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Dennis M. Smith
Dennis M. Smith, Construction Consultant
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 1712
Experience:  Over 40 yrs. as General Contractor for new const. & remodel - retired with time for you.
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My basement floor is crumbling in large places. What can I

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My basement floor is crumbling in large places. What can I do to fix this so that I can finish my basement?


Question Do you have problems with water either coming in at the base of the basement or coming up through the floor???

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

We did have water at one point but have sloped the gound outside and make sure that the water is going away from the house.

The previous owner was an elderly woman that let the water softner drain on the concrete for a few years. The water would eventually make it to the drain but now we have the salt eating the concrete it seems?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Is the only solution to rip out the concrete and replace it? What about the salt that seems to be eating the there a product we can put on the concrete to stop the damage?

Your problem can be solved without ripping out any concrete. Masonry products are available today to deal with this exact situation. However, the key to a successful repair and a long lasting one is the preparation needed before the new finish. The bad concrete first needs any crumbling removed. This can be done with a steel wire brush and a shop vac. Next step is an acid wash and etching of the bad areas and about 8 inches past the bad edges. The product for this is "Muriatic Acid." It's readily available at masonry supply stores or the concrete depts. of the home improvement stores. Start out with 1 gallon but not knowing the sq. footage of your damaged area it could take more. Mix the acid with water at a ratio of one quart acid to 1 gallon of water. NOTE: Always pour acid into water and not vice versa. Also wear protective eye glasses, long sleeve shirts, and gloves. Pour this mixture at a location furthest away from the drain a little at a time. Using an old broom or regular squeegee spread the acid and water down and around the damaged concrete. As it fills in the rough areas let it sit. It may foam a little and give off fumes so avoid inhaling these fumes as much as possible. (Open some basement windows and if possible point a fan to the outside) Once the entire damage and a little wider has been sitting about 5 minutes begin flushing into the drain. Again, using the bucket, start at the original starting point and gently pour several gallons of plain water over all the acid covered areas. If you have a hose connection in the basement use it for this without a nozzle. When this is done pour or run the hose directly into the drain for a good 5 to 10 gallons more.

Now for the finish: The product is "Qwik Crete" and the type is labeled for "topping." Also readily available at the same stores as the acid. First tape of the drain and then trowel on the cement. As you reach the edges of the damaged areas sort of "skim coat" just past the edges.

Sounds like a lot of work but it's really not. It's just explaining how to do this is pretty lengthy.

Good luck with your project and you may select the "Accept" button at this point but if necessary continue to ask questions about this. Dennis (cut2it)

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

How thin can the "Qwik Crete" be without chipping or cracking again? We are planning on covering the concrete with the rubber backed tongue glove tiles (Dri-core subfloor) after we have the concrete problem fixed.


We have never done the muric acid treatment first but we did clean a small area and covered with a quick crete floor leveler and it only lasted about 1 year before it started to chip or release in places?

The old concrete must be pre prepped in order for a new surfacing to work. The floor leveling product might have worked with the prep work first and then using an acrylic bonding agent for a primer. Now you will need to get rid of the leveling agent as much as possible. For the places it has adhered and is in good condition you may just "skim" trowel over those places. This "top coating" I've suggested will apply and adhere to as little as 1/16th inch. With proper prep work of course. Actually if you want more insurance purchase a bottle of the acrylic bonding agent and apply as per the directions on the container. Dennis (cut2it)
Dennis M. Smith, Construction Consultant
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 1712
Experience: Over 40 yrs. as General Contractor for new const. & remodel - retired with time for you.
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