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Moisture Sealing An Unfinished Concrete Floor - Advice Please!

Posted on 02/27/2014 5:11:03 AM PST by newb2012

Looking to moisture seal my unfinished basement’s concrete floor as a measure to cure and prevent mold in the house. Appreciate any suggestions, sources and references - about what kind of sealant to use etc.


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1 posted on 02/27/2014 5:11:03 AM PST by newb2012
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To: newb2012

If unfinished, find a downstairs roughed-in plumbing pipe for a sink, toilet, floor drain, etc. and then wire an outlet near that. Buy tubing, adapters, etc. and connect to a good capacity dehumidifier and keep it running. One with an adjustable humidistat is nice.

I did that in my basement and it is always below 50% in the summer and 30% or so in the winter....it will work for mold, and rust (I keep my guns there).


2 posted on 02/27/2014 5:16:00 AM PST by Gaffer (Comprehensive Immigration Reform is just another name for Comprehensive Capitulation)
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To: newb2012

There is a product called “Anti-spalling compound” It contains linseed oil and a drying agent. I have used it on exterior walks and been very happy with it.


3 posted on 02/27/2014 5:16:48 AM PST by verga
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To: newb2012

polyurathane


4 posted on 02/27/2014 5:17:19 AM PST by knarf (I say things that are true .. I have no proof .. but they're true.)
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To: newb2012

http://www.garagejournal.com/ Go into the forum, entire section on preparing and sealing concrete floors.


5 posted on 02/27/2014 5:18:58 AM PST by VTenigma
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To: newb2012

Was a vapor barrier put down before the concrete was placed?


6 posted on 02/27/2014 5:21:35 AM PST by meatloaf (Impeach Obama. That's my New Year's resolution.)
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To: newb2012

Check with Your local Paint Store (Sherwin-Williams, etc) a lot will depend on the age of the concrete- the newer the worse time You will have, the older the better.

Concrete is always curing.

You can check with Home Depot, etc but they don’t just deal in coatings.

That’s ALL a paint Store does.

Prep is VERY IMPORTANT!!!

You will be using a 2 part coating but get the Pros at the Paint Store to help You.


7 posted on 02/27/2014 5:22:14 AM PST by mabarker1 (Please, Somebody Impeach the kenyan!!!!)
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To: Gaffer

If any of your guns have wood ‘furniture’, be careful not too keep the humidity TOO low. I’ve heard it can cause the wood to dry out and crack over a long period of time if the air is too dry. I don’t have this problem as ALL of my firearms have black plastic/polymer that makes them look “dangerous” to Liberals and idiots(please pardon the redundancy).


8 posted on 02/27/2014 5:22:54 AM PST by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: newb2012
It can be a big job .. how long since the floor was poured ?

At minimum, an epoxy-based paint (pricey) and a good dehumidifier after it's applied.

If it's a new-ish pour, you'll need to wait for it to fully cure .. do a web search on recommended times.

Regardless how smoothly it was troweled, etching is recommended before any paint's applied .. etching = acid solution, most commonly muriatic.

Conversely, if the basement space isn't used for much beside storage and the moisture isn't such that things fall apart down there,
investing in a good 70 quart dehumidifier (w/ hose > floor drain) may be enough to obviate the need for messing with paint, etc.

/.02

9 posted on 02/27/2014 5:24:48 AM PST by tomkat (3%+1)
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To: KoRn

My Garands I have oiled with unboiled linseed oil, as with the carbines and 1903s....others have been sealed pretty well, too. In the 10 years I’ve been doing this, no cracks or splits yet...(fingers crossed):o)


10 posted on 02/27/2014 5:27:57 AM PST by Gaffer (Comprehensive Immigration Reform is just another name for Comprehensive Capitulation)
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To: newb2012

Use a two part epoxy paint it’s kind of expensive but in the long run it will last. I know Sherwin William has it but Home Depot and Menards and Lowes probably have it too.


11 posted on 02/27/2014 5:29:32 AM PST by Brasky (You miss every shot you never take.)
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To: newb2012; ps

temp tagline


12 posted on 02/27/2014 5:30:02 AM PST by tomkat (30yrs carpenter/cabinetmaker/contractor)
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To: mabarker1

Good advice regarding the local Paint Stores. Most of the people at ‘Big Box’ type hardware stores tend to not have any real idea about what they’re selling, and earn a little over minimum wage. I believe the only requirement to work in those places is having the ability to lift 20lbs, give authoritative bullshit answers, and fog a mirror. Hiring people that have actual real knowledge of their in-store departments would cut into profit margins, which are about ALL that matter for such places.....


13 posted on 02/27/2014 5:31:16 AM PST by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: newb2012
moisture seal my unfinished basement’s concrete floor

Keep in mind that if you are having moisture being drawn through the concrete due to temperature/humidity differentials, putting a barrier seal is difficult to completely stop.

A low quality product may only make your problem harder to fix in that the moisture may build up behind an inadequate seal. That "paint" may then make it tougher to put down a better product later.

My point, based upon my father's experience with the same problem, is don't try to cut corners on your first attempt. It will make the real fix that much harder.

Do your research. Some folks have found more success running dehumidifiers in the basement.

My dad didn't find anything that worked until he spent the money on a good epoxy-type paint (expensive and a challenge to lay down quickly before it cures). The two cheaper types he tried first only created him more problems as they split and cracked as the moisture built up behind them from inadequate sealing.

They worked at first, but did not last over time. And then they had to be fully removed to get a good seal for the next product.

Poor cleaning of the surface will likely prevent good sealing as well. The best is an acid product made for cleaning concrete prior to sealing. I used these in factories where I coated floors to help with cleaning. Eventually I convinced my Dad to try what I suggested, but only after a couple years of failure with lessor products.

Good Luck! It can be a big job. Be SURE to get force ventilation through your basement (window fans) before the acid clean or the epoxy paint. You don't want to pass out down there in it, nor do you want those fumes lingering in your house.

14 posted on 02/27/2014 5:32:54 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: newb2012

If it’s just for moisture sealing, most hardware stores carry UGL Drylock, which works well for sealing. I’d use a 2-part epoxy on the floor if it’s not going to have any kind of floor covering laid down over the concrete.


15 posted on 02/27/2014 5:34:09 AM PST by tacticalogic
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To: newb2012

drylock sealing paint, with a 2 part epoxy pour over it but only after it’s cured and been through at least 2 full years of seasonal changes.


16 posted on 02/27/2014 5:34:44 AM PST by reed13k (For evil to triumph it is only necessary for good men to do nothings)
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To: newb2012

I am a water damage restoration business owner, and I do mold inspections and testing in homes and businesses.

1. Ground water will travel through concrete.

2. Gravity is the answer... not sealant. Over time, the sealant will fail, and water can still enter through small cracks or pits. The only way to properly seal a concrete basement is on the OUTSIDE of the concrete. not the inside.

3. Contact a basement waterproofing professional. We have one here that uses a method of digging a 4” trough around the perimeter of the area and channeling the water to a sump pump. Water that effervesces through exterior walls travels down to the trough. Water that would otherwise effervesce up through the floor will find it’s way to the sump basin instead.

4. Avoid installing wood based products such as sheetrock in the basement. If you want to use wood finishing materials in the basement, use cedar or other mold resistant materials.

5. Keep a dehumidifier operating in the basement. A good one that moves about 50-75 pints a day can be purchased at Lowes for under $300.00

Good luck.


17 posted on 02/27/2014 5:37:36 AM PST by Safrguns (PM me if you like to play Minecraft!)
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To: newb2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-rPIZ6oV8Y


18 posted on 02/27/2014 5:57:48 AM PST by carriage_hill (Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading.)
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To: newb2012

Stay away from Rustoleum’s “Restore” deck & concrete sealer!

