Epoxy floor coatings are extremely durable, which is why they’re frequently used in garages and other spaces that tend to take a lot of abuse. As a result, it doesn’t take a lot of work to keep garage floor epoxy in good condition and looking its best. But it does require regular maintenance and a willingness to clean up spills and other messes quickly.
Perform Regular Cleanings
The single most important thing you can do to keep your garage floor epoxy in like new condition is to mop it regularly. If you’re in your space frequently you should consider mopping once a week. For less frequent use, bi-weekly or once monthly is adequate.
Take a soft mop and run it over the surface of your floor. This helps keep dust and debris from accumulating and potentially sticking in unseen spills. A soft mop is ideal because you generally want to avoid hard bristles or other stiff cleaning materials that may scratch the epoxy surface.
However, if your epoxy floor has an anti-slip coating, a soft mop will likely snag on the grit and shred over time. In this case use a soft-bristled mop, which can handle the grit and also help remove grease and oils that might otherwise cling to the coating.
You also want to vacuum any seams every few months so that grime and debris don’t build up. Cleaning this out frequently removes it before dust and debris can mix with oils and grease, forming a dense, sticky gunk that is much harder to remove.
Clean Up Spills Quickly
Oil, solvents, chemicals and other liquids can stain, and potentially damage an epoxy floor if left on the ground too long. Clean them up quickly with a soft rag or a paper towel. Please use caution when cleaning up solvents or other corrosive chemicals. Larger spills can be cleaned up with a soft string mop or other soft, absorbent mop material.
Spot Clean Stains
Depending on the stain, extra work may be required to get it off the floor. It’s best to try the lowest impact cleaning methods first, and then step up the intensity when gentler methods fail. You can start with a stiff bristled deck brush and hot water, or a mild cleanser like Simple Green or clear ammonia. Be sure to dilute both of these with hot water.
If this doesn’t work, you can try using the scrubbing surface of a dish sponge and soft scrub. You want to avoid using any abrasive cleaners like Comet. These will certainly remove the stain, but they can also permanently scratch your garage floor epoxy.
When choosing a cleanser, you should also avoid acidic cleaners, as they can damage your epoxy and dull its shine. You should stay away from soap-based cleaners as well, as they can leave a hazy residue. This build-up can also make your floor more slippery and dangerous when it gets wet.
If you’re vigilant about cleaning spills quickly and mopping and vacuuming regularly, you should rarely need to do a heavy-duty cleaning. However, accidents can happen, and sometimes even the most motivated of us can fall behind in our maintenance duties.
If dirt and grime have built up on your epoxy floor to the point where a simply mopping isn’t enough, you’ll want to take a stronger approach.
First, sweep up any solid debris and loose dirt and dust. Then, using about five ounces of clear ammonia to a gallon of hot water, take a hard foam mop and scrub the floor, working the floor area by area. Rinse the mop into a second bucket of clean hot water. This keeps dirt out of your cleaning mixture, which avoids saturating your mop head with dirt and debris that could eventually begin scratching your garage floor’s surface.
In more serious cases you can use a mixture of one-part Simple Green to eight parts hot water. With a well-maintained garage floor epoxy, this should be sufficient to chew through any caked-on dirt.
Tips Between Cleanings
Remember that epoxy floors are tough and resilient, but they aren’t impervious to damage. It’s important to be cognizant of what you’re placing on the floor and protecting the surface when necessary. When using a jack, be sure to first place a piece of plywood under the metal. This helps distribute the car’s weight across a wider area and will prevent that weight from pressing metal from the jack straight into your epoxy floor.
This is good advice whenever you place something extremely heavy on the floor, particularly when the weight is concentrated on a few, narrow supports. Try not to drag heavy objects across your epoxy floor. Scratches are likely, particularly from objects with hard or sharp edges, or any sort of grit. If you’ve put chains on your tires, be sure to put something down to protect the floor before pulling your car into the garage.
This really isn’t rocket science. If it seems likely that a particular action could scratch or damage your epoxy coating, take steps to protect it. It’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s much better to waste time unnecessarily protecting your epoxy even if you didn’t need to than it is not taking the time to protect it and then regretting the mistake for the life of your floor. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
To Repair Real Damage, Turn to a Professional
Damage can happen even when you do everything right. If you find your floor is stained or damaged beyond your ability to repair it, give us a call. Here at Cutting Edge Floors Services, we know epoxy flooring inside and out. We have the tools and the know how to return your garage floor epoxy to its original luster, or, in extreme cases, replace it properly and affordably. Let us discuss your options with you.