November 2003 Edition

Painting Garage Floors

We have seen some of our friends' garage floors, and the paint sticks to the car tires and pulls up. Is there a coating that will not lift and will stay on the floor where it belongs?
Most concrete paints are inexpensive and are known for not bonding to concrete. Garage floors take heavy abuse both with foot traffic and with automobiles. Hot tires can lift paint right off of the concrete. Epoxy is your best bet for proper bonding. There are both one and two part epoxy coatings designed for garages. One of the brands is Epoxy Shield by Rust-Oleum. Epoxy Shield is a two part epoxy that is easy to apply. As with all applications, the secret to a successful coating is cleaning and preparing to concrete.
Remove any oil or grease spots on your floor. Use a scrub brush and a cleaner/degreaser (such as Simple Green) or use a solvent such as mineral spirits. Scrub the spot thoroughly and wipe up excess cleaner with rags or paper towels to keep contaminants from spreading. Rinse thoroughly with fresh water. Repeat as necessary to completely clean.
The kit comes with its own cleaner. Mix the concentrated cleaner with 2 gallons of water. For best results, use a plastic watering can to evenly distribute the solution. Mix until dissolved. (The cleaning solution contains a mild citric acid.)
Pre-wet the floor using a garden hose. Remove pooled water with a squeegee or broom to avoid leaving puddles. Spread the cleaner mixture over a 10' x 10' section of the floor. Scrub vigorously with a stiff bristle brush to loosen dust and dirt. While working, keep the entire section wet until the entire section has been cleaned and rinsed.
Rinse each section thoroughly before starting the next section. For best results, use a foam squeegee to remove the rinse water from the surface and to move dirt and contaminants out of the garage. Repeat twice before continuing to the next section. Once all sections are completed, rinse and squeegee the entire garage floor to remove any cleaner that has been tracked on previously cleaned areas. A wet/dry vacuum can also be used to eliminate excess water, dirt and contaminants. Do not leave pooled water on the floor. The cleaner will not discolor driveways or harm grass or plants if rinsed thoroughly.
Allow the floor to dry completely. Wipe your fingers over the clean, dry floor. If you see any dust or powder on your fingers, repeat the rinsing and scrubbing until the floor is clean. If your fingers remain clean, continue to the next step.
Pour the contents of Part A into Part B and stir thoroughly for at least 3 minutes. You must allow the mixed product to stand for at least 60 minutes before rolling the coating onto the floor. Do not leave the container in direct sunlight. Mix again before applying.
This product must be used within 3 hours of initial mixing (pot life). This time decreases at higher temperatures. If temperature is above 85ºF, begin rolling on the coating after 30 minutes.
After the full 60 minutes has past, use a 1/2" nap roller cover and 9" roller frame to apply an even coat of the epoxy onto the surface. Apply in 4' x 4' sections. Maintain a wet edge to prevent lap marks and gloss differences. The epoxy comes with optional paint chips for a decorative finish. Toss the decorative paint chips onto the wet film. (Note: This step may be skipped if chips are not desired. This will not affect the performance of the coating.) Immediately continue to coat the next section. Only one coat is necessary. This product must be used within 3 hours of initial mixing (pot life).
Surface should be ready for light foot traffic in 12 to 16 hours, heavy items and normal foot traffic in 24 to 48 hours. For full cure and vehicle traffic, allow 7 days. Temperature and humidity may affect actual dry time.
This type of epoxy is water based. You can wash all tools and equipment immediately with warm water and mild detergent. Allow any unused product to harden in the container and discard according to local regulations.
Each Epoxy Shield kit cost $54.95 and contains enough surface treatment to cover approximately 250 square feet of smooth, bare concrete (a normal one car concrete garage floor). Very rough or porous concrete may require more material. Expect coverage of 125-200 square feet on those surfaces. The product is available from Home Depot and Lowes. For more information check out:

Draining Hose Bibbs

We drained our outside water faucets last winter. But one still froze and broke the pipe. What did we do wrong?
Outside water faucets, commonly called "hose bibbs" may have vacuum breakers attached to the ends where you attach your garden hose.
Hose Bibb
All hose bibbs that are connected to a municipal water supply should be equipped with vacuum breakers to prevent water in the hose from moving back into the water supply. Backward movement of water is called backflow, and it can occur either by siphoning or back pressure.
Backflow can occur due to siphoning if the pressure in the water supply suddenly drops to a low level. This can happen if the municipal water pumping system fails, a municipal water line breaks or when fire trucks pump from fire hydrants. In each of these cases, the pressure in the water supply lines may drop below atmospheric pressure as the lines drain, creating a vacuum which can pull water (and any pollutants or contaminants) from a garden hose and into the water supply lines.
A hose connector vacuum breaker prevents backflow to the water supply by venting water to atmosphere (onto the ground) when backflow conditions exist. A spring-loaded check valve is opened by the water supply pressure when outflow occurs through the valve. When pressure is sufficient to open the check valve, flow is directed into the garden hose.
When the supply pressure is interrupted or when the pressure in the hose becomes greater than the supply pressure, outflow stops and the spring-loaded check valve closes, simultaneously opening a vent to the atmosphere. In this mode of operation, any water that flows backwards through the vacuum breaker is vented onto the ground.
The spring-loaded check valve does not allow drainage of water from the interior piping when the water is shut off for the winter. You must push the check valve in or push it to the side for the water in the piping to drain out. If water does not drain out of the valve, you can loosen the set screw and unscrew the whole valve.

If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at We reserve the right to edit questions for length.

Quote Of The Month

"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."


A Tip Of The Hat To:

Melody Davidson

Virtual Properties Plus

1620 Buford Highway

Buford, Georgia 30518

**** Thank You****