Re-sealing a Concrete Patio / Can Alligatoring Paint Be Corrected ? / Vermiculite Insulation

In Asbestos Tile, Q&A, Vermiculite on May 15, 2012 at 12:29 pm

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I have a concrete patio, which was sealed with a 50-50 mixture of boiled linseed oil and kerosene 8 years ago. We are happy with it, and I am thinking of resealing it with the same mixture, but not sure if it requires stripping.  If it does, what kind of mixture do I use to strip it before applying a new coat? Also can this 50-50 mixture be used for sealing stamped concrete patios?


There is no need to remove the previous sealer since it has long worn away due to weather, the suns rays and normal wear. The only thing you need to do is make sure the surface is clean and dry before you reseal it. My recommendation is to wait until it is nice and hot to apply the sealer, otherwise it takes too long to dry.

Finally, this method of sealing concrete is not only recommended for patios, it is also recommended for driveways, porches and walkways as well.


The paint on some walls looks like the hide of an alligator. Can it be corrected?


Yes, it can be corrected. You didn’t read me say it can be done easily, but I will say it could be corrected and maybe worth the effort to you.

Sometimes numerous random cracks appear over the wall – not straight cracks, but cracks that actually look like an alligator’s hide. These cracks originate within the paint itself. A couple of circumstances contribute to this problem: Applying paint over a surface that’s not clean or is greasy, and most often, applying a flat paint over glossy enamel or a varnished woodwork.

In the future, if you plan on painting over gloss or semi-gloss enamel paints or varnishes, sand and clean the surface prior to painting. Then apply a de-glosser, like Liquid Sandpaper.

To eliminate the alligatoring-paint, you have two alternatives: A temporary solution is to fill and sand each and every crack with spackling compound and repaint. The permanent solution is to chemically strip off all the layers of paint, clean, sand, prime the walls, and re-paint. Keep in mind that most of the paint under the latex topcoats probably contains lead. Lead paint must be removed using precautions. You must be careful not to stir up dust or cause fumes that contain lead. You really should consider hiring a professional since you are going to set up a containment area in each room that you’ll be working in. Containment means removing everything from those rooms. The carpeting and floors will have to be covered with heavy-gauge, six-mil plastic and all seams taped. The plastic should even be taped to the baseboards. The heat supply and returns must all be sealed off and you will need to wear disposable clothing, goggles and protective mask. You can find out more about safety measures by calling 1-800-424-LEAD. Ask for the brochure “Reducing Lead Hazards When Remodeling Your Home.” This brochure explains what to do before, during, and after renovations.

Now that you think about it, those cracks don’t look so bad after all, do they? They sort of give the walls character. And speaking of character, I’m often called one.

You inspected my house for a purchaser and found vermiculite insulation in the attic. They did not buy the house because of it. Why?

Vermiculite is known to contain hazardous asbestos.

EPA’s recent testing in houses with vermiculite found that for the most part, undisturbed attic air contains no detectable asbestos. If vermiculite is disturbed, or samples pulled from the bottom of the insulation, there is up to 2% of a very hazardous type of asbestos. Since any exposure to asbestos is unsafe a licensed asbestos contractor should remove it.
Another problem with vermiculite is just its existence in the attic. Houses breathe and vacillate between negative and positive air pressure. When your house is under negative pressure you could be pulling asbestos fibers into the air via wall sockets, light fixtures, recessed lights, gaps between the floor and walls, etc.

Vermiculite looks about the size of the eraser on a pencil. The colors vary from silver-gold to a gray-brown. If you think you have it, do not go into the attic.


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