LESLIE: Nick in Washington, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
NICK: I bought a house about five years ago and when I bought it, it has a rubber mat in my garage; like 4-foot strips butted together. I don’t know what that is for; if it’s for looks or help to keep the cold out.
NICK: But anyway, when I wipe that down with – mop it down and – the moisture coming off my car seems to have created this white powder coming up from between and underneath those mats.
NICK: And my son, who lives in El Cajon who doesn’t have the mats, has the same problem during the wintertime at his car. And I’m wondering where this white stuff is coming from.
TOM: It’s probably mineral-salt deposits. Concrete is very hydroscopic, which basically means it sucks up water pretty readily. And so, because of that and in damper weather, you may have some water that’s being pulled up through the concrete to the surface, the water’s evaporating and the mineral salts are staying behind.
So, that’s not anything to be terribly concerned about; it’s more of a maintenance issue. If you painted your garage floor, by the way, they have lots of great epoxy paints out there right now. If you painted the garage floor, that would probably cease to happen.
NICK: That’s what I wanted to know. But any epoxy paint would do?
TOM: Good-quality epoxy paint. Most of the systems today include a cleaner – where you use a cleaner first – and then you mix the epoxy. Typically, when you buy it, the can is three-quartered filled with paint and then has a quart hardener that comes with it. Mix it together and then you apply it and then many of them have color flakes that you can put in them to give you some texture and help hide the dirt.
And they really do a great job and so I would encourage you to do that. It also makes it a lot easier to clean the floor.
NICK: Right. Well, that sounds good. It’s more simple than I thought it would be. I didn’t know if I had to clean it with some acids or something to get it …
TOM: No, no, no. Don’t make it harder than it is.
TOM: It’s a pretty normal phenomenon and pretty easy to fix.
NICK: I do appreciate it.
TOM: Good luck, Nick. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.