Maintenance of Your Concrete Flooring
Cleaning and Maintenance
Polished Concrete floors are relatively simple to care for. Low maintenance and durability are reasons Polished Concrete has become popular. Daily dusting will help keep the building cleaner and the floor looking its best. Sweep areas near exterior entrances and dirty environments as often as necessary. The recommended cleaning schedule for Polished Concrete is auto-scrubbing once daily or as often as required. Clean up spills as soon as possible. Spills can cause staining and may prevent slip hazards. Heavy use areas such as lunchrooms should be scrubbed after each meal or function. By instituting a scheduled cleaning program, the floor will continue to look and perform as it did the day it was installed.
The most effective method to clean a Polished Concrete Floor is to use the recommended cleaning products and follow a six-step process. (Equipment needs vary between small, medium and large floors.)
- Sweeping: Always sweep the floor thoroughly before cleaning.
- Application: Apply the proper cleaning solution to the floor and agitate.
- Dwell Time: Allow cleaning solution to stand on the surface to emulsify foreign materials.
- Agitation: Movement of the cleaning solution will aid in the detergent’s effectiveness.
- Removal: Thoroughly remove the dirty cleaning solution from the surface of the floor.
- Rinsing: Rinse the floor with clean water and thoroughly remove the rinse water.
- Sweeping: Use a broom, cotton looped dust mop, vacuum or automatic floor sweeper.
- Application: Pump-sprayer, mop, low speed floor burnisher or automatic floor scrubber.
- Agitation: Soft brush, soft pad, mop, low speed floor burnisher or floor scrubber.
- Removal: Wet vacuum, floor scrubber, squeegee or clean mop.
- Detergent: Non-film forming, neutral PH or non-film forming scrubber detergent.
- Rinsing: Clean water.
How to Clean Your Floor
Daily Auto-Scrubber Cleaning:
A quality auto-scrubber is the most efficient tool available to clean a Polished Concrete Floor. Always start with warm water in the scrubber’s solution tank. Mix the cleaning solution as directed for daily cleaning. Apply the cleaning solution through the machine and scrub, allowing the cleaning solution adequate dwell time to emulsify foreign material. Scrub the area again with fresh cleaning solution while using the vacuum squeegee to remove all liquid from the floor. Allow the area time to dry prior to traffic. A dilution rate of ½ ounce/gallon from the manufacturer’s recommended instructions for “Daily Cleaning” is typically sufficient for daily cleaning.
Deep Auto-Scrubber Cleaning:
Dilute the cleaning solution as directed by the manufacturer for “Heavy Soil” using warm water. Apply the cleaning solution through the machine and scrub, allowing the cleaning solution adequate dwell time to emulsify foreign material, typically 10-20 minutes. Continue to scrub through the area during this waiting period keeping the floor wet. Vacuum the dirty wash solution from the floor. Scrub the area again with fresh (“Daily Cleaning Dilution”) cleaning solution while using the vacuum squeegee to remove all liquid from the floor. The area may need to be rinsed with fresh water. Allow the area time to dry prior to traffic. If the floor has a slippery feel after it has dried, the floor has not been cleaned properly!
Always start with a clean mop head and clean warm water in a bucket. Dilute the recommended cleaner in warm water as directed by the manufacturer. The best way to clean with a mop is to double mop. Dip the mop into the cleaner and ring-out half the solution leaving the mop very wet. Apply this cleaning solution to the floor in a figure-eight motion and allow dwell time. Continue to mop to agitate the detergent. Rinse and thoroughly ring-out the mop. Mop again in the same motion to remove any excess liquid on the floor. The area may need to be mopped with fresh water. Allow adequate drying time prior to foot traffic. The key to achieving a clean floor when mopping is to change the detergent and rinse solution often with clean warm water.
Sweep the floor to remove loose debris. Dilute and apply floor cleaner into warm water according to the manufacturer’s directions for “Daily Cleaning”. Apply the cleaning solution with an automatic scrubber, pump-sprayer or mop. Allow the solution to dwell on the floor 5-10 minutes after scrubbing the cleaner into the floor. Remove the cleaning solution and rinse the floor with clean water. Remove the rinse water from the floor. The key to a clean floor is allowing the cleaner to do its work using clean water and thoroughly removing the dirty cleaning solution.
