The chemistry of floor preparation
you wash your clothes, you put your shirt in the wash with water that has a pH
of about 6.5 or 7. Then you add your laundry detergent and it raises the pH to
about 8. This change in pH is one of the actions that helps drive dirt away from
the fabric. You donít want to move the pH too much, however, because the fibers in your
shirt will only take so much abuse.
Now let's talk about concrete. In many ways, concrete is more durable and
chemically resistant than is a shirt. That means that for concrete we need to
move the pH down to about 4 and then shock the floor by jumping the pH to around
12 so that contaminants let go of the concrete. In fact, with this shock, a
little concrete also usually lets go. Have you ever walked over concrete with
your socks on and seen them get dusty? If we try to stick a floor coating to
particles that can come off when you walk over them, we are not going to have a
durable surface coating.
There are really two kinds of dirt,
some react to high pH, like fats and oils, some to low pH, like minerals, rust,
and concrete. By moving from a high pH to a low pH cleaner, you remove both
families of dirt. Donít forget to stop the chemical reactions with a couple of
thorough scrub rinses, so that reactive gases are no longer being generated. In
short, use specialty cleaners to make the job go faster, be cheaper, and produce
better end results.
So the idea when preparing a floor
for a flow-coated surface is to be sure that what the coating is sticking to
will not want to move. But where do you get such powerful cleaners that they
will help create big jumps in pH without damaging you or the surface? These
powerful cleaners are strong enough to create "dishpan hands." And if they
saturate your clothing and remain wet in contact with your skin long enough,
they can create red spots and even pH burns. Fortunately, these cleaners dilute
easily with water, and adults will usually recognize a little tingle on the skin
from a wet spot, and then rinse before any lasting irritation occurs.
Big box stores usually donít want
to carry these powerful cleaners because they cannot control who buys them in
their over-the-counter environments. These stores do not want to shoulder the
liability of selling to children who may not be used to working with strong
chemical solutions. This is why these specialty cleaners are usually sold only
by specialty companies that have a customer base of responsible adults.
Contractors and experienced professionals who regularly use strong tools to
reduce their work time are able to safely produce the intended end results.
For more than 40 years, Durall has been making specialty-cleaning chemicals for
cleaning log cabin timbers, refrigerator coils, artificial heart valves, and
nearly 400 specialty uses. Two of these products have proven invaluable in the
application of floor coatings. Using Durall's Degrease Rite emulsifies
the grease and fats and brings out oils and contaminants that react to high
Then shifting immediately to Durall's Dura Klean with
its water softeners and penetrants, brings the surface pH down to a low pH of
nearly 3. Next a couple of fresh water scrub rinses stop the chemical action and
usually leave the floor at just a slightly acidic pH around 6. That pH creates
the squeaky feeling on many surfaces that helps adhesives and coatings adhere
For a detailed quote of materials needed to accomplish these repairs, please
visit our free cost analysis page at
For more information, contact Chris Biesanz
at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1-800-466-8910 or 952-888-1488
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