Many homeowners lack a finished basement. Unfortunately, over time, unfinished basements can begin to feel damp. Lime buildup on the basement's concrete floors is the cause. An acid wash removes the lime--helping your basement dry out. In addition, if you plan to paint your basement floors, acid-washing them beforehand ensures that your paint will adhere well to the concrete surface. Hiring a professional to perform an acid-wash treatment is often expensive. If you're careful, you can save money by performing the work yourself.
Things You'll Need
- Garden sprayer
- Plastic bucket
- Muriatic acid
- Pole broom
- Stiff-bristled brush
- Baking soda
Remove all furniture from your basement. Sweep the floor well with a broom, removing all debris from the concrete surface.
Dampen the floor, using a brush or broom or mist from a garden sprayer.
Open all windows, if they're present, and bring a fan down to the basement. Proper ventilation is a must since acid fumes are toxic and flammable.
Mix one part muriatic acid to 10 parts water in a plastic bucket. Add the acid to the water rather than the water to the acid, as this prevents a chemical reaction that can result in acid splashing out of the bucket and onto your clothing.
Apply the acid to the floor with a pole broom. Allow the acid mixture to sit on the floor for no more than a few minutes.
Rinse the floor well with water. Scrub away the acid with a stiff-bristled brush. Rinse the floor with clean water when you finish.
Sprinkle baking soda over the floor's surface. Add the ammonia to 1 gallon of water. Rinse the floor with this mixture to neutralize the acid.
Tips & Warnings
- A plastic bucket works best for this job since the muriatic acid can eat through other surfaces.
- Put on a respirator, acid-resistant gloves, coveralls and rubber boots when working with muriatic acid.
- Avoid acid-washing your basement floor if you plan to stain it. While acid-washing helps paint adhere better to concrete, it repels stain.
- Photo Credit concrete image by Empath from Fotolia.com
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