Concrete floors are convenient flooring materials well known for their quality and versatility. On top of that, it is a cost-effective solution that comes in various styles.
While the interior concrete-like sealed and polished flooring is stain-resistant and easy to maintain, unsealed exterior concrete surfaces like patios, sidewalks, and garages need extra effort to keep them pristine.
Without periodic scrubbing, it is obvious to spot moisture, dirt, and mildew build-up on concrete surfaces. You must necessitate maintaining concrete floors periodically by brushing off dust and debris. Failing to do so can cost you a considerable amount of expense in the future.
Before You Begin
There are important things you need to consider before cleaning the concrete floors.
- Avoid harsh cleaning chemicals like bleach, ammonia, citrus cleaners, and vinegar on polished and stamped concrete flooring. It will lead the concrete floor to lose its sealant and crack.
- Do not use a pressure washer on a sealed concrete floor. It will leave the floor dull.
- Never use a metal bristle brush. Its fibers can get stuck into the concrete floors and result in rusting.
- Use safety measures like gloves and a mask while using harsh cleaning agents. Wear long-sleeved clothes and safety goggles too.
- Some acidic chemicals are flammable. Make sure to use it in an open area.
- Never mix bleach, ammonia, and other commercial acidic products.
- While cleaning the exterior surfaces with harsh cleaning products, preserve shrubs and plants from it.
Ways to Clean Different Styles of Concrete Flooring
Cleaning methods alter according to different concrete types. Flooring like sealant polished and painted concrete floors do not require excess elbow grease. Their stain-resistant feature makes it easy to clean with occasional mopping. Exterior surfaces on the contrary need harsher cleaning techniques. As it is not coated with special sealants, spills and stains get easily soaked up into concrete pores.
It is very important not to apply harmful chemicals and harsh cleaning methods on interior surfaces. You can use pressure washers and acidic products on exterior surfaces like sidewalks and patios however.
Cleaning Sealed Concrete Floor
Sealed concrete floors are stain-resistant because they are coated with acrylic resins, epoxies, and silicates. That is why it is relatively easy to clean than other concrete surfaces. Make sure to not use harsh cleaning chemicals to clean these types of floors.
- A mop
- Mild cleaning detergent
- A soft-bristled brush
- A bucket filled with water
- Start by removing dust and debris with the help of a vacuum or a broom.
- Mix warm water and detergent in a bucket. You can also use mild liquid dishwashing soap. Stir the mixture with a mop.
- Wring the mop and get excess water off it. Start mopping the area in small sections.
- After done with all the edges, dip the mop in another bucket of clean water. Wring it again and start mopping the area for the second time. Make sure all the soapy suds and stains are removed from the surface.
- In case of stubborn stain in a specific spot, use a soft-bristled brush and a mixture of hot water and mild dishwashing liquid. Gently scrub the area until the stain is gone. Wipe the soapy water with a clean microfiber cloth.
- Let the area completely air dry.
Polished Concrete Floor Maintenance
Polished concrete floors have no waxing floor materials. You can notice these kinds of floorings in big hotels, restaurants, and retail stores. . You will need PH-neutral cleaners like castile soap and mild liquid dish soap to clean the surface.
Repeat the same steps as above, you can also use commercial polished cleaner instead of mild dishwashing soap.
How To Clean Stamped Concrete Floors
Stamped concrete is patterned to give the impression of bricks, stones, and woods. Sweep it occasionally to take care of this kind of flooring. You can clean it weekly using a mop and a mixture of detergent and hot water. Make sure to remove dust using a broom before starting the cleaning process.
In case of tough stains like grease, tire stains, sot, and tars, you can use a pressure washer. If you do not own one, you can rent it from hardware stores. Replace it with a garden hose if you do not have access to it.
You can apply oxalic acid to get rid of rust stains on concrete floors.
Cleaning Unsealed Concrete Floors
Unsealed concrete flooring style is mainly practiced on garage floors, sidewalks, and patios. These floorings are porous and more likely to absorb stains. As it does not have any special sealant to protect it from stains.
One of the applicable techniques to clean the exterior concrete floor is to use a pressure washer with trisodium phosphate. It is a powerful degreaser that can remove mold, mildew, and other stains on the surface.
- Trisodium phosphate
- Pressure washer/garden hose
- Nylon bristle brush
- A broom
- Sweep away all the dust and debris using a soft-bristled broom.
- Set aside furniture and other equipment aside before starting the process.
- Start spraying the water using pressure washes to diminish dirt from every crack and crevice.
- While the floor is still wet, spray trisodium phosphate around every corner.
- Using a broom, brush the mixture. Scrub till the stains go away.
- Using fresh clean water, power hose the area once again. You can utilize a garden hose if a pressure washer is not available. Use it at high pressure.
- Repeat the process until cleaning is not sufficient.
Dealing With Various Kinds of Stains On Concrete
It is possible to have stain residue after thoroughly mopping and pressure washing the concrete surfaces. Following are the solutions to get rid of varying sorts of spots.
- Mold and mildew: Concrete is naturally porous. So, it is most likely to be a victim of moisture damage. Extreme moisture can cause its surfaces to mold and mildew buildup. For this issue, you can apply bleach to the stain. Mix one cup of bleach per gallon of water and scrub the area with a bristle brush. Only apply this method on sealed concrete floors.
- Rust stains: Minor rust stains can vanish with the help of gentle scrubbing. Use dish soap and water or lemon water solution to get rid of the spot. In case of tough rust stain, you can opt for harsh cleaning agents like oxalic acid, hydrochloric acid, and trisodium phosphate.
- Oil stains: Greasy oil stains can be removed with the help of dish soap and water. You can spray the solution onto the grime and scrub it until the oil stain on concrete vanishes. If it does not show any result, spray bleach solution onto it and let it sit for 20 minutes. Lastly, scrub it to see the outcome.
- Grease Stains: In case of grease stains, you can opt for kitty litter, cornstarch, or sawdust. Apply it and leave it on the stain for about a day. Vacuum or sweep it the next day. For minor stains, use detergent and water mixture and scrub the damaged area.
- Tire marks: Garage floors are mainly targeted with tire stains. To completely get rid of the tire stain on concrete, wet the area and use a commercial degreaser and let it sit for a few hours. Scrub the area with a brush and rinse it to complete the process.
- Paint stains: If the paint is still fresh and wet, you can absorb the paint with a rag or a towel. Do not scrub, if it is still fresh; it can spread to other areas. In case the paint has dried then use commercial paint remover and spray it onto the damaged spot. Let it sit for 20-40 minutes. Scrub it gently and after it is done. Clean it with a clean wet towel or a rag.
How To Care For Concrete Floors
Who does not want long-lasting and shining floors? You should take proper maintenance and care to make it happen. Here are some suggestions you can pursue:
- Address the spills and dust as soon as possible on any kind of concrete surface.
- Clean the concrete surface regularly by sweeping the dust and debris from the surfaces. Use a broom, leaf blower, or garden hose to keep dirt out of the area.
- Reseal the surface every 2-3 years. Use water-based sealer for interior flooring. Take expert advice to be sure what type of sealant to use on the floors you have installed.
- Also to protect the floor from different types of stains, you can coat wax above the sealants. This will also help to protect the coating of sealants and make them durable.