cleaning the cement slab

As part of our trash removal, we pulled up the ram board that as been covering the concrete slab floor in the basement. To our dismay, there were many dirty footprints and stains on the slab, especially in the bathroom, bedrooms, and hallway.

We tried many different attempts to sand it out – different grits of sand paper and different sanding machines.

We rented a big disk floor sander and the moment I powered it up it bucked off to the side leaving a big dent in our new bathroom wall. Matt and I wrestled with that thing and chewed through four sanding sheets before calling Wallace to get it out of our sight. What a frustrating piece of machinery!

I went back to trying to remove the stains with Wallace’ hand sander. It was hopeless and I was in despair. I took a break, imagining how much it would cost to put flooring down, money we do not have, and was near tears when Matt came down with a yogurt container of laundry soap mixed with water. He poured this onto a stained area and ran the sander into the wet mixture. The stain came up!

I poured water into a used laundry soap bottle and took it downstairs and sand/washed all the badly stained floors, working until 9 last night. This morning I just have the front half of the suite to do, and there are no stains in that area, so it should go a little faster.

I would never have thought of sanding with water, but it leaves a very nice polish and there is no dust. I am mopping up the cleaned floors with several rinses of plain water.

By the end of the day my back and shoulders were aching, but I had half the suite cleaned and I should be able to apply the sealant at the end of the day today. I can’t wait.


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