Do you live in a home with a basement? Have you ever wanted to do something to the concrete floors to give them a more finished look without spending a fortune?
Well, you may have even found yourself in the position where you had to address your basement floors. Which is what happened to me recently.
My family and I were in the path of Hurricane Florence. Fortunately, we only received a great deal of rain. Considering the loss of property and life which has happened all over our state, I didn’t dare complain about our situation.
But I did wake up one morning to water coming in through our foundation. Our finished basement was flooded.
I decided to use this opportunity to paint our basement floors, as the carpets had to go anyway. Here’s how we were able to get our flooded basement back in order and gave it a facelift in the process for little money:
- Interior/Exterior Concrete Floor Paint
- Paint pan and roller
- Good quality vacuum cleaner
- Sharp knife or box cutter
1. Get Rid of Any Old Floors
Our finished basement had two bedrooms in it. Therefore, those two bedrooms were carpeted. Our home hasn’t ever flooded in the 11 years since it was built.
Unfortunately, the right amount of rain came down heavily enough to allow water to pour in from every angle.
To say I had a mess on my hands would be an understatement. If I’m honest, the morning I woke up to it, we decided to evacuate for a few days.
We knew we couldn’t stop the rain, we couldn’t stop the water from pouring in, and we didn’t want to be all cramped upstairs.
It was my youngest son’s birthday which gave us a reason to take the dog to the vet for boarding, and we hopped in the car and took an overnight vacation to an indoor waterpark.
When we came home the next day, the rain had moved out, the flooding had stopped, and my house stunk!
I went straight to work. I mopped up any water I could with all the towels we had in the house. I moved anything which had gotten wet to a different location until I could clean each item.
My biggest task was pulling up the carpet. I used a sharp knife to begin cutting the carpet at the doorways. Once the carpet lifted, I used pliers to get a firm grip on it and pulled it until I’d hit the spot where the carpet was glued.
When I’d hit glue, I’d use the sharp knife to cut through the glue, grab the carpet with the pliers again, and pull until all of the carpets were removed from the rooms.
Pulling up carpet can be labor intensive and a sweaty job, but it’s one which must be done if you’d like to get to the bare floors of your basement to paint them.
If you have laminate flooring in your basement, you can use a crowbar to pry it up from the floors. It would most likely be easier to remove than carpet.
2. Give Time to Dry
When all of the carpet or other types of flooring has been removed from your basement, check the floors for water damage.
In our case, our floors were wet because we had water come in recently. It’s important to make sure the floors are thoroughly dry before you try to paint them.
I placed box fans all around our basement for a few days to make sure all the moisture was out before I went to work on the floors.
It’s also important to note in this step, if you have a water problem in your basement, address it at this point.
Our issue was where the rain was coming down with such force; it pushed the ground away from our house.
This left the perfect opening for water to have access to our basement. We spent an entire day shoveling dirt around our entire house to put the ground back where it was supposed to be.
3. Clean, Clean, Clean
Once your floors are dry, it’s time to clean them. If you’ve had water on your floors recently, it’s a good idea not only to vacuum your floors but also mop the floors with bleach water.
You don’t want mold or mildew to form on your floors. Go over every area of your basement floor with a vacuum and mop.
When you feel confident your floors are clean, they should be ready for painting.
4. Apply Paint
Painting your basement floors is such a simple task. If you’re like me and don’t ooze artistic ability, it’s okay to paint your floors a basic color.
You pour the paint in the paint pan, dip your roller in the pan, and apply the paint evenly across your floor. Be sure to pay attention to how much pressure you’re putting on the roller.
If you apply pressure unevenly, it’ll leave darker paint marks on one side of the stroke than the other.
However, if you’re more artistic you can create a design with painter’s tape You create the design on your basement floor out of the tape and paint over the tape.
Peel the paint from the floor, and the design will be there. If you’d like the actual design to have some color, paint it by hand after the rest of the floor has been painted and dried.
5. Allow to Dry
It’s important to make sure you give your floors time to dry before moving furniture or rugs over them. It’s a good idea to leave box fans blowing in the area until you’re confident the paint has dried.
When the floors no longer have a sticky feeling to them, you should be good to move your furniture and rugs back, or to walk over them with confidence.
6. Why Paint?
You may be wondering why you’d paint a concrete floor? Why wouldn’t you put another type of flooring in your basement?
Well, there may be many answers. For me, it’s rather simple. First, the cost of painting a basement floor to give it a finished look is much more cost-effective than other flooring options.
Second, after dealing with a flood, I need a floor which will be functional. I can add nice area rugs to my basement and give it the comfort and style I want throughout my home.
However, the next time a hurricane comes (because they happen in my area) I’ll be ready. I can roll up my area rugs, place the furniture on blocks, and be prepared.
If water comes into my painted basement floor, the worst thing I’m going to have to deal with is wiping the floors up with a towel, mopping the floor with bleach, and letting the basement air out before I put the rugs and furniture back down.
I shouldn’t have to wake up to a mildew smelling basement because of water absorbed by a carpet.
Yet, my basement will still have a finished look. Others may have other reasons for painting their concrete floor, but those are the main reasons for myself.
This will be a cost-effective and easy DIY project for you. It could be a great way to revamp basement floors and give it a whole new look.
Plus, it could also be a way to save you some headache if ever your basement floods.
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