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Old 09-13-2012, 10:23 PM   #1
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painting a floor that has oil on it...???


I have a section of floor in my basement that is below an old coal chute that for some reason all of a sudden, started to smell really strong like kerosene. I put that oil absorbent kitty litter stuff on it and it's not taking the smell away. We had flood like rains here and it was right after that that the floor started smelling so strong it sent fumes up through the whole house.
Anyway, is there some sealant/paint I can put over this that will seal in the smell?

thank you for your help.

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Old 09-14-2012, 03:58 AM   #2
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painting a floor that has oil on it...???


BIN might work but the way it sounds, it might not stick

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Old 09-14-2012, 11:40 AM   #3
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painting a floor that has oil on it...???


It's likely the water table rose dramatically and moisture is wicking up through the concrete slab in your basement. I'm with Chris on this one. Any paint you apply to the concrete is gonna fail in short order because the moisture is still wicking up through the slab. This may be more a problem of foundation drainage issues than an odor/paint problem.
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:49 PM   #4
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painting a floor that has oil on it...???


Quote:
Originally Posted by IDIMyself View Post
I have a section of floor in my basement that is below an old coal chute that for some reason all of a sudden, started to smell really strong like kerosene. I put that oil absorbent kitty litter stuff on it and it's not taking the smell away. We had flood like rains here and it was right after that that the floor started smelling so strong it sent fumes up through the whole house.
Anyway, is there some sealant/paint I can put over this that will seal in the smell?

thank you for your help.
You said this smell started after flood like rains - was the basement floor wet? ...or still wet? If so, BIN won't work - it's a little temperamental when used over wet or damps surfaces. Should we also assume this is a concrete floor?

I agree with Gymschu that the water table has risen and your floor presented just a slight obstacle to the rising waters. If your floor is dry, however, what may actually be wicking through your floor (and walls, perhaps) may be coal pitch (asphaltum) in the form of a gas. Pitch has a very distinct odor, and since kerosene was originally distilled from pitch, kinda makes sense about the kerosene smell...

If that's the case, (floors dry but gassing fumes), BIN may be just the ticket. Keep in mind that BIN is not recommended for floors, but it may be used on cured poured concrete surfaces - If your house is old enough to have a coal chute, I think it can be safely said that concrete is cured by now.

If there is any concrete hardeners remaining on the floor, I'd acid-etch the floor before using any paint product. By etching, you not only remove existing concrete hardeners (which often times inhibits the adhesion of subsequent coats of paint), but also neutralize the surface of the floors alkalinity (which can also inhibit adhesion of newly applied coatings), and finally "profile" the surface for a better mechanical bond between the concrete and new coatings.

If your floor is dry - BIN is a great product and seals all types of stains and smells. It's a thin coating and 2 coats may be required over this affected concrete. BIN is only a primer and should not be used as a finish coat - So, after the BIN is applied, I'd recommend 2 coats of a water-borne, 2 component epoxy (like those recommended for garage floors). The reason for using an epoxy is this; If your floor is damp after each rain due to wicking - a latex (acrylic) product may be the better recommendation - but you didn't indicate that that's the case. By using an epoxy over BIN, you've got about as sealed a surface as you can get - and those gasses will not be able to penetrate 1 or 2 coats of BIN plus 2 coats of epoxy. Theoretically speaking, if the floor is sealed to this level, wicking becomes impossible - as wicking can only happen if there's a place for these gasses to go. Since it's sealed, those gasses must, and will, find an alternate route of escape.

If your floor is frequently wet - No quality, or type, of paint is capable of stopping hydrostatic pressure - so before doing anything, contact a drainage contractor to see about re-routing some of the water away from your home.

Good luck, I hope that info is more helpful than confusing.
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:46 PM   #5
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painting a floor that has oil on it...???


Ric, wherever you work, I hope they pay you well! Talk about a wealth of knowledge.
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:19 PM   #6
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:26 PM   #7
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painting a floor that has oil on it...???


Ric, thank you for such a well thought out response. After spending a miserable day there cleaning the floor, I have a theory about the smell. We have a fire pit in the backyard and my neighbor, tenant was burning some wood in it. Another neighbor told me that this man poured diesel fuel on the wood to get it to burn. Shortly after that we had this torrential rain which flooded the basement from above, not below. I believe that the rain brought the diesel fuel down with it into the basement and settled in the lowest spot which, coincidently, is the coal chute. That's just my theory.
Today I bought some concrete epoxy to seal the floor and the saleswoman sold me some other product that is a liquid which you pour onto the oil stain before painting. This first liquid dries and crystalizes and is to then be vacuumed up. Supposedly it binds with the oil. This product, made by the same company at the epoxy (can't recall the name now... from Lowes) really killed the diesel smell tremendously. Then after this first step, you apply the epoxy. I have used BIN many, many times and never thought of it for the floor. In fact, I have some so I will use it as soon as step one dries up.
Thank you very much for your suggestions...

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