Preparation, the MOST important step!
Let’s start by emphasizing the importance of preparation. Please keep this in mind every time you are working with NewLook. Proper preparation of the concrete surface is key to the long-term success of NewLook and most any other concrete coating. Do not take shortcuts! They will come back to haunt you!
Here is a list of the most common issues that can cause coatings to fail.
The Problem: Surface is not Clean and Porous
NewLook was designed to penetrate the concrete surface and create a tenacious bond with a porous substrate. In order to achieve maximum bond, the main goal in preparation is to make sure that the concrete is clean and porous and that there is nothing between NewLook and the substrate. Knowing what to do involves understanding the concrete finish, its composition, and in short, whether it is porous and clean.
The Solution: Using Eco-Acid PLUS for a light Etch, Clean & Degrease
NewLook Eco-Acid PLUS is a water-based, non-corrosive, concrete etching and profiling compound. It is an effective, non-fuming, alternative to harsh acids, such as muriatic acid. Eco-Acid Plus is environmentally friendly, non-toxic, non-hazardous, and safely prepares concrete surfaces by opening up the pores for effective staining with NewLook Concrete Color Stains or any other penetrating, concrete color stain. Eco-Acid PLUS can be used to create a light profile and open up the pores prior to staining. After applying Eco-acid, powerwash the surface to remove it from the surface. Please use safety goggles and gloves to not irritate the eyes and skin. Eco-acid PLUS is safer than muriatic acid and other similar products, nonetheless, it is better to be safe and protect yourself.
The Problem: Too Tight of a Surface – The Water Test
A simple way to see if the concrete surface is porous enough for NewLook is to create a small puddle of water on the concrete. NewLook’s viscosity is similar to water. As such, if water will penetrate and absorb into the surface, so will the NewLook stain. If the water is poured onto the concrete, and it sits on top of the surface, then it is not porous enough and will need to be etched.
The Solution: Using QuickEtch for a deep profile
Although Eco-Acid is intended to etch the concrete, it is a light etch. If the concrete requires a stronger etch or if the concrete chatter is more significant, you may need to use QuickEtch to profile the concrete . Generally, the most effective way to apply QuickEtch is with an airless sprayer. This method provides greater yield and “awakens” the chemicals so that they act most effectively. Otherwise, using a “goop” roller (textured roller) to spread QuickEtch is also an effective method. Please note that QuickEtch reacts to the pH of the concrete and will begin to work immediately. For an even etch, please remove the QuickEtch from each area within the same time frame. The longer the product is on the concrete the deeper the etch. You should begin to check to see if you have achieved your etch after 15 minutes. If longer times are needed, it is okay to reawaken the active ingredients by rolling a goop roller over the product. Removing the QuickEtch indoors, rinse with water and suck up the waste with a wet-dry Vac. QuickEtch is biodegradable and is safe to go down the sewer system once diluted. Again, please check local regulations and dispose waste according to local laws and ordinances.
The first and most important consideration is which machine to buy. Many contractors prefer different brands. At a minimum, use a pressure washer with a minimum 3000 PSI and a capacity of 4 gallons per minute. It is strongly recommended that the contractor use a 15° or 25° fan tip (never EVER use a 0° tip). Do not bear down on the concrete as it will usually score the concrete and change the surface texture. Keep in mind that there is a big difference between simply hosing off the concrete (“glorified rinsing”) and really pressure washing it well. In areas where pressure washing is not possible, a floor-scrubbing machine with a cleaner is acceptable.
Use a mild cleaner that contains no acid, such as Mean KleanConcrete Cleaner. However, be aware that the concrete may need to be cleaned and thoroughly rinsed several times to achieve a level of clean acceptable for NewLook stains to bond to the substrate. The rule-of-thumb is that if there is anything on the concrete that would prevent concrete stains from penetrating (sealers, paints, “cure and seal” agents, dirt, oil, grease, glue, gum, etc.) then that substance needs to be cleaned off or removed (chemically or mechanically) before applying stains.
Cleaning WITHOUT a pressure Washer
Pressure washers are a great tool for cleaning. Due to the amount of water that is blasted and used, in most cases, pressure washing is only an outdoor activity. Nonetheless, the need to clean and make sure the concrete is porous is still a critical step for indoor concrete as well. So, how can you accomplish this without a pressure washer? Indoors may require a chemical or mechanical approach to cleaning and opening pours.
What to do with the water?
In most instances, diluted materials may be disposed of in the sewer system. However, some communities have regulations against disposing any clears, therefore check local regulations and dispose waste according to local laws and ordinances.
Using NewLook’s Mean Klean Concrete Cleaner
First, do a water test. Take a cup of water and spill it onto the floor. Is it absorbing easily? If so, then your floor should be porous enough to receive the stain. Now you must clean it with water, a light cleanser such as NewLook Concrete Cleaner, and a powerful wet-dry vac. NewLook Concrete Cleaner is a high-quality, multi-purpose cleaner and degreaser, that is generally used following applications of NewLook Concrete Color Stains™. This concentrated cleaner can be diluted with water to provide an economical, effective cleaner for a variety of surfaces, ranging from concrete to laundry. NewLook Concrete Cleaner quickly removes grease, oil, adhesive, dirt, food, soot, and more. It contains a powerful natural vegetable-source solvent that is safe and bio-degradable. NewLook Concrete Cleaner effectively cleans concrete surfaces stained with NewLook Concrete Color Stains. Read the respective Technical Information Sheet for more information. NewLook Concrete Cleaner can be used to clean in a variety of circumstances. Review the Technical Data Sheet for application instructions. After applying NewLook Concrete Cleaner, spray or pour water over the surface and remove it with a wet-dry vac. Several rinses may be required to remove all of the cleaner from the concrete surface. This step (both cleaning and rinsing) may be required more than once to achieve the desired effects. Please use safety goggles and gloves as a precautionary measure.
NewLook Mean Klean Concrete Degreaser
NewLook stains will not penetrate grease and oil-stained concrete. Oil repels water, and as NewLook is a water-based stain, the concrete will need to be degreased first. NewLook’s Concrete Degreaser is a high-quality, heavy-duty degreaser and soil remover. This concentrated degreaser can be diluted with water to provide an economical, effective cleaner for many different circumstances. Mean Klean Concrete Degreaser removes grease, oil, transmission fluid, some adhesives, and other greasy products from concrete and masonry surfaces. When used according to directions, NewLook Concrete Degreaser effectively cleans concrete surfaces in preparation for staining with NewLook Concrete Color Stains or any other penetrating concrete color stain.
If all else fails….Mechanical Grind
More experienced contractors may choose to prepare and clean indoor surfaces with a grinding machine. We recommend that you seek out manufacturer training for grinding machines, or at a minimum, practice in a discreet area. It is VERY easy to scar or gouge the surface when grinding. NewLook was developed so that the texture of the substrate will not be affected, and as such, any grind marks will be more easily seen when the stain is applied. Grinding is an effective, economical, choice in instances where there is a large surface area that needs to be prepped. However, concrete grinding (dry or wet) is very messy and emits fine dust particles everywhere, or requires containment of waste water and subsequent disposal. You must take precautions in advance for masking off areas and containing the dust. In some instances (especially where stripping a coating is not required), using QuickEtch may achieve the same result without the messy cleanup and need for expensive equipment.
To learn more about staining preparation, please visit www.getnewlook.com.