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  1. #1
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    Another concrete question...

    After reading Jeremy's thread, there seem to be a number of concrete experts here. My issue is not quite as pleasant as Jeremy's...

    The previous owner of my house let her pet (dog or cat, I'm not sure) use the garage as a bathroom. She was terminally ill and had numerous physical difficulties, so I can understand why it happened.

    There really is no problem in the winter months when the humidity is down, other than the stains (which are also harder to see when the humidity is down). I bought the house in the winter, and the garage was full of junk, so the problem wasn't apparent.

    However, spring, summer, and fall are different stories. As soon as the humidity goes up, the humidity activates the urine spots and the nasty smell comes. This is not just one spot either...it's all over the entire floor.

    I've tried several of the enzyme treatments (as that was the easiest) but they seem to do no good. I've searched hours on the Internet. The general internet consensus is that enzyme treatments don't usually work on large areas that have been repeatedly stained, because of the sheer amount of urine that porous concrete can absorb. There seems to be general agreement that the floor first needs to be "washed" with some kind of acid, and then sealed with a special sealer (there are a couple of different brands that seem to be frequently recommended for dealing with pet-stained concrete).

    Crackwise, the floor is in excellent shape. If it was cracked, I'd just tear it out and start over, but I hate to destroy a floor that is in good mechanical shape.

    Does anybody have any suggestions for dealing with this situation. The garage is a typical two car garage. Is the acid wash the best approach? Is there some method for cutting down the concrete and pouring a new top layer? I've called and left messages with several local residential concrete contractors, but have never recieved a response back, so I'm guessing this isn't a thrilling thing to deal with.

    Thanks!


    Last edited by jbhtexas; 03-12-2008 at 05:04 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Another concrete question...

    Seal it with an epoxy garage concrete paint? It should cover the stains and seal in the smells.



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    Re: Another concrete question...

    I would also second the Epoxy its the easiest and cheapest way to go. Concrete is always going to be a little porous so im sure the odors seep out in the humidity the Epoxy should seal the top alot better. You could use the acid but im not sure if it will get all of the odors out. Taking the top layer of the concrete off and putting a top layer on is risky and expensive.


    Occam's Razor means 'With all things being equal , the simplest explanation/answer is normally the right one'


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    Re: Another concrete question...

    But that will make a great story @ work I wasn't aware urine and dung make such a lasting effect on concrete


    Occam's Razor means 'With all things being equal , the simplest explanation/answer is normally the right one'


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    Re: Another concrete question...

    Quote Originally Posted by C.John View Post
    Seal it with an epoxy garage concrete paint? It should cover the stains and seal in the smells.
    I've read that the issue with just doing a seal without first doing some kind of acid wash is that the epoxy may not bond to the floor well in the "heavy" spots, and come off quickly. Don't know if that's the case, but some have reported that.


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    Re: Another concrete question...

    Quote Originally Posted by jbhtexas View Post
    I've read that the issue with just doing a seal without first doing some kind of acid wash is that the epoxy may not bond to the floor well in the "heavy" spots, and come off quickly. Don't know if that's the case, but some have reported that.
    that's true, you will want to do an acid wash beforehand to clean off the dirt as well as "rough up" the concrete so it will bond better.



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    Re: Another concrete question...

    If you buy one of the kits it usually comes with the cleaner. This is my second garage where I've used epoxy. I got tan this time but I think I prefer the gray color.



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    Re: Another concrete question...

    Try this
    1. Choose a good cleaning mechanism. Even if there is a floor drain, using a shop-vac, carpet cleaning machine or water-tolerant vacuum cleaner like a Rainbow will improve your results and reduce the effort considerably. Sponge mops and squeegees will work, but not nearly as well.
    2. Choose the right cleaning product. The very best cleaning product to use is TSP (tri sodium phosphate, not the substitute). Other acceptable cleaners are Simple Green, or laundry detergent. Mix the cleaning product as per the instructions and apply it to a 4'x 10' section of floor. Spread it around with a stiff bristle floor brush or broom. If area begins to dry out, add more mixture. After 3 to 5 minutes, remove the spent cleaner and rinse with fresh water once or twice. The goal here is to open the pores of the concrete, which, despite its hard appearance is very porous, and remove as much of the urine residue as possible. Trying to do very large areas to save time generally makes the contaminated area larger and more difficult to treat.
    3. Allow the cleaned area to dry naturally over night, without fans. The next day inspect the area for white powder and if found, take note of the exact area. Vacuum up the powder and re-wash the area as described above. The area(s) where the powder is found is/are heavily contaminated and will need special attention later.
    4. Use a clean deck or yard sprayer; to spray a maximum 4' x 10' area of floor with a mixture of 4 ounces of OdorXit Concentrate, 12 ounces of Hoover or Dirt Devil Carpet cleaner, and water to make a gallon of mixture. Spray enough mixture on the concrete to cause the mixture to be standing on the surface for 10 minutes. When an area appears to be drying out, apply more mixture. Pay close attention to any area that had the white powder earlier. The concrete should be absorbing the mixture readily. If it is not, more aggressive cleaning may be necessary. Repeat this procedure for each section of the floor and allow all sections to dry naturally.
    5. Check to see if you need to apply it again. Normally, one application will be completely successful, but there are situations with very heavy contamination that may need a second treatment.
    6. Cleaning excrement-contaminated concrete with a pressure washer can make removing the odor much more difficult, especially if the water from the pressure washer is directed at the concrete at higher than 45 degrees and/or a narrow angle nozzle is used. It actually drives the material causing the odor deeper into the concrete, making it more difficult to get to and neutralize.
    7. Used deck and yard sprayers often have residue left in them that will cause the concrete to smell of the products left in the sprayer.
    8. Wood that is nailed to the floor and wooden steps may need special attention because urine contamination tends to collect between the wood and the concrete.
    9. Often, when cleaning and/or deodorizing concrete, small bubbles will appear in the liquid in the floor. The bubbles are filled with mercaptan gas (the stuff that causes the odor). If there is a continuing odor problem, the areas where the bubbles came from are the areas where the problem resides.
    10. Attempting to seal odors into concrete is destined to fail because the gas (odor) being produced will go through most stain sealers or cause the ones that do seal gas in to peel off.
    What you will need:

