LESLIE: Jim in Arkansas has a cloudy concrete floor. Tell us what you’re looking at.
JIM: Well, I have a lake home that I built about five years ago. The first two years were fine. I stained the floor and sealed it. The last three years, I’ve seen quite a bit of moisture migration come out through the slab, causing efflorescence. And since that time, I’ve put in French drains and pulled off some of the runoff that was coming out and sitting next to the building. But I’m unsure right now how to proceed. Of course, I’m going to have to do something with the floor and I’m unsure if you might – or unsure what type of moisture barrier to put down before I use tile or something like that.
LESLIE: Now, the concrete floor that you have there, are you happy with how the stain looks aside from these mineral deposits that you’re seeing; that white cloudiness? I mean did you do a good job with the stain? Is it something that’s a look you were going for?
JIM: The stain was fantastic except …
LESLIE: Well – except you keep getting this cloudy, white appearance on it. Correct?
LESLIE: Well, what you need to do is first – you know, we need to think about addressing where all this moisture is coming from and that’s with the outside. But to clear up this efflorescence, which is that white cloudiness that you’ll see on concrete – which is really salt deposits; you know, mineral deposits – and there’s really one trick that’ll get rid of it and it’s actually white vinegar. All you need to do is mix up a solution of white vinegar and water and you can mop that right on your floor and then do a clean mop or spray it on in the areas and then wipe it away with a sponge and it’ll be gone.
TOM: And once you get that floor clean, if you used a sealer – a clear sealer product – on that, I think it would slow down the efflorescence. You know, concrete is very hydroscopic. It’s incredibly absorbent and so it will suck up water into its surface and when it gets to the top it wants to evaporate that moisture into the house air and it leaves the salts behind. So if we can stop them from getting up that high. You may be able to stop this.
JIM: OK, thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Jim. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.