Modern interior and exterior design has led to a significant focus on concrete floors. The fact that they are durable, while also looking great has made them a popular option in recent years, and likely will continue to be for many more to come. This does, however, require a bit of knowledge about concrete floor cleaning if you want to ensure that your flooring remains highly fashionable and aesthetically pleasing.
Over time, grime and dirt will build-up on your concrete flooring, and while the process happens slowly, it does happen. This can be considered both a positive and negative of concrete flooring, on the one hand, you can let a bit of time pass between cleans as your flooring is not visibly unclean, on the other, it’s hard to notice your floor getting dirtier or damaged.
A DIY clean is excellent for spot-checks and to lengthen these already generous timeframes between cleans, but a professional pressure cleaning service will be required at some point to ensure your floor is cleaned correctly, giving it a look of its original condition that will remain for many years to come. This is a significant investment, and you want to treat it as such, while also avoiding the high-price of replacement sooner than you have to.
The main types of concrete flooring
The demand for concrete flooring means more stylistic options are springing up to account for people’s varying tastes. That being said, concrete floors usually boil down to two categories:
Standard concrete, primarily used for outdoor areas like garages and driveways
Decorative concrete predominantly used indoors
The type of clean, materials used and process will vary based on your concrete flooring type. A professional concrete floor cleaning service will be able to determine which is best suited to your situation, to both provide the best clean, while also ensuring no unnecessary damage is done to your flooring.
It is vital that you don’t attempt a clean until you know the appropriate method and chemicals for your specific concrete floor to avoid unnecessary damage.
The best methods for concrete floor cleaning
It is very possible to have your concrete looking sparkling new, regardless of its age, and there are few things more satisfying than a perfectly clean floor. The following methods encompass both the DIY and professional concrete floor cleaning service approaches for cleaning concrete floors properly.
Standard concrete floors
A regular sweep of your standard concrete flooring is a good idea, but a proper deep clean is also vital. As these areas are likely outdoors, they are susceptible to more dirt, grime and grease. As a result, a yearly deep clean is recommended to ensure longevity for your concrete flooring.
For your exterior concrete, you need a broom, hose with a spray nozzle, and a dry granular cleaner. If you have access to a shop-vac or power washer, this would be very beneficial as well.
Steps for a DIY exterior spot-clean
Clean on a sunny and dry day
Clear the space
Sweep or vacuum the debris
Set the spray attachment of your hose to the highest setting and spray the whole area
Start at the rear and spray toward the exit point in a side to side motion Be sure to clean the corners thoroughly to avoid the build-up of grime and dirt
While the floor is wet, spray the cleaner over the entire area
Use a broom to scrub the cleaning solution
Rinse again with the high-pressure hose
If you can substitute the standard hose for a power-washer, the task will be a lot easier and more effective. A professional cleaning service can supply one of these while handling the job for you, saving time and eliminating any risk of damage or injury.
Decorative concrete floors
When it comes to your interior, it is more than likely the case that you have some kind of decorative concrete floors. These look great and provide fantastic stain-resistance and durability, but they do require a proper maintenance routine to ensure they last a lifetime.
For your home spot-clean, you simply require a broom, wet and dry mop, a mild floor cleaner and bucket with warm water.
Steps for a DIY interior spot-clean
Start by giving the floors a sweep
Run over the area with a dust mop
Fill your bucket with a small amount of mild cleaner and warm water (you can use standard dish soap as an alternative to the floor cleaner, but ensure that you do not use vinegar or ammonia as these will damage the finish of your flooring)
Use a mop doused in the cleaning solution, wrung thoroughly
Mop the floors in small sections, rinsing and drying the mop frequently
Rinse the bucket, and refill with clean, warm water
Mop again to remove any remaining soap residue
These simple steps will cover the DIY spot-cleans; however, it is crucial to note that decorative concrete may need rebuffing from time to time to keep its shine. If this is the case, leave it to a professional who has the proper equipment and training to handle the required machinery.
It is also a good idea to reseal the flooring every three to four years. These two actions should be handled by a flooring professional to ensure the highest quality results while also preventing any costly accidental damage due to use of the wrong products or equipment.
