As much as we’d like it, no flooring is maintenance-free, and decorative concrete is no exception. Concrete floors are easy to maintain in comparison with other flooring types, particularly carpet, but they do need some attention. The level of maintenance and concrete cleaning a floor requires will depend mostly on the way it’s used and the traffic it gets. Concrete floors have no grout lines or joints to trap dirt, and they’re abrasion-, water-, and stain-resistant when they’re properly sealed. A damp mop is all that’s needed for cleaning, and concrete will last almost indefinitely if the sealer is periodically reapplied.
Products to Use When Cleaning Concrete Floors
A pH-neutral cleaner is best for cleaning stained concrete floors. Ask the sealer manufacturer or your floor installer to suggest their favorite solutions. Don’t use harsh cleaners such as bleach, ammonia, citrus, pine cleaners, or vinegar because they may react negatively with the floor, etching its surface. Microfiber pads are suggested for damp and dry mopping. In commercial areas with heavy traffic, a swing buffer or an auto scrubber may be used.
Tips for Concrete Floor Cleaning
Whether you’re a commercial or residential building owner, you’ll love how easy it is to clean concrete floors. Start with a daily dry-mopping to remove debris and dirt, using a damp mop and a pH-neutral cleaner when needed. Clean up spills as soon as possible to prevent surface stains.
Making Concrete Flooring Simpler to Maintain
When installing and designing a concrete floor, remember that saw-cut patterning creates surface lines that may trap debris and dirt. In highly trafficked areas like foyers and entryways, reduce wear and maintenance by using area rugs and floor mats. An outdoor floor mat will also reduce the amount of debris that’s brought in. Finally, be sure to follow the contractor’s recommended sealing and concrete cleaning services schedule to keep the floor looking its very best.
Caring for Stained Concrete Flooring
In most instances, home concrete flooring experiences relatively low foot traffic and these cleaning tips will help keep them looking great for years to come. Dry or damp mop the floors regularly to minimize abrasion, dirt, and grime. For the occasional deep cleaning, use a pH-neutral cleaner and water with a damp, clean mop. Protect the floor with a quality sealer and a coat of floor finish or wax. Reapply every few years or as required. Commercial flooring can use the same basic care regimen, but these floors may need more frequent sealer and/or wax applications because of higher foot traffic levels.
A stained concrete floor should be protected with a high-quality sealer to make it resistant to dirt, stains, abrasion, and water intrusion. This protective layer will not only prolong the floor’s lifespan, but it will also enhance its color and increase its sheen. Water-based sealants are usually suggested for indoor floors because they contain no toxic fumes. Your floor installer can recommend the right sealer for any application.
For additional protection from abrasion, dirt, and stains, many floor installers suggest using a quality floor wax that’s specifically formulated for concrete floors. The wax should be applied on top of the sealer; it preserves the sealer by absorbing impacts, wear, and tear. Wax makes it easier to buff out slight wear patterns and scratches, and its reapplication process is easier than that of floor sealer. These qualities have led wax coatings to be known as sacrificial protective layers.
Maintaining Polished Concrete Flooring
Because of the polishing and densification processes, polished concrete flooring is very durable. These floors are usually simpler to maintain than other decorative flooring types because they need no wax or sealer. With a basic cleaning regimen, polished concrete floors will stay shiny for years. Use a dry dust mop to remove daily grit and dirt, and occasionally use a damp mop and a specially designed cleaner for polished concrete.
Such cleansers not only clean the floor’s surface, but they also leave a dirt-resistant coating. What’s more, they’re easy to apply and require no buffing. If a polished concrete floor starts to lose its luster, a light buffing with a polishing compound will usually help. If deeper touch-ups are required, floors may be re-polished with a mild abrasive.
Cleaning Non-Polished Concrete
If a concrete floor hasn’t yet been treated with a stain, polish, or another decorative finish, it still needs routine care. Like decorative concrete, the amount and type of maintenance will depend on the foot traffic, wear, and tear to which the floor is exposed. When cleaning a plain concrete floor, consider your reasons for cleaning it. For instance, is it part of a routine maintenance plan, or are you preparing for the application of a decorative finish?
For everyday maintenance, simply clean the floor’s surface of debris and dust with a hose, a blower, or a broom. Use water and a soft brush to remove any surface stains; if that doesn’t work, use a stronger soap or even ammonia. For the most stubborn stains, degreasers or chemicals may be required. These are only for use on unfinished concrete, not polished or finished floors. For garage floors and exterior surfaces, power washers may be used. Avoid the use of muriatic acid if you plan to stain the floor at any time afterward. After a good cleaning, a coat of sealer will make the next clean-up go much faster.
Though some think they’re just for garages and industrial settings, concrete floors can be made decorative enough for use anywhere in the home or office. Whether you have finished, unfinished, or decoratively cut concrete floors, it’s important to maintain them properly by using the right tools, supplies, and methods. Though we’ve given some easy tips in this guide, some jobs are better left to the professionals. If you’re looking for help, advice, recommendations, and the best concrete floor cleaning services in Houston, we’re here to help. Visit us online for more details or call today to schedule an appointment.