Sealing your concrete floor is relatively inexpensive when you do it yourself. Various concrete sealers are manufactured for easy application, designed for homeowner use. Sealers protect your concrete floor from weather exposure, grease, salt and oil stains. Before sealing your concrete floor, first thoroughly clean the surface and remove as many stains as possible.
Before beginning this home improvement project, empty the room of all items. Sealing a concrete floor requires its surface is free of dirt and debris. Thoroughly sweep the floor using a stiff-bristled broom. Applying a degreaser to the surface helps remove oils and oil stains from the surface that would otherwise be highlighted by the sealer. A mop is ideal to apply the degreaser and scrub its surface. Heavy stains might require scrubbing with a stiff-bristled brush to remove the stain. After rinsing the floor with clean water, allow it to dry completely.
Fast-setting concrete patch is ideal for filling cracks, holes and crevices in the concrete surface. The material is easy to apply using a putty knife and caulk gun. Filling the imperfections in the concrete surface not only provides a smooth surface, but also eliminates larger cracks the sealer cannot fill. Repairing cracks also helps prevent radon gas from seeping into your home, which is a known carcinogen.
Choosing a Sealer
A wide range of sealing products is available. Selecting the correct type may prove to be a daunting task. Understanding the basic types can help you choose the right one. Penetrating sealers penetrate the concrete to provide maximum protection. Penetrating sealers are capable of protecting concrete surfaces for years. Topical sealers only protect the surface of the concrete. These types of sealers provide significantly less protection over a shorter life span than penetrating sealers.
The most common method to apply sealer to a concrete floor involves the use of a garden sprayer. The sprayer applies a consistent amount of material evenly to the surface. Some manufacturers recommend back-rolling sprayed surfaces, or using a paint roller to apply the sealer. Application methods vary greatly between manufacturers. You should adhere to manufacturer instructions listed on the bottle when applying the sealer.
Some sealers contain solvents that emit high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOC) that can be harmful if inhaled. Always wear a respirator when applying sealers. Use sealers in well-ventilated areas, and follow the warnings provided by the manufacturer. Protective eye gear and gloves should be worn at all times when applying sealers. Allow the sealer to dry thoroughly before occupying the area.