Concrete floors have a reputation for being one of the most low maintenance flooring solutions for commercial properties on the market. They need very little routine maintenance and are resistant to damage that could require extra work, saving you both time and money. In fact ,these factors make concrete floors the least expensive to maintain by square foot of all the commercial flooring options.
As long as your facility can complete these maintenance steps on a regular schedule, you can ensure a durable and long lasting concrete floor.
Maintenance and Cleaning Guide for Commercial Concrete Floors
Much of the maintenance that your commercial flooring needs will depend on the type of concrete floor that you have, your environment, and the type of wear and tear a floor receives. Polished concrete will have different requirements from stained concrete. Properties with open bays will likely have a lot of dust build up and experience more wear, as will those with more foot traffic. Production facilities or garages with more frequent spills may require cleaning more often and thoroughly.
These different requirements primarily change the frequency of cleaning and maintenance. They can be addressed by your contractor during your commercial concrete flooring installation, and further refined as you observe the different needs on your property.
Concrete Flooring Cleaning Process
The step in the cleaning process is to clean up spills. Concrete is relatively resistant when sealed, but it can still be susceptible to spills. This is because the sealant most often used on commercial flooring is not topical, but rather penetrating. This adds extra durability to the floor while still allowing fluids to penetrate as well. When moisture seeps into the floor, it can cause stains or begin to eat away at the concrete.
You will want to clean spills up as soon as you notice them. The cleaning process will depend on what type of material has been spilled. As with all concrete cleaning, you will want to use a neutral cleaning agent, but you will need to match the specific type of cleaner for:
- Water – A water spill can be simply wiped up with a soft cloth.
- General Spills – For many spills, you can use a mixture of water with a few drops of dish soap.
- Oil and Grease Spills – For thicker fluids and oily substances, a degreaser can be necessary to fully break down spills for removal.
A wet vac can also be helpful in mopping up fluids quickly if a spill is larger. This cleaning should be done on an as needed basis whenever there is a spill on your floor. For all other cleaning, you can use a routine process to keep the entire facility looking clean and increase the longevity of a commercial concrete floor. This process includes:
- Daily Dust Mopping – Dust will settle on concrete floors over time and with regular use. As foot and vehicle traffic moves over the concrete, the traffic will grind the dust particles into the floor. Dust is corrosive by nature, so this can cause scratches in the concrete floor and eventually weaken the concrete. Regular dust mopping will get this dust off the floor before it can cause scratches, as well as keep the interior of your property cleaner. For this process you can use a dust mop, vacuum, broom, or other basic cleaning equipment. If your property has low traffic or minimal exposure to dust from the outdoors, it is possible to sweep less often and still maintain a clean property.
- Wet Mopping – Wet mopping can provide a more thorough cleaning to manage stains and get rid of more ingrained dirt. For wet mopping, you can use a standard mop or an auto scrubber for larger spaces. You will need to use this in conjunction with a non-abrasive and pH balanced cleaner. Cleaners that are abrasive, acidic, or too alkaline can cause visible damage to concrete floors with repeated use. After wet mopping, you should allow floors to dry completely before people walk on them to avoid slip risks.
- Stain Removal – If a stain develops between cleaning, you can remove it with a similar process to the way you would remove spills, using either a warm water and dish soap or a degreaser depending on how set in the stain is. A deck brush can further help release stain causing particles.
One of the reasons that cleaning concrete floors is so easy is that no special equipment is required and you can generally use the same equipment and products you use on any other flooring in your facility. For cleaning products, it is important to be sure you are not using any acids, bleach, ammonia, vinegar, or pine based cleaners, as these can all be corrosive.
For concrete floors, microfiber cleaning pads on mops and brooms are also the best choice since they will be less likely to scratch floors. More robust cleaning equipment, such as auto scrubbers, will also work well as long as you can set them to provide a gentle clean.
Concrete Floor Maintenance in Commercial Properties
Like cleaning, the necessary maintenance will depend on the type of concrete floor and the amount of traffic it regularly receives. For stained concrete floors, it is necessary to apply a sealant every few years. A sealant helps protect the floor from dirt and wear. It will also enhance the color and gloss of your stained floor.
But sealant will start to break down over the years through regular use. Generally, you should reapply sealant every few years, with the actual frequency depending on your specific property. A water-based sealant is usually best to avoid releasing any VOCs into your property’s environment.
After applying a sealant, it is helpful to apply a floor wax as well. This provides an additional layer of protection between traffic and the base concrete for a longer lasting floor. Whether or not waxing is necessary depends on your regular conditions and your desired results. Your commercial flooring contractor can provide more specific instructions for maintaining concrete floors on your property.
For polished concrete floors, maintenance throughout the years will help restore the polish and shine to the concrete, since both can fade over time. The frequency is based on how quickly your floors show wear.
This maintenance process can be beneficial to complete as often as twice a year. It involves refreshing the polish on floors by using a high speed concrete burnisher with a fine grit diamond sandpaper. This will remove scratches and small imperfections that have developed over time, and restore the polished surface. Following that, you can buffer concrete floors with a commercial polisher to add extra shine to floors.
There are also a range of steps that you can take to reduce how quickly the floors wear and extend the time between maintenance work. For example, floor mats at entry points and in building lobbies can help reduce the amount of dust that is tracked in. This protects your floors at entryways while also limiting the amount of dust throughout the property.
In addition, following a regular cleaning and maintenance plan for concrete floors will be highly beneficial in extending the lifetime of concrete and keeping your property professional in appearance.
Colorado Concrete Repair – Your Partner in Easy Concrete Maintenance
The majority of concrete flooring cleaning and maintenance can be performed by a commercial property’s standard janitorial staff with only a limited amount of special equipment and products required. If your floor does show signs of extensive wear or you are planning to clean and repair your floor with the purpose of refinishing it, more in depth services may be necessary.
At Colorado Concrete Repair, we can provide concrete maintenance that expertly finishes your concrete surface for an attractive and durable commercial flooring option. If you are interested in installing concrete flooring at your commercial facility in Colorado to take advantage of its low maintenance benefits, Colorado Concrete Repair can design and install the ultimate easy, attractive, and high quality flooring option.
We are dedicated to providing you with floors that last, so we can offer in depth cleaning and maintenance instructions specific to your flooring, or provide services to reseal or buff concrete floors. Learn more about our low maintenance concrete flooring solutions and get a quote by contacting our team.