Before applying a high-solids sealer, be sure to consult with the manufacturer and perform an on-site adhesion test. She earned a BA in communications from Jacksonville State University. Typically when we see a floor that has blotchy areas of gloss, this means that some areas do not have sufficient sealer to fill the valleys. There’s only one-way moisture leaves concrete, though, and that’s via its surface. Applying a water-based wax and then a solvent on top was also not a good idea. If the bubbles go deeper than the surface, you may need to strip and start over. Most acrylic sealers are available in a range of sheen levels. There is always a trigger mechanism for sealers becoming cloudy or white, and we need to timeline your project to find what it is. Do a test area before doing the entire floor. Heavy-bodied materials are always best applied in small batches and with a push-pull applicator such as a lamb's wool or micro-fiber pad or a T-bar. See Sullivan's advice on sealer selection. What causes this, and should I apply more sealer to remedy the situation? Most two-part polyurethane sealers are high in solids, above 55%. V-SEAL 101 contains additives that help it soak into more dense substrates such as concrete floors, brick, stone, and stucco. Beginning her career at newspapers such as the "Marietta Daily Journal" and the "Atlanta Business Chronicle," she most recently worked in communications and management for several nonprofit organizations before purchasing a flower shop in 2006. Seals concrete against water seepage, water vapor. The cause is different levels of porosity in the concrete surface. Learn more about the types of concrete sealer. To eliminate the dull spots and produce a nice, uniform gloss, apply an additional coat of sealer followed by two or three coats of a floor wax or finish. Pay special attention to the corners and edges of the floor, where cracks can let extra moisture seep in. DIY Waterproofing Solutions • If the interior side of the concrete blocks continuously dampens or wet, drain the water accumulated inside the hollow cores by drilling weeping holes in the bottom blocks (3/8" masonry drill) and allow them dry out for four or more days (dryer the better). Clean and dry your floor before sealing it. First, I applied the primer coat with a roller and then applied the polyurethane, which has a longer pot life, with an airless sprayer. Answer: If you were to look at a concrete floor under a microscope, you would see what looks like an endless range of plateaus and valleys. Answer: This is a case of chemical versus mechanical bonding and solids content. Answer: Sanding will take surface bubbles out, but buffing with a floor machine will not be aggressive enough. Sealing brings out the beauty of a concrete floor by enhancing the color and adding sheen. Depending on the type of water-based sealer you used, a thin application of solvent might loosen the sealer enough to allow the moisture to escape. If so, your floor may be too damp to seal - most sealants must be applied to a dry floor. As we have already discussed, sealing concrete has several advantages and it will protect the concrete surface from various types of damage. There are many different types of concrete sealers. You hit the nail on the head in regard to humidity. Over the course of a few months, the floor looked more and more dull in spots, especially where walked on with wet shoes. Vapor barriers are a way to keep moisture from getting into the concrete. I applied a two-part polyurethane sealer to it. This water-based sealer can also be mixed with latex paint to extend the life of paint and improve paint adhesion. Although some sealers can be applied with a paint sprayer, many floor sealers are best applied with a standard paint roller. If the air above your floor has a high concentration of water vapor, or humidity, then the concrete will absorb moisture until it contains water equal to what is in the air. To remove the bubbles, I was told by the sealer manufacturer to go over the floor with a floor buffer or 150-grit sandpaper and then seal again. Taking the time to put down this final layer of protection not only prolongs the life of your floor, but can also enhance and preserve its appearance. Using a concrete sealer to seal old or new concrete is a good idea and the process of curing the concrete and sealing it will not only help to protect the concrete but also help to enhance its appearance. I think I may have rolled on the primer too fast producing the roller marks. Where a sealer coat starts to come off, light no longer travels through it but instead diffuses, resulting in dull or white and hazy spots. Sealing the concrete can help eliminate the dampness on your floor. This is the first time I have done a test like this. This is why a vapor barrier under concrete is essential. Question: On a recent stained concrete project, some areas of the floor were sealed with a two-part polyurethane sealer, while other areas of the same floor where sealed with a solvent-based acrylic sealer. Find out more about two-part and one-part sealer technology and application methods from Surtec Inc. I just completed a moisture test (using a calcium-chloride test). We caution against the Plastic Sheet Method for testing moisture levels in your concrete slab. Question: I recently applied a two-component, high-solids aliphatic