Concrete is one of the most durable and low maintenance building materials. It is also less expensive compared to other flooring materials. Traditionally, concrete has been used to make garage floors, basement floors, and outdoor floors such as patios. But in recent times, homeowners have started using concrete to make living or dining room floors and kitchen floors.
Concrete is an excellent flooring material because it has a high resistance to stains and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Concrete flooring can also be given a glossy or shiny finish or a textured or stamped finish. Cement can be painted, which makes it a versatile material. If it is installed properly and nothing excessively heavy falls on it, your concrete floor can basically last forever.
While concrete is a durable material, it still requires upkeep and care. Cleaning concrete flooring on a regular basis increases its life. You should also seal your concrete floors, both to give them a better look but also to protect them from the elements outdoors, and potential stains and damage indoors.
The location of your floor and the type of finish it has will dictate the cleaning procedure for your floor. The process of cleaning outdoor concrete is different from that of indoor concrete. Similarly, there is a difference in the cleaning process for unsealed versus sealed concrete floors. Polished, stamped, and painted concrete will require a little more attention and careful cleaning.
Before you can begin cleaning a concrete floor, there are a couple of preparatory steps you need to take.
- 1Remove Everything: Before you start cleaning, clear all furniture, carpets, and other items in the room. It does not make sense to have obstacles around you while you are cleaning. Plus, these items will prevent you from cleaning thoroughly.
- 2Sweep the Floor: Over a period of time, a lot of dust and debris settle on the floor. Use a microfiber broom to sweep the entire floor. A regular broom might fail to remove some of the finer dust particles from the flooring. You can also use a high-powered vacuum cleaner to clean and remove dust and debris off the floor. Vacuuming is more efficient than sweeping because all the dust particles and debris are cleaned up. You should sweep or vacuum the floor at least once a week to ensure that the dust build-up is kept under check.
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Getting the Stains Out
If there are stains on the concrete, you need to remove them first. Here are the instructions for each type of stain.
Cleaning High Traffic Outdoor Floors
Before we discuss cleaning exterior concrete floors, lets see what equipment and cleaning products you'll need. You can include the garage floor under the outdoor umbrella. Ideally, you should use a power washer. You can easily rent it for a day and return it after you are done cleaning.
The instructions for using a power washer are simple and they are easy to operate so you really don't have to hire a professional. You could try a regular garden hose with a high-powered nozzle if you cannot get a power washer. You will also need a nylon bristle brush or any other stiff bristle brush (but not too hard). You can use trisodium phosphate or a commercial concrete cleaning powder, whichever is more convenient.
If the concrete you are cleaning has moss or weed growth, remove these by pulling them with your hands. Sweep clean the floor and then power wash it to remove any remaining soil or debris. Wash the floor clean with sweeping strokes for best results. Start from one end and make your way through the entire floor, including any corners and crevices, which can be dirt magnets.
While the flooring is still wet, sprinkle the concrete cleaner powder or trisodium phosphate over it. Use a nylon brush to properly scrub clean the concrete in a circular motion. This will loosen any remaining dirt and grime on the surface of your floors. Finally, hose down the entire floor once again to rinse it clean.
Cleaning your Indoor Concrete Floor
Indoor floors are more likely to be sealed and polished. You need to be gentler while you clean indoor concrete floors. Use a non-acidic or pH neutral cleaning agent and follow the instructions properly. Never use bleach, ammonia, or any other harsh cleaning agents on your indoor floors because they can damage the finish.
Fill up a large bucket with lukewarm water and add one-fourth cup of the cleaner, which could be liquid dishwashing soap or a concrete specific cleaning product. Soak a mop in this solution, wring it, and then begin cleaning the floor. The mop should not be dripping. You want the solution to dry up fast and not sit long on the floor.
Clean starting from one corner and cover the entire floor. Divide the floor into small squares in your mind and after cleaning one square, dip the mop back in the solution, wring it, and clean the next small square. Keep the doors and windows open for ventilation while you are cleaning. If the room does not have a decent ventilation, switch on the fan at a low speed.
Once you are done with the entire floor and the floor has dried up, mop it once again with clean water.
Regular Maintenance: Keeping Your Concrete Clean
Now that you know how to clean your interior and exterior concrete floors, you should also know how to keep them clean to help avoid harder to clean staining in the future.
The benefits of concrete flooring are well known - aesthetically and practically. As more people embrace concrete flooring at home, it's important to know how to keep your concrete flooring looking clean and fresh. With proper love and maintenance your durable concrete flooring can last forever.