Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Machine for cleaning basement concrete floor?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Granby, Connecticut - on the Mass border
    Posts
    287

    Machine for cleaning basement concrete floor?

    Folks - I need to scrub a basement concrete floor prior to repainting/waterproofing, and am looking for suggestions as to equipment with which to do this. The floor currently has two layers of paint-type stuff (I think the top layer might be something like Dry-loc ), which is peeling up in some areas, and there are some areas of efflorescence. Also, the floor is very rough and irregular generally, and hasn't been cleaned beyond minor sweeping in like 20 years. .

    So, I need something that can do a good scrub on all that. I am not trying to remove the paint that is holding on well, nor am I trying to grind down the concrete at all. There seem to be a variety of devices (home depot rental stuff here:https://www.homedepot.com/c/floor_ca...oating-removal which are attached to rotary floor "polisher" type machines, but it's hard to tell which might be best for this job, and I thought I'd see who has done this and what you used.

    Many years ago I did this for a much smaller area by hand, just using a hand sprayer and manual scrubbing and a shop vac to clean up, and it worked ok, but this is a much larger area - and my back is a lot older now. I don't mind buying (vs renting) if the cost is reasonable. Due to the amount of stuff we have in the basement that there is nowhere to move it to, we will have to do this job in a couple of rounds, so I might end up renting twice, which might make buying the better option.

    Thanks for all suggestions, thoughts, pointers to specific equipment etc.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,896
    When I bought one of those 12x18 ROS floor sanders the seller told me you could use the sanding screens on concrete. I got it on C-list about $400. Works great on wood floors. I know for epoxy on concrete they use a chain flail machine. Sandblasing is also used. You coud do it inside a tent with a cutout floor.
    They make concrete grinding disks for angle sanders to use on concrete. You might search for terazzo tools?
    Bill D.

    https://sacramento.craigslist.org/tl...744657707.html
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 11-10-2018 at 5:36 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    208
    I've done it twice and it's been so long I can't remember exactly what the equipment was, but it was probably a scrub brush on a long handle together with a mop. Both times it was old unpainted concrete and I used muriatic acid prior to painting. The paint worked very well. One was a garage and the other was a basement. The basement was brutal. You would need serious ventilation if you use acid but it would get the floor prepped.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    2,863
    Some good rental places rent carbide disks for floor buffers. A floor buffer turns so slow that it doesn't put a whole lot of dust in the air, if you don't swing it back, and forth so fast. They come in various "grits", and can take anything off down to bare concrete. Most of the work is done standing, running the machine, so it's also the easiest way.

    I have my own buffer, but did rent a disk once, so maybe not the most experienced user to give advice.
    https://www.amazon.com/Tungsten-Carb.../dp/B00HVEMY02

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Anaheim, California
    Posts
    5,737
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    have my own buffer, but did rent a disk once, so maybe not the most experienced user to give advice.
    Since most people have never touched a floor buffer, you have way more experience than most.
    Watching someone use a floor buffer for the first time always has great comedy potential.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    2,863
    Just don't fight it. A light push down on the handle moves it one way, to the right or left, and a slight lift goes the other way. I can't remember which is which until I squeeze the handle. To go forward, or backward, you put opposite twists on the handle. All those forces load one side of the disk enough that it grabs slightly more to send it in a particular direction. All of it requires only a light touch, and an even lighter touch with something like the carbide toothed disk, that grabs harder.

    Practice with just the brush first. Typically, under the motor there is a brush that bayonets on, with no more attachment than the rotation. Under the brush can go all sorts of things. Usually, a thick Scotchbrite type pad just sits under the brush. Those pads are used for anything from scrubbing a floor, to driving a sanding screen (or other type sanding disk). There are two wheels on a buffer. When the buffer is sitting on the brush, the wheels are off the floor. You just push down on the handle, and roll the machine into place so it can pivot down onto whatever you are using under it.

    If I'm remembering correctly (been some years) the carbide disk bayoneted onto the motor shaft like a brush does. It went right through old, mulitple coats of paint, and who knows what else had been dripped on that floor. It also did a lot of smoothing out of a low quality concrete finish. Pretty fast too.

    I have mainly used the buffer, for decades, for final sanding of floors, and between floor finish coats. They aren't hard to operate. Just don't try to muscle it.

    edited to add: The handle height is adjustable, and you can't really rest the weight of your arms on it, so I set it pretty low, like down about my hip flexor height, so I can relax my arms, just hanging down.
    Last edited by Tom M King; 11-10-2018 at 9:55 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,896
    Any method is either going to make concrete dust or water mist everywhere. Every thing needs to be rust protected or covered to stop dust. How long will it take for it all to dry out this time of year in your climate.
    The wife will not be happy if you, or the kids/dog, track concrete dust or slurry into the house so be prepared to strip down and hose off outside.
    Bill D.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Anaheim, California
    Posts
    5,737
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    The wife will not be happy if you, or the kids/dog, track concrete dust or slurry into the house so be prepared to strip down and hose off outside.
    That should be fun: it's mid-November and OP lives in Connecticut.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    3,803
    I rented a machine similar to a floor buffer to smooth my concrete floor. It had abrasive blocks mounted to the disk. I am not sure how well it would work with a painted floor.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Granby, Connecticut - on the Mass border
    Posts
    287
    Thanks folks. I may buy a small machine and just take my time with this. There's something made by Oreck called a multi-orbiter, which takes a variety of pads and scrubbers. Here it is:
    https://www.cleanfreak.com/brands/or...r-package.html

    You can see the scrubber rings also in the picture. Again, I am looking for something to do the equivalent of me with a heavy-duty scrub brush (and a cup of coffee!). I assume it will be slow, but being able to work for an hour at a time works better for me than pushing to get done in a day because it's a rental. Not trying to smooth the floor or strip the paint that is still sticking well.

    We'll see how well it does....

    Ken

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    2,863
    That looks like it works exactly the same way as regular floor buffers do, only smaller. Those same types of attachments are available for any of the various sizes of "pro" buffers. I would advise to try to find a 16" floor buffer.

    They're always on craigslist, and the motors are built to last almost forever. Mine is over 30 years old, and all I've ever done is plugged it in to use it. The cord has a few cracks in it, from age, but not bad enough to replace yet.

    If you go up to a 16", it opens up a world of other possibilities for things to run under it. They come in larger sizes, but a 16" (what I have) is plenty big enough, unless you were running it every day. It will be a lot heavier than that little one though. My 16" probably weighs 80 lbs. The wheels make it easy to move around though, and the tires are non-marking for getting up, and down steps.

    If you buy one off CL, you could probably do your job with it, and turn around and sell it for what you have in it.

    Do a google search for "16" floor buffer" , and you should find out all sorts of things about what's available, and probably youtube videos doing various things with them, including what you want to do. I'm thinking all the little one will do is clean the floor.

    The newer ones have a dust collection port on the top. If you have a DC in your shop, you could use it to great advantage. I had thought that if I ever needed to, that I wouldn't hesitate to cut a hole in the top of mine, and put a 4" port on it.
    Last edited by Tom M King; 11-12-2018 at 10:41 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    1,217
    Rent the buffer and carbide disk for 4 hours or a day and get it over with. Keep the floor wet and clean up with a wet/dry vac when you're done. Those little home floor polishers are a joke, it will take forever and do a terrible job. With the right tool you'll be done in a couple hours

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •