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sealing concrete floors  RSS feed

 
wayne fajkus
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Is there a method, like a wax (literally, like paraffin or bee wax) that can be burnished into a bare concrete floor to seal it. Trying to avoid paint as well as the sealers that are applied over stained concrete.

Interior use.
 
allen lumley
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Wayne Fajkus : There actually may be ! If so I have never hear of it. An historian of the greatest days of the Roman Empire will tell you that
almost all of the cement used back then was/is superior to todays portland cement ! These superior cements are generally called Geo-polymers
(look them up)

With Highly porous portland cement being the #1 cement sold within the lower 48 states- the choices remaining to you are a waterproofing "paints''
generally epoxy, applied to the outside or weathered side, Not the inside ! OR, living with an interior water collection and pumping set up !

True waterproof cement/concrete can only be had by specifying a Geo-polymer cement at the start of construction !

Have you already done every thing that you can do to reduce the problem, good well maintained eaves and gutters for rain collection and downspouts
that collect and deliver the rain water away from the foundation walls!

Has All of the perimeter of the house had careful landscaping to eliminate standing water, draining it downhill and away from your foundations !

Can the perimeter be landscaped away from the perimeter of your house ! As We used to say in the Land of the little people ''Sing loay'' !

As a last resort the outside foundation walls of the house can be excavated, carefully hand cleaned and sealed with a tar based Waterproofing coating
Insulation applied, and a perforated pipe drainage system embedded in coarse gravel and protected with landscapers cloth wrapped around the pipe
to reduce being quickly clogged with fine sediment!!

I am sorry that I could not offer more positive news , lets wait a while and see hat your fellow members give as a second opinion ! Big AL!
 
wayne fajkus
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This is a slab concrete floor in a cabin. No basement. No water issues to speak of.

With concrete counters, people rub beeswax on the top for stain resistance. I'm curious about doing something similar for the floor.

Mainly for stain resistance and to slow or stop the powdering than can happen with concrete.

I know with soap stone, mineral oil is used as a sealer.

Using the shiny top coats used with stained concrete scratches easy and has to reapplied and/or top coated often with a wax. Seems like a longterm headache.




 
allen lumley
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Wayne Fajkus : you did not specify a location, ALL cement/concrete poured within any location within the continental U.S is/are probably Portland
cement based! The seal that you saw applied to the concrete counter was to prevent water infiltration into the Concrete as much as it was to make
it pretty,or reduce powdering, regardless of what the demonstrator said !

If you live in Death Valley you may go a lifetime without any problems with water infiltration from underneath! Regardless, If there is any water
infiltration problems, attempting to seal them off from the inside will only make matters worse!

A concrete slab poured onto a properly compacted gravel base with an impervious Water Barrier will probably protect you from underneath, a poorly
installed floor drain will give those conditions right back to you !

You are certainly allowed to proceed with your task, go for it ! With the information shared I tried to give you the best information possible !

With over 27,000 fellow members world wide you easily could have got your 1st message from someone in a location where Geo-polymers are the more
common concrete mix, and who would have been unaware of the potential for the advice you got -to be incomplete ! For the Good of the Crafts ! Big AL


Late Note : Again, lets wait and get a second opinion ! A. L.
 
Brian Knight
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Why are you trying to avoid typical sealers? The amount of products available for sealing concrete floors is overwhelming and grows everyday. The concrete network is a good source of information. http://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/interiorfloors/sealers.html

Ive used water based but prefer solvent based acrylics. You can add wax to these for increased durability but you have to maintain and reapply. Ive never bothered. Been wanting to try some of the polyurethanes and epoxies but havent had the guts yet. Its the new polyaspartics that would be my first choice if possible.
 
wayne fajkus
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40 year old slab in coastal area of texas. Water leaching in from outside not an issue.

Dog pees, I don't want it to soak in. Fish guts fall on the floor, don't want it to soak in.

Thompsons water seal? Granite sealer for porous stone? Mineral oil? Beeswax? Combination of water seal and beeswax?

A paint like garages use may be an option. OiL just puddles on it.

