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How to Clean a Basement Concrete Floor.......
Old 01-24-2010, 08:18 PM   #1
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How to Clean a Basement Concrete Floor.......

The drywall and texture is done. I want to clean the concrete floor before sealing it, and I don't want to use a cleaner with bad fumes if possible. I cannot pressure wash it obviously. Any ideas? Thanks......
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:40 PM   #2
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Now don't laugh, but we clean our garage concrete floor with Dawn dishwashing liquid and water. This may work for you however you need to make sure the sealer can be used with this method.
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:50 PM   #3
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Concrete cleaning products to be used before painting or staining a concrete surface by Seal-Krete.
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:29 AM   #4
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Two thoughts for your consideration:

#1 -- DO NOT use anything even remotely flammable!!! I watched a neighbor of one of my friends burn his house down that way! He was cleaning his basement floor with some petroleum-based cleaner, and the fumes were ignited by the water heater's pilot light.....KABOOM!!! Flashfire engulfed the basement, and proceeded upwards to the first and second stories. Fortunately, the guy was very close to the outside basement door, and made it out alive but burnt, and his house was gutted.

#2 -- Back during the many years when I was doing building maintenance at my former place of employment, I used to have to scrub down concrete floors and walls in prep for painting and sealing. I used Soilax, which I've recently discovered is no longer manufactured, although they do have some sort of new substitute for it...and I also used and still use....TSP....Tri-Sodium Phosphate. It is a very strong cleaner that is very good for concrete floors and walls. It is also "non-sudsing", and it cuts right through grease and oil. I've used SAVOGRAN brand TSP for years, and they also offer a phosphate-free version of it, though I've never tried it. You don't need much of it mixed with the water...it's strong! Follow ALL the recommended precautions.....like keep it off of your skin and out of your eyes!

Tri-Sodium Phosphate can be purchased at most hardware stores, as well as at joints like HomeDepot, Menards, Lowes, and the like....and also at many paint stores.
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:37 AM   #5
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Vinegar- it will etch the concrete.
Wash thoroughly with soap and water and allow to dry thoroughly before sealing. (no mater what you use)
TSP is a great greasecutter...
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:38 AM   #6
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+1 tsp
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:40 PM   #7
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I am a chemist (in case you can't figure out from my handle) with extensive experience in concrete prep for accepting a coating.

There are really only two choices - TSP or muriatic acid. If you don't want fumes you are looking at TSP and a stiff brush / broom.

The "cadillac" of coatings is a 2 component epoxy. Concrete (well the Portland cement part of it) is extremely alkaline and will degrade just about any other coating like an acrylic, alkyd etc. over time.

Home Depot and Lowes have two component epoxies which are waterborne and contain little to no VOC's (volatile organic compounds, i.e. solvents). They are not cheap though about $50 a gallon. After you mix the part A and part B you must apply them within the potlife which isn't as hard as it sounds - depending on temperatures you should have at least 2 hours to get a batch applied. It will last forever.
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chemist View Post
I am a chemist (in case you can't figure out from my handle) with extensive experience in concrete prep for accepting a coating.

There are really only two choices - TSP or muriatic acid. If you don't want fumes you are looking at TSP and a stiff brush / broom.

The "cadillac" of coatings is a 2 component epoxy. Concrete (well the Portland cement part of it) is extremely alkaline and will degrade just about any other coating like an acrylic, alkyd etc. over time.

Home Depot and Lowes have two component epoxies which are waterborne and contain little to no VOC's (volatile organic compounds, i.e. solvents). They are not cheap though about $50 a gallon. After you mix the part A and part B you must apply them within the potlife which isn't as hard as it sounds - depending on temperatures you should have at least 2 hours to get a batch applied. It will last forever.
If I use TSP, do i need to open the small window-well windows to vent? I do have two blowers I can use as fans.

I want a sealer for the floor that I can put carpeting over. I have a several small cracks I want to fill in and a waterproof layer of sorts...........
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