I got up about 8:30 and was working on the floor in a little over half an hour. Al had called last night in response to my query about the sander. He said it was probably just the bushings and would be an easy repair. Continue to work with it and when it stopped working, take and get it fixed. It probably worked for a good 10 minutes before it gave up the ghost. At Al’s suggestion, I called the helpful rental place (United) and asked where I could get something like that repaired. They suggested Piedmont Tool Repair (who knew?!?), I called ’em up and they said bring it on in. Since I was about to leave, I called Joe to find out what his schedule was. He said he’d driven by the house but not seen lights on or anything so went on to the Store-It-Right. I tell him what I’m up to and he says “Hold on, I’ll be right over.” I show him what we need to do. He indicates that he’s got a sander that may be able to help but he needs to get discs for it from Lowes. So he runs out to Lowes, and I go to Piedmont Tool Repair. We get back at almost exactly the same time, and we start hacking at the floor some more.
I’ve got a sanding attachment for my drill, so I pull that out, but it’s much smaller than the buffer/sander that Al left for me, so I end up cutting down some of the sanding pads that I’d picked up and working with them. For the most part, it goes pretty well. When we’re pretty much done, Joe looks at the glue streaks from where the carpet padding had been glued down and wonders what we can do about them. I indicate that we’d pretty much been able to sand ’em up, but he wants to call Kemiko to see if there is any kind of solvent that will get it up. (This turns out to be an excellent idea.) Apparently there is, we can use lacquor thinner (like paint thinner, but stronger). So, he goes back to Lowes to get that and some rags. I stay and grind away in some of the cat-specific corners generating an odd dust of concrete, paint and cat pee.
We try it out, and it works pretty well. Joe works on that for a while, and I finish what I want to do sanding.
When we’re satisfied with that, I say that the next step is to fill in the holes that were caused by pulling out the tackboard. Joe thinks that the pits will pick up the stain and not be noticable, but I want to fill ’em anyway. (This turns out not to be such a smart idea.) So, we patch the holes in the floor.
Joe needs to work at Store-It-Right in the afternoon, which is fine because the next step is cleaning and I don’t imagine it would be that useful to have two people doing it. So, I prepare a bucket of phosphate-free TSP (Tri Sodium Phosphate), and start mopping. As soon as the concrete is wet, it becomes immediately obvious where the paint is and isn’t. Unfortunately it is just about everwhere. It’s not drops of paint either. Apparently these walls were spray painted instead of rollered. So, there’s a light film of paint in various configurations around the slab except for one place in the middle where for some reason or another there happened to be a drop cloth down when they were doing the painting.
I start, and find it a bit discouraging, but it’s mostly along the edges and I push forward. The TSP gets the paint up, but it takes a lot of scrubbing with my “Deck Brush”. It probably takes me 15 or so minutes to do a single 2-foot x 2-foot diamond(aka square). It is agonizing, but at least I can see progress. I get maybe a third of the way through the floor, mostly working on the edges only to discover that the next 2 thirds are almost all paint covered. I think, “I’m going to be doing this for days!” Bah Humbug.
But, then it hits me…Lacquor thinner is like paint thinner but stronger. I read the can. The can scares me. “By using this product you are using such-and-such a chemical which is known to cause birth defects. If you get dizzy from the fumes, the area is not sufficiently ventilated, immediately evacutate the area. Do not use as a general purpose cleaner. [and so on]” I think to myself “better to die far earlier rather than spend several more days scrubbing and scrubbing barely making any progress!” So, I use the lacquor thinner as a general cleaner. It works GREAT! I now do 3 squares in 5 minutes. The fumes do get a bit heavy, so I take a casagato break and tease bk about becoming a college professor. When I go back to it, I use my respirator. I wish it fit more comfortably, but I’m still so very pleased by that purchase. Finally, by 8 or so, I’m done. The floor is clean. What’s more, I think I’ve finished making dust so I take down the passageway plastics. Only after I’ve done that I remember a couple of spots I decided to hit with a sander tomorrow. A little more dust. At this point, whatever. My body’s exhausted. By the time I finally go to bed, I’m so very ready for it. I get one of the best nights sleep I think I may have ever had!
Joe Hours: 9:30-1:30 (4 hrs)