Care & Maintenance

Care & Maintenance - Concrete Finishes

Congratulations on your new concrete floor finish!  Today’s concrete finishes are durable and long-lasting.  And with proper periodic cleaning, maintenance, and resealing, your finish will last for years.

Concrete Care Instructions

In General:

Do not place rubber backed mats on any decorative surfacing system – they may trap rising vapors which are emitted naturally from cementitious substrates causing a hard mineral deposit build up which may damage the surface and finish.

Do not place potted plants directly on your decorative concrete finish  – use a plant dolly or plant stands with legs to allow for proper ventilation between the planter and the floor finish. Failure to do so will leave a mineral deposit that will permanently discolor the surface.  Please note:  plant fertilizers can also permanently discolor the surface.

Never use harsh chemicals for cleaning such as Xylene, Xylol, Metholen Chloride, Methol Glycol Ether, MEK, Acetone, Mineral Spirits, Paint Thinner or any other solvent materials.

Set the heads of landscape sprinkler systems to deter excessive watering of driveways, patios, sidewalks, decks.  Hard water deposits have the potential to discolor decorative concrete surfaces if allowed to remain wet for extended periods of time.

Promote water run-off away from decorative concrete surfaces by properly grading the dirt/land surrounding your concrete slabs. This includes run-off from roof drain gutters and downspouts.

Place protective caps on all furniture legs to minimize scratching and gouging the finish.

Routine Cleaning and Maintenance

Interior Concrete Floors

  • Keep the surface free of dust and debris by periodically broom sweeping and damp mopping.  If needed, scrub the surface with a mild detergent.
  • If the floor is subjected to a lot of foot traffic, apply a floor wax or polish which can provide additional protection.

Exterior Concrete Surfaces

  • Keep the surface free of dirt and debris by periodically broom sweeping, using a leaf blower, or rinsing the surface with water from a garden hose.
  • Never use any deicing compound containing salts, ammonium nitrate and/or ammonium sulfate.  These chemical de-icers rapidly attack and disintegrate many types of sealers and decorative surfacing systems.  De-icers containing magnesium chloride can also cause moderate damage.
  • In the winter, immediately remove all snow and ice, and pile it away from the edges of your concrete.  For traction, use sand or cat litter – salts or chemicals will damage the concrete’s surface.
  • Periodically throughout the winter on warmer days, thoroughly hose off the residual materials (mag chloride, road de-icers, dirt and grime) brought into your garage and onto your driveway from your vehicles.

Repair Cracks

Concrete will crack … count on it.  When it does, repairing the crack is critical to maintaining the integrity of your slab and the finish.  For non-structural cracks, fill them with an elastomeric or polyurethane caulk.  If you don’t want to deal with it, call us.  We can repair the cracks and restore the original finish for a nominal fee.

Stains

Your decorative concrete surface has been sealed.  It is now stain resistant – not stain proof!  Clean spills or stains of foreign matter as soon as possible – stains can set over time if they’re not promptly and properly cleaned.

  •  Stubborn dirt, tire marks, leaf stains, etc.:  apply a mild detergent (such as Simple Green), scrub the surface with a stiff nylon brush followed by water from a garden hose or power washer.
  • Oil and grease stains:  apply Simple Green or an alkaline degreaser and power wash with hot water.
  • Heavy rust stains:  cleaners containing oxalic acid are most effective for tackling rust stains.
  • Mineral and lime deposits (and efflorescence):  clean using a solution of one pound of TSP (Tri-Sodium Phosphate) per one gallon of warm water.  Scrub with a push broom or brush, allow to set for approximately 15 minutes and then rinse and flush thoroughly.

All cleaning solutions must be rinsed thoroughly to remove cleaning material films and residues. Failure to do so may cause pitting and/or discoloring of your surface’s protective coat of sealer.

Sealers

Sealers protect your concrete.  When you begin to notice that water no longer beads on your concrete surface, it’s time to seal it again.  We recommend that you professionally clean and reseal your concrete surface and/or finish every two to three years – more frequently if it is subjected to heavy traffic or use.

If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call or drop us an email.

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