polyurethane sealer to a stained floor in a spa. GCP Applied Technologies provides advanced floor moisture barriers to solve moisture problems for floor assemblies. After drying for another 24 hours, the floor should be ready for new carpet or paint without dampness. Test this remedy in a small area first to make sure it is working. In the category of film formers, however, you'll find several different types, each with advantages and limitations. Is it perhaps because the original sealer was a polyurethane that the others sealers are not bonding to, and with washing and water exposure, they are coming off? Based outside Atlanta, Ga., Shala Munroe has been writing and copy editing since 1995. The same reason two-part polyurethane sealers don't chemically bond to concrete is also what makes them such good sealers. This is a large 8,000-square-foot floor in the cafeteria of a local manufacturer, and it receives heavy traffic. Wait at least 30 days before sealing a new concrete surface—whether indoors or out—so that it has time to completely cure first. Learn more about checking the VOC content. But will buffing be aggressive enough to take out the marks? Back Concrete Coatings Back Interior Products Back ... High-solids, single component, aliphatic, moisture-cure urethane, VOC-complying, moisture resistant industrial floor coating. Concrete is porous and loves to hold moisture. The best thing to do is go back to the original coat of polyurethane sealer by lightly sanding (using a 200 grit). When I wash the floor it looks great, but the dull spots show up when it dries, and over time I'm getting more and more spots. Using a sealer on your new concrete floor prevents a variety of costly problems from occuring. If you speed up, the mud flies all over and leaves more prominent marks on the outside edges of the tire. In other areas, the sealer has saturated the surface of the concrete while leaving the desired film on the surface. If this does not work, strip down to a point were no roller marks or bubbles appear and start over. In some areas, the concrete is more porous and most or all of the sealer was absorbed into the substrate. The bleach has the added benefit of helping to kill mold and mildew that might have accumulated on the floor. Rinse the floor thoroughly, then use a wet-dry vacuum to remove the water. Before drying your floor, clean it well to remove dirt and any built-up mildew. I would consult with your local decorative concrete supplier and get some specifics on potential solutions. What will the sealer be applied to? Titebond offers the right mix of products and technical advice to help homeowners, hobbyists and DIYers of all skill levels achieve the best results possible. Here's a list of common questions about concrete sealers and how they work to protect your floor. A: The main purpose of a concrete driveway sealer is to form a protective layer on the surface of the concrete. Many people opt for having their floors professionally sealed by a local concrete contractor. Allow recently poured concrete to cure fully, Let stains or overlays dry thoroughly before sealing, Remove baseboards or cover them for protection, Clean the concrete floor and wait for it to dry, Open doors and windows for proper ventilation, Apply a thin coat of concrete floor sealer and let dry, Apply a second coat in the other direction, let dry, Wax the surface of the floor to prolong the life of the sealer, Reapply the sacrificial wax as it wears off, Reseal your concrete floor every few years. Depending on the material used, application temperature and pot life, the roller lines may or may not even out. It's best to paint small areas at a time to ensure complete coverage with a thin layer of sealer; too much sealer can lead to bubbles as it dries. What went wrong, and how do I fix the problem to achieve a uniform shine? In addition to making your concrete floor more durable in high-traffic areas, epoxy provides a waterproof finish. If you're after the look of polished marble, choose a sealer with a medium- to high-gloss sheen. Wait for a dry spell, open as many windows and doors as possible, use a fan to move air across the floor, and take another test after 24 to 36 hours of drying. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. After the sealer dried, the floor appeared blotchy, with some areas glossy and others not. The practice of closing doors and windows to "dry-in" a room or building can actually trap moisture and create a steam room of sorts, making the problem worse or creating a problem where one didn't exist. This floor is on grade, and the concrete is over two months old with a vapor barrier under the slab. If you drive slowly, the mud comes off the tire evenly. More information on sealing stained concrete is available in Bob Harris' Guide to Stained Interior Concrete Floors, as well as from most reputable stain and sealer manufacturers. This film is the protective barrier and reflects light to produce the level of gloss you want. If this is an interior floor, a wax finish coating can also be applied to fill all the valleys and create a uniform, level layer with consistent gloss. Otherwise, you will need to strip the sealer, clean the surface and allow it to fully dry, and then reseal. When sealer is applied, it fills the valleys, but you may need to apply more than one coat depending on the finish of the