Polyurea & Polyaspartic

The Hidden Risks of Applying Polyaspartic or Polyurea Coatings Directly to Concrete

In the world of garage floor coatings, homeowners are presented with a myriad of options, each promising durability, aesthetics, and long-term performance. Among these options, “1-day polyaspartic” or “1-day polyurea” coatings have gained popularity for their fast one-day installation times. However, there are significant drawbacks to consider, particularly when these coatings are applied directly to concrete.

Why Moisture-Protection Matters

One of the primary concerns with applying polyaspartic or polyurea coatings direct-to-concrete (as primer coats) is their limited ability to penetrate. Polyureas and polyaspartics cure so quickly that concrete penetration is limited. And given that these coatings cure even quicker in the presence of moisture, they’re simply the wrong choice, especially if you are measuring medium- to high-moisture concrete readings.

Unlike a moisture mitigating epoxy primer coat, which penetrates deep into the concrete substrate, polyaspartic and polyurea coatings form a thin surface film that may trap moisture underneath. This often leads to adhesion failures, bubbling, and delamination over time, compromising the durability and longevity of the coating.

Although polyurea-polyaspartic coatings have incredible properties as color and clear top coats (they provide extreme stain, impact and UV protection), they simply aren’t meant for direct-to-concrete application. In other words, they’re great topcoats but really poor primer coats, especially in the presence of moisture.

Making Matters Worse

Despite these risks, “1-day polyaspartic” and “1-day polyurea” contractors continue to use these coatings as both primer coats and top coats. Why? Because the fast-curing polyurea-polyaspartics allow the contractor to install the garage floor coating in the promised “1 day”. Great for the contractor, just not so great for the customer

To get around this problem, 1-day polyaspartic or 1-day polyurea installers offer “feint-of-hand” warranties. That is, they offer a “limited lifetime” warranty but add a warranty exclusion for moisture-related issues. This leaves homeowners vulnerable to costly repairs and maintenance down the line, given that “moisture-related issues” like moisture-vapor transmission (MVT) or high hydrostatic pressure cause delamination…the number one reason for coating failures!

Here are some photos of delaminated 1-day polyurea-polyaspartic floors. Notice how the thin polyurea layer can be peeled back with only your fingers!

A Different Approach

At Forte Garage Floor Coating in Akron, we understand the importance of addressing moisture-related concerns to ensure the longevity and performance of your garage floor coating. That’s why we don’t rush out installations. Instead, we take a comprehensive approach to garage floor coatings, starting with our proprietary moisture vapor barrier (MVB) system. We use a moisture mitigating epoxy as the primer coat and save the polyurea-polyaspartic coatings as clear top coats only. This is the proper approach to garage floor installations. Because the MVB primer coat cures slower than a polyurea-polyaspartic, the installation duration is 2 days, not 1…and that’s a good thing!

Our MVB system is specifically designed to address moisture-related issues effectively. By penetrating deep into the concrete substrate, our MVB system creates a moisture barrier that prevents moisture from rising to the surface, minimizing the potential for future delamination. This ensures superior adhesion and extreme durability, even in environments with high moisture levels.

Double the Protection

In addition to our moisture vapor barrier, we apply two layers of our high-quality 100% solids polyaspartic. This topcoat provides unmatched protection against wear and tear, UV rays, and chemical spills, ensuring your garage floor looks great and performs flawlessly for years to come.

A Real Warranty

Unlike our 1-day competitors, Forte Garage Floor Coating in Akron stands behind its products and services with industry-leading warranties that cover moisture-related issues and staining due to hot-tire transfer. Our commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction sets us apart from the competition, ensuring your garage floor investment is protected.

The Wrap

While polyaspartic and polyurea coatings offer advantages in terms of quick curing times and chemical resistance, they come with significant risks when used as direct-to-concrete coatings. By choosing Forte Garage Floor Coating and our proven moisture vapor barrier system, you can rest assured knowing your garage floor is protected against moisture-related damage, backed by our industry-leading warranty.

Don’t settle for inferior coatings that leave you vulnerable to costly repairs—choose Forte Garage Floor Coating in Akron for a superior garage floor solution.