This is the second part of a three-part article about polished concrete.

Preventative maintenance is also key. Spills on the polished concrete should be addressed as quickly as possible so that they don’t absorb into the surface. Griffin recommends facilities apply topical guards or nano-coatings to the top of polished concrete to prevent unsightly blemishes, such as acid stains, from sinking into the floors.

“These topical guards are more resistant to acid attack,” he says. “One of the biggest problems with these floors in paint stores, drug stores, and grocery stores is that the acid foods and acid spills damaged them in the past. In a grocery store, the pickle aisle is a disaster. If someone picks up a jar of pickles and drops it and breaks it, by the time they get there it has etched the floor and there’s no easy fix for it. ”

New nano-coatings specifically developed for polished concrete are far more resistant and protective against spots, stains and damage from acidic materials.

“One of the most common complaints we hear about polished concrete is that oils will sink in and things will stain them and we can’t get them out,” says Griffin. “Again, if they are taken care of properly and some of the right kinds of protectants are put on, it will become less and less of an issue.”

The exact maintenance regimen needed and the frequency of cleaning is largely dictated by the amount of traffic in a facility. As a result, it is important to watch for signs of wearing. Facility owners should evaluate their flooring on a regular basis.

A very simple way to determine the maintenance frequency for a concrete floor is to look at the floor and see if it’s losing its sheen and if there are excessive scuffs and scratches. If so, more frequent maintenance may be required.

For example, in an environment with moderate foot traffic, such as a restaurant, floor maintenance might entail reapplying the floor finish once a month to bring it back to its original state. Meanwhile, with concrete floors that are subject to continual foot traffic, such as in a shopping mall or a stadium, floor maintenance may be required two or three times per month, or even more frequently.

The growth and popularity of polished concrete is unlikely to drop off anytime soon, especially as word continues to spread about its many benefits. Griffin says it is imperative for distributors to learn all aspects of polished concrete flooring, whether it be via trade shows like the annual World of Concrete show in Las Vegas or via industry-specific seminars and training sessions.

McGarvey says distributors should be prepared to demonstrate their knowledge of the latest technology in polished concrete floor care.

“Options exist that might preclude hiring a contractor but are not for the faint of heart,” he says. “We are talking about polishing stone, and it takes time and equipment. Some of today’s offerings require less investment in equipment, but do require training and patience to achieve optimum results. A knowledgeable distributor can help take some of the mystery out of this type of work.”