Using A Belt Sander For Concrete Foundations or Floors
Posted by Joe on 5/16/2012
Restoring concrete can pose challenges to any home improvement plan. Whether you need to remove old paint or smooth rough surfaces, a quality belt sander can handle the job if used correctly. Concrete foundations for sheds, barns and garages are often used as the floor of the structure as well. Projects can range from simple re-painting to professional polishing. Depending on your desired goal you will need a different approach with your belt sander.
If you are merely removing old paint then a coarse silicone carbide sandpaper will offer quick removal as well as superior control. Belt sanding concrete will change it's textural appearance. Keep this in mind when deciding your final method of restoration. A typical seal using quality concrete paint will make the textural changes of little concern. Standard concrete paints are thick and generally cover the surface's texture very well. Be sure to focus your belt sander on any prominent differences in your concrete surface. While a re-paint will not require much focus on texture, maintaining a level surface free of clumps is a must.
You may find that your project's surface is already smooth, level and clump free. Even if this is the case you will still have to make use of the belt sander. A sealant of any type will not allow new paint or stain to penetrate into the surface. Concrete is porous and needs the ability to absorb the paint you are applying. If you are unsure that you've belt sanded enough you can do a simple water test to be certain. Drop a small amount of water on the sanded area. If the water absorbs easily then you're right where you need to be. This will ensure great color quality and eliminate the need for a potential re-sanding.
An increasingly popular concrete project is acid staining. If you're belt sanding in preparation for acid staining then texture is of high concern. If the concrete surface is in great condition you will want to sand as little as possible. You may want to use a medium to low grain sand paper. Try to find a happy medium between absorption preparation and minimal effect on texture. An acid stain can produce a beautiful marble like appearance if done properly. Some people purposely change their surface texture to produce the look they are after. Be sure to take a patient and planned approach when preparing for acid staining. While using a belt sander can be challenging, if done correctly it will deliver high quality results for any concrete project.