It has been established that quality floor markings and coverings will result in greatly improved workplace safety and organization while also boosting employee morale. To keep these surfaces performing these functions and looking sharp for years to come, a little maintenance can go a long way. Here’s how to keep your polished concrete floors in top notch condition.
The Importance of Proper Floor Maintenance
While polished concrete floors are a tough, durable surface, they do require a degree of upkeep to remain in optimal shape. We recommend taking a three part approach to floor maintenance consisting of the following steps:
Restore: Immediately clean all spills and address any stains.
Protect: Take measures to prevent future stains and wear.
Maintain: Adhere to a daily and periodic floor cleaning schedule.
Read on for a more in-depth look at the three parts of proper floor maintenance.
Liquids left to sit on a polished surface may penetrate the finish and cause a stain (this is especially true of acidic or caustic liquids) so it is of the utmost importance to immediately and thoroughly clean any spills that occur. The longer a spill is allowed to sit, the more likely it is that staining or erosion will occur.
Spill cleanup and stain remediation methods variety somewhat depending on the chemical makeup of the offending substance. For example:
- Acidic food spills such as soft drinks, pickle juice, and ketchup should be cleaned immediately with fresh water or a concrete cleaner such as Prosoco DailyKlean. Acidic substances will etch concrete finish if allowed to sit.
- Adhesive residue from tape can be removed with Prosoco Wax & Cure Remover or with acetone. Care should be taken when using a razor blade to remove the tape itself in order to avoid scratching the surface.
- Alkaline spills of such substances as detergents and ammonia should be cleaned immediately with concrete cleaner to minimize staining. Gloss finish can be refreshed with a guard such as Prosoco LSGuard.
- De-icing salt residue should be auto scrubbed with concrete cleaner.
- Greases and oils should be cleaned with Prosoco Cleaner/Degreaser diluted to 1:10 concentration while still fresh. Stains that have set can be removed with Prosoco Oil & Grease Stain Remover.
- Diamond Impregnated pads can be used in conjunction with concrete cleaners to remove set stains and polish out scratches.
The floor polishing process is completed with the application of a sealer. Often, when a spill is cleaned or a stain is removed, some of this protective layer is also removed and will need to be reapplied. Even in instances where spill and stain remediation have not been necessary, sealers will need to be periodically reapplied to counteract general wear.
These sealers will not only result in a visually appealing shine, they protect concrete surfaces from wear ant weathering, and protect dyed and stained concrete from water and oil stains as well as acidic etching. Surfaces should be burnished with a high grit polishing pad after the application of a sealer in order enhance gloss.
The Maintain step of the overall process of keeping polished concrete floors in good condition involves establishing a regular routine cleaning so as to reduce the likelihood of staining and wear. A typical cleaning routine should include:
- Immediate cleaning of spills. The longer a substance sits on a polished concrete surface, the more likely staining is to occur.
- The removal of large debris from floors by hand.
- Dust mopping multiple times daily as the abrasive action as dirt left on floors can dull the finish.
- Regularly auto-scrub the entire floor. Be sure to only use cleaners specifically designed to clean concrete floors and dilute cleaners in accordance with the label. Use a soft cleaning pad based on pad manufacturer recommendations and use a mop to reach areas to small for the auto-scrubber to reach.
Polished concrete floors are, by their very nature, durable surfaces resistant to staining and wear. A good cleaning and upkeep routine will keep your floors looking new and shiny indefinitely.