Painting a concrete basement floor

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I have a house that I am going to be renting out that has a basement with poured concrete walls and a concrete floor. The basement doesn't flood, but it does have a sump pump, and the pump does pump out water from under the slab, especially after a heavy rain. I don't want to refinish the basement, but I do want to clean up the way it looks a little and eliminate that slight musty smell. The basement is very high, clean, spacious, and nice.
There is no detectable moisture that comes through the walls or the floors. I tested this using the "tape and seal a piece of aluminum foil" trick on the walls and the floor. After a few days, when the taped and sealed foil is removed there is no moisture there. Despite all of this, there is a VERY SLIGHT musty smell in the basement -- it is almost undetectable, but it's there.
The house has an electric heat pump HVAC system. There are no intake or supply vents in any of the HVAC ducts in the basement. My plan is to have an HVAC person cut in some intake and supply vents so the basement will be served by the HVAC the way the rest of the house is. I think that alone will probably eliminate the slight musty smell in the basement.
I did the "acid wash" (or whatever it is called) on the walls and then painted them with a very light blue DryLock paint just as an extra sealer on the walls. I have more than enough DryLock paint left to also do the floor.
I now want to paint the floor -- either with just latex porch and floor paint, or with the DryLock paint first and then with latex porch and floor paint on top of that.
My inclination is to do the floor with the DryLock paint first, and then paint over that with latex porch and floor paint.
Is that okay?
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wrote:

I'd think not. I'd apply a clear epoxy finish, specifically made for concrete floors. And if I could not follow all the required preparation, I'd leave the floor as is. You might need a dehumidfier.
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The dehumidifiier is probably a better idea than adding heat/ac registers to the basement. Doing so might bring that slight musty smell to the whole house instead of eliminating it. Also, it may cost more in energy cost than running the dehumidifier.
For the floor, I'd just go with any of the paints made specifically for concrete. That's what I have on mine and it's held up well. I just use my basement for storage. If you want a tougher product, then the epoxy product could be a good choice.
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The dehumidifiier is probably a better idea than adding heat/ac registers to the basement. Doing so might bring that slight musty smell to the whole house instead of eliminating it. Also, it may cost more in energy cost than running the dehumidifier.
For the floor, I'd just go with any of the paints made specifically for concrete. That's what I have on mine and it's held up well. I just use my basement for storage. If you want a tougher product, then the epoxy product could be a good choice. --------------
Thanks. I am still a little undecided, but I think I'm going to go ahead with doing the DryLok first and then latex porch and floor paint. The reason is that it's okay to paint over DryLok but not okay to DryLok over paint. So, I'm thinking I'll try the DryLok as the sealer and to adhere to the concrete, then paint over that. Also, both the latex DryLok and the latex paint are supposedly able to "breathe" a little.
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"JayTKR" wrote

Additional note is the existing HVAC was for the size of the house sans basement. Trying to extend it to the basement will probably overload the system which at best will make it just not able to properly heat/cool, and at worst will burn it out causing complete replacement. The HVAC guy will notice that though and warn ya ;-)

I think the drylock and cement paint will be fine.
The faint mustyness is probably more related to lack of airflow stirring about if it's as well sealed as it sounds. I'd try a dehumidifier that also has a bit of a fan unit to it and see if that helps, as my first tactic. If it seems to help (will take a few days) you may just need an ionizer fan unit to complete the process. Your renters will vastly prefer to not have to pay to heat a storage basement in winter.
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JayTKR wrote:

If you must use the DryLock paint, I would be careful to follow label instructions. As for musty smell, with little moisture in the basement, simply improving ventilation seems key. Got appliances in b'ment? Windows you can open?
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Thanks. I think the better ventilation with the HVAC changes, plus the DryLok and paint, will clear up the problem. If not, I could always add a dehumidifier as others have suggested, but I don't think I will end up needing that.
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JayTKR wrote:

