Question: Do I need to neutralize acid stain floors before applying sealer? Does it really matter?
Answer: Always neutralize acid stain before proceeding to sealer application. Active acid stain has a high PH that will damage concrete sealer if not properly neutralized and cleaned. The acidic surface will destroy the acrylic in the sealer causing a blotchy appearance and sealer peel. Surfaces sealed but not neutralized will eventually have to be stripped, properly cleaned and resealed. Improper cleaning is one of the leading causes of sealer failure. Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda for every 1 gallon of water. Spray or pour the soda and water mixture on every inch of the floor. Move the solution around the floor using a squeegee. Once applied, the acid stain will be inert and can be cleaned from the surface. Use a soft-bristle scrub brush and a concrete degreaser/water solution to remove stubborn residue. The floor is clean when the rinse water is almost clear and there’s no chalky residue on the surface when dry.