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Newly stained concrete floor -- blushing? keeps turning chalky white

9 replies [Last post]
Python49
User offline. Last seen 1 year 11 weeks ago.

We have a newly concrete stained floor for a house we're building that's been sealed and even after we continually mop it, the floor will very quickly just attract some kind of dust that whitens the color of the floor. Does it need to be re-sealed? Any ideas? Someone said that it's "blushing", but I'm unfamiliar with what that is or how to fix it.

Lindy A.
User offline. Last seen 10 hours 33 min ago.
I'm really not following you

I'm really not following you ... do you have a dusty sort substance (that could be filtering down on it from air ducts/etc onto the shiney decorative concrete surface); or, it is a whitish deposit that is appearing on the surface that is probably efflorescence (efflorescense is due to moisture/vapor transference up from within the slab to the surface of your floor; if you touch a wet finger to it then touch it to your tongue does it have a salty taste, if yes then we can discuss this).  I don't believe your floor is blushing. 

 

What type of sealer was the floor sealed with (water or solvent based vapor permeable acrylic, 100% solids epoxy, urethane, etc?  How many coats.  How soon was it sealed after concrete was poured/finished (concrete must have an adequate amount of time to go through the hydration process; typically 28 days; before sealing). 

It may be that cleaning and applying an additional coat will resolve you situation if the surface does not have an adequate amount of coats/mil build; dust filtering down into micro-fine profile of the surface if it is not glass smooth.

 

Just don't have enough information to asnwer what you are trying to explain in order to come with a cause and remedy.

 

Lindy A.

Python49
User offline. Last seen 1 year 11 weeks ago.
Hey thanks for the feedback,

Hey thanks for the feedback, here's pictures of the surface before mopping it (although this area has been mopped many times and always go back to this look):

Here's how it looks when mopped:

The floor was stained and sealed definitely more than 28 days after the cement was poured.  The sealer used was:

http://www.quikretecoatings.com/products/Clear%20Top%20Coats%20&%20Seale...

I didn't taste the chalky stuff on the floor but could if it's helpful lol.  What's going on? 

Lindy A.
User offline. Last seen 10 hours 33 min ago.
It looks to me as if there is

It looks to me as if there is not a sufficient amount of sealer on the floor. The sealer you applied (per technical data specification I reviewed) was a very low solids formulation (as to resin content).  A majority of the wet sealer you applied (due to low resin/solids) evapoarted up/out/away as it dried (ergo: very low mil build of sealer actually left on your surface).  I believe that when you mop it, you are just redistributing/spreading the fine dust that entered into the non-adequately sealed surface around (that appears again as soon as the surface dries.  Recommend that you mix 1 lb TSP (tri-sodium phosphate, you can purchase at any hardware store, Home Depot, Lowes, etc) with 1 gallon of very warm water; scrub the surface with a soft bristle push broom, rinse thoroughly (several times), allow to dry "completely." 

 

When dry, apply at least one more coat of sealer, perhaps two (note: I have not used the sealer you applied; you need to read and follow the instructions for application of additional coats). 

 

Lindy A.

Python49
User offline. Last seen 1 year 11 weeks ago.
ok thank you, will try this

ok thank you, will try this out.  Question though, after washing with TSP and rinsing several times and then letting dry, should I go through with sealing it even if after all that when it dries it looks the same as here?  It sounds like you're saying that dust entered into the sealer that we applied but I'm confused since, if it's in the sealer why would the dust move when mopped if it's sealed in?

Also, if this is dust that's trapped underneath sealer, is the TSP what gets it out?  Just wondering what the TSP and rinsing does to fix this.

Lindy A.
User offline. Last seen 10 hours 33 min ago.
I'm going to try 1 more time

I'm going to try 1 more time to clear up your confusion.  Concrete is like a porous sponge ... your sponge (concrete slab) was not full (saturated) with sealer.  You applied low solids sealer (about 25% resins); after you applied the wet sealer about 75% of the sealer you applied evaporated up/out of the substrate and off your floor surface.  Since the pores of the concrete were not full (sponge not saturated) there were tiny pinholes left in the sealer.  Whitish particles (debris) settled down into the pinholes (left from not having enough sealer).  You ca not mop them up out of the pinholes/pores in the concrete any more than you could mop flour up out of lava rock (therefore, you need o scrub the floor) ... mopping, especially if the mop is contaminated with dust particles in it, and the floor is not thoroughly flushed with plenty of fresh/clean water, you are not doing anything but moving them around (when the floor is wet they may seem to disappear, but as soon as the surface dries you will see them again!).  

