Before considering the various maintenance methods for concrete floors, it is helpful to review some basics about concrete.

Concrete is a poured mixture of cement, water and aggregate (stone, sand or gravel) of different sizes. Bonding agents such as epoxy or polyester may be added. Concrete gets stronger as it cures. Curing takes place as the moisture evaporates out of the mixture.

On a new floor, BSCs should wait about a month before applying seal. New concrete must cure by releasing moisture from the substrate into the atmosphere. A seal applied too soon can retard this process. The moisture can cause the sealer to lose adhesion and peel.

The porous nature of cement makes it necessary to either apply some sort of seal or grind it smooth and diminish the size of the pores. Otherwise, the floor will be difficult to clean.

It may sound obvious, but it’s critical for BSCs to remember that concrete floors are low maintenance, but they are not “no maintenance.” Every concrete floor needs a specific maintenance plan and that plan must be executed consistently for the floor to look good and last.

Working with concrete can involve the use of harsh chemicals, solvents or airborne particulate soils. Power equipment that vibrates and is heavy and noisy is also used.

Proper training and supervision is paramount. Personal protective equipment (PPE) and ongoing equipment inspection and maintenance are mandatory to reduce risk and to protect workers and the public.


Concrete Floor Maintenance Tips For Untreated Surfaces
Not all commercial concrete flooring has been ground, stained or polished. Eighty percent of the commercial floors in the United States are concrete so there are lots of traditionally prepared concrete in the marketplace.

Some floors are left untreated except for the curing compound that was used when it was poured. Curing compound alone is insufficient to properly protect the floor and make it easy to maintain. It is difficult to visually determine whether a floor has been coated with a seal. Some seals are matte finished with little gloss.

To determine if a seal is present drop a small amount of hydrochloric acid on the floor. If it fizzes there is no seal in that spot. Check several locations on the floor to be sure. If it does not fizz, then the floor is sealed.

If there is no seal present, scrub the floor with a high-alkaline water-based degreaser and a wire brush. A 175 rpm swing machine or an automatic scrubber may be used. Next, rinse with clear water and then allow the floor to dry. Once the floor is dry, a seal can be applied using a sprayer, mop or roller. A water-based acrylic seal can then be applied without etching. Etching is required if multi-part epoxy or urethane sealer is used. Regular maintenance thereafter requires only dust mopping and autoscrubbing. Occasionally recoat with sealer in traffic areas.

Some facility executives want a very high gloss and request contractors to add several coats of high-speed finish and burnish it regularly to maintain the high gloss. At this point maintenance is no different than caring for a high gloss VCT floor. This application is sometimes used in aviation facilities or other high-tech environments.

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High Gloss Concrete Is Beautiful and Easy To Maintain
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Cleaning Stained And Polished Concrete Floors