Foundation walls and basements are some of the most neglected areas in a home. The surfaces develop mold micro-organisms over time, making any coat of paint appear dull and flaky. Restoring these surface walls isn’t easy without professional help. Mold removal sometimes requires the use of powerful cleaning equipment and methods to remove discoloration and staining. Also, choosing a color scheme that complements the exterior décor can be challenging, given that some homes have unpainted foundations. Shown here is a recent project where we prepped these surfaces before painting the stairs and foundation.
Remove Old Paint
Professional house painters will start by removing old paint as it’s probably chipping away. The process is pretty straightforward as it involves the removal of large vines or other debris from the surface.
Power Wash the Exterior
Unlike pressure washing equipment, power washing machines use a jet wash that produces high pressure heated water to remove mold, algae, chalk, and dirt. Most painting companies in Maryland use a pressure rating of 3,000 psi and a flow rate of four gallons per minute to clean concrete surfaces, but higher pressures may be used to remove tough stains. The next step is to determine the best flow rate as it determines the cleaning speed. If you are blasting 10,000 psi but have a slow rate of two gallons a minute, you may spend more time cleaning the surface. Power washing presents some advantages such as:
- Removes stubborn stains
- Protects the integrity of your foundation
- Provides a safer cleaning method as the spray emits water at a distance
- It’s an eco-friendly means of cleaning concrete surfaces
Once the surface is clean, the technicians from the painting company inspect it for cracks or blemishes. Cracks compromise the structural integrity of the house, leading to costly repairs. The painting company may employ simple repair methods like the application of a concrete patch product such as Top n’ Bond. However, if the foundation has large cracks, the repair process may be more extensive.
Paint the Foundation
Since concrete surfaces absorb water, painting service technicians apply sealers before applying paint. Foundations and basement walls are susceptible to water damage, leaks, and mold growth and sealers help prevent this form of damage. The sealer is allowed to cure for 5 to 7 days, depending on the manufacturer. Some painting companies follow it up with a primer to even out the surface while filling up any pores on the concrete. Next, several thin coats of paint are applied and you should wait at least a day between applications to give your foundations a new lease of life. Annapolis house painters use Benjamin Moore Ultra Spec Masonry Elastomeric Finish as it also creates a waterproofing coating on the surface. Masonry paint is usually thicker than regular paint; so you may need to purchase a little more; a gallon of paint covers 25-44 square yards based on the color and type of paint used.
Making over basement steps is just as involving as restoring a foundation. Not only do the residential painting service technicians need to clean the surface, but they also need to check the wall for waterproofing damage before applying paint. Here’s a brief of the steps painting companies follow:
Power Wash Steps to the Basement
Power washing removes stubborn stains and preps the surface for painting. The technicians may also use a powerful degreaser to remove stubborn stains that won’t budge using an ordinary power washing equipment. The area is then left to dry for at least 24 hours as epoxy needs dry surfaces to adhere properly. What’s more, concrete surfaces often appear dry when water is lodged up in the grooves.
Repair Cracks and Etch the Steps Using Muriatic Acid
Painting companies then inspect the surfaces for cracks to make repairs while sanding down bumps on the basement steps. Products such as the muriatic acid etcher help eliminate any inconsistencies on the surface when applying paint.
Apply Behr Granite Grip
Two coats of Behr Granit Grip should suffice, but the technician may apply more if working on an uncoated concrete surface. The first coat acts as the base coat hence may not cover the surface entirely while additional layers hide dark spots or previous surface imperfections.