As with any remodelling project, preparation is key when remodelling your basement. One of the items many people forget to prep is the floor. Because many basements in older homes were never meant to be storage spaces, they often have concrete floors. This concrete may be pitted, painted or stained. Learning how to remove paint and stains as well as repair any damage to the floor is critical for any successful basement remodel.
Removing old paint and stains from the concrete floor of your basement is never a pleasant task. It can actually be very dangerous if the proper precautions are not taken. There are three main methods you can use to prepare your basement flooring.
Paint removers – most paint removers available at your local home improvement store will effectively remove old paint; however, the fumes produces by these products are noxious and dangerous, so proper ventilation and other safety precautions must be used. Follow product instructions carefully and where protective eye wear as well as gloves. A good tip to make this easier is to use a squeegee attached to a long handle. This will prevent you from having to get down on your hands and knees.
Wash Off Paint Removers – if your basement space has a good drainage system a wash off product may be your best bet. These products will remove the paint and can be flushed down the drain with water and a good squeegee. Be sure to remove any waxy build up left behind by these products as wax can make installing flooring difficult.
Sanding Away Paint and Stains – professional size sanders are available at most local home improvement stores which can make sanding stains and paint away a little easier. However this process is very noisy and messy so use it only if you want to avoid chemicals.
If the concrete floor of your basement seems to continually flake away into fine dust, you may need to harden the floor. Several products are available that will do this for you. Look for them at building supply stores or your local lumberyard. A successful application of one of these products will stop your floor from wearing away.
Another common problem is holes or cracks in the floor itself. Luckily, these are easily repaired using rubberized concrete. This is available at most home improvement stores and the product is easy to use. Be sure to chip away any loose or crumbling concrete away before applying the product as it will allow the rubberized concrete to adhere more effectively.
Taking the time to adequately prepare your floor will save you time in the long run. By having a surface that is clean of any stains or old paint and is free of cracks and holes, installing flooring will be much easier. Additionally, you will be able to install water vapour barriers as needed and install wall studs easier. Preparing your basement floor for a remodel is a crucial step that should not be forgotten.