Concrete floor maintenance
There is absolutely no flooring material that you can use which is totally maintenance free, the same goes for all types of concrete regardless of if its decorative or ordinary concrete. Though decorative polished concrete is relatively easier to care for when you compare it to other types of flooring materials like carpets but they still require your attention. Exactly how much maintenance a flooring will require mainly depends on how much traffic it receives. Keep in mind that the maintenance needs of any residential floor is going to be very different from that of an office or a restaurant simply because of the foot traffic it receives.
Residential flooring obviously receives a lot less foot traffic and is easier to clean. Occasional mopping or sweeping is all that is required to get years of service life. In addition, all concrete floors will need to be protected with good quality film forming sealer as well as a coat of floor finish or even some wax which is intended to make the flooring chemical, abrasion and stain resistant.
Below are a few general maintenance tips for polished concrete floors that most people will find useful:
- You may want to avoid floor designs which have saw cut type patterns, because it is the narrow surface cuts which are known to trap dirt.
- Unless the floor has been properly polished it needs to be protected with a sealer. This prolongs the life of the floor and enhances it appearance. Ideally, you will want to get it polished so that its more properly protected.
- To further protect your floor against abrasion, dirt and stains make sure to use a commercial grade wax which is meant for concrete floors. This is because the sacrificial finish of the wax will preserve the sealer and is easier to reapply if you see signs of wear and tear.
- Heavy traffic areas are obviously ones that receive a lot more wear and tear and so in order to reduce this constant wear use floor mats both in the entryways and on the inside.
- Always follow the maintenance methods and procedures laid out by your concrete contractor to maximize its life. Polished concrete may be a lot more durable but it still requires attention.
- Always make sure that you use cleaning solutions which are mainly recommended by the flooring contractor. Polished concrete is particularly susceptible to harsh chemicals and cleaning products which can destroy the top layer. So, always choose one recommended by your flooring contractor.
Fixing small flaws with polished concrete
If you see minor scratches and cracks the good news is that these minor flaws can be fixed with a good quality patching material. If you notice more severe cracking or if its widespread then you’ll need to hire a professional to get the floor resurfaced. Some people may also want to accentuate all the existing cracks so that they are a part of the floor’s original design. This can be done via saw cutting, staining and various other methods. You can ask the concrete specialist for input too.
When a professional applies dies or stains to a concrete floor it will penetrate deep into the surface of the floor which provides a more permanent coloring solution which does not fade or peel off. That said acid stains which often react with the chemical of the concrete floor can often be temperamental which ends up resulting in color variations which were originally not predicted. Plus it is plausible that stains from drink spills and other types of accidents can be absorbed into the floor if it’s not protected with floor wax or a sealer. When this happens there are quite a few methods which can be used to fix the discoloration. This range from using a tinted sealer to even is changing the color of the floor entirely using a fresh coat of dye or concrete stain. But this will need to be carried out by a professional.
Polished concrete floors are very common across the world but they need to be maintained on a regular basis. Make it a point to get your floor waxed and checked by an expert every year so that any potential problems can be fixed right away.
Mark has been providing floor polishing and concrete flooring services for over two decades. He is one of the leading experts on concrete designs and flooring maintenance.