Polyurea & Polyaspartic

The Hazards of Applying Polyaspartic or Polyurea Coatings Direct-to-Concrete

When it comes to enhancing the look and durability of your garage floor, garage floor coatings are an excellent solution. Among the various options available, “1-day polyaspartic” and “1-day polyurea” concrete coatings have gained popularity. These coating systems use a fast-curing polyurea or polyaspartic as both the primer coat (direct-to-concrete) and the clear top coat in order to finish the installation in the promised one day.

But buyer beware. There are significant drawbacks to consider when these coatings are applied as primer coats, direct-to-concrete, especially in the presence of moisture!

Moisture Matters

One of the primary concerns with applying polyaspartic or polyurea coatings direct-to-concrete is their limited ability to address moisture-related issues. Unlike a moisture mitigating coating system, which can penetrate deeply into the concrete substrate, polyaspartic and polyurea coatings don’t penetrate concrete well, especially when moisture is present.

Why don’t these coatings penetrate well? Precisely because polyurea-polyaspartics are fast-curing. A fast cure rate and deep concrete penetration aren’t compatible. If you think about it, it makes sense. If you want deep concrete penetration and bonding, you need adequate time for the coating to penetrate. That is, you want a slower cure rate.

Interesting Chemistry

In addition, polyurea-polyaspartics have an interesting chemistry that’s somewhat contrary to logic. These coatings cure even faster in the presence of moisture, whether its moisture in the concrete or moisture in the air (in the form of humidity).

Does concrete have moisture? It sure does. Concrete is porous and moisture wicks its way upwards in a process called moisture vapor transmission (MVT). As the moisture moves upwards, a (hydrostatic) pressure builds. With this continued upward pressure on the thin, poorly penetrating primer coat, the polyurea-polyaspartic primer begins to separate from the concrete slab.

Expert installers measure the moisture in the concrete to determine the proper coating to use as the primer coat, based on the moisture reading. Medium to high moisture readings require a moisture vapor barrier as the primer coat…not a polyurea-polyaspartic. Unfortunately, the 1-day installers have no need to measure moisture because they always use the same quick-curing polyurea-polyaspartic products as both primer and top coats. They have to…in order to get the job done in the promised “one day”. Time is money and money is time.

Here are a few photos of delaminated 1-day polyurea-polyaspartic floors.

“Cup-and-Balls” Warranty

Despite the known risks, 1-day installers in the garage floor coating industry offer warranties that range from 15 years to lifetime. But a quick read of their (fine print) warranty exclusions show the “cup-and-balls” magic trick. The warranty doesn’t cover moisture-related issues. 

So, when delamination occurs, the warranty is null-and-void. The installer is not responsible and not required to fix the issue; the homeowner is left with the costly repair. So, 1-day polyurea and 1-day polyaspartic warranties (conveniently) don’t protect against moisture-related issues…which are the #1 cause of coating failures!

A Better Approach to Concrete Floor Coatings

At Garage Floor Coating of Michigan, we understand the importance of addressing moisture-related concerns to ensure the longevity and performance of your garage floor coating. That’s why we take a comprehensive approach to garage floor coatings, starting with our proprietary Moisture Vapor Barrier (MVB) system.

Our MVB system is specifically designed to address moisture-related issues effectively. By penetrating deep into the concrete substrate, our MVB system creates a moisture barrier that prevents moisture from rising to the surface and causing damage to the coating. This ensures superior penetration, adhesion and durability, even in environments with high moisture levels and high hydrostatic pressure.

Dual Polyaspartic Topcoats

In addition to our Moisture Vapor Barrier, we apply two 100%-solids polyaspartic clear coats…not one. The dual topcoats provide unmatched protection against wear and tear, UV rays, and chemical spills, ensuring that your garage floor looks great and performs flawlessly for years to come.

We Are a 2-Day Installer

But our MVB primer coat is a slower curing product that allows for deep concrete penetration and superior bonding. We give it a full day to penetrate, only returning on Day 2 to apply the dual polyaspartic topcoats. Proudly, we are a 2-day coating system installer…not a 1-day coating company. Quality over speed…the way it should be.

Standing Behind or Products with a Real Warranty

Unlike many competitors, Garage Floor Coating of Michigan stands behind its products and installation process with an industry-leading warranty that covers all moisture-related issues and staining from automotive fluids and hot-tire transfer. Our commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction sets us apart from the competition, ensuring that your investment in your garage floor is protected.

While 1-day polyaspartic and 1-day polyurea coatings can be installed in a single day, they come with significant risks when applied direct-to-concrete. They sell speed…we sell quality. By choosing Garage Floor Coating of Michigan and our proven Moisture Vapor Barrier system, your garage floor is protected against moisture-related damage. In the unlikely event that our coating delaminates, rest assured, our warranty ensures we’ll fix it! 

Don’t settle for inferior coatings that leave you vulnerable to costly repairs—choose Garage Floor Coating of Michigan for a superior garage floor coating solution.