I spent the better part of last summer preparing & painting our 800+ square foot deck with this crap. Very expensive and time consuming. I strictly followed the directions for application and it gave us a non-skid surface that looked great. That lasted until the first freeze and then started coming off in big chunks. The next rain dissolved the paint into a chocolate pudding texture that our new puppy took a liking to.

Called Rustoleum customer service and they issued a full refund ($450.00) without argument. To my surprise, two months later Fed-Ex delivered 25 gallons + rollers at no charge.

The product is total junk and should be pulled from the market. Hopefully I can find an 0bama voter to sell it to!

Reviews from other customers can be found here:

http://www.sodahead.com/living/has-anyone-ever-used-restore-to-paint-their-deck/question-1137425/

Good luck with your problem....


19 posted on 02/27/2014 6:00:10 AM PST by panaxanax
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To: newb2012
Find where the water is coming from and divert it.

For researching methods, see articles at buildingscience.com:

renovating basement

rubble basement

20 posted on 02/27/2014 6:09:43 AM PST by cornelis
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To: newb2012
The obvious: A basement is below ground level. Think of it as a boat you have made that sits in a place where water naturally resides. Water that congregates along the outside concrete floor and walls of the boat naturally pushes up or inward trying to either fill or raise the boat. Rather than trying to put a band aid over this inward pressure on the inside floor and wall surfaces, you should consider ways to relieve the pressure along the outside surfaces where the water and moisture resides. If you want to solve your problem, water proof the outside basement walls and properly install drain pipe just below the footers around the outside circumference of your house. Drain the piped water away from the site by gravity if you have a sloped lot or with the aid of an electric pump.
21 posted on 02/27/2014 6:12:47 AM PST by iontheball
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To: thackney; All

Thank you. The floor is about 12 year old. One of the contractors that I checked with is claiming their product ( a water based Epoxy Seal)to be the best and to pretreat and double coat the floor and walls with their product at this link “www.moisturesourcesandsolutions.com” quoting a 3 grand. The square footage of the floor is about 700. Is that a reasonable quote?


22 posted on 02/27/2014 6:47:42 AM PST by newb2012 (Fear distorts your vision. Often reality is much easier to deal with.)
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To: meatloaf

I don’t think it was.


23 posted on 02/27/2014 6:47:42 AM PST by newb2012 (Fear distorts your vision. Often reality is much easier to deal with.)
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To: tomkat

Thank you. The floor is about 12 year old. Does $3000 to clean and seal floors and wall for a 700 soft area sound reasonable?( For 2 coats of a water based epoxy seal. )Thanks in advance.


24 posted on 02/27/2014 6:47:42 AM PST by newb2012 (Fear distorts your vision. Often reality is much easier to deal with.)
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To: VTenigma

That was helpful. Thank you.


25 posted on 02/27/2014 6:47:42 AM PST by newb2012 (Fear distorts your vision. Often reality is much easier to deal with.)
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To: newb2012

The best concrete sealer is a silane. These coatings react with the concrete chemically. Expensive but the best.


26 posted on 02/27/2014 7:03:49 AM PST by JeanLM (Obama proves melanin is just enough to win elections)
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To: newb2012

Do NOT use any of the epoxy products sold at Home Depot, Lowes or Sherwin Williams. These are all just surface applications and they will eventually peel. If you want a true epoxy finish, you will have to pay a professional to put it down. Shop around prices vary greatly between companies.

If there was not a vapor barrier, like 6 ml poly, put under the concrete prior to pouring it there is very little you can do to keep the moisture from coming up through the floor. Therefore, you need to remove the moisture that accumulates in the basement with a dehumidifier. The UGL will work on the walls but may peel on the floor.


27 posted on 02/27/2014 7:12:58 AM PST by woodbutcher1963
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To: newb2012

I am two decades past my experience with that. And my father and I did the work so I cannot judge cost to hire.

