Polyurea & Polyaspartic Coatings

Polyurea-Polyaspartics: Excellent Coatings with One Big Drawback

“1-day polyaspartic” and “1-day polyurea” concrete coatings have become very popular recently. Companies offering these services are springing up everywhere. These systems use a fast-curing polyurea or polyaspartic as both the primer coat, direct-to-concrete, and the clear top coat, with thermoplastic flakes in between. The promise? They’ll install your garage floor coating in just one day.

But they’re offering speed over quality. There are significant drawbacks associated with applying these coatings direct-to-concrete, particularly when moisture is present.

Mitigating Moisture

A major concern with applying a polyurea or polyaspartic coating – a polyaspartic is an aliphatic polyurea – direct-to-concrete is their limited ability to mitigate for moisture already present in the concrete. Unlike systems that use a Moisture Vapor Barrier as the primer coat, polyaspartic and polyurea primer coats don’t achieve sufficient concrete penetration in these medium to high-moisture conditions.

But what hinders concrete penetration when these products are used as primer coats?

Chemical Complexity

Polyurea-polyaspartics exhibit a unique chemistry. These fast-cure coatings cure faster still in the presence of moisture, whether its moisture in the concrete itself or humidity in the air. Coatings that cure this quickly in the presence of moisture fail to properly penetrate and bond to the concrete substrate.

But does concrete really hold moisture? Yes, it does. Given concrete’s porous nature, moisture wicks up in a process called moisture vapor transmission (MVT). Over time, this moisture exerts an upward hydrostatic pressure on the primer coat. So, your primer coat better be strong!

Expert installers measure concrete moisture levels (using Tramex moisture meters) to determine the appropriate primer coat based on the readings. A rule-of-thumb is that moisture readings above 2 necessitate a moisture-mitigating primer to prevent future moisture-related issues. Instead of using a poorly-penetrating polyurea-polyaspartic, professional contractors apply a Moisture Vapor Barrier as the primer coat…we use a slower-curing, moisture-mitigating epoxy. Never a quick-curing polyurea-polyaspartic (we save these for use as clear top coats).

The “Rabbit-in-a-Hat” Warranty

Unfortunately, 1-day installers skip the crucial step of assessing moisture and use the quick-curing polyurea-polyaspartic as both primer coat and top coat (to meet their promised 1-day installation timeframe).

Despite the known risks, these 1-day installers offer warranties ranging from 15 years to a lifetime. But a closer look at their warranty reveals a lack of coverage for moisture-related issues. They add these exclusions precisely because the polyurea-polyaspartic primer is susceptible to moisture. When delamination occurs due to “moisture-related issues” (like high hydrostatic pressure), the warranty becomes null and void, leaving homeowners responsible for the repairs.

Photos 1-3: “1-day polyurea” coating system that has completely delaminated. Polyureas are a poor choice as the primer (direct-to-concrete) coat given that they do not properly mitigate for moisture. Under medium to high concrete moisture conditions, these coatings peel, which is exactly why they are never fully warranted for “moisture-related issues”.

A Superior Coating Strategy

At Platinum Garage Floor Coating, we measure for and address moisture-related concerns, ensuring the longevity of your garage floor coating. We apply a moisture vapor barrier (MVB)…a slower-curing, 100%-solids, moisture-mitigating epoxy as the primer coat. Using the moisture-mitigating epoxy as primer pushes our installation duration to 2 days…not 1. But we simply won’t play Russian Roulette with moisture.

Our MVB system effectively combats all moisture-related issues by deeply penetrating and bonding with the concrete substrate (we provide a full day for this to occur). This superior penetration and adhesion provide the required durability, even in environments with high moisture levels and hydrostatic pressure. We then top our coating systems with two 100%-solids polyaspartic clear coats (not one like the 1-day guys) for unmatched protection against wear-and-tear, UV rays, and chemical spills.

Quality Takes Some Time

Unlike 1-day coating companies, we prioritize quality over speed. We allocate a full day of penetration and bonding of our moisture-mitigating MVB primer coat. We then return on Day 2 to apply our dual 100%-solids polyaspartic topcoats, producing our 4-layer thick quality coating systems.

At Platinum Garage Floor Coating, 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 and customer satisfaction ensures that your garage floor investment is safeguarded.

While “1-day polyaspartic” and “1-day polyurea” coatings offer quick 1-day installation, they come with significant risks…speed over quality. We offer a superior solution through our proven Moisture Vapor Barrier system. Choose Platinum Garage Floor Coating for a garage floor that truly stands the test of time.