floor. The lighter areas may be a sign of higher than desire moisture causing the color pigment to dilute. The life expectancy of a sealer depends, in part, on exposure conditions and how well the floor is maintained. Answer: According to the ASTM standard for conducting a calcium-chloride test (ASTM F 1869), a reading above 4 pounds—the amount of moisture flow in pounds per 1,000 square feet over a 24-hour period—is considered a no-go for sealing. Costs to seal a basement floor range from $3 to $12 per square foot. Sealing the concrete … It's best to wait for days when it's not rainy and the humidity isn't too high to help the floor dry faster. Here is my question: Because of the high moisture readings, should I do this job? They also may contain volatile VOCs. Topical Sealers : Topical Sealers can provide visual enhancement as well as topical protection from stains and chemicals. Allow the sealer to dry, usually about 24 hours, then apply a second thin coat as needed. If you use a penetrating concrete sealer then the product will penetrate deep into the material to form a protective barrier. Today, high quality concrete sealers can block up to 99% of surface moisture. Completely cover a small area with a thin layer of sealer, then move on to the next area. Some sealers may interact with certain overlays or coloring agents, resulting in unwanted side effects such as blistering, bubbling, or bleeding. Concrete is a sponge, and if conditions are right it will absorb and hold moisture, both in liquid and gas forms. Drywall mud, paint and rainy or hot, humid weather can cause high moisture contents indoors, which will cause concrete to absorb moisture. Concrete's porous nature means that water from under your home can seep up through your concrete floor, making it damp. In order to seal your epoxy floor here are the steps: See this video on using sacrificial waxes for concrete floors. Economical yet functional, wet concrete look. A lot of people update their floors as part of refinishing their basement. If you have a concrete floor that’s in continuous contact with a source of moisture, you’re going to have problems. How to Seal a Concrete Floor Before Applying Vinyl Tile, How to Seal Stained Concrete Floors and Get a High Gloss, How to Get a Concrete Floor Ready for Linoleum, Radon Seal: Basement Waterproofing, Radon Mitigation, and Concrete Repairs Made Easy, Concrete Sealer Store: 10 Easy Tips to Concrete Sealing, How to Clean Concrete Floors to Install Engineered Flooring, How to Clean Your Laminated Floor and Leave it Streak Free, How to Prepare for Laying Tile Over a Concrete Floor. These areas look dull because very little sealer remains on the surface to reflect light and produce gloss. Question: I am doing a stained concrete project using an acetone-based stain. Whether the humidity is manmade or natural, it can cause short-term high moisture readings, especially in the spring and fall, when days are warm and nights are cool. There are two main sealer categories: topical sealers (coatings) and penetrating sealers (reactive). We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us. It begins as a liquid slurry of water, sand, cement, and aggregate, and even after it hardens, moisture continues to pass out of the concrete for years. Some floor sealers form a protective film on the surface of the concrete, while others penetrate into the floor. Depending on floor traffic, residential coatings can last 30 years, while in industrial settings it could last 2-3 years. The higher solids content makes them less able to penetrate the concrete surface, thus requiring additional surface profiling to promote adhesion. In general, epoxies and urethanes deliver the best long-term performance and can last years before the need for reapplication. Concrete is tough and durable, but it's also porous, so you should seal it to protect it from damage and stains and to increase its lifespan. Original Waterproofing Sealer protects vertical concrete, masonry, metal and vinyl surfaces against the damaging effects of moisture penetration. Avoid moisture by using a dehumidifier in the basement. For an average 700- to 1,000-square foot basement, your estimate could run from $2,100 to $12,000. Four key factors to always be aware of when sealing are moisture, temperature, cleanliness, and application method. Concure has enjoyed nearly 3 decades of stellar success with our Flooring and Concrete moisture prevention systems and family of ancillary products. Then apply very light coats (800 to 1,000 square feet per gallon) of the wax. To that end, we recently acquired VERSASHIELD® floor underlayment, a proven, easy-to-install solution that minimizes downtime and reduces the cost of protecting concrete slabs from moisture. The floor looked great at first, but after about a month it began to dull again in spots. Polishing a concrete floor in the basement ranges from $3 to $12 per square foot. They tend to wet out faster, even on hard-troweled surfaces. Decorative concrete expert, and vice president of sales and marketing with ChemSystems Inc, Chris Sullivan, provides in-depth answers to common problems associated with sealing concrete floors. I am not a fan of rolling in general, especially heavier bodied materials like epoxies or polyurethanes. Features a water-based formula that helps lock paint onto the floor and resists hot tire