Spills and Stains:
Clean spills as quickly as possible. Polished Concrete is microscopically porous and can be stained from petroleum, grease or oil spills. Grease (from cooking and food) should be cleaned up immediately and soaked with the recommended cleaner. Gum and candy should be scraped up immediately and soaked with a strong solution of the recommended cleaner. Typically, a more concentrated solution of the recommended cleaning solution is adequate to clean this type of contaminate. Acidic, petroleum and strong alkaline cleaners should be avoided.
The life of your floor will depend upon how well you clean it. Aggressive use areas, particularly where contaminants such as food and grease are present may stain your floor and lead to a dull finish, possibly damaging the floor. A buildup of soap film will also lead to a dull Polished Concrete floor. By instituting a scheduled cleaning program, the floor will continue to look and perform as it did the day it was installed.
When serving food or beverages on a polished concrete floor, use area rugs to protect the floor in the immediate use areas. Oils from food, alcohol, and acidic fruits such as limes/lemons can be damaging to polished concrete if not removed and cleaned immediately when dropped.
- Dust the floor daily with a cotton looped dust mop. Do not use an oil-impregnated dust mop.
- Make sure the pads or brushes used on automatic scrubbers are in good condition.
- Scrubber pads should be green 3-M cleaning pads or similar (medium).
- Brushes should be soft nylon bristle, non-abrasive brushes.
- When removing dirty solution use a soft, neoprene squeegee, clean mop or wet vacuum.
- Wax should never be used on Polished Concrete. If you start waxing, you can never stop.
- Spills should be cleaned up immediately to prevent staining and as a safety precaution.
- Gum and similar contaminates should be scraped and washed with recommended cleaner.
- Avoid acidic cleaners and strong alkaline cleaners, they can etch or damage the concrete.
- Avoid petroleum based cleaners on dyed polished concrete, it can permanently displace dye.
- Acidic spills should be neutralized with baking soda and flushed with fresh water.
- Surfaces should be adequately protected when moving products or equipment across the floor.
- Scrub corners and edges weekly with a soft bristle hand brush and proper cleaning solution.
- Never use a mop to clean a floor that is greasy or oily. Use a brush or automatic scrubber.
- Soak stains by saturating a dishrag in the recommended cleaner and laying it on the spill.
- Diluting the cleaning solution to 1/2 ounce per gallon is acceptable for “Daily Cleaning.”
- Polished Concrete requires very little detergent to maintain a clean floor.
Your Polished Concrete Floor will look its best when it is clean. By installing a Polished Concrete Floor in your facility, you are telling people that you care about your facilities’ image. Implementing a maintenance program is the most effective method to insure the floor will be pristine for years to come. A well maintained polished concrete floor will develop a deeper luster as it ages. Polished Concrete will actually continue to look better with age as the years pass.
Scratches and gouges can result from sliding heavy equipment across the floor. Polished Concrete can be damaged from impacts by heavy objects. Acids can cause damage to Polished Concrete. Typically, acidic damage is caused from cleaning products, vinegar, wine, limes / lemons, soda pop and body fluids. These types of spills should be cleaned up immediately with generous amounts of water and baking soda. After the spill is removed the recommended cleaner should be used to clean any remaining residue. If an incident occurs and will not easily clean up, contact Polished Concrete of Wyoming to receive special instructions and perform repairs if necessary.
A CLEAN Polished Concrete Floor is considered a non-slip surface, even when damp. When the floor is damp it may still become slick. Shoes should be worn on Polished Concrete floors. The floor may also become slick if microscopic granular sand or debris is present on the surface. It is necessary to keep the floor swept, clean and dry to maintain the non-slip characteristics Polished Concrete is known for.
Polished Concrete of Wyoming is available to make an on-site inspection to determine if additional professional maintenance should be performed to insure the Polished Concrete Floor is performing as expected. During these visits all cleaning procedures, cleaning products, overall floor performance and the general appearance will be evaluated to determine if adjustments are required for the specific conditions applicable to the floor.