We’ve never seen such a spike in popularity of concrete since the brutalism boom. It’s due to the emergence of industrial design, and it seems very convenient considering concrete surfaces don’t need any maintenance, right? Think again.
No type of surface, especially flooring surface, is maintenance free. Over the years, we’ve gotten used to concrete trails and floors in exterior environments, and people often don’t pay attention to them after the trails have gone cold after the first pour. That is, they don’t pay attention to them until it becomes full of cracks and holes. In order to avoid any type of decay, here’s how to keep decorative floors spotlessly clean.
What are the basics?
Every type of flooring has its advantages and drawbacks, especially related to cleaning. As far as decorative concrete floors are concerned, you clean them just as you would clean the exterior concrete floor. The only difference is you can’t use some drastic and large-scale methods in a closed environment. These include the utilization of power washer or a nozzle on a hose attached to your outdoor faucet.
No matter if the floor is interior or exterior, some basic cleaning supplies you’ll need to take care of concrete floors include: a vacuum (or a broom and a duster), mop, bucket, soap and water. It’s a basic kit for pretty much every floor-cleaning endeavor. Since concrete floors are durable and versatile, you’ll hardly need much more.
How do I proceed?
There is not a firmly established way to do it and you can find a lot of advice online, but you can always rely on common sense. Of course, you should start off with taking care of all the dust which has settled. A vacuum or a broom and a duster take care of that. Then you proceed with a mop and a bucket, which you fill up with water and soap to further rinse the concrete floor.
However, it’s not completely straightforward. First of all, you have to remove the furniture and rugs. Depending on where the floors are located (an office, a restaurant or a private household), have a pair of slippers or shoes which will be reserved only for cleaning purposes.
If the floor is showing significant cracking, you should use one of those top quality concrete sealers after a thorough cleaning. The time is of the essence here – as you don’t want the crack to spread.
What about those stains?
There’s also the issue of stains. If the stain was made by greasy food or drops of oil, you’ll be surprised how well kitty litter works. You just need enough to spread it over the stained area and leave it to sit there for at least a day. After it soaks up the grease, you should vacuum it up and go over the spot with a wet mop.
If this doesn’t work, or you don’t have the time, you can use stronger cleaners like bleach and ammonia, though many people opt to avoid them due to their toxic and volatile nature. Thankfully, concrete floors are strong enough to endure such harsh chemicals. You just need rubber gloves for extra safety and a toothbrush.
One-part cleaner diluted in three-parts water will leave you with a potent mixture that should be left on the stain for about twenty minutes. After the necessary time has passed, rinse it off with a toothbrush. Also, make sure the space is well-ventilated. If you want, you can always opt for a pH-neutral cleaner which you can dilute in a bucket and clean the floor with a mop.
The durability of your decorative concrete floors depends on the consistency of your cleaning habits. If we are talking about the floors in an office or a company, then the problem is pretty much solved – scheduled cleanings are a part of every company’s weekly itinerary. However, as far as private households are concerned, try to find a specific time in your weekly schedule to rinse the floor and repeat it every week at the same time. You’ll keep your decorative concrete floors spotlessly clean this way, and the floor will show it’s gratefulness by lasting longer.