Polished Concrete Floor Maintenance
The polishing of concrete floors process was first developed and marketed in the mid-1990s, and it has come a long way since then. Many of the people selling the process at the time called it a “no-maintenance” floor. The issue is that many contractors continue to market it as a “no-maintenance” floor, which is simply not true because all finished floors require some level of maintenance.
The popularity of several good maintenance programmes has grown in tandem with the popularity of the process of polishing concrete floors.
Foot traffic, shopping carts, production carts, and forklifts all cause micro scratches in the concrete surface over time, which necessitates a maintenance programme. As a result, the light deflects (refracts) and the floor loses its lustre.In a home or restaurant, this would take place over a much longer period of time than in a warehouse or production facility.
These micro-scratches also tend to trap dirt, which contributes to the floor’s increased dullness on a “micro” level.There is still hope, but a low-cost “neutral” cleaner may not be the best solution for a high-traffic area. It should work well in a home, a loft, or a small shop.
You’ve probably noticed this more prominently in the building materials aisle of your local home improvement store, where the floor starts to dull after 60 days, while the rest of the store looks brand new for about 6 months.
Foot traffic wear patterns may not be visible for one to three years if proper floor maintenance procedures are followed.
Many of the techniques used in the polishing of marble and natural stone have been applied to the polishing of concrete. The polished concrete industry, like the stone industry, has had to develop programmes for proper floor care.
The proper maintenance programme is quite straightforward.
- Sweeping and/or dust mopping the floor on a daily or bi-daily basis.
- Weekly cleaning and vacuuming of the floor mats, which should be located at each entrance to the building; this is especially important in the home and restaurants, as sandy dirt and material is the worst enemy of a polished concrete floor.
- Cleaning the floor with a concrete cleaner conditioner on a daily or weekly basis. In a large facility, a ride-on or walk-behind auto scrubber would be used, while in a smaller area, such as a home, restaurant, or retail store, a mop would suffice. Trust me, the janitorial staff can handle it.
- The final step in the programme is to apply a high-quality liquid concrete polish with the appropriate machine. This gets rid of those pesky micro-scratches that is mentioned a few times. It also makes the floor easier to clean, which lowers your floor’s long-term costs.
Penetrating sealers/polishes are now available on the market that, when used in conjunction with lithium densifiers, can extend the life of these maintenance steps and cost pennies compared to re-polishing every quarter or year.
If you’re considering a polished concrete floor for any reason, talk to your polishing contractor about the maintenance programme and have him make recommendations for the products discussed above.