To keep your concrete floors looking as good as new, the right combination of a simple floor care routine and periodic professional services are essential. This may sound problematic or expensive, however, polished concrete is generally the easiest care concrete since they require no waxing or sealing.
- Use a soft microfibre pad daily to dust mop the floor. We recommend very soft pads to avoid scratching or etching the concrete surface. This will remove dirt particles and grime accumulation. It may seem as though the floors are relatively clean after a couple of days; however, it doesn’t take long for small dirt particles to create what’s commonly known as the ‘sandpaper effect’. This can ruin the clarity, colour and shine of polished concrete, leading to the floor losing its trademark smooth appearance.
- Use clean, warm water and clean microfibre mops each time you wet mop the floor. This should be carried out weekly in a residential area. Small areas can be cleaned using a mop and bucket, whereas an automatic floor scrubber equipped with a nonabrasive pad should be used in larger areas. Damp mop only with a pH neutral floor cleaner. Throughout its life, concrete has a pH range of 10-12. Even with neutral cleaners in the 6-8 pH range, concrete remains a reactive material. Visually, you cannot see what is happening on the floor, but nevertheless negative reaction occurs underneath. Therefore, consistent floor cleaning and using neutral pH cleaner is vital.
- Before you mop away the cleaning agent from the floor surface, ensure the cleaner is given enough time to begin breaking down the grime.
The higher the foot traffic, the more often concrete floors should be cleaned. SPCS recommend to schedule sweeping tasks daily and mopping weekly. Monthly tasks would involve a more thorough cleaning.
Keep in mind:
- Clean spills promptly
Where possible, always clean liquid spills immediately. Spills from acidic fluids, such as pickle juice, vinegar, milk, fruit juices, oils, water and mineral deposits will seep into the floor, causing staining or etching if dried. These along with stones can greatly damage the floor.
- Book periodic inspections
If the surface of your concrete floor looks different or duller from when it was first installed, it may be time for you to have it professionally evaluated. The sooner the floor is inspected by an experienced concrete floor polisher, the greater the chance of having it cleaned and looking back to almost new. SPCS recommend the polishing process to be performed by a professional approximately every five years.
- High pH chemicals & cleaners
Only neutral-pH cleaners should be used. A cleaner that is too acidic or too alkaline will deteriorate the concrete floor and dull the shine. Special attention should be paid to avoid cleaners with reactive liquids such as vinegar, soaps, or wine. Ensure harsh household cleaners are stored where they cannot easily spill or leak onto polished floors.
- Sticking Builders tape to the floor
The surface of a concrete floor can be damaged by painter’s tape. If required to be used, ensure it is not installed for an extended period of time.
Do not use a floor cleaner with added wax as it is considered a containment. The build-up of wax is difficult to strip and can cause costly repairs. Although it may be tempting to use, wax will only temporarily improve the appearance of your floor.
- Regular mops
These are often made of harsher materials that can scratch or dull your floor’s surface.
Although, polished concrete floors are extremely durable, time and care must be taken to ensure they are kept cleaned and maintained. As we previously mentioned, concrete is a reactive surface. Acidic fluids and the use of incorrect materials can present great problems. These can almost always be mitigated by good housekeeping procedures. Simply remember these 3 steps and your concrete polished floor will look as amazing as ever: maintain, clean & enhance.