If there is stuff stored in the basement - clothing, soft furniture, carpet, it will hold the musty smell for a long time. Cleaning and airing stored goods should help eliminate the odor when you get the vent. improved.
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The basement is completely empty, and has been for 2 years. There is no carpet. The only "appliances" in the basement are the heat pump HVAC and an electric water heater.
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Check for a basement "floor drain"..often nearby the water heater. I think they' re mandated by code so there should be one there somewhere. There's supposed to be a trap in these drains but they need water inside the trap to be effective. (Some are installed with a small waterline to keep them "filled" but most are not). See (smell) if the odor is coming from the drain. Take the screen/grille off. It may need a cleaning in the event its been left unattended/neglected with crud in it for years as is usually the case. It may need a rinsing and refill of the trap..water with a little bleach has worked for me.
Otherwise, I like the idea of putting return air vents in the basement. Our house was built with them. I don't think much of builders who don't put them in when finishing a home although many simply rely on the one BIG ONE, attached directly to the Air handler, especially if the basement isn't going to be "finished" right away. The reason for this being that they don't know where the "next guy" may be putting walls/rooms etc when the basement does get finished. Give some thought to that and let the HVAC guy know where YOU'd like the vents (think..where might I put bedrooms/bath etc. later ? ) as opposed to where the AC guy "thinks" they should go.
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There is no floor drain or open sewer line/vent. In fact the sewer line from upstairs goes out to the outside at the ceiling level of the basement.
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You say that both the HW tank and HVAC air handler are in the basement. What provision was made for the HW tank leaking and the condensate "drip" from the AC. Surely there is some sort of drain there ?
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Around here, NJ, new construction, in a basement the condensate is normally handled by a small pump taking it outside. The water heater TPV valve is plumbed with a pipe to a few inches of the floor. No basement floor drain required by code and rarely are they found. I think floor drains introduce as many problems as they solve, ie [potential backflow issues.
The houses do have sump pump pits, but the builder usually only includes the actual pump if there is groundwater so that it is required.
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The hot water tank just happens to be next to a sump pump pit. Under the HW tank there is a plastic pan to collect any small leaks, and a short hose from that pan goes to the sump pump pit. The HW tank also has a pressure relief valve and a tube that go down to near the floor. In the case of the pressure relief valve being opened up, it would just empty onto the basement floor near the sump pump pit.
The HVAC has a condensate pump that automatically pumps the condensate drip up through a clear plastic tube and out through the side of the house where the outside condenser is located, and that just drips out onto the ground outside.
I have several houses where the HW tank and HVAC are set up the same way -- some with sump pumps in the basement and some without, and all without any floor drain in the basement.
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ARRGGH, painting a concrete floor just creates a lifetime of grief the paint peels easily, everytime something moves over floor.
install a computer muffin fan exhausting to the outside, uses nearly no energy, end of musty smell.
if you insist on paint then go professionally applied epoxy, at least its fairly durable.
or tile the floor.
paint? had a house like that, constantly looked bad. repainting makes thick paint more likely to peel.
i ended up stripping the paint and vinyl tiling floor
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wrote:

I really like my concrete floors, finished in clear epoxy.
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Phisherman wrote:

the walls, too. No upkeep, but none of the dust bare concrete seems to produce. I'll never have a finished basement, other than maybe a few partition walls to seperate mechanical room, workshop, laundry, etc. And they will be covered in wood, not drywall. No ceiling. If something is leaking, I want to see it immediately, and be able to get to it. I want to be able to clean the basement with a leaf blower. (Walkout with wide door, of course...)
-- aem sends...
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wrote:

A GOOD concrete floor paint, applied to a properly prepared concrete floor, CAN last a long time. Like 20 to 30 years. But it needs to be a high quality paint, and the floor needs to be CLEAN and properly prepared.
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yep tenants would never carelessely move anything across the floor scratching the paint:(
what might be OK in YOUR HOME may be a total bad idea in a rental........
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wrote:

basement - but it is EXTREMELY tough. You could drag a big block chevy across it and not damage it. I just covered it with hardwood last week - not that the hardwood will be more durable, but it sure looks a heck of a lot better.
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