I don’t like the idea of a water based product to stop water. It could work fine, but I would search for competitive pricing.

I would spend $300 on a quality dehumidifier first and see if that solves your problem, it I had the basement.


28 posted on 02/27/2014 7:21:34 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: newb2012

I would follow Thackey’s recommendations with one exception. The other method prep the floor other than acid wash is to rent a diamond tip buffing wheel. It goes on a floor buffer typically used for removing and applying wax. This is what I did prior to having a professional 4 part epoxy applied. The diamond wheel removes about 1/16” of the concrete surface. This gives you the best surface prep so that the epoxy can adhere to the sanded surface. However, it is very messy and a respirator(not a nuisance mask) is a must. It also takes a lot of strength to handle the buffer when it starts across the floor. It was the toughest rental piece of equipment I have ever used, and I’ve used many.

$3.75 to $4.00/square foot sounds about right to apply an epoxy finish. If you are flexible with color it may save you if they have some material left over from a previous job. I had my kennel floor(130 sq ft) done for $500. I used a left over color. I had another bid for $800. Another for $1500. Make sure they put enough grit in the top seal coat so it is not slippery. Most of these companies will bid a two car garage for $2000-2500 to give you an idea. That is the bulk of their homeowner work.


29 posted on 02/27/2014 7:32:37 AM PST by woodbutcher1963
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To: Gaffer

If 30% humidity is as dry as it gets, you’ll never have a problem with the wood cracking.


30 posted on 02/27/2014 7:43:39 AM PST by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: newb2012
The key info you left out > doing this yourself or having done ?
The following info is for DIY .. prices for having it done can vary wildly .. you'd just have to shop around.
But if time and inclination permit, you can save a ton doing it yourself.

After 12yrs your floor is about as cured as it's gonna get, and a good etching should suffice. The process would typically involve 3 cycles of > etch/rinse, etch/rinse, etch/rinse.
See the product's directions for acid %s, etc.

I've used the following on my own basement, and have been satisfied with the cost/benefit result.
It's a 1200 SF space, with moderate foot traffic and occasional furniture rearranging.

After etching (i use UGL Drylok Etch) is finished and the floor is *thoroughly* dry:

Two coats of a product called Epoxy-Seal, mfg. by SealKrete .. ~5 gal @ $35/gal
Followed by two coats of Clear-Seal, same mfg .. ~4 gal @ $30/gal (the clear coat goes further)

It's been 7 yrs since mine was applied, and still looks great, imho.
The few times something heavy/sharp has been dropped and caused a ding, I do a light spot sanding and the touchup applies/blends seamlessly.
With occasional ding maintenance, I can't see needing a do-over here for at least another 3ish years, and even that would only be as above: light sanding/color/clear.

A big caveat is that I wouldn't use SealKrete for a garage/shop floor .. there you're looking at a major materials expense for industrial duty epoxy.
But for your likely purposes, and assuming no environmental conditions out of the ordinary, it should prove satisfactory.

So for ~700 SF DIY: etching supplies $20, color coat $100, clear coat $100, misc cleaning brushes etc $30 = ~ $250 DIY +/- 20%

31 posted on 02/27/2014 7:59:38 AM PST by tomkat (3%+1)
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To: newb2012; ps
But the best thing you can do, and what you should try before anything else (impo) is get yourself a quality dehumidifier.
You're gonna need one anyway, and the result may have you rethinking the entire painting idea.
Run a hose from it's drain fitting (usually on the back) to a floor drain so it can be left running w/o needing to dump the integral bucket all the time.

A small portable fan somewhere else in the basement, running on low just to keep the air moving, wouldn't hurt either.

32 posted on 02/27/2014 8:04:58 AM PST by tomkat (3%+1)
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To: newb2012

Investigate a Wave Ventilation System. I have used this in my very damp Crawl Space with excellent results - I now have it below 55 percent (humidity control) set at 55 percent.

It basically draws air from the living space - draws that air thru the basement space and exhausts it outside.