 

This issue could be compouned by rising vapor/effloresence issues (white/powdery like salty composite); if this is the case, scrubbing with the TSP/warm water solution will remove the effloresence deposits.  Of course, cleaning will not remove the whitish particles/deposits/residue if they are trapped within or under the sealer ... if this is actually the case you will need to strip all the sealer (which is an entirely different case that I am not going into right now). 

 

Please just clean the floor as I have instructed.  Rinse thoroughly (if you have a shop vac to suck dusty rinse water up and out of the pinholes left from inadequate amount of sealer us it (instead of a contaminated/dusty mop that serves no purposed).  When the surface is dry it will still have a dull, non-vibrant appearance and a certain degree of whitish cast ... but, do a small test area with another coat of your original sealer; within an hour or so you will be able to evaluate whether it solved the problem (if it did, apply 2 more coats over the entire floor); READ the label and heed instructions for subsequent coats of sealer being applied after the initial coat has cured out; some have windows of time or certain procedures to follow when doing so.  If the test area does not result in satisfactory results than what you are are seeing is entrapped either beneath the sealer or within it (this would require stripping the sealer and reapplying 2-3 coats of new sealer).

 

Lindy A.  

VDR928
User offline. Last seen 2 years 51 weeks ago.
Our problem, too?

This appears to perhaps be our problem with the poolhouse (I just posted that today with questions/photos about our cloudy finish).  We, too, waited at least 28 days (like 6 weeks) before staining.  My question is: we also have 3-4 coats of wax on top of the sealer.  Initially it all looked perfect but after the first night it turned cloudy (like wax had not stayed "clear" but reverted back to cloudy as when it was in the bottle)?  Should we strip the wax, THEN use the TSP to reclean and proceed as above?  We used a solvent (Klear Koat with 25%) sealer.  We did a test spot (over the wax, in about a 4 inch area ) and it came out gorgeous and dried that way.  (I do know we shouldn't seal over the wax over the whole floor) but we were just trying to figure out which way to turn.. wax? Seal? Since we have no idea what made the floor turn from perfect to cloudy overnight we have no idea what we are trying to fix.  We still can't think of one thing we did wrong! ?? Please offer any advice! Thanks!

Lindy A.
User offline. Last seen 10 hours 33 min ago.
VDR ... you MUST strip the

VDR ... you MUST strip the wax ...BEFORE applying sealer.  Do not apply sealers over wax.  After you strip off all the wax, clean with any type of bio-degradable cleaner (or you can use TSP; 1 lb per gallon of warm water), rinse thoroughly, allow to dry completely, then apply another coat of sealer, allow it to cure/dry completely.  If you are going to apply wax over the sealer (as a sacrificial/maintenance coat) recommend you wait 24-48 hours before waxing ...ONLY wax interior floors; do NOT wax exterior surfaces that are exposed on any side to the to the elements of nature, and DO NOT apply sealers over wax.

*

Lindy A.

Python49
User offline. Last seen 1 year 11 weeks ago.
Well, Lindy's a great wealth

Well, Lindy's a great wealth of knowledge and the person to ask but I'll at least say that what she recommended to me for this floor worked.  I washed it with TSP and clean water, then added another coat of sealer and everything was good. 

kyro
User offline. Last seen 1 year 26 weeks ago.
my screwed up floor

my house is brand new built less than a year ago this is how my floors look all over the house. when we told the contractor he said this was caused by the chemicals in the swiffer cleaning mop we were using. I was a bit skeptical about these accusations about the almighty swiffer doing this much damage. so i had him redo the floors out of his pocket. After the floors were resealed he brought us some "special cleaner" to clean the floors with. I told my wife not to clean the floors at all and see what happens. And wouldnt you know it 2 months later happend again but came back worse this is what they look like