Concrete floors play a crucial role in commercial buildings, offering the appeal of low maintenance, durability, and aesthetics. Because of these traits, polished concrete floors are one of the fastest-growing floor types, however, there are many misconceptions when it comes to how to properly care for these floors. As winter approaches, take a proactive approach to maintaining your concrete floors with the information you need to succeed.
Here are some of the more common myths about maintaining these floors and what you need to know about their true maintenance requirements.
Myth #1: Concrete floors are “maintenance-free”
It is commonly believed that once concrete floors have been installed, you can forgo any maintenance. This is false. Building service contractors (BSCs) need to have a complete understanding of how to properly maintain concrete floors, creating a regular cleaning schedule with the right products to help floors keep their shiny appearance and extend their lifespan.
This is especially important as the weather starts to turn and the floors are exposed to snow, ice, and more through the winter.
Myth #2: Polished concrete maintenance is more costly and time-consuming
Maintaining polished concrete floors is not costly or time-consuming; it can be done during the day, often with existing tools and equipment. Instead of shutting down an entire facility to replace or strip the floors, the refurbishment process can occur during the workday with an automatic scrubber. Implementing a daily maintenance system minimizes workplace disruption, allowing employees to carry on with their day, along with keeping maintenance manageable and saving on labour.
Ultimately, it comes down to ensuring the appropriate cleaners and pads are used. Selecting the right system can help reduce costs, minimize the time it takes to maintain a high-shine finish, and bring life back to a floor that has become worn or dulled.
Myth #3: you can strip and wax concrete
Stripping and waxing concrete floors requires extensive labour and time. If it is not done correctly, the floors will deteriorate over time, requiring additional stripping waxing as the shine dulls or deteriorates, creating a costly maintenance issue. Wax is non-breathable, which means that the porous concrete beneath cannot breathe, and leftover moisture will be trapped inside. This could create issues with blemishing and wear patterns on the flooring, diminishing the look of the concrete.
The average cost to strip and wax floors is about $2.25 per square foot. Costs can increase or decrease based on the finish, the condition of the floor and the time it takes to complete the process.
When concrete floors are properly maintained throughout the year using a daily maintenance system, stripping and waxing becomes unnecessary.
Myth #4: Any floor cleaning products can be used on concrete floors
It’s important to understand the chemistry behind stain protection on concrete floors. When any cleaner comes into contact with the concrete surface, the Ph levels of the cleaner change. Check the cleaner to ensure it will not create a harmful chemical reaction to your floors.
Consider using a full-system approach for stain protection and maintenance to prevent any confusion and to achieve your desired results.
Embrace the benefits of proper floor care
Concrete floors are easily maintained and implementing a daily maintenance system can help increase the durability and longevity of your floors. Don’t skimp on using the correct products and equipment because that will end up costing more money down the road, with damage or increased maintenance. Understanding the proper maintenance techniques creates a cost-effective way of making sure your floors look great and are durable for years to come.
Justin Brown is a technical support specialist for Ameripolish, a leading provider of architectural concrete products for prepping, strengthening, coloring, protecting and maintaining concrete floors.
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