The typical stuff seems like a lot of upkeep from sand being on the shoes. Seems like it's put on thick then buffed down to remove scratches. At some point (buffing or foot traffic) it's not there anymore.

Seems like beeswax would move around but stay put. But dirt might stick to it, although it is used for counter tops.

 
wayne fajkus
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Brian, that link showed a penetrating sealer for concrete. Looks like the best option so far. The nice part is you can apply mastic or paint over it, so if it doesn't work it leaves a plan b available.

 
Brian Knight
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Dont know much about penetrating sealers but I dont think they are used as a final finish very often. Thompsons could probably fit into the penetrating sealer category and I would not use that inside. I doubt your other alternatives would work better than commonly available acrylics.

I think you want a hard film forming sealer on the surface. Many of the products marketed for garages are epoxies and might be your cheapest, most available and durable option. I would be concerned with sunlit areas and looks which tends to be restricted to solid colors. Personally, I like clear sealers over stained concrete for aesthetics.
 
wayne fajkus
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I've done the stain with top coat in the past. A lot of fumes between acid washing and topcoat. Traffic patterns are bare concrete in a year (commercial traffic, no maintenance done).

I'd tile before I do that again.

 
John Elliott
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Thinking about this from a chemistry viewpoint, there are two things that can be done: (1) lay down a thin (on the order of microns) layer of mineral oil, paraffin, beeswax, or whatever non-volatile organic is handy. This is not going to react with the concrete, just sit on top of it, clogging up the pores and preventing any water based liquids from sinking in. Of course, every time you wash the floor using a soap or detergent, a little bit of the coating disappears. Even if you wipe vigorously with water in a mop, the fibers of the mop may help to create a wax/water emulsion and remove a little bit of the coating. If you went this route, you would have to periodically renew the coating.

Method #2 is to put down a coating of a "drying" oil like linseed oil. Drying oils are ones with enough double bonds in the molecules to polymerize on the surface of the substrate, and after they polymerize, they aren't going to dissolve in mop water, no matter what chemicals you add to the water. The only way this coating is coming off is by friction, like a dance party of people with sand on their shoes. If you do decide to try a drying oil treatment, remember that the oil has to polymerize, until it does, it is just like a coating of mineral oil. There are two ways to initiate polymerization after you have applied the linseed oil, chemically, with a polymerization initiator like benzoyl peroxide, or UV light. A few days of direct sunlight on the floor (direct, not through window glass) should be enough UV to "dry" (polymerize really) the oil.

On edit: polyurethanes and epoxies may be a subset of method #2, if they polymerize after they are laid down on the surface. Chemists are into finding newer and better molecules to take the place of older techniques, so it is quite likely that they have improved on the centuries oil method of using linseed oil.
 
wayne fajkus
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Can heat work for the polymerization? Maybe hit it with a weed burning type propane torch?

Thank you for the post. It validates my thoughts through science.

Reapplying the method 1 products seem fine. Using the typical shiny wax topcoats, it just seems like it will lock in stuff like hair. Imbed it into the surface. Whereas a mineral oil will soak in and the hair will be removed through normal cleaning.

 
Jay C. White Cloud
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As this is a "permaculture" site...I can understand you trying to avoid using and supporting industrial products that may (or may not) be suited for finishing concrete.

I have used mineral paints, lime washes, drying oils (normal heat above 70 degrees Fahrenheit will polymerize these oils as well as U.V. and chemical additives in my experience...We use them all the time for a myriad of applications that don't get direct sun...nor do we use any chemical drying agents...and they harden just fine...)

We have also used beeswax...but this will require a recoat as it wears of. Note...soapstone is not "sealed" by mineral oil...as it has no pore structure to speak of in its interstitial micro matrix. "Mineral Oiling" is just a quick way to give it a sheen instead of manually polishing it...

Regards,

j
 
aaron bellomo
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I see this is an older thread but will report my experience since I came across it.
I built an oehler-influenced shower house this year using a concrete/tile mosaic floor. I finished it with 5 coats linseed(3-7 days cure per coat in warm weather) and 8 coats carnauba wax(Bio shield wax finish #39). Its only been 4 months, and only 2-4 showers per week, but seems to hold up. Not sure for high traffic.
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shower floor
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