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A client approached us six months ago after he had purchased a home with sealed concrete floors. But the floors were in bad condition. The previous owner cared less about keeping the floor clean and had scuffed and scratched it badly. In addition, as they were moving out, they left deep scratches and peeled sections of the floor. So, our client tasked us to seal the concrete surface and give it a new look before he could move in with his family. A proper concrete sealing job should protect your concrete from elements, look good, and be long lasting. And that’s what we were determined to deliver.
At Armor Coatings we understand that each step of the sealing concrete process determines the outcome. As a result, our crew uses quality products, state-of-the-art equipment, and the right tools to get the job done. So whether we are sealing residential, commercial, or industrial concrete floors, we produce excellent floor surfaces. Here’s the step-by-step process of how we handled this project.
For a new sealer to penetrate and bond into the old concrete, we had to thoroughly clean the surface. This process began by sweeping the floor to get rid of the dirt and debris. Then we had to deep clean it to get rid of grease, oil, and paint using a degreaser. On the floor surfaces where carpets lay, there was residual mastic. So we used a stiff-bristled brush to clear this issue. After scraping, we applied a citrus-based cleaner to get rid of the mastic. It’s critical to rid the concrete floor of any stain marks at this stage because these can be visible after applying your new concrete sealer.
The next thing we did was mop the floor and dry it. Vacuuming at this stage is important because it helps you remove any debris and water that’s left over. And because the floor had deep cracks, we had to fill them up with a crack filler before applying a new concrete sealer. Fortunately, all we needed was to apply a crack sealer, smooth it over, and let it dry for a few hours.
In instances where the floor has cracks, potholes, and scratch marks, we lay a thin layer of concrete on top of the existing floor. Doing this could cause the sealing process to take more than a week because we usually wait for the new concrete layer to cure. Concrete sealers don’t work on wet concrete surfaces.
We already knew that the concrete floor in our client’s home had a sealer and so we went ahead to remove it. If this wasn’t the case, we would do a few tests to determine if an old sealer exists. We pour a cup full of water on the floor and watch how it behaves. It will behave in one of the two ways. If it soaks into the floor surfaces, there’s no sealer applied on it before. If it beads or remains on the concrete surface, then it has been sealed before. There are several ways you can remove old concrete sealers, including using a chemical stripper or sandblasting.
Using a chemical stripper requires you to use protective gear because strippers are acid-based. So you have to cover your eyes, hands, and legs depending on the guidelines of the stripping product in use. You could also choose less-toxic and eco-friendly strippers but these take time to deliver results. A few work hours could turn into several days. Because our crew is knowledgeable and experienced in flooring matters, we went straight for sandblasting. This requires special industrial-grade grinding equipment and at times used together with a stripper to quickly remove the old sealer.
Once the sealer is removed from your concrete, you scrape off the sludge and dispose of it according to local government requirements. We then cleaned and dried the floors using water. It’s important to reiterate that your floor has to be dry for the sealer to bond properly. Failure to dry your floors makes the floor lose its adhesion and causes haziness as well.
With a clean concrete floor, it was now time to apply a new sealant. It’s our procedure to make sure the house is well ventilated – we open windows and doors so air can flow freely. The amount of sealer to be used depends on how porous the floor is. We started with the first coat and let it soak and bond with the concrete. Let it dry for two hours then followed it with the second application. The best way to consistently do the second coat is by applying it at right angles to the initial coat.
After applying the final sealant coat, the next step was to allow it to dry. This would happen in two days and nobody was allowed to step on it until it was completely dry. Some sealants can dry within twenty-four hours while others take as long as three days before you can start using your floor. Our client moved in two days and he has never had a complaint since then.
Our client had a rough idea of the type of floor he needed for his new home. But he could not go about sealing concrete by himself because he wasn’t sure he’d do a good job. Besides, he is a busy person and had more meaningful things to do. So, while it might be tempting to seal your concrete floor by yourself, it’s a better idea to hire a flooring professional to do the work. If you are not convinced yet, here are reasons you should hire a floor sealing pro to seal your concrete:
Imagine buying protective gear, materials, equipment, and tools just to do a one-time flooring project. Yet you are not sure of the quality of results you can deliver after doing the work. Then whatever you produce lasts a few weeks and you have to make the same investment and redo the task. You might save on labor costs but incur losses due to shoddy work and buying stuff. A good contractor will often come with their tools of the trade and only charge you for the services they’ll provide. And the results of their work are better quality floor surfaces that are long-lasting. The cost might seem high in the beginning but is actually cheaper commutatively after a while.
A professional flooring expert will come with great insights to help you achieve your flooring desires. They’ll help you choose styles and designs, help you source the right materials, and fully handle the project until its completion. The right contractor doesn’t just come with expertise and experience but is also licensed and insured.
Sealing concrete can be a difficult process if you don’t know what you are doing. But with an expert’s help, it’s easier to bring your dream floor into reality. With Armor Coatings, you have a reliable partner with many years of experience in the flooring industry. Contact us so we can give you a free quote on your project and amaze you with awesome flooring installations.