There’s a reason a city is called a concrete jungle. If we’re to take away all the brick-and-mortar portion of a city, we might not be able to recognize it. It won’t even look grand. Indeed, a city these days without concrete would look empty. Just a quick look around any city in America will tell you concrete tops every other material in construction as the most essential, perhaps second only to steel.
And that holds true for our personal property too. Unless you’re planning to build a log house, concrete is essential. What many don’t realize is concrete can be beautiful too as a flooring material.
For many times there, we’ve relegated concrete flooring to the utilitarian aspects of our home (e.g., garage). Recent developments, however, show otherwise. You can dye concrete, have it airbrushed or even stenciled to make it look really stunning.
And yet, when you have all that beauty laying at your feet, you’ll face another issue: maintaining all that flooring.
The good news is giving your concrete floor the right maintenance care need not be an uphill climb. It’s true that it may take some effort, not to mention great planning. But when you do things right, maintaining your concrete floor won’t take a huge chunk of your time. Best of all, it can ensure your beautiful concrete lasts longer than you expect it to.
Make a Habit of Regular Cleaning
If you want to keep your concrete floor in its full glory, you need to attend to it regularly. Things won’t happen by chance. If you’re not sure how much time to give it, just equate cleaning with the foot traffic the floor gets. The more traffic it gets, the more time should be given to clean it.
Thus, if the polished concrete flooring has round-the-clock traffic, cleaning it twice, once in the morning and once in the evening, would be advisable.
You might think concrete is strong but if you don’t clean it regularly, pretty soon dust and all sorts of debris will have their way with the flooring. If left to their own devices, sand particulates and dirt would be rubbing themselves on the surface like sandpaper, causing the concrete to lose its fine finish. When that happens, you might as well say “bye-bye’ to your concrete’s smooth appearance.
Use the Right Tools
Before we go to the cleaning, know that there are ways you can protect your polished concrete to make it last. For instance, a proven-and-tested method is to use epoxy concrete floor coating. When you do that, it’s like you’re putting a magical coat on the concrete floor. Not only will it be resistant to solvents and other harsh chemicals but also you make it look even more stunning.
Right from the get-go, you need to make the most of the right tools. Currently, you have two methods available to you for best results. One is manual cleaning and the other is using machines. If you have the time, know that manual cleaning is the better option.
When you do manual cleaning, first sweep the floor so you remove dust and whatever debris is left. Be careful though, with the materials. Your dust mop must be of soft microfiber material. If you use a harsher material, you may cause the concrete to grow dull. As for spills, you need to deal with them ASAP so the liquid won’t seep into the porous concrete and do damage.
If you need to use cleaners, a pH-neutral concoction should be best. Let it sit a little longer to loosen all the dirt. However, you should wipe it off before it dries. If you let it dry, the formulation can damage your concrete floor. So, it’s best you don’t clean the whole floor in one setting. Instead, work small areas one at a time.
When you use automatic floor scrubbers, make sure they are equipped with soft pads that are not abrasive. If you’re using pads that are too hard, you may cause scratching and etching, damaging the surface in the process.
Avoid Harmful Substances
Sometimes, you may think that traditional cleaning practices are well and good. But, for starters, know that applying wax to your polished concrete is a no-no. If you insist, you may cause your floor irreparable damage.
Know that if your concrete floor has a warranty, using wax may void it. The problem with wax is it builds up over time. You may be able to remove it but not before it has dulled the entire floor.
Also, never place tape on your concrete floor. Once you do, the adhesive can damage the surface of your concrete. The same holds true for degreasers. Since these are abrasives, it’s highly likely they’ll result in dulling.
Your polished concrete floor certainly requires attention to detail, but when you’ve done your part all the oohs and aahs of your esteemed house guests should be reparation enough.