Polyurea & Polyaspartic

Beware the Risks: Applying Polyaspartic or Polyurea Coatings Direct-to-Concrete in the Presence of Moisture

When it comes to enhancing both the appearance and durability of your garage floor, garage floor coatings offer a fantastic solution. And among the range of options available, “1-day polyaspartic” and “1-day polyurea” concrete coatings have gained popularity. Why? Primarily because these concrete coating systems use fast-curing polyurea or polyaspartic coatings as both the primer coat (applying them direct-to-concrete) and the clear top coat, completing the installation in just one day. Customers love the idea that the installer is in-and-out in a single day.

However, this is a real “buyer beware” moment. There are significant drawbacks to consider when polyurea-polyaspartic coatings are applied direct-to-concrete (as primer coats), particularly when dealing with medium to high concrete moisture.

Moisture Matters

A primary concern with applying polyaspartic or polyurea coatings direct-to-concrete is their limited ability to address moisture-related issues, like moisture vapor transmission and resulting hydrostatic pressure. Unlike moisture-mitigating coating systems which can penetrate deeply into the concrete substrate, polyaspartic and polyurea coatings struggle to achieve sufficient penetration, especially when moisture is present.

Why Concrete Penetration is Hindered

This limitation arises from the fast-curing nature of polyurea-polyaspartics. The rapid cure rate and deep concrete penetration are inherently incompatible. Achieving deep concrete penetration and bonding requires time for the coating to penetrate – a slower cure rate is essential for this.

Counterintuitive Chemistry

Polyurea-polyaspartics exhibit intriguing chemistry that behaves counterintuitively. These coatings cure very quickly – in one hour or less. In fact, they begin to cure the moment they come in contact with the concrete. But in the presence of moisture in the concrete (or on humid days), these coatings, paradoxically, cure even faster still. And it’s this quick-cure property, which is very much amplified in the presence of moisture, that doesn’t allow for proper penetration into the porous concrete.

This is why expert installers measure concrete moisture levels first. The measurement will determine the appropriate coating to use as primer. Elevated moisture levels require a moisture vapor barrier as the primer coat…not a polyurea-polyaspartic. Unfortunately, 1-day polyurea-polyaspartic installers skip this crucial step, opting to use quick-curing polyurea-polyaspartic coatings as both primer coat and top coat to meet their promised 1-day timeframe.

The Illusion of a Warranty

Despite these known risks, 1-day polyurea-polyaspartic installers in the garage floor coating industry offer warranties ranging from 15 years to “lifetime” (or “limited lifetime”). However, at closer inspection, their warranties reveal a notable lack of coverage for “moisture-related issues” (in the fine print of their “Warranty Exclusions” section). Consequently, when delamination occurs due to moisture, the warranty becomes null-and-void, leaving homeowners responsible for costly repairs.

A Superior Coating Strategy

At GarageFloorCoating.com in Phoenix, we understand the critical importance of addressing moisture-related concerns to ensure the longevity and performance of your garage floor coating. That’s why we employ a comprehensive approach, starting with our proprietary Moisture Vapor Barrier (MVB) system. Our primer coat is a slower-curing, moisture-mitigating 100%-solids epoxy…never a polyurea-polyaspartic direct-to-concrete (we save the quick-curing polyurea-polyaspartic for our clear top coats). Why play Russian Roulette with moisture?

Our MVB system is meticulously designed to effectively combat moisture-related challenges by penetrating deep into the concrete substrate, creating a robust moisture barrier. This guarantees superior penetration, adhesion, and durability, even in environments with high moisture levels and hydrostatic pressure. We then top the MVB with two coats of our 100%-solids polyaspartic clear coats for unmatched protection against wear, UV rays, and chemical spills.

Quality Takes Time

Unlike 1-day coating companies, we prioritize quality over speed. Our MVB primer coat is a slower curing product that allows for deep concrete penetration and superior bonding. And your coating system is only as strong as its primer coat. We allocate a full day for penetration, returning on Day 2 to apply the dual polyaspartic topcoats.

Backing Our Promise

At GarageFloorCoating.com in Phoenix, we stand behind our products and installation process with an industry-leading warranty covering all moisture-related issues and staining from automotive fluids and hot-tire transfer. Our unwavering commitment to excellence ensures your garage floor investment is safeguarded.

While 1-day polyaspartic and polyurea coatings offer quick installation, they come with significant risks when applied direct-to-concrete. We prioritize quality over speed, offering a superior solution through our proven Moisture Vapor Barrier system. Choose GarageFloorCoating.com in Phoenix for a garage floor coating that truly stands the test of time.