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Old 08-29-2018, 08:14 AM   #1
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Cleaning unfinished basement ceiling


I'm cleaning out the basement of a house I recently bought. Ultimately, the basement will be finished. The main living area will have an open ceiling, sprayed black. The bedroom and bathroom ceilings will likely be drywalled. I'm ready to start really cleaning the wood before it's painted or finished over. I've vacuumed the ceilings with a shop-vac, but they're still in need of a thorough cleaning. I'm looking for the best way to do this. Can I spray with a TSP cleaner? Or just scrub with soapy water and a brush? It's older lumber as you can see in the picture.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:36 AM   #2
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Re: Cleaning unfinished basement ceiling


If you are going to paint it I wouldn't bother cleaning other than brushing off any dirt/dust ..... unless you notice a contaminate. TSP needs to be rinsed well or it can cause paint adhesion issues.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:40 AM   #3
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Re: Cleaning unfinished basement ceiling


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If you are going to paint it I wouldn't bother cleaning other than brushing off any dirt/dust ..... unless you notice a contaminate. TSP needs to be rinsed well or it can cause paint adhesion issues.
Thanks for the info. After vacuuming, there's still quite a bit of dust and dirt on the joists, but I guess I could just get on a step ladder and brush it away with a scrub brush. I want to make sure I don't paint over dust/dirt.
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Old 09-04-2018, 02:27 PM   #4
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Re: Cleaning unfinished basement ceiling


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I'm cleaning out the basement of a house I recently bought. Ultimately, the basement will be finished. The main living area will have an open ceiling, sprayed black. The bedroom and bathroom ceilings will likely be drywalled. I'm ready to start really cleaning the wood before it's painted or finished over. I've vacuumed the ceilings with a shop-vac, but they're still in need of a thorough cleaning. I'm looking for the best way to do this. Can I spray with a TSP cleaner? Or just scrub with soapy water and a brush? It's older lumber as you can see in the picture.
I just finished doing this last spring. I vacuumed really well with a brush attachement on the shop vac. I then just used a light detergent and wiped down everything with a sponge. Finally, from a suggestion on here, sprayed the ceiling with SW Woodscapes Solid Black stain. Worked like a charm even on the pipes and wiring
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Old 09-04-2018, 05:14 PM   #5
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Re: Cleaning unfinished basement ceiling


I used to clean office equipment and had to do so right there with people working all around. I used two vacs, one shop vac and a small vacuum. I used the small one to blow the dust out and the big one to catch it. In a basement you could ventilate with fans, wear a good face mask and use compressed air or a vac in reverse but the blowing approach will reach the cracks and crevices you can't get to.

Be sure the house never had any asbestos as you would not want to risk blowing that around.

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Old 09-05-2018, 07:03 AM   #6
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Re: Cleaning unfinished basement ceiling


I did get the round brush attachment for my shop vac, and that worked great. I can still rub my fingers along the wood and pick up dirt, so I would like to clean more thoroughly. If I use a detergent of some sort, do I dilute it enough so that it doesn't need to be rinsed? I've had the basement tested for asbestos, and it's only on the trunk of the furnace/ductwork. There are plenty of areas where a reversed shop vac would be helpful; thanks for the tip. Lastly, what's the best way to spray the ceiling? I have an electric airless sprayer that I've used for fences.
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Old 09-05-2018, 07:07 AM   #7
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Re: Cleaning unfinished basement ceiling


How much dirt are you picking up? generally it isn't feasible [or needed] to get it spotless.
An airless is the best method for spraying the ceiling.
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Old 09-05-2018, 07:12 AM   #8
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How much dirt are you picking up? generally it isn't feasible [or needed] to get it spotless.
An airless is the best method for spraying the ceiling.
Wiping my finger across a joist will just leave a blackish residue on my finger. It’s nothing visible on the wood, but the house is very old and the basement was very neglected when I bought it. If the paint/stain will just encapsulate it, I won’t spend too much time getting it spotless.
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Old 09-05-2018, 07:15 AM   #9
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Re: Cleaning unfinished basement ceiling


Oil base has better adhesion properties than latex. IF I was concerned, I add Flood's EmulsaBond to the stain.
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