The first step is to grind...
The first step is to grind off any epoxy or other contaminants that would keep the base from properly adhering to the floor.
Don't you hate it when you're on your back under the race car and you drop a nut, bolt, or some other small fastener and it takes 10 minutes to find it on your old worn-out shop floor? Yeah, we do too. In fact, we hate it so much that from the day we signed the lease on our new race shop we knew we wanted to upgrade the floor. Our Circle Track/Project DLM race shop is located in a typical industrial park around the corner from CT's main offices. It's a 24 by 48 space and has an older concrete floor. Although stained, the surface is flat, even, and largely undamaged.
After performing the water...
After performing the water test recommended by RockSolid we sprayed an undiluted industrial strength degreaser directly on the areas where the water beaded up.
We could have gone down to the local Home Depot and picked up a few gallons of epoxy garage floor paint at $30 per gallon. But experience told me that was not the way to go. Years in the construction industry taught me that high-traffic areas and spaces where hard-core work such as race car fabrication, preparation, and routine maintenance take place need a floor that can stand up to abuse-a lot of abuse. So we spent some time surfing the internet, polling other race teams and generally researching floor coatings, all the while trying to decide exactly what we were going to do. We were running out of time because we wanted to get the floor completed before we began building the new Project DLM. That's when we ran across Rock Solid Floors.
You have to be sure the floor...
You have to be sure the floor is dried completely before etching.
Founded in 2007, RockSolid Floors may be a young company but it is an affiliate of Citadel Floor Finishing Systems whose history reaches back 38 years, starting with waterproofing solutions and concrete restoration, and then evolving into to industrial Polyurea floor coatings. The transition from industrial Polyurea floor coatings to the do-it-yourself garage floor coating came in response to customer demand for a garage floor coating far more durable than your typical floor paint. Being the manufacturer of the product made it an easy transition. What RockSolid basically did was reformulate the industrial version of the coating to allow the home owner more time to work with the product, and the patented "RockSolid System" was born. The system comes in different unique formulations and colors and includes an instructional DVD to show you exactly how to install a RockSolid Floor.
But Just What Is It? According to the Polyurea Development Association (the trade association for the global Polyurea industry), a pure Polyurea coating is derived from the reaction product of a polyisocyanate component and an amine-terminated resin blend. This resin blend may be made up of blends of amine-terminated and/or hydroxyl-terminated polymer resins. Yeah, I had the same reaction, "Huh?" OK, in other words it's two chemicals coming together in a reaction to form a product that can be effectively used as a coating. Think of a two-part epoxy on steroids.
Polyurea has been utilized for more than 25 years in industrial applications as coatings for pipe/pipelines and linings, water treatment plants, manhole and sewer linings, and molded automotive parts. In fact, if you are familiar with spray-on pickup truck bed liners, you are familiar with Polyurea. Fast cure times, flexibility, and abrasion-resistance are all inherent properties of Polyurea. When you think about that, Polyurea is a logical choice for a race shop floor.
Why Use It?
Next we mopped the entire...
Next we mopped the entire floor surface with a diluted (5:1 ratio) version of the same degreaser.
Like I said before, in my day job as a general contractor I have seen garage floor paints start to peel, flake, and degrade in less than a year under just moderate use. As racers, we beat the snot out of our shop or garage floors on a weekly basis. So we want something that is tough and durable. That's the main reason we chose RockSolid. Polyurea is extremely durable, like four times stronger than epoxy. Plus, it's chemically resistant to oil, gas, and other harsh chemicals that might accidentally find their way to the shop floor. It's also 98 percent more flexible than epoxy, allowing for natural concrete movement. Less critical in our subtropical shop location in Tampa, but for you racers up north where frost heave is common each year, Polyurea will not crack or peel.