Cleaning drywall dust off unsealed concrete floor
(Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
Q. A couple of years ago I had to replace my concrete foundation floor in my basement. At the time we made the decision to have colored concrete in place of any other flooring surface. It was colored by the concrete people, a dark chocolate brown. We had the floor ready to go but did not seal it with anything. In the meantime we have had drywall work done which includes a lot of dust. We have repeatedly tried "deck" brushing, dry mopping, soap, water, vinegar even and it still leaves behind a white dust. When it is wet, it looks great, it dries unfortunately and doesn't look as good. Any thoughts on how to clean this?
A. Unsealed colored concrete usually will look kind of blotchy and white in spots, that's the nature of the material. It sounds like you have the floor about as clean as you can get it. If you wipe your hand over the surface and it is clean you can seal it, if not vacuum it before sealing.
Using a good film forming concrete sealer will give the concrete that "wet" look that you like when you were cleaning the concrete. The sealer will keep the concrete looking like this even after it has dried.
It looks like you have Stetson Building Products Inc. in your area. They sell a Decorative concrete sealer from Symons that will give you this wet look. It is a high gloss film forming sealer made for colored concrete.
After sealing the floor you can protect the sealer with a product called Pro Force High gloss floor finish. It's like a wax but easier to maintain. You can put 3 or 4 coats of this over the sealer, it dries very fast, and you should be good for 6 months before re-applying.
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