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How to Choose Protective Paints and Coatings for Concrete Floors and Surfaces

Painting concrete, whether a garage floor or the inside of basement walls, can be a good way to cut down on water leaks and moisture that may seep through the material. It can also make the concrete look more attractive overall, especially if that garage floor has stains that you simply cannot remove.

However, once you start to shop for protective paints and coatings for concrete, you may note that there are several options available when it comes to the type of paint and the protection it offers. Most of these paints and coatings will be epoxy based or polyurethane based. Note a few important factors you can keep in mind for choosing which of these is best for concrete.

1. Epoxy formulas

An epoxy formula is good for sealing cracks and holes in concrete and may also be used as a topping for when you've applied any type of sealant or concrete repair kit. An epoxy also has excellent adhesion, so it's good for areas with higher traffic that might damage other types of paints and coatings, or for very slick concrete that might not otherwise hold a coat of paint. For a floor with lots of traffic, an epoxy formula may be best, especially if you want to fill in cracks and crevices as you paint.

Epoxy also has no solvent, making it a more environmentally-friendly choice. This also means it's not volatile, so it may be safer for you as it doesn't emit vapors of any sort.

2. Urethanes

Urethanes are good for when you want to build layers of a protecting coating on a concrete surface; you can start with a thin film and then build to a thick coating more easily with a urethane than with an epoxy. This may be good for uneven surfaces, as you can build a thicker layer of urethane where a floor or wall dips. Urethanes are also good for resisting chemicals, abrasions, wear, and stains, so they can be a good choice for the garage floor if you tend to work on cars or otherwise use chemicals that risk stains or abrasions to the surface.

Many urethanes are chosen for their waterproofing abilities, so if you're painting the inside of a basement wall to avoid leaks and moisture, a urethane base may be the best choice. Urethanes also have great gloss retention, so for a surface that looks as good as it functions, urethane can also be the preferred option.

For more information, contact local contractors that specialize in protective painting