You Should Use it In Your New Home
Grilling hideout on a rainy day. “Outside” space for kids to play during the winter. Room to tinker with the throttle on your bike or fix up an old car. Whatever the age-old fascination is with spending time in garages, Mike’s team takes it to a whole new level with stunning epoxy floor systems that stand the test of time.
We’re out at the Hillcrest today with Mike, who’s going to fill us all in on a few secrets – about the products they use, his process, and even a few tips to convince your significant other epoxy is a “must-have” in your new home.
Industrial Grade Epoxy Floor Finishes
First and foremost, the product you use is critical. There are a lot of epoxy products on today’s market, and few of them stand the test of Mike and his crews. RI Epoxy uses only industrial grade products, designed to last more than 30 years in harsh environments like fire stations, retail centers, and warehouses. That’s a lot of traffic. In residential applications, the superior adhesion and industrial grade quality mean your floor will be practically wear-free.
Mike also adds that there’s been some great strides in top-coat products in the past few years,
“When we started in 2004, epoxy systems weren’t as evolved as they are now. Manufacturers started seeing issues like discolored, yellowing top coats. While that didn’t affect the integrity of the system, homeowners and facility owners didn’t like the look. That’s all changed with the introduction of polyurea.”
Believe it or not, Polyurea actually dates back to the 1950’s when it was first used in spandex. In the 1990’s, people discovered that it did really well in moist environments, taking the shape of coatings on large surface area projects, such as spray molding armor, tank liners, and truck bed liners. It’s now known that polyurea compounds can even “self-heal,” adhering back to itself when “cut or scratched” in half. Combined with the UV stable feature in the top coat that Mike and his team uses, it’s also easier to clean and has a softer finish with less slip, making it the new ideal compound for epoxy and paint products.
Installation of Epoxy Floors
“Regency Builders is one of the only builders we work with. They’ve built a culture that respects and allows each trade to perform their best on a jobsite. That starts with the expediters like Mike, Chad, Kevin, and Nick being involved onsite to ensure the garages are ready for us, and it continues through to the respect that different trades have for each other,” states Mike.
The most critical part of Epoxy Floors is the preparation of both the job site and the raw floors themselves. Mike shares that Regency Expediters really go the extra mile to ensure the site is ready, staged and clean when his team gets to a job. Other builders might have material stored in the garage that hasn’t been moved, or accidentally schedule the garage door installation for the same day as epoxy. At Regency, we know that allowing each trade ample time and scheduling accordingly is a key to quality workmanship.
After the site is prepared, Mike walks us through the installation of epoxy floors, step by step:
- Floor Preparation – Even new concrete requires the proper preparation. We diamond grind the floors to ensure proper adhesion. Our new grinder is larger and much more powerful and runs on propane, it allows us to be more efficient in the process. On older or damaged concrete floors, patching and filling occurs to ensure a smooth surface.
- Dust Remediation – Occurring throughout the grinding process, dust is immediately remediated to avoid two critical risks: inhalation and ignition. As a result of the Cambria explosion and the evidence of health affects related to breathing silica dust, OSHA has taken a long, hard look at the risk in the workplace. RI Epoxy’s new vacuum system contains dust in a two stage bagging system. Dust from the grinding process drops into a bag that is removed intact, while another bag is fed into the system. You no longer have to empty a bin, reintroducing dust into the environment. No ignition, no inhalation. That’s the safety standard!
- Primer – After the surface is prepared, the primer is applied. This hardens the concrete surface and ensures maximum adhesion of the epoxy layer.
- Wet Epoxy Application – The first layer of 100% epoxy is applied. This industrial grade product is not diluted with water. Mike points out that you are paying for product only, not an additive which will simply evaporate. Gallon for gallon, its a great bang for your buck.
- Broadcast Synthetic Chips – After the wet layer is applied, Mike and his team broadcast synthetic chips into the wet epoxy until it will accept no more.
- Cure and Vac – Once the wet layer and broadcast chips cure, the excess chips are vacuumed off, leaving the finish ready for the top coat.
- Top Coating – Several layers of polyurea top coat are applied, backrolling to ensure even and adequate coverage.
- Final Cure – After a two day final cure, that’s it. You’ve got beautiful, industrial rated epoxy floors for 30+ years!
About RI Epoxy and Regency Builders
Before we close, we wanted to share some final thoughts from Mike about his team and working with Regency Builders.
Mike started RI Epoxy back in 2004 with his wife Carmen joining in 2012 to help perform all their installs. As a self-proclaimed “perfectionist and control freak,” Mike has grown his team to three crews of six full time installers – each working an entire summer with Mike to ensure the RI Epoxy “way” is perfected before working on their own. While installing epoxy floor at the time of construction is ideal from a cost and concrete quality standpoint, RI Epoxy performs a lot of garage remodels as well, working directly with homeowners to achieve a great end result.
Mike appreciates the rapport he has built not only with the Regency expeditors, but also the entire team of trade contractors on our jobsites. He shares that “Sites are prepared, ready for me to install upon arrival and other trade contractors are the same, job after job, building rapport and trust for each others work.” and goes on to add, “This is what makes for a great partnership, a great result, and a great Regency built home.”