A concrete floor with a high shine is functional, durable and attractive. But when the gleam begins to go, the decorated or polished concrete flooring can make a room or commercial space seem dingy and dated.
If the sheen has been chipped away by the scuffling of shoes, scraped by heavy furniture and appliances or faded by the damaging rays of the sun, you'll need to address some issues and spend some time to return the shine to your concrete floors.
Whether it just needs a quick clean or serious repairing and sealing, polishing concrete flooring can be a relatively simple process with the right products, tools and accessories.
Quick Concrete Cleaning Tips
Has the floor lost its original glow? Take a close look at the surface. If the polished concrete flooring isn't damaged by water or considerably faded from exposure to sun or heat, then a quick cleaning can return the glossy surface to its former level of shining beauty.
A microfiber mop paired with a quality cement floor polish can clear the surface of the daily dirt and grime that tends to collect on floors. Work over the surface of the floor slowly to remove the dingy layer. Remove the cleaner with a polisher or mop, depending on the manufacturer's directions.
How to Clean Concrete Floors Indoors
Start with small sections no larger than about 3 square feet. This ensures you get all of the dirt without leaving behind a filmy residue from the cleaner. Work your way from the farthest corner of the room toward an entryway.
For high-traffic areas and heavy scuff marks, you'll need to put down the mop and put in a little elbow grease. Sprinkle about a quarter cup of baking soda on a damp cloth and scrub the scuff marks from the outside toward the middle.
To maintain the shine on indoor polished concrete flooring, clean it every other month at the very least.
How to Clean Concrete Floors Outdoors
Concrete flooring outdoors can get dirty in a matter of days. Regular sweeping and weekly cleaning with a mop and mild solution of dish soap and water should help concrete keep its shine.
Every few months, use a pressure washer to clean dirt and debris from crevices. Make sure the concrete can handle the high-pressured stream of water before you tackle the entire project.
Concrete Floor Repairs
Polished concrete flooring that has chips, dips and dents needs a lot more help than a pass with a concrete smoother machine.
Fill any divots or snaking cracks with an epoxy concrete filler. If the cracks are wide, you'll need an epoxy with a hardener and sand to ensure the stability of the concrete flooring. Allow the epoxy to harden overnight or the amount of time that's recommended by the manufacturer.
Run a concrete smoother machine over the flooring so that it can accept the new coat of sealant, paint, stain or dye.
Concrete Finishing Tips and Tricks
There are serious do's and don'ts to finishing concrete floors.
- Don't use bleach, ammonia, acid-based cleaners like lemon juice or vinegar, or other harsh or abrasive cleaners.
- Wire scrub brushes can scratch the surface of the concrete.
- Mild vegetable-based soap and warm water should be enough for regular deep cleaning.
- Polished concrete flooring that needs a deep clean to remove settled-in dirt or stains may need a commercial cleaner.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.