February 3, 2006, Newsletter Issue #2: Sealing a Basement Floor

Tip of the Week

One of the best tips on waterproofing that anyone can give you is to waterproof your basement floors. Sealing a concrete basement floor is a project most do-it-yourselfers can manage. Nothing to it but to do it. Here's how: Clean away stains and soiled areas using a stiff scrub brush and a concrete cleaner, a solution of trisodium phosphate, or a phosphate-free cleaner. For tough stains, such as oil, try using a stain-specific, commercial product developed specifically for removing them. Refer to the package labels for additional instructions. Prepare the Surface; using a pitching chisel or other steel-edged scraping tool, scrape away rough and uneven spots in the concrete floor. Sweep up and vacuum away concrete dust and other debris in cracks and control joints that could reduce adhesion. Wear a dust mask to avoid breathing in cement dust. If there are any cracks, trowel patching cement into the crack, smooth it out, and let it dry and cure. Apply the Sealer; using a paintbrush, coat the perimeter of the floor with a clear concrete sealer. Read the label instructions for more specific information. Additional procedures may be recommended, such as neutralizing the alkali in the concrete before sealing it. For fast, thorough, and even coverage for the rest of the room apply the sealer using a paint roller and pan or a hand-held sprayer. Protect the walls from the spray with drop cloths or sheets of plastic. Wear safety goggles and a dust mask or respirator to protect yourself.

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