Acid stained concrete floors must be maintained to keep their beautiful color and luster. Fortunately, such maintenance involved is hardly back-breaking. From simply sweeping to scrubbing up the grime, this article will cover the basics of how to clean acid stain concrete to keep it in top condition.
Cleaning regularly will make it easier
If you have a concrete floor that has lost its luster, it may just be time for a good cleaning. While concrete floors are extremely strong and can last a long time, they do require some attention if you want them to continue to look nice. Concrete is a porous material and as such, it tends to absorb spills that can create unattractive blemishes on the surface.
When a concrete floor has been properly stained, sealed, and finished, it is quite easy to clean and maintain. A good sealant will keep liquids from penetrating the surface and allow most spills that cause discoloration or stain to be removed with minimal effort.
How to clean stained concrete floors depends on how the concrete stain was applied and more importantly, whether or not a good sealer was applied to create the final finish. An unsealed stained concrete surface will always require more effort to clean than one that has been properly sealed.
The porous nature of concrete allows dirt to seep deep into the concrete. Dirt also gets into the grooves and impressions that are created when concrete surfaces are scored.
Regular waxing will help with the upkeep
In addition to the standard care, you should give your stained concrete on a regular basis, you will also want to wax an indoor floor occasionally to keep it shiny. When you do, the floor should be clean of all debris and dirt so that it does not streak up the buffing process.
For homes or areas with little traffic, plan to wax your floor about once a year. For other areas, such as businesses and retail stores, you will need to do this more often, even up to once every three months or four times a year. Waxing it will help protect the concrete and also keep it shiny and nice for many years.
To apply a liquid wax, simply pour out a puddle of the liquid and mop in a thin, even layer so that the entire surface is covered. Allow the wax to fully dry and make sure you do not walk across the newly mopped surface.
The wax will both protect and beautify the appearance of your stained concrete floor. If you want to go the extra step and really bring out the gloss on the floor, you can buff the wax surface until it develops a bright luster.
Casual weekly cleaning
For everyday cleanliness, simply sweep the high traffic areas that have crumbs or dirt. Some people think that because they can use a broom instead of the vacuum cleaner, concrete floors are easier to maintain and this may be true. For all other areas, simply take a dust mop to the floor every week or so and you should be fine.
All cleaning tasks start with a simple sweep of the broom. If you are dealing with an outdoor stained patio or another concrete surface, you can use a leaf blower to remove loose dirt and debris in a matter of minutes. For deeper dirt or restoring some neglected stained concrete surfaces to their original look, a little more work is involved.
Washing the floor
If you need to scrub your floor, a simple solution of water and soap is perfect for a mild scrubbing. Simply mop and rinse. You can create a mild soap and water pH neutral based solution that will do a good job of removing some dirt and refreshing the look of your stained concrete surface.
To mix the solution – you may use dishwashing soap or a mild detergent, and apply it with a soft-bristled brush. You may have to use a little elbow grease to get the best results. Next, you should use a bucket of clean water to mop off the soapy solution. If the stained concrete surface is outdoors, simply take the garden hose and thoroughly wash down the concrete slab.
Here is an important tip: if your mop is dirty, it will leave the floor looking streaked. For a smooth and shiny finish, be sure to start with a clean mop head and rinse it often to keep it free from dirt and streaky grime.
For deeper, more difficult stains or dirt accumulations, it may be necessary to use trisodium phosphate (TSP) and a water-based solution. One can also apply an ammonia-based solution to tackle the dirtiest surface.
If your acid stained concrete is outdoors, you can use a power washer to quickly drive away all dirt, chips, crumbs, spider webs, and more. Spray carefully; please be sure that your concrete is entirely cured before attempting to power wash it. If you need more traction, get out a scrub brush and scrub the area with some warm soapy water before rinsing.
Outdoor stained concrete should be resealed to keep it in good condition. If you notice the sealer is beginning to show signs of wear, be sure to seal soon.
It is important to use the same kind of sealant that was previously applied. If you do not know be sure to call your concrete finisher and find out what the company uses or did use to seal acid stained concrete flooring. Also, when you apply it, be sure to only do one or two coats of a sealant as too many coats can cause the floor to get slippery.
Concrete floors require relatively little upkeep to maintain them in a shiny and clean state. A simple sweeping when needed, as well as a quick mopping with a clean mop head every once in a while, will suffice for day to day living.
At least once a year, do buff and wax it too to protect the sealer and make it even shinier. If it is outdoors, a simple coat or two of sealant will work just fine. Acid stained concrete is not difficult to maintain; it just requires a mindful attitude toward preserving that floor for many years.