The Concrete Network
Decorative Concrete Institute
Temple, GA

The first step in maintaining polished floors is to take a proactive approach and protect the floor with a penetrating sealer or topical guard.

Although polished concrete floors are extremely durable through the densification and polishing process, they will eventually lose their beautiful shine if not properly maintained, especially if they are located in high-traffic commercial or retail facilities. The good news is that while polished concrete floors are not maintenance-free, they generally are easier to maintain than other types of decorative concrete floors, since they require no waxing or sealers.

Routine maintenance for polished floors consists of daily dust mopping to remove dirt and grime accumulation that can abrade the surface of polished concrete. Frequent wet mopping is also needed. Although only clean water can be used, you'll have greater success using a floor cleaner to suspend the dirt particles so they can be more easily removed.

Mr. Clean Maintenance Systems, Bloomington, Calif., which specializes in maintaining, sealing and restoring polished concrete floors, recommends using only neutral-ph cleaners on polished concrete, since a cleaner that is too acidic or too alkaline will deteriorate the concrete and dull the shine of the floor. The correct type of floor pad also needs to be used to prevent concrete surface damage. Mr. Clean recommends using very soft pads on polished floors to clean the surface without scratching or etching.

The exact maintenance regimen needed and the frequency of cleaning is largely dictated by amount of traffic the floors receives. High-traffic areas will require more frequent cleaning.

Checklist for maintaining polished floors:

  • Dust mop the floor daily with a microfiber pad to keep dirt particles off the floor. Soils act as an abrasive and can ruin the clarity and shine of polished concrete.
  • If wet mopping the floor, always use clean water and clean mops. Use an automatic floor scrubber equipped with a nonabrasive pad to clean large square footage areas. Mop and bucket cleaning can be used in smaller areas.
  • When wet mopping, use a neutral floor cleaner formulated to suspend the dirt particles so they can be more easily removed. Using water only leaves much of the dirt on the floor, where it will eventually abrade and discolor the surface.
  • Try to clean spills and stains from the floor as quickly as possible so they don't absorb into the surface.
  • Give the cleaner enough time to start breaking down the grime, such grease and other contaminants, and then suspend the particles. If you apply a cleaning agent and then immediately vacuum it or mop it from the surface, the cleaner will not have sufficient time to work.
  • Make sure the cleaning solution does not dry on the surface. This can be accomplished by cleaning small areas and making sure the entire process is complete before moving on to other areas.

Resources
Mr. Clean Maintenance Systems (www.mrcleansystems.com) based in Southern California also does business in Northern California, Nevada, Arizona and Illinois.

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