Unfinished basement floors can be source of dirt, odours and mildew. Cleaning your basement floor properly will halt these problems and prevent them from getting worse. Use these tips to get your basement floor clean and fresh.
Rust spots give an unsightly appearance to concrete floors, but they can be removed with a simple procedure and a bit of elbow grease. Get rid of the rust stain by sprinkling dry cement powder over the area and rubbing it with small piece of flagstone or other sedimentary rock. This results in an abrasive action on the stain thus removing it.
Mildew is a form of fungus that thrives on damp concrete and gives off a musty, unpleasant odour. Get rid of the mildew smell by opening windows and airing the area out. A dehumidifier can be used to decrease the humidity with which the mildew needs to flourish. A bleach solution can be sprayed over the affected areas and scrubbed to kill off any remaining fungus and prevent it from returning. Addition of trisodium phosphate (TSP) can help combat aggressive mildew developments. Sprinkling the area with chlorinated lime or bleaching powder will soak up any remaining smells and bacteria. Let it sit for a day or two before sweeping or vacuuming it up.
Scrubbing the floor with a stiff brush and a solution of ammonia and water will help get rid of grease stains, dirt and soluble salts. Be careful to never mix ammonia and bleach as it will result in poisonous chlorine gas. Also beware of using metal wire brushes whose fibres can get caught in the concrete causing rust spots. After a good scrub, rinse with water and dry with a mop or shop vacuum.
Sealing the floor will prevent water seepage and the formation of soluble salts in the future while giving the basement a fresh, new look. After scrubbing down the floor use an indoor concrete sealant or a waterproof concrete stain. The result will be a new finish that resists stains, odours and mildew formation.