Author Topic: Should I epoxy a garage floor... to avoid termites?  (Read 3718 times)

MrD

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Should I epoxy a garage floor... to avoid termites?
« on: February 10, 2016, 08:56:09 AM »
Hey everyone.

I recently had a termite inspection as part of my termite warranty on my 3.5 year old home. The inspector told me that there are some cracks in my garage flooring that could potentially lead to termites getting in. I have search all over the internet and have not found a single example of someone paying to have their garage floor epoxied solely for the reason of not having a termite problem. From what I have seen it would cost a professional somewhere between $3-$6 to have it done (donít mention doing it myself as I have read countless times how bad all DIY installs go when it comes to this particular task).

The inspector stands to gain absolutely nothing from me getting my floor epoxied and it sounds like he was genuinely trying to help. I just have never seen or heard of someone doing this and I was hoping a savvy user here may be able to shed some insight.

bognish

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Re: Should I epoxy a garage floor... to avoid termites?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2016, 12:41:05 PM »
I epoxied my garage floor this fall. It was only slightly harder than painting a room. The prep is a pain, but only hard in a manual labor way, not skill wise. So its totally possible to DIY epoxy.

That said if you are only trying to seal cracks epoxy would be going overboard. Get a "crack chaser" blade on an angle grinder. Run this along the crack to open it up big enough to seal. Clean out the dust with a chop vac. Fill the crack in with a crack sealer and a caulk gun. Once it dries grind the crack filler flush with the floor with the angle grinder and a concrete grinding wheel.

Grinding the crack is really dusty, but the whole process is easy and hard to screw up. I think you can even get self leveling crack filler and skip the last set.

Axecleaver

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Re: Should I epoxy a garage floor... to avoid termites?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2016, 01:00:52 PM »
Termites need to have an unrestricted path between the soil and the wood in your home to infest it. They must keep their skin moist or they die, so once they find a path, they eat the wood and then go back into the soil to sleep and re-hydrate.

I assume your garage floor is cement. The only way for them to get to the walls is if the cracked cement is directly beneath an interior wall, and in that case the epoxy isn't going to get in there anyway. It sounds like a pretty poor way to deter termites. I would just plan to inspect for termite damage once a year and treat with drilled holes through the cement if you get an infestation.

Filling the cracks as bognish recommends sounds like a smarter plan to me, but my feeling is the inspector is bringing up some things that are very low percentage. It's kind of their job to advise you of even low percentage risks, but this one seems pretty out there.

MrD

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Re: Should I epoxy a garage floor... to avoid termites?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2016, 01:26:12 PM »
I epoxied my garage floor this fall. It was only slightly harder than painting a room. The prep is a pain, but only hard in a manual labor way, not skill wise. So its totally possible to DIY epoxy.

That said if you are only trying to seal cracks epoxy would be going overboard. Get a "crack chaser" blade on an angle grinder. Run this along the crack to open it up big enough to seal. Clean out the dust with a chop vac. Fill the crack in with a crack sealer and a caulk gun. Once it dries grind the crack filler flush with the floor with the angle grinder and a concrete grinding wheel.

Grinding the crack is really dusty, but the whole process is easy and hard to screw up. I think you can even get self leveling crack filler and skip the last set.

I won't argue with your DIY epoxy solution but I think I am more interested in your other approach. I have absolutely no idea what a crack chase / angle grinder are. Is this something a complete novice could take on or would I be better off outsourcing a professional?

Also could I just use a epoxy solution to fill the cracks and call it a day? Something like this product: http://www.amazon.com/Rust-Oleum-215173-EPOXYShield-Concrete-24-Ounce/product-reviews/B0008JHBD2/ref=cm_cr_dp_see_all_summary?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=helpful
« Last Edit: February 10, 2016, 02:17:30 PM by MrD »

bognish

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Re: Should I epoxy a garage floor... to avoid termites?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2016, 02:05:31 PM »
I am not suggesting you need to epoxy your whole floor, just that its not too hard to DIY.

The epoxy product you linked should work fine. It is like a thick putty. If the cracks are wide enough to get sticky silly putty deep into them then that's all you need to do. If the cracks are thin (can you put a credit card into it?) then it will be really hard to get the crack sealer very deep and you will end up spreading more of it on top of your garage floor.

The crack chaser is like a circular saw blade that will make the crack wide enough that it is easy to get the epoxy or other filler into it. My floor had lots of thin cracks that I wanted to patch. I would not have been able to get the crack sealer in deep without opening them up. If you google "crack chaser" you will see its a wheel with a wedge shaped point.  I think the smallest was 4" diameter for the wheel.  The cheapest one you can find will last plenty long for 1 garage.

An angle grinder is a small hand power tool. For one job you can pick one up pretty cheap at Harbor Freight. This will spin the crack chaser really fast. You do an awkward hunched over walk along the crack with this thing running and it cuts the crack to make it wide and deep enough to get the glue into it. It goes really fast and is surprisingly easy to do. The crack chaser will try and follow the path of the crack like the name suggests. Wear safety glasses and a breathing mask, cause this makes a ton of dust.

The epoxy stuff in your link will be brittle when it dries/hardens. Perfect for cracks in the middle of the floor. My garage had a crack around the edge where the floor meets the wall. To fill that you want a flexible epoxy or a silicone caulk to fill these cracks as they will move slightly.

I had never heard of any of this stuff either before if did my floor this fall.

This had the best instructions I found on the web:
http://allgaragefloors.com/concrete-floor-repair/


soupcxan

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Re: Should I epoxy a garage floor... to avoid termites?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2016, 08:47:32 AM »
Epoxy sounds like overkill. Just patch the cracks with an appropriate filler. And even if you don't I think the odds of termites coming up through them is very low.

Fishindude

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Re: Should I epoxy a garage floor... to avoid termites?
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2016, 12:23:16 PM »
Axecleaver has it right.   

Amazing Garage Floors

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Re: Should I epoxy a garage floor... to avoid termites?
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2017, 11:47:08 AM »
Installing a full epoxy floor to avoid termites is a bit of overkill in my opinion.  You should likely be able to fill the cracks with concrete repair, and termites are not likely to come through the concrete anyway.  My 2 cents.

GnomeErcy

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Re: Should I epoxy a garage floor... to avoid termites?
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2017, 11:52:04 AM »
Installing a full epoxy floor to avoid termites is a bit of overkill in my opinion.  You should likely be able to fill the cracks with concrete repair, and termites are not likely to come through the concrete anyway.  My 2 cents.

glad we got this one buckled down 22 months later!

ohsnap

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Re: Should I epoxy a garage floor... to avoid termites?
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2017, 12:51:57 PM »
Installing a full epoxy floor to avoid termites is a bit of overkill in my opinion.  You should likely be able to fill the cracks with concrete repair, and termites are not likely to come through the concrete anyway.  My 2 cents.

glad we got this one buckled down 22 months later!

Well the real question is, what did the OP do, and did it prevent termites?! :D

The curious thing about the new poster is that he's apparently a seller of epoxy floors, but is advising against one.  If he's a spammer, he's a strange one.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 12:53:44 PM by ohsnap »