Published on October 1st, 2013 | by Grant Barnard0
Using Muriatic Acid To Prep Cement Floor For Epoxy
Using muriatic acid to prep your garage floor for epoxy is one of the cheapest ways to effectively prep for the epoxy floor. The profile that is left is better than a diamond ground cement floor because it is slightly rougher causing the epoxy to have better adhesion. However prepping with muriatic acid is also the most dangerous by FAR. So first I must give you the safety To Do’s. By reading past this you agree to not hold us responsible for anything at all. This is not all of them but these are rules to definitely live by.
Safely Preparing Cement For Epoxy With Muratic Acid
- Never ever every pour the water into the acid to dilute. You always need to be pouring the acid INTO the water and not the other way around. If you ignore this and get splashed in the face, you will surly loose your eyes and maybe your smell and taste too if you splash your face with muriatic acid You’ve all been hit by the toilet water in the rear. Don’t make your face your rear and the toilet water acid.
- Use Personal Protective Equipment!!! We always do this no matter what. There is no fix for splashing this stuff on you. It can even kill you by just hitting your skin and there is absolutely nothing that can be done at the hospital. First you absolutely need PVC gloves that go to your elbow at least. You also need a full face guard or goggles that are meant for strong acids. I love my vision so I actually use both the goggle and the face splash guard. Then you must wear a respirator! The gas from the reaction is extremely poisonous and can also be fatal very quickly.
- Have a fresh water source available easily. Usually a hose turned on with a water sprayer hooked up is a good method because it can supply a continues supply of cool water.
- Read everything you can on safety of using and handling muriatic acid. muriatic acid is also known as Hydrochloric Acid or HCI for short. You cna read about health side effects by Clicking Here.
First Rule of Thumb For Using Muriatic Acid To Etch Cement. Ensure a Reaction.
First of all the acid must react with the cement. The reaction makes a white smoke and green foam or liquid. If this isn’t happening then you have a sealant that is preventing the acid from etching the cement. Just like the plastic jug that the acid is in, the sealant will prevent the acid from contacting the cement and therefore you’ll be just playing in dangerous chemicals for nothing.
How To Apply The Muriatic Acid
We use special hand pump sprayers to evenly apply the muriatic acid and etch the cement evenly. Most regular cheap sprayers will not take this type of abuse so go with the cheapest one you can find because it will be a one time use thing. ALWAYS wear your gloves, respirator and your face/eye protections.
Last. Clean And Neutralize The Muriatic Acid
Before doing this you must fully rinse all the acid away. Use brooms, floor squeegees and tons of water to fully rinse. After the floor is rinsed of all acid you can use bleach to help lift and rinse away the waste from the reaction. Then power wash the floor VERY completely and systematically. The bleach will help rinse while power washing. This will also neutralize the floor for you while helping you clean up the mess. You only need a cup or two of concentrated bleach per gallon to achieve this. Then you are ready to create your epoxy floor!
How Strong To Mix The Muriatic Acid
Never mix the acid too strong. If you are applying onto wet concrete usually a 50/50 mixture is needed. However on dry concrete usually only about a quarter to third of the solution needs to be acid to achieve results. Too strong of a mixture will cause a very uneven etch. Too weak of a solution and you may have to repeat the process 3 or more times. Remember that you can always go back over the floor after a quick rinse but you cannot add more cement if you eat too much of it away.
When Is The Floor Fully Etched By The Acid
You need to achieve a sandpaper feel and look. The floor should be even but there cannot be a smooth surface for more than half-inch spot. For this you must see the picture to really see what I mean.