Removing stains from your concrete
Despite your best efforts and following the instructions above, there is a chance that you may still see some stains that have been unaffected, especially on your outdoor areas. While the type of stain plays a factor, there are some further methods you can attempt to get rid of them yourself.
Oil stains require a spray bottle that contains bleach. Spray it onto the stain and let it sit for 20 minutes. Use a scrub brush to scrub the stain, then rinse with clean water.
It is extremely important to exercise caution when using the bleach, as it is a hazardous material that should not come into contact with your eyes or skin. It is also a good idea to keep it away from your clothing or do your cleaning in old clothes that can be damaged.
If you are dealing with a grease stain, spread a layer of kitty litter over it and let it sit for three days. Sweep or vacuum the litter and dispose of it correctly in the rubbish. If this has failed to remove the stain, cover it in dry cement and leave it for another three days before sweeping it up.
If you do end up having to use dry cement, make sure you only dispose of it via a rubbish bin, not the sink or toilet, as this action will lead to significant plumbing issues.
If tyre marks in the garage or driveway are the issue, wet the affected area and use a degreaser. A popular, and safe option is an orange citrus concentrate which you can leave on the marks for a few hours, before scrubbing vigorously with a brush or broom. Rinse off the degreaser, and you should no longer see a stain.
Make sure you do not use muriatic acid in place of the degreaser as it is a hazardous chemical that is a highly reactive liquid acid.
There is also the time that it takes to complete the job. You may not want to dedicate hours of your weekend to cleaning after a full week’s work and consider your time more valuable than the dollars you save on a DIY clean. It is a good idea to use a professional pressure cleaning service for the primary deep cleans of your concrete for the following reasons:
Experience and training
The extensive experience and training that professional concrete cleaning service providers have with cleaning concrete floors are there to ensure the right settings, temperatures and materials to provide the highest-quality clean with no damage to property.
The hire equipment from the local hardware store can be unserviced and has been used by a range of DIY cleaners who may have treated it poorly. Professional concrete cleaners use top of the line cleaning equipment suited for commercial use, which has been looked after as it is one of their business assets. All tools are also regularly serviced, and nothing less than peak performance and the best results is accepted as their business reputation depends on it.
Soap and water will not always cut it, and they can leave a residue which is challenging to remove if not cleaned correctly. Professional cleaners know what cleaning products are required for specific surfaces and have industrial strength cleaning materials that cannot be purchased at the supermarket.
What about concrete resealing?
Protecting your concrete goes past cleaning. It is always best to get advice from a concrete floor cleaning expert about the best ways to ensure your concrete is sealed correctly or when it may need a refresh. Sealing not only protects the concrete, but it also makes it easier to clean.
You can test if your concrete surface needs professional assessment and treatment by yourself first by placing 15-20mls (roughly a tablespoon) of water on the concrete surface. Leave it for approximately 20 minutes, then soak up the water with a towel, pressing hard to get as much of it as you can. If the water has left a dark mark, you may need to reseal the surface.
Your concrete was likely sealed when you first had it installed; however, this can wear away over time, especially on flooring which is continuously walked over, so resealing is a crucial element of ensuring lifelong protection of your floors.
Give your concrete the highest quality clean
If you want to ensure the best care for your concrete, leave your cleaning to the experts at Enviro Clean and Capture. Our well-trained team have been providing expert concrete cleaning and sealing for surfaces in Sydney and Newcastle for over twenty years. We offer expert knowledge, fast response times, and friendly service all at very competitive rates.
Our team of technicians also handle stone and tile via an after-hours service to work to your schedule. We only use cutting edge technology and environmentally friendly processes. You can speak to us today about the following services:
Don’t risk any damage or give your time to cleaning, restoration, and sealing tasks when there are professionals down the road in the Sydney and Newcastle area who can handle it for you! We will ensure that your valuable asset is adequately protected so you can enjoy its near-new look for many years to come.
Contact Enviro Clean and Capture today for professional concrete, stone and tile cleaning of both commercial and residential properties.
You can head to the Enviro Clean and Capture website and fill out a quick quote form or give us a call. We’ll ensure that you receive expert advice and great prices across all of our services for concrete, stone and tile cleaning and sealing. We have the right solutions, let us take care of your needs today.