Friday, February 26, 2010

Which sealer is best?

Ask a Pro

Q. - Patio approx 14 x 20. dogs paws leave hard to remove mud prints!!!! Need advice if sealer application will allow easier cleanup with hose? Type of sealer? Ease of application is important since I'm an elderly female. Confidence it will achieve my objective. Thank You.

Hello Joyce,

A. - Sealing the concrete with a quality concrete sealer will definitely help. The mud is hard to clean because it is getting into the pores of the concrete. If you seal it then it will be much easier to clean. Cleaning with a hose should work out fine then.
The solvent base sealer would be easier to use, however, your state has outlawed solvent base sealers, so you have to use a water base. Don't feel bad though as 1 most states have either outlawed solvent base sealers or are about to, and 2 fortunately Clear Shield Advanced by Concrete Camouflage has been released and will actually outperform solvents in many ways, while being less expensive as well. I don't know of any water base sealer that is worth using other than Clear Shield Advanced. Old technology water base sealers are just junk. The advanced formula in CSA makes it well worth your time and money, though it was designed for decorative concrete, it works on all types of concrete and cultured stone.
You will need 2 gallons. You will apply 2 coats. You will first thoroughly clean the concrete and allow it to dry. You can power wash it to clean it, or you can use a brush and bucket with TSP and water,( or at least a good strong soap/detergent and water.) Scrub it clean with the brush and then flood rinse it really well a couple of times to ensure you get all the TSP/soap out of the pores and completely rinsed down. Use plenty of water when rinsing. Allow it to dry (you can tell it is dry by looks) and apply the sealer. You will pour the Clear Shield Advanced into a paint pan and use a paint roller to just paint roll it on. Use a minimum 1/4" nap and a maximum 3/8" nap roller cover. Apply the concrete sealer as thin as possible. Spread it out as thin and as evenly as you can. Allow the first coat to dry a couple hours +/-, until it is dry and no longer sticky. Clear Shield Advanced goes on a milky white which lets you clearly see where you've sealed, and then dries clear. Anyway, after the first coat dries, roll on the second coat. Try to go opposite directions when applying the different coats. For instance, you could go North/South on the first coat and East/West on the second. That is if it's possible to do that and still work your way backwards so you're not walking in wet sealer. Be sure to let dry until completely clear and for at least 10 to 12 hours (24 hours is better), before allowing any foot or pet traffic on it.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Should I remove old stain before applying new? How do I tell between acrylic and acid stains?

Ask a Pro

Q. - I have a porch & two small pieces of sidewalk that have been stained. The stain is flaking off and I want to restain it. Do I have to completely remove all the old stain or can I prep the surface with something and go over the existing stain?
Hello Kerri,

A. - Acid stain would not flake off. Therefore the flaking must either be because the stain is an acrylic stain aka water base stain (aka concrete paint using the name "concrete stain" with the sole purpose of tricking you into painting your concrete while separating you from your cash), or it could be that you do have an acid stain and only the sealer is flaking.
So, if you know it's an acrylic stain, then yes, it must be completely removed in order to properly restain it with an acid stain which will not peel or flake. If you go over it with an acrylic stain it will only become an even worse issue down the road.
If you don't know if it's an acid stain or acrylic, then you can test it by pouring some water on it. If when it is wet, the areas that have flaked still have the color as the rest of it, then it is likely an acid stain and only the sealer is flaking, which means that you only need to remove the sealer and reapply some fresh sealer. If it remains the color of concrete when it is wet in the flaking areas then it is likely an acrylic stain and must be completely removed.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How do I do a border? Should I sand the floor?

Ask a Pro

Q. - I had glue down carpet and have stripped the glue off. Do you recommend a light sanding with a floor buffer and if so, what grit should I use.

Also, I wanted to do 1 foot border around the room that would be darker than the middle. What would be the best way to accomplish this? Would I tape off 1 section while the other is being sprayed and then seal it and then do the other section once ther sealer has cured? Or would I need to seal both sections at the same time?

Hello Juan,

Normally I would not suggest sanding if the floor is clean and contaminant free. However, since you had glue down carpet then I would suggest a light sanding using the finest grit they have available.
You should brush on the border first and then spray the entire floor after the border dries. When brushing on the border, set your brush down in the center of the border or near the wall and in a circular motion, work the brush towards the edge that meets the other color. Then you will be dragging the stain to the edge which will help prevent from coloring over the line.
Let it all dry. Neutralize and rinse it all together, and then seal it all together, then apply the floor wax.