Today, there are many concrete resurfacing solutions to choose from. While walls can be easily patched and painted, basement floors can be stained, coated with epoxy or sealed with polyurethane. Because the basement is usually susceptible to moisture, careful preparations are necessary. Here are some of the most common basement concrete resurfacing solutions to consider.
Cracks in the concrete can happen because of moisture and the changing seasons. Before doing any coating or resurfacing efforts, make sure to check for cracks and patch them with patching mortar. Patching requires a specially formulated concrete mix and not just any type of concrete mix. Before patching, make sure to remove any loose debris trapped in the cavities and drill a few holes if the cracks are too narrow. Mix the mortar according to the manufacturer’s instructions and patch accordingly using a trowel. Make sure to make the patching mortar level with the surface.
If the paint on the walls is peeling off, remove it with a paint scraper and apply paint stripping solutions to completely remove the paint. Sand the concrete surface before priming and painting. It is best to used oil-based paints for basement walls because these paints offer better durability than latex-based paints.
Floors require different resurfacing solutions and one of them is staining. Staining is a method of etching the concrete floor with an acid solution to create a stained surface. The acid solution is toxic so make sure to provide good ventilation inside the basement, wear a respirator, protective gloves, and safety goggles. Protect the walls and other surfaces in contact with the floor using painters tape. Staining requires degreasing the floor, applying acid etching solution and removing the acid using a specific vacuum cleaner designed for acid staining. The stained floor has to be sealed afterward.
Sealing with Epoxy
Epoxy provides the concrete with a durable surface that does not allow moisture to pass through. The epoxy can be color-adjusted to suit the homeowner’s preference. Before applying epoxy sealer on top of the concrete, make sure to clean the concrete surface, remove any dust and debris, and make sure no moisture is trapped within the concrete. It is best to do this during hot summer months to ensure that moisture does not become a problem. Applying an epoxy sealer is not a hard task and can be a very easy DIY project. Simply cut the epoxy onto the concrete using a paintbrush or roller or spray it evenly. It may take around 2 days before it completely cures.
Sealing with Polyurethane
Polyurethane sealer cannot be applied directly onto the concrete surface. However, it can be applied after staining the concrete or coating it with epoxy. The sealer provides a durable protective coat that can last for years. The coat also provides a glossy finish that makes the basement floor look more attractive. To apply the sealer, make sure that the stain has dried or the epoxy has cured. Use a paint roller to evenly apply the sealer onto the concrete surface. Add a second coat after 24 hours to ensure durability and strength.