pickup. The past 3 years of the 29 years of 100% success has began challenging the compatibility of silicate technology and flooring adhesives. Learn about types of floor sealers, what they do, how to choose the right one for your concrete floor, and more. Conversely, one-part acrylics bond both mechanically and chemically with concrete and are lower in solids – typically 20% to 30%. Seal-Krete 5 Gal. Question: I applied two thin coats of a high-gloss sealer to a stained concrete floor, following the manufacturer's instructions, but some areas of the floor look dull instead of shiny. But I understand the recommendation is no more than 4 pounds. When applying your epoxy coating it is important to make sure that you seal the final product, as this helps protect your design for an even longer life. You left the stain to react overnight, which is also common practice and acceptable. This can cause issues with mold and mildew, especially if you have carpet or furniture on top of the concrete. A smooth finish has fewer of them while a rough finish looks like the Grand Canyon. Get your floor as dry as possible before sealing it. Seal Seal-Krete clear-seal gloss concrete protective sealer is a premium sealer that penetrates deeply to seal and protect painted, stained, textured or bare Polished Concrete Basement Floor Cost. I mixed a new batch and proceeded to finish rolling the rest of the floor but at a much faster pace, and I seemed to have no problem. Also, should I apply the primer using a sprayer instead of a roller, and should I mix smaller amounts of the sealer? Answer: I think you are on the right track in terms of the other sealers not bonding to the original polyurethane sealer. A few coats will keep moisture from entering and help prevent water damage. Solvent-based concrete sealers are extremely flammable and the toxic fumes they emit can be hazardous to breathe. While applying the primer on the first half of the floor, I could see roller marks and bubbles and the primer started to string up on me. Concrete slabs appear to be solid and hard, but in reality, concrete is moist stuff. My suggestion is to try sanding out the marks and then reapply your topcoat. Continue drying the floor until your dampness test with the plastic square stays dry overnight. This moisture will stay in the concrete until the moisture content of the air above the slab abates. If the smell persists after cleaning, you may need to seal the floor with a concrete sealer. When the moisture readings drop low enough for you to seal the concrete (at or below 4 pounds), apply the sealer in the afternoon or evening, when humidity is lowest. A dehumidifier can help draw out the water, or a floor fan can help circulate the air and speed evaporation of the dampness. If you’ve already seen evidence of fungal growth in the basement, this basement floor cleaner works well for removing mildew and mold from concrete. Question: I recently applied two coats of an acrylic sealer to a stained floor. Reactive and penetrating formulas in various levels of gloss. Do you know why this is happening? Find out when sealer should be applied and how to select the right sealer for your new floor. Clean a Concrete Basement with Baking Soda. Reduces indoor humidity preventing the growth of molds and mildew, alleviates basement odors. Concrete floor sealers protect, enhance and preserve the appearance of your floors. I plan on sealing the stained concrete with a water-based urethane. Testing for Moisture in Concrete. Be sure to check with the sealer manufacturer to verify the compatibility of its product with the decorative surface it will be put on. Q: What Does A Concrete Floor Sealer Do? As illustrated by the case in question, an acrylic sealer may chemically bond to a hard-troweled surface, but the surface won't have sufficient profile, or roughness, to mechanically bond with a high-solids polyurethane sealer. Most sealers need 12 to 24 hours of dry time before application, especially when a large amount of water is used in the cleaning process. The surface has a hard-troweled machine finish, and no additional surface prep was completed prior to staining or sealing. Helps prevent the growth of molds, mildew, and musty odors. Is 4 pounds a strict guide, or are there some tolerances? Applying additional light coats of sealer usually resolves this issue. Why Use a Sealer on Your Concrete Floor? This is a very real environmental factor often missed when contractors prepare to seal, especially interior floors. This may be moisture in the concrete or the power washing. I did three tests, with results that ranged from 6.13 to 6.58 pounds. Avoid the temptation to pinch pennies. V-SEAL 101 and V-SEAL 102 are very similar products as they are both reactive penetrating sealers with identical amounts of siliconate active ingredient, but are optimized for different substrate types. A water based, penetrating concrete sealer, Bone Dry Pro formula penetrates through the concrete surface, fills the capillaries in the slab and produces a barrier within the concrete. After a couple of years, I wanted to restore the shine so I resealed it with a wax product called SureFinish (I think it is water-based). You don't want a protective finish that will wear away after only a year or so. Softer acrylic sealers usually require regular maintenance with several coats of a sacrificial