Concrete floors are an affordable, durable alternative to stone, wood and tile. They can be stamped to resemble stone or brick. The concrete can even be mixed with coloring and made to look like wood floors. However, modern concrete flooring come with a different set of care instructions. Here are some concrete care tips from a Concrete Flooring Solutions a leading installer of concrete floors.
Have It Sealed
Concrete floors are stain and water resistant if properly sealed. If the floor isn’t sealed, then pet and drink stains can seep into the concrete and are almost impossible to remove. This is why you want to know that the floor is sealed before you mop it or risk spilling anything on it. The floor will need to have the sealer reapplied every few years.
You can improve the life of the seal by having the floor waxed regularly. This will protect the concrete floor’s seal from abrasion and debris. Use commercial grade floor wax that is designed for concrete floors.
Clean It The Right Way
Concrete floors that have been sealed can be swept forever. And you can use a damp mop to clean up messes. Use a microfiber cleaning pad to minimize the effect on the concrete floor seal. While you can use a harsh brush to scrub the floor, you’ll end up replacing the seal sooner. You can use a swing buffer or auto scrubber on the concrete floor once in a while.
Don’t use harsh cleaning products like bleach, citrus, ammonia or vinegar. That can damage the seal or etch the surface. Know that the cut patterns on the concrete and any stamped patterns will trap dirt. These areas may require additional scrubbing, or you could clear the grooves of debris using a vacuum cleaner.
What if you have unsealed concrete? Clean it with a brush or blast of water first. If that doesn’t work, then you can use soap on the stain. Ammonia is a last resort but can be used on unsealed concrete. Never use muriatic acid on concrete if you hope to have it sealed in the future. Then get the concrete sealed so you don’t have to go to that much work next time there’s a stain on your concrete floors.
Plan Your Cleaning Schedule
Sweep or mop the concrete floors daily. This removes dirt, debris and crumbs. The latter need to be removed to prevent pests. Mop stains as soon as they occur so that the mess can’t seep into the concrete. This includes standing water and pet messes. While the concrete seal should prevent that matter from seeping into the concrete, you don’t know the state of the concrete sealant until you see that the stain is starting to become permanent.
Minimize The Need To Clean
Set up indoor floor mats or rugs at entryways to trap dirt. Consider setting up outdoor floor mats, too, to minimize how much junk gets tracked indoors. If you’re in an industrial environment, get sticky mats that pull dirt and debris from people’s shoes.
Protect The Concrete Floors
Mats and wax can only do so much. They’ll take the rough treatment of foot traffic, but it won’t prevent damage when someone drags heavy tools across the floor. Require heavy loads be moved on trolleys or dollies instead of pushed or pulled across the concrete floor.