Ventilation System uses a lot less energy than a Dehumidifier and is quieter.


33 posted on 02/27/2014 8:44:05 AM PST by TNoldman (AN AMERICAN FOR A MUSLIM/BHO FREE AMERICA.)
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To: tomkat

That was a detailed estimate. Thanks. But I’m hiring a contractor. Will the numbers vary drastically if I don’t do DIY?


34 posted on 02/27/2014 8:54:02 AM PST by newb2012 (Fear distorts your vision. Often reality is much easier to deal with.)
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To: thackney; All

Thank you all very much for taking time on a busy weekday morning to share useful ideas . Very helpful information from my FR(iends) as usual. :)


35 posted on 02/27/2014 8:54:02 AM PST by newb2012 (Fear distorts your vision. Often reality is much easier to deal with.)
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To: tomkat

Do you have any recommendations of a particular model of a quality dehumidifier? Thanks in advance.


36 posted on 02/27/2014 8:54:02 AM PST by newb2012 (Fear distorts your vision. Often reality is much easier to deal with.)
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To: newb2012
I have this one, and am quite pleased with it:   Frigidaire FAD704DWD

As to non-dyi, it'll vary drastically given your geography, urban vs rural, contractor honesty, etc.
Ideally you've friends/acquaintances who've had similar work done and can recommend someone.
Failing that, there's really no quick/easy substitute for having guys in to estimate the job, comparing quotes, then rolling the dice.

The $3K you mentioned earlier is probably barkpark-ish, but it wouldn't surprise me in the least if you're quoted much more than that, esp. if you're urban.

Regardless, good luck with it.

37 posted on 02/27/2014 9:46:12 AM PST by tomkat (3%+1)
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To: newb2012

bookmark


38 posted on 02/27/2014 10:26:11 AM PST by jonno (Having an opinion is not the same as having the answer...)
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To: newb2012

Not much will adhere to an old concrete slab that has a constant supply of water feeding it.
.


39 posted on 02/27/2014 10:39:48 AM PST by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: KoRn
Most of the people at ‘Big Box’ type hardware stores tend to not have any real idea about what they’re selling, and earn a little over minimum wage.

At Home Depot, they will always answer your questions and suggest products, although they usually know nothing, on the rare occasions when I have had to go to one, I will ask them questions, and am usually amazed at the stupid answers, but they are always confidently given.

They never just say, "I don't know".

40 posted on 02/27/2014 10:50:20 AM PST by ansel12 (Ben Bradlee -- JFK told me that "he was all for people's solving their problems by abortion".)
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To: ansel12

They’re exactly the same way at Best Buy. Someone can go in there needing a device to achieve some sort of solution or goal, and one of their idiot employees will have them leaving with a $700 cart full of ‘stuff’, while a simple $15 part would have sufficed(I’ve seen that happen MANY times to people I do IT work for).

I suppose that’s a GREAT business model, assuming everyone is ignorant.(more so than the store employees)


41 posted on 02/27/2014 1:32:24 PM PST by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: KoRn

What hurts, is when Home Depot employees confidently give advice which is destructive and wrong, on matters that will cost a fortune to repair within just a few years.

As a contractor, I see Home Depot as a business that has had a devastating effect on American home repairs and remodeling over the last 30 years, they trashed the American home.


42 posted on 02/27/2014 1:54:39 PM PST by ansel12 (Ben Bradlee -- JFK told me that "he was all for people's solving their problems by abortion".)
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To: ansel12

Note how in my original remarks, I referred to one of their job requirements as having to “give authoritative bullshit answers”. They must SOUND like they know what they’re talking about. Which leads to the scenario you just explained.


43 posted on 02/27/2014 2:23:25 PM PST by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: ansel12

>> “As a contractor, I see Home Depot as a business that has had a devastating effect on American home repairs and remodeling over the last 30 years, they trashed the American home.” <<

.
And they have run off the legitimate operators in most locales.

