Clean concrete is one thing, but the correct maintenance and upkeep to ensure you get the longest lifespan out of your concrete is another. How to clean concrete? If not appropriately protected concrete deteriorates which will diminish its visual appeal significantly.
Stained concrete floors are a popular choice of commercial flooring among business owners. For those who are considering staining their concrete floors themselves, you need to know it is important that the concrete be as clean as possible before you start the staining process. Here is some information that will help you get the task done right.
Why it is Crucial to Clean Concrete before Staining
Unlike paint and other concrete coatings that help conceal flaws, acid stains are not forgiving. If the surface is not correctly cleaned, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to obtain a proper finish. Chemical stains must be able to penetrate into the concrete in order to create the necessary chemical reaction within the lime content contained within. Spots from grease, oil, or curing renderings will prevent the penetration necessary for the color to take.
Choosing the Right Product to Clean Your Concrete Floors
There are many products available to clean concrete, but not all concrete cleaners work on every type of stain. It’s not always easy to determine what caused a concrete stain just by looking at it. It’s important to read the labels on each of the concrete cleaners you are considering. The label will give you valuable information you can use to decide which cleaner is the best for your concrete floor.
Facts you need to know before selecting your cleaner include:
Is this product safe for indoor use?
What substances does this cleaner remove?
Is it an environmentally safe product?
Does it give off fumes or noxious odors?
Is this product compatible with the concrete stain you have chosen?
How do you apply the product?
There are safe, environmentally friendly products available for concrete cleaning. You should always use caution, however, and be sure and read and heed any safety measures recommended by the manufacturer.
Concrete Cleaning Procedures
Start by sweeping and thoroughly scrubbing your concrete floor with trisodioum phosphate (TSP). Use a rotary scrubber with a pad specifically designed for aggressively scrubbing concrete.
Mastic and caulking compound can be particularly difficult to remove. There are two methods you can try. You can try using a nonflammable chemical stripper, available from hardware or paint stores or you may need to create a paste to apply where necessary.
First, scrape off as much of the unwanted glue or caulking as possible using a floor scraper or putty knife. Next, blend an inert fine powder like hydrated lime or fly ash with denatured alcohol to form a smooth paste. Apply where necessary and let dry. Once the paste is dry, the mastic or glue can usually be removed with a stiff brush.