There is no maintenance-free flooring material, and decorative concrete is no exception. When you compare other floorings with concrete floorings, like carpet, they tend to be very easy to maintain. However, they will require maintenance on a regular basis. You will have to maintain your floor depending on how much daily use it receives.
Knowing about your Concrete Floor
The first thing to get started is to know your Concrete floor. Different finishes require different approaches while cleaning so it is indispensable to know your floor first. But keep in mind that regardless of finish type, clean out spills and stains as soon as possible. As for other types of concrete flooring, the ways to clean them can vary. Not let’s talk about the most common types of Concrete Floor finishes and how to clean them.
Sealed Concrete Floor
Sealed concrete is a kind of concrete surface that is coated with resins, penetrating silicates, epoxy resins, or urethane, making it nonporous and stain-resistant.
How to Clean Sealed Concrete Flooring
Sealed concrete flooring makes it very easy to clean since it is nonporous and resistant to most stains.
Things you’ll need:
- Dishwashing liquid
- Broom, dust mop, or vacuum
- Wet mop
- Bucket or deep sink
- Debris and dust should be removed from the surface. Dust mop, vacuum, or sweep regularly to prevent scratches caused by dirt and grit.
- Prepare the cleaning solution and wet your mop with it. The solution should contain 9 litres of water and 2 teaspoons of the cleaning agent. Using this solution, mop the floors once per week.
- Dry thoroughly after rinsing. After rinsing with clean water, go over the floor again to remove soap residue. Afterward, let it dry naturally.
Polished Concrete Floor
Wet or dry, concrete can be polished to a gleaming finish that never needs to be re-coated or waxed. Depending on the level of sheen and staining, concrete can take on the appearance of a polished stone, like granite or marble.
How to Clean Polished Concrete Flooring
The biggest benefit of polished concrete is that it resealing is not required. The sealed surface is tough and more durable.
Things you’ll Need:
- Commercial grade concrete cleaner (Polished)
- Dust mop or vacuum
- Wet mop
- Regularly mop and dust. You should clean the dust, debris, and lint from the surface by dusting with a dust mop. A Vacuum cleaner works especially well here.
- Make sure you clean with a commercial-grade cleaner. If the polished concrete becomes soiled with dirt or spills, damp mop it with a pH-neutral concrete cleaner. You don’t need to rinse when you clean with most products. Refer to the product instructions for this.
There are many colours of stains available for colouring newly poured or older concrete if gray isn’t your favourite. These stains penetrate the concrete and last forever. You can seal the concrete or leave it unsealed.
This type of concrete finish can imitate stone, brick, or even wood. The other name for Stamped concrete is imprinted concrete or textured concrete. Staining the concrete usually results in a more durable surface and it can be left unsealed or sealed.
Stains adhere readily to concrete, but oil-based or latex paint is more difficult to achieve The paint will not adhere properly to a polished or sealed surface, and it will peel.
Cleaning Painted Concrete Floors
There are two types of painted concrete floors: sealed and unsealed. Each of these requires a different approach while cleaning them. Paint and sealants should be protected by avoiding harsh or acidic cleansers that may damage them.
What You’ll Need:
- Dust mop or vacuum
- Microfiber mop
- Bucket or sink
- Vacuum or dust mop. Remove surface grit and dirt from the floors every day with a dust mop (a vacuum will make it easier).
- A cleaning solution and mopping is the next step. You can use an all-purpose commercial cleaner by mixing it with warm water to make a cleaning solution and apply it after vacuuming. With the cleaning solution only lightly dampened, use a microfiber mop. Don’t use excessive moisture, as it will cause the paint to break down and peel.
- Dry after rinsing. To avoid any soap residue remaining, thoroughly rinse the floor with a mop wetted with clear water and let it air-dry.
Unsealed poured concrete is concrete left untreated after casting. Oil stains, in particular, are readily absorbed by the porous surface.
Cleaning Unsealed Concrete Floors or Exterior Concrete
Although garage floors, sidewalks, and patios require little maintenance, a good cleaning will make them look better.
This is what You’ll Need:
- Trisodium phosphate
- Stain removers (varies depending on the type of stain)
- A Stiff-bristled broom or shop vac
- Garden hose or bucket
- Pressure washer (optional)
- Rubber gloves
- Clean away loose dirt and debris. Clean the concrete by removing anything that is sitting on it. Use a shop vac to clean away debris and dirt.
- Clean-up in general. Ideally, you’d like to use a pressure washer with TSP and a water solution is the easiest way to clean exterior concrete. When mixing the solution, be sure to wear rubber gloves.
Instead of using a pressure washer, spray water on the concrete and scrub away with a stiff-bristled brush like a push broom. After cleaning, rinse thoroughly and let the area air dry.
- Removing grease stains. Using cornstarch or dry cat litter, lightly sprinkle over the area that’s got the stains. At least three days are needed for it to absorb the oil. The reason it takes so long is that unsealed concrete is porous and the oil penetrates deeply. Vacuum the area and repeat as necessary.
- Stains from food and beverages – Pour about a litre of water and 2 tablespoons of cleaning liquid (dishwashing liquid works fine) into a bowl. Proceed with the application of the mixture with a brush with stiffer bristles and scrub well. Oily stains can be scrubbed with the liquid directly applied to them. Wash thoroughly with plain water.
- Marks left by tires – Apply a degreaser to the stained area after wetting it. You should let the cleaner sit for 4 hours so that it can properly dissolve into the porous surface. Afterward, scrub away!
- Stains caused by rust – Light rust stains can be removed with distilled white vinegar poured over the stains and left to work for at least 30 minutes before scrubbing with a stiff brush and rinse. Use a commercial-grade rust remover containing oxalic acid if the stains are large and dark.
- Stains caused by mildew – Mix 2 tablespoons of detergent (laundry detergent works here) with 2 tablespoons of trisodium phosphate (TSP) into about a litre of water wearing rubber gloves. Thoroughly scrub the area affected by mildew. A brush with stiffer bristles works fine here. Rinse the area well.
If the mildew stains are extremely severe, use a cleaning solution made by mixing chlorine bleach with water. 1 cup of bleach with around 4 litres of water (1 gallon) should be diluted and scrubbed with a stiff brush before rinsing well.
Things to look out for when cleaning your Concrete floor
- You should avoid harsh cleaners, which can dull and break down the sealant. Replace the sealant according to the installer’s instructions.
- Bleach and other cleaners shouldn’t be mixed, as the combination could be toxic.
- We recommend wearing protective clothing since you can not remove bleach stains easily from your clothing. Also, try using bleach only in well-ventilated areas.
- Don’t let the mixture touch shrubs or grass as it is very harmful to them.