LESLIE: Barbara in Ohio is on the line and is dealing with something that’s on the floor. Is it something we need to get up? What is it? Wax on brick floor?
BARBARA: Well, I have a brick floor in my kitchen and dining room.
TOM: That’s unusual.
BARBARA: Well, I kind of like it. It was a farmhouse and when we moved in, it had, I would say, 10 layers of wax on brick floor. So, I’ve slowly tried to get it off. I’ve used ammonia, let it soak, scrubbed it. I’ve got about half of it done now but everyone is telling me replace it and I don’t really want to because it kind of adds to the structure of the house and that kind of thing. But my question is – I’ve got some of it cleared of the wax. I’m using ammonia. I don’t know if there’s another product that I can get to – because it really is a lot of wax. I don’t want to have particles in the seal, so I have to scrub the floor again, get it all clean. How long do I have to leave wax on brick floor dry before I reseal it? Because I don’t want it to have wet bubbles in it. I just don’t know what I’m doing, I guess.
TOM: Well, we feel your pain. You probably should be using a wax on brick floor-removing product, or a wax-stripping product, as opposed to the bleach and the ammonia, which just sounds like an awful mess. And that’s going to do what it can do. And there’s actually a good article online about brick floors and how to pull the wax off of them. But brick is very, very porous.
TOM: And because it’s very porous, when you do wash it, if you let it dry for a few days I don’t think you’re going to have any issues with it forcing a new finish to kind of release.
BARBARA: Well, see, the whole thing is I have to move everything out of my kitchen and dining room. So I was – I didn’t know if I had to wait a day, two days. So you’re suggesting three days then.
TOM: Yeah, I would definitely wait a couple of days. You can still use the floor while that time is going on. You don’t have to move it all out. But I would definitely wait two or three days before I put my next layer of finish on it.
BARBARA: What do you recommend as a finish?
TOM: I probably would try to keep it as natural as possible. If you use a solvent-based wax, that is another option. Because if you did that, you wouldn’t have to strip the floor. The solvent-based polish can actually be applied over an old wax, because it’ll sort of give it good adhesion; it’ll stick to it. So, you’re probably going to end up with a new wax finish. So, if that’s the case, you may not need to move as much of that old as you thought you did, if the new wax is solvent-based.
BARBARA: It looks like it’s black.
TOM: I bet.
BARBARA: They put this on and never cleaned it.
TOM: No matter what you do, this floor is going to be a lot of work, OK?
LESLIE: Oh, truly.
TOM: Because it’s a brick floor, it’s just going to use a lot of work.
LESLIE: And if you don’t get the old wax off, the new one you put on is going to lock in that color.
TOM: Yeah, that’s right. That’s another good point.
BARBARA: Yeah, I think I need to take it off. I’ve got about half of it done. I just thought – when I was listening to your show, I thought, “Well, maybe they might have a better idea.” Because you’re right: it is a lot of work.
TOM: Nothing that hard work won’t fix.
BARBARA: Thank you so much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
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