    A clean 1 gallon deck or yard sprayer
    A water-tolerant vacuum cleaner
    4 ounces of OdorXit Concentrate per 250 sq ft of floor
    1 cup of TSP per 200 sq ft of floor
    12 ounces of Hoover or Dirt Devil Carpet per 250 sq ft of floor



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    Re: Another concrete question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave19642006 View Post
    Try this
    1. Choose a good cleaning mechanism. Even if there is a floor drain, using a shop-vac, carpet cleaning machine or water-tolerant vacuum cleaner like a Rainbow will improve your results and reduce the effort considerably. Sponge mops and squeegees will work, but not nearly as well.
    2. Choose the right cleaning product. The very best cleaning product to use is TSP (tri sodium phosphate, not the substitute). Other acceptable cleaners are Simple Green, or laundry detergent. Mix the cleaning product as per the instructions and apply it to a 4'x 10' section of floor. Spread it around with a stiff bristle floor brush or broom. If area begins to dry out, add more mixture. After 3 to 5 minutes, remove the spent cleaner and rinse with fresh water once or twice. The goal here is to open the pores of the concrete, which, despite its hard appearance is very porous, and remove as much of the urine residue as possible. Trying to do very large areas to save time generally makes the contaminated area larger and more difficult to treat.
    3. Allow the cleaned area to dry naturally over night, without fans. The next day inspect the area for white powder and if found, take note of the exact area. Vacuum up the powder and re-wash the area as described above. The area(s) where the powder is found is/are heavily contaminated and will need special attention later.
    4. Use a clean deck or yard sprayer; to spray a maximum 4' x 10' area of floor with a mixture of 4 ounces of OdorXit Concentrate, 12 ounces of Hoover or Dirt Devil Carpet cleaner, and water to make a gallon of mixture. Spray enough mixture on the concrete to cause the mixture to be standing on the surface for 10 minutes. When an area appears to be drying out, apply more mixture. Pay close attention to any area that had the white powder earlier. The concrete should be absorbing the mixture readily. If it is not, more aggressive cleaning may be necessary. Repeat this procedure for each section of the floor and allow all sections to dry naturally.
    5. Check to see if you need to apply it again. Normally, one application will be completely successful, but there are situations with very heavy contamination that may need a second treatment.
    6. Cleaning excrement-contaminated concrete with a pressure washer can make removing the odor much more difficult, especially if the water from the pressure washer is directed at the concrete at higher than 45 degrees and/or a narrow angle nozzle is used. It actually drives the material causing the odor deeper into the concrete, making it more difficult to get to and neutralize.
    7. Used deck and yard sprayers often have residue left in them that will cause the concrete to smell of the products left in the sprayer.
    8. Wood that is nailed to the floor and wooden steps may need special attention because urine contamination tends to collect between the wood and the concrete.
    9. Often, when cleaning and/or deodorizing concrete, small bubbles will appear in the liquid in the floor. The bubbles are filled with mercaptan gas (the stuff that causes the odor). If there is a continuing odor problem, the areas where the bubbles came from are the areas where the problem resides.
    10. Attempting to seal odors into concrete is destined to fail because the gas (odor) being produced will go through most stain sealers or cause the ones that do seal gas in to peel off.
    What you will need:

    A clean 1 gallon deck or yard sprayer
    A water-tolerant vacuum cleaner
    4 ounces of OdorXit Concentrate per 250 sq ft of floor
    1 cup of TSP per 200 sq ft of floor
    12 ounces of Hoover or Dirt Devil Carpet per 250 sq ft of floor
    Can you go into more detail on what needs to be done. This explanation is a little too vague for me to follow......... [sarcasm]

    Good post......



  10. #10
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    Re: Another concrete question...

    and have a case of beer I forgot to add that -sorry I was still in ephoria about the ISU Basketball game



  11. #11
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    Re: Another concrete question...

    use a bunch of bleach? that's what we used to do for nasty smells at some of the places I worked and if bleach doesn't kill it then that is one tough stain!


    Go Cubs Go!

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    Re: Another concrete question...

    An important tip when applying an epoxy overlay, or anything to a floor- start at the back wall and work your way towards the door. Or if you start at the door and work your way back, have that case of beer sitting at the back wall because you may be there for awhile!



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