I poured a concrete garage floor 7 days ago. My contractor told me to
seal it the next day, but neglected to tell me to get a product
designed for fresh concrete. I used Armor All Waterproofing Sealer 24
hours after the concrete was poured. The product says it contains
Petroleum Distillates. It's been 6 days now and (not surprisingly)
it's still wet.
I know I screwed up... but how badly? Did I damage the concrete? I'm
assuming I need to remove the sealer. What chemicals do I use? How
much will I need to remove the product from a 725 sq ft floor? Will
it be safe to wash the chemicals down my drain (which eventually
drains into a grassy field)?
Thanks for any advice!
What do you mean, still wet? Do you mean "still green"? Dark greenish grey
color, not yet turning whitish grey?
Actually the slower concrete cures, the stronger it is. The interior will cure
at its own rate regardless, but if the outer skin (surface) is allowed to cure
too fast (dry out) it will crack. Curing compounds slow the evaporation of
water from the surface and prevent cracking due to differential shrinkage of
the surface compared to the interior. The best way to cure is to continually
wet the surface, but that's hard to maintain over a period of days.
I'm not familiar with the sealer you mentioned, but I don't think it will hurt
anything. Certainly, don't try to remove it. That would be asking for
problems. Give it some time and the concrete will turn a whitish grey. At
worst, you may need to apply the sealer again.
email@example.com (Steve Miles) wrote in
Try contacting the manufacturer of the sealer and ask them for
recommendations. If there's any benefit to removing it (or just cleaning
the wet part off the surface), they should be able to tell you what the
best product would be for that purpose.
I thought I'd post a follow-up for the group. I called Armor All and
spoke to a knowledgable individual. He said the floor would
eventually cure, but it might take another week, or it might take 6
months. I followed his suggestion of using paint thinner to remove
the sealer. There was too much sealer to actually mop it up, so I
basically scrubbed the floor with a cotton mop and shop broom, then
washed the floor with a hose. It took about 4 gallons of paint
thinner for a 725 sq ft. He said I could use mineral spirits, but the
paint thinner was cheaper if the area was well-ventilated. A week
later the floor dried with only a little remaining sealer in spots. I
then sealed with "Cure And Seal" and the floor is fine.
I didn't read your original post, so anything I say here is moot but maybe
someone else in the group can obtain some benefit from my remarks.
You made a couple of mistakes.
The first was not hiring a contractor who would finish the job. It is the
concrete contractor who should spray on the curing compound or cure and
seal, not the customer. It should be applied immediately after the final
finish trawling. The idea is to keep the water in the concrete. It _should_
look wet, for 30 days if possible. keeping the concrete wet with water is
also a good curing procedure. Putting a sheet of visqueen on the slab also
The second mistake was using ArmourAll. It probably cost a bunch, much more
than curing compound or Cure and seal.
The third mistake was taking it off and leaving the slab uncovered for a
week. This allowed the water to evaporate out of the surface and dry the
slab too quickly.Concrete needs about 30 days to cure to its max strength.
It needs water in the slab to do this. Letting it dry before it is cured
will weaken the slab. I'm not trying to alarm you or cause you to think the
slab is junk. You may never realize the difference. The worst problem may be
excessive dust from the surface of the slab, or it may crack sooner than a
properly cured slab, but it should do so at the control joints. You did
specify control joints didn't you?
Any way I'm happy for you and your new garage. Is it for a vehicle or are
you going to fill it with tools?
Tom, 30 years in construction.