a kitchen, and it is very popular.
Each system has its advantages and disadvantages so speak to an expert and explain your needs, and they will be able to help you choose the best solution for coating your concrete.