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Hot Tire Pickup Explained

Mike B
Mar 7, 2024
5 min read

Hot tire pickup occurs when you park a vehicle with hot tires on a low quality, thin, or poorly installed epoxy garage floor coating. The hot and expanded tires then transfer the heat to the cooler epoxy floor causing the epoxy to soften. As the tire cools down and contracts it grabs the epoxy coating and literally pulls or tears it from the concrete substrate. Depending on just how inferior the quality of the epoxy products and just how poor the quality of the installation this may happen on the first occurrence or it may take several. There’s just no telling when. What I can tell you is if you have a proper professional grade installation process and professional grade epoxy products hot tire pickup is easily avoidable.

Hot tire pickup is typically associated with a DIY epoxy paint kits.

The floor below is an example of failure due to inferior products. This was a DIY kit from a big box store installed by a handyman 2 years prior. The homeowner purchased 2 kits for about $550 and paid another $500 to a handyman who clearly lacked the skills and equipment to properly install an epoxy garage floor. As you can see the floor was neither a quality product nor a professional installation resulting in hot tire pickup under all 8 tires of both vehicles. The product failed everywhere possible.

Most of those DIY kits are between 5 – 12% epoxy and the remainder is primarily latex paint. As a comparison, commercial grade epoxy is 100% solids, meaning 100% epoxy and contains 0% paint.

We removed and professionally replaced that epoxy garage floor with professional grade epoxy products. It cost just a little more than double the original money the homeowner wasted on that DIY kit and handyman installer. It’s beautiful, it’s extremely durable, and there will be no hot tire pick up. This professionally installed epoxy floor will last for many years to come.

Products alone won’t eliminate hot tire pickup.

Below is an epoxy garage floor in Orlando that was installed by one of our competitors and it failed within 2 years:

What went wrong? The products were commercial grade. We know that because we were hired to remove and replace this floor and the epoxy was exceptionally hard and very difficult to cut through and remove. The problem was the installers cut corners with a poor quality installation. They used quality products but it appears they did not diamond grind and properly prepare the concrete. They most likely either acid etched or pressure washed the concrete preventing the epoxy from bonding as designed.

Below are the during and after pictures. We stripped the floor bare by removing ALL the existing epoxy.

We then installed another beautiful floor with the finest attention to detail. This floor will be there for many years to come.

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