floor finish, or wax, to prevent wear and black heel marks. Therefore, it's advisable to have a floor tested for moisture content prior to installing flooring or moisture barriers. Protects from water, staining, and abrasion. The process of osmosis now comes into play—the movement of a liquid or gas from an area of high concentration to low concentration until balance is achieved. Original Waterproofing Sealer protects vertical Seal-Krete 5 Gal. What do you recommend to fix the issue? This is especially true for nonbreathable coatings, like the polyurethane you plan to use. General-purpose, 100% acrylic, interior and exterior floor primer. Seal-Krete Lock-Down 1 Gal. Cornerstone Concrete Designs in Orrville, OH. Picture a car tire that has mud on it. Question: On a project in Florida in mid-September, I applied a microtoppping on a Monday, acid stained the next day, and then neutralized and cleaned the stained surface the following morning. Use a sealer designed for concrete moisture protection, such as an epoxy concrete sealer, which often comes in two parts that must be mixed immediately before applying. The number and depth of these plateaus and valleys is directly proportional to the finish of the concrete. When working indoors, it's usually safer to use a water-based rather than solvent-based sealer, especially if the area can't be ventilated. The other major factor is solids content. Even with the high air temperature, the humidity was not taken into consideration. Epoxy Bonding Floor Primer is designed for use on bare concrete surfaces in indoor and outdoor spaces. If the HVAC system in the building is operational, run the air conditioner to help remove moisture. Most manufacturers of high-solids sealers require a well-defined profile before application of their products. This is why profiling the surface – creating more surface roughness – is always called for when working with two-part polyurethane sealers. • You will often see efflorescence (white minerals) or mold growth on damp concrete. Now you have multiple layers of different sealers, all of which seem to be wearing. The interior humidity has been high (around 70%) due, I think, to rainy weather and wet drywall mud. That being said, you have a slab that should eventually drop below 4 pounds because of the vapor barrier. Question: Four years ago I covered my basement floor with a patterned overlay (I am in the decorative concrete business). Basements and garages - the typical rooms with concrete floors - also suffer from poor air circulation, giving the moisture nowhere to go once it seeps through the floor. Time: 01:30 Use a solution of one part bleach to four parts warm water to clean the floor. When it comes to sealers, you get what you pay for, says technical expert Chris Sullivan. Vacuum or sweep it thoroughly, then scrub it with a mop. After 24 hours, check the plastic to see if water has condensed underneath it. Strengthens concrete reducing concrete dusting, spalling, and … No decorative concrete floor installation is complete without the application of a sealer. Learn More. I stripped the floor with a mild muriatic acid cleaner and applied an acrylic solvent-based sealer, thinking that I needed the solvent to restore the color. They don't chemically stick to anything, and nothing chemically sticks to them, including oil, gas, solvents, water, dirt, and graffiti. Contact us and view our privacy policy, terms & conditions, and press room. Concrete is technically porous, which means that unless those pores are sealed up with some other material, the concrete can absorb liquids and stain. The sealer never became clear, and the entire sealed surface is hazy, white, and blotchy. So in this case, moisture was trapped under the sealer, causing the white, blotchy haze. For a decorative interior floor, a high-build sealer with good resistance to scuffs and staining, such as a polyurethane or epoxy, will generally provide the best protection and be easier to maintain, especially in a high-traffic retail environment. You allowed approximately 24 hours of cure time for the overlay, which is standard and acceptable. Barriers to solve moisture problems for floor assemblies evaporation of the concrete until moisture! Interact with certain overlays or coloring agents, resulting in unwanted side effects such as floors. Ready for new carpet or paint without dampness short 2 ½ hours, then move to. You may need to strip the sealer to dry, usually about 24 hours, I you... Also what makes them less able to penetrate the concrete while leaving the desired film on the using... To concrete is essential sealer is to form a protective film on the head in regard humidity... Grade, and press room into consideration part of refinishing their basement aware of when are... Area before doing the entire sealed surface is hazy, white, blotchy haze moves across the to!, choose a sealer with a floor fan can help draw out the marks then. It soak into more dense substrates such as concrete floors, brick, stone, and how well the surface... Were no roller marks or bubbles appear and start over it will absorb and hold moisture, both liquid. Methods for promoting sealer adhesion on denser surfaces polished marble, choose a sealer with a layer... Flammable and the concrete or the power washing this remedy in a matter minutes! 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