Summer is almost here— are you thinking about cleaning your concrete floors? It’s important for home and business owners in Tulsa to know that while concrete is an easy surface to maintain, those floors still require care. Concrete is porous, which means that they can absorb all manner of gunk and provide a home to mildew.
The needs of a homeowner will likely be different than those of a small business owner whose floors come in contact with a regular heavy stream of visitors, but no matter where your concrete floor is, it’s a good idea to implement concrete care into your cleaning routine.
Cleaning Your Concrete Floors
A regular quick sweep and mopping should be enough to clean the concrete floors in your home. Outdoors, a power washer is the simplest way to clean concrete surfaces. If you rent a power washer, make sure that you are familiar with how to use it before you begin, and make sure that you have gloves and goggles handy.
First spray the entire surface with detergent and then scrub it into the concrete. Do not use a brush with metallic bristles; those can become imbedded in the concrete and rust.
Goggles and gloves on, choose the side where you’d like to start using the power washer, and use the same motion that you would when mopping a floor.
Removing Indoor Stains
If you want to use a natural solution, make a paste of hydrogen peroxide and flour. Apply it to the stain; leave it on overnight, and then scrape it off with a plastic-edged scraper tool.
For concrete that has been polished or stamped, you can use water and mild cleaner, such as Castille soap, dish detergent, a stone cleaner, or other floor cleaner. Spread your chosen cleaner on the concrete with a wet mop, and then rinse with clean water. Avoid using harsh chemicals, bleach, ammonia, or anything acidic on polished or stamped concrete.
Removing Outdoor Stains
If your stain is outdoors, one way to remove it is to mix Trisodium phosphate (TSP) and water. Use a nylon brush to scrub the stain until you’ve removed it and then wash away with a hose.
You can also use muriatic acid on especially stubborn stains, including those made by rust or dried grout, but it is toxic and needs to be used carefully. Be sure that you’re cleaning according to the manufacturer’s directions and while wearing the proper protective gear— in other words, get those goggles and gloves again.
Sealing and Protecting Your Concrete Floors
If you want to protect your concrete floors, consider covering them with a sealant every two to three years (unless your floor is polished). You’ll definitely want to clean and prime the floors before you get started. Using a paint roller, start in the middle of the floor, and roll out the sealant toward the edges, then follow that up with a coat of finish or wax. This will ensure that your floor is even more resistant to unwanted stains, chemicals, and abrasions.
Follow the maintenance directions for the sealer, finish, and/or wax to keep your floors looking their best and to ensure that they continue to repel those stains and abrasions. If you are a small business owner, also be sure that you follow the suggested maintenance schedule of your concrete contractor.
Use mats in areas that get a lot of traffic, and put them both inside and outside.
If cleaning your concrete floors is going to make your home or business to-do list a little too long, R&M Concrete is more than happy to offer our assistance! Give us a call at 918-809-2235 for a free estimate.