More than a few homeowners around the country have caught on to the many winning qualities of concrete as a potential flooring material. Concrete floors have a lot going for them like being nearly impervious to damage, boasting fairly low installation costs and offering flexibility of customization. Though they’re relatively easy to maintain compared to other types of floors, they still require some attention from homeowners to stay in tiptop shape. Here’s a quick primer on concrete floor upkeep for those that are interested in a unique and highly attractive flooring option.
Keeping It Clean
At the very minimum, consistent concrete cleaning should be the bedrock of your floor maintenance regimen. Give your floors a thorough sweep first before you get down to business. Avoid using any caustic cleaners such as bleach or ammonia. Just apply regular soap and water to wash away grime that’s accumulated. Some finishes will require special cleaners, so consult an expert when in doubt. Moisture is the enemy here, so ensure that floors are completely dry after washing them and employ dehumidifiers if need be to get the job done.
Adhering to a cleaning schedule is a great start but it won’t really do you any favors in the long run if you don’t repair damage as it occurs. Filling in the cracks when they appear is absolutely vital if you’re concerned about the long-term health of your polished concrete. In some cases, you can simply apply fresh concrete to gouges as needed and smooth it over. However, some types of concrete floors like the acid-stained variety feature a special sealant that must be accounted for when repairing them.
Painting & Refinishing
You can reduce the necessary frequency of concrete cleaning sessions and make it easier to repair damage by keeping an eye on your floor’s finish. Whether it’s acid-stained, painted or covered in a ceramic material, a concrete surface’s finish should be refurbished from time to time to maintain aesthetic appeal. Refinishing a concrete floor is the trickiest part of the maintenance equation for many homeowners. When in doubt, consult the original installer or a qualified concrete flooring professional to get a recommendation on the best way to proceed.
As durable as polished concrete is, you’ll probably want to go above and beyond the occasional refinish to maintain floor value and integrity. In the looks arena, some waxing and buffing is highly recommended. There are many sealants and top coats that can be applied that will create a protective layer and shield floors from foot traffic and unforeseen incidents. While some floor maintenance work such as concrete cleaning can be done by homeowners themselves, preventative measures should probably be left to contractors that really know what they’re doing.
Make the Most of Concrete
Despite the many bona fides of polished concrete, a homeowner who’s opted for it as a flooring material must remain vigilant in the maintenance department. In the case of a home or an office with many square feet of flooring, it can make a lot of sense to hire a professional to handle periodic maintenance and repairs. Much like any other type of floor, a concrete floor will benefit greatly from regular preventative maintenance. A bit of TLC is all they need to deliver years of value.