The “issues” that people commonly know about polyurea include things like UV stability, the seemingly slippery surface, and the “added” expense. As a matter of fact, these “issues” are most often a consequence of inferior product quality, faulty installation, or not understanding the benefits and limitations of polyurea products. At Innovative Concrete we will address the most mentioned issues and use our extensive knowledge to put these so-called “issues” to rest.
Is Polyurea More Expensive Than Other Coatings?
Chemline, a trusted industry supplier for nearly 30 years calls polyurea “the premium coating option.” Due to this status as a premium option, the most common issue with polyurea is the high price point.
However, the utility of polyurea coatings is revealed in its long-term performance and effectiveness of the product. This can be installed in one-day but will last 15+ years.
In contrast to other flooring options, polyurea coatings won’t entail recurring replacement or expensive regular maintenance. When looked at over a 15-year timeline, polyurea coatings cost more upfront, but less over time.
Here’s what the common lifespan of garage flooring options looks like:
- Concrete Overlay: 2-3 years
- Professional Epoxy: 3-5 years
- 2-Layer Polyaspartic: 3-5 years
- 100% Pure Polyurea: 15 years
The average cost of 2-car garage installation (525 sq ft):
- Concrete Overly: $4,200
- Professional Epoxy: $3,675
- 2-Layer Polyaspartic: $3,400
- 100% Polyurea: $5,500
Cost over 5 years (based on lifespan):
- Concrete Overlay: $8,400
- Professional Epoxy: $7,350
- 2-Layer Polyaspartic: $6,800
- 100% Pure Polyurea: $5,500
Cost over 15 years:
- Concrete Overlay: $16,800
- Professional Epoxy: $11,025
- 2-Layer Polyaspartic: $13,600
- 100% Pure Polyurea: $5,500
As you can see, over a period of 5 years and 15 years, polyurea costs far less than other flooring options. For a space where you are looking for your floor to last for the long haul, investing in polyurea just makes sense.
Different Product, Different Effectiveness
Variations in the coatings marketed as polyurea lead to misconceptions about efficacy. Aromatic polyureas are light sensitive and will fade with exposure. Nevertheless, if used as a basecoat with an aliphatic polyurea topcoat, the coating is 100% UV stable. Polyurea polyaspartics will form a weaker surface bond to raw concrete (as a basecoat) that declines over time. However, pure polyurea has a chemical bond that shows a level of adhesion above the industry standard, and a polyaspartic polyurea will work well as a topcoat.
When choosing a polyurea floor, knowing the ins and outs of the product can aid you in getting the benefits you are looking for.
Professional Installation Required
Polyurea concrete coatings are not DIY friendly. Coatings not installed by a professional lead to mistakes that can decimate the durability and longevity of your polyurea floor.
Polyurea concrete coatings have a very small margin for mishaps and involve a high level of preciseness. Indeed, when customers watch professionals install polyurea they describe it as a “two man dance” because of the teamwork the crews need when working with short cure times. Using the correct equipment and being fully knowledgeable about the mixing of polyurea compounds is necessary to get the right results.
High quality industrial grade equipment is also essential to properly prepare a concrete surface for the application of polyurea. Without a thorough grinding and mending of the floor, the concrete coating won’t successfully affix to the surface which affects its performance. Professional installation allows you to get the full benefits of this superior product.
Appear Slippery When Completed
Aliphatic polyurea topcoats or pure polyurea coatings are valued for their smooth and high gloss finish. At a glimpse, it’s understandable to feel concerned about the surface being slippery when wet. It’s requisite for outdoor and poolside coatings to include a slip resistant additive, but it’s also wise to consider if this is beneficial in an indoor space. If you’re using your garage as a home gym, or want to coat your mudroom, choosing to include silica sand in your topcoat is a safe choice. A slip resistant additive is also a good choice if you’re coating a steep surface like an inclined walkway.
There are two types of silica sand options: 4095 heavy grit and a lighter, sharp grip. You can also use a mixture of both.
When & Where Polyurea Is the Right Choice
Polyurea is a superb choice for both indoor and outdoor residential spaces. This includes garages, entryways/mudrooms, driveways, patios, and walkways. But we also see polyurea as an excellent selection for many commercial spaces. Polyurea is non-porous, anti-chemical, and anti-microbial making it easy to clean in businesses like pet facilities, salons, locker rooms, restaurant kitchens, and showrooms. It’s also a way to repair commercial entryways or walkways, especially in cold climates where exposed concrete can be damaged by the use of snow melting rock salt. In these situations, a coating with an anti-slip additive is a long-lasting and safe improvement.
Two Damages that Cancel the 15-year Warranty
A pure polyurea coating is exceedingly durable, but not completely indestructible. Although pure polyurea is the best choice for most residential and commercial spaces, it does have limits. The two things that negate your warranty are battery acid and metal-studded tires. These things won’t cause your coating to instantly crack or peel, but it will corrode over time.
Beyond acid or tire studs, a polyurea coating won’t hold failing concrete together. In the occurrence of a natural disaster that breaks your concrete and results in substrate failure, our coating won’t function as glue.
What Polyurea Can & Can’t Repair
As part of the installation process, normal wear and tear like cracking will be mended. But there are a few things that polyurea can’t repair, like a crooked floor. Polyurea coatings are not self-leveling, because they are a coating that is absorbed into the pores of your concrete. Just like they won’t fix structurally failing concrete, they also won’t level your crooked floor.
Polyurea Concrete Coatings at Innovative Concrete
Advantages of Polyurea Coatings
Famously, polyurea coatings are valued because they can be installed quickly and cured to incredible degrees of hardness. They are also especially long lasting because they form a chemical bond with the concrete.
Because of their strength and extremely fast cure rate, they require the expertise of professional installation and use of professional-grade equipment.
Polyurea Garage Floor Coatings
In comparison to epoxy systems, there are many reasons that polyurea comes out on top.
Explore the comparison of “Epoxy vs Polyurea: Which is Better for a Garage Floor?”
Polyurea Floor Coating Installation
Professional concrete coatings deliver professional results. We’re supporters of a good DIY project, but when it comes to concrete coatings we make it look easy because we’ve mastered the art. We’ll resurface your floor following a 5-part process: grinding, mending, basecoat application, chip system broadcasting (optional), and topcoat application. And we’ll do it all in one day.
Polyurea Concrete Coating Cost
Polyurea concrete coatings are a smart choice if you’re willing to invest more money upfront for a type of coating that will last long-term and save you money in the long run.