In the Bay Area, it was Yard Birds that was the good operation, but Home Depot bought them out and shut them down.
.


44 posted on 02/27/2014 2:39:27 PM PST by editor-surveyor (Freepers: Not as smart as I'd hoped they'd be)
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To: tomkat; thackney

Back with more questions. I did get the dehumidifier that you recommended. Moisture level in my basement currently is below 30%. The contractor who came into do some other work feels (looking at the moisture levels and also since there is no visible presence of mold ) epoxy paint might be an overkill especially since I’ll be finishing the basement in a year or two. He thinks a couple of coats of concrete paint would work equally good. Appreciate any thoughts or suggestions.


45 posted on 03/17/2014 7:58:40 PM PDT by newb2012 (Fear distorts your vision. Often reality is much easier to deal with.)
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To: newb2012
The Epoxy-Seal product I detailed at some length above is a durable, affordable middle option between plain floor paint and full blown epoxy when applied properly, impo.

You're going to find that any reputable coating intended for concrete will BLARE AT YOU on the directions the need for etching prior to painting bare concrete.
Granted it's a time-consuming chore, but it's ignored at peril of wasting coating money and applicator's time.
(not to mention voiding any possible warranty claim)

Glad to hear the dehumidifier is working out for ya .. good luck with the floor.

46 posted on 03/17/2014 9:30:35 PM PDT by tomkat
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To: newb2012

It is dry now because it is exposed to air that is being dried by the humidifier.

When you finish off the basement, I expect you will have some type of barrier, paneling, wallboard, etc that will prevent your dehumidifier from adequately keeping that surface dry.

You have not stopped the moisture intrusions. The dehumidifier is just drying it up as fast as it comes in. As long as the surfaces are exposed, this works fine.

If you are going to cover up that porous block and concrete, preventing the direct drying action on the surface, you should expect mold behind the walls you put up.

Unless that “concrete paint” is a complete moisture barrier, I would not use it.


47 posted on 03/18/2014 4:39:59 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: thackney; tomkat

Thank you for your quick reply. Is it necessary to use a moisture barrier on the walls too? I feel it is because most part of the wall is underground too.


48 posted on 03/18/2014 6:44:46 AM PDT by newb2012 (Fear distorts your vision. Often reality is much easier to deal with.)
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To: newb2012

I would think so as well.

The lowest points will have the highest moisture level.

I don’t know your soil and conditions. But you had a problem prior. I would want to be sure the problems was sufficiently protected before I spent money putting other finishing on top of it that would be damaged by mold growth.

My 2¢


49 posted on 03/18/2014 7:32:36 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: newb2012; thackney
Your main enemy below grade is a critter called efflorescence .. you'd be well-served spending an hour reading up on it.

All I can do is relate the experience I've had treating the basement in my home and several others.
This place has 140LF of exterior walls and 100LF of interior walls (both sides), so using it as an example:

After proper prep work, I applied 2 coats of DryLok to the exterior walls, taking care to get as many of the pinholes as possible.
After that thoroughly dried, I went over them again with an exterior latex semi-gloss, and did two coats of the same semi-gloss on the interior walls.

I'd agree with thackney re the problems inherent in covering concrete block below grade with other wall materials eg drywall/paneling/etc.
Tho prop prep and DryLok or similar will keep it to a minimum, there'll always be some moisture, hence your shiny new dehumdifier.

I'm not affiliated in any way with either or SealKrete or DryLok other than having used them with good results professionally.
You should still read up on effloresence, but additionally DryLok has a good web page here with a step by step overview of the hows and whys of the process.

I've had zero leaks in ten years, and only this past autumn gave them all a single coat of the semi-gloss latex only.
Tho that was only because I'm out in the country next to a big corn/dairy operation and microdust is a fact of life, weekly vacuuming notwithstanding.
But that's a rant for another day .. lol !

50 posted on 03/18/2014 8:05:16 AM PDT by tomkat
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