Cleaning Polished Concrete Floors
Keep The Shine Intact
All flooring needs regular care. Home cleaning, Office cleaning, Facilities cleaning, School cleaning, Institutional cleaning, Manufacturing Plants cleaning, and cleaning on outside patios and concourse venues have floors in common. While type of floor may vary, every location has a floor of some kind. Daily maintenance keeps all floors looking their best. Today let's talk keeping polished concrete floors, clean bright and beautiful. Some facility managers and building service contractors have been told that polished concrete floors require only water to maintain their shine and beauty. Really, this is a myth. All water has mineral properties, some cities are worse than others, so let's talk about any shiny surfaces that have mineral buildup over time and decreases the shine.
If we discuss products that are sold as a cleaner, and most especially one that is intended to strip grease, wax, etc.; you need to know that it will lessen the shine of the flooring over time. So, cleaning crews, janitors, and maids should use the most neutral cleaner possible, whether mopping or autoscrubbing or simply buffing, and preferably one that is rinse-free. While autoscrubbing simplifies cleaning larger areas of polished concrete; the biggest mistake made with this type of cleaning is the type of cleaning pad used. It can't be that heavy of a brush or too coarse in structure and still help maintain shine. Since floors vary, cleaning pads vary, and they also vary from machine to machine. Each floor is going to be different.
NCL managers state: “All you need is a standard plastic brush,” says Jonathan Palecko, regional sales manager at National Chemical Laboratories, Philadelphia. “You don’t need anything fancy. [A standard brush] will get into all of the pores and crevices of the concrete. That’s all you need.”
That said, Why use a brush or red pad that is too harsh? Over time the shine will go away right? The whole ides is unlike many other types of flooring. The job isn’t to shine a finish on the flooring, but to shine the actual concrete itself. There is a difference. Beyond daily mopping, buffing, or autoscrubbing, there will be some heavier maintenance necessary as well. In most public spaces, the floors should be polished with a crystalizer or a restorer-type hardener. These types of interval treatments are pretty much determined by the amount of traffic on the floor; and general rule of thumb is that interval needs to be weekly or bi-weekly.
Truth be told, the polished concrete will need a little more care over time. If heavy wear patterns start to appear in high-traffic areas, a restoration paste can help even things out a little; but at some point, however, the floor will need to be diamond-honed or polished with stronger brushes or diamond pads. Just be sure to add this additional cost to your annual budget.
Know Your Floors
As with most areas of construction and maintenance, the flooring installers are very rarely the best experts on how to maintain polished concrete floors. It's the business of cleaning crews to get all the facts up front about the maintenance of finished concrete. Your local distributors can help by making sure you as their customers know how eager they are to help. Any distributor who doesn’t know enough to guide an end user through the process of maintaining polished concrete will certainly know a manufacturer who can help them both.
“Many people know a little about a lot,” says Palecko. “The best thing to do is know what you know and what you don’t. Don’t fake it, ask people who know. Manufacturers are happy to help.” Never be afraid to ask for recommendations about floor care with any distributor. These same distributors can also help by providing references for facility owners. Distributors know which building service contractors are experts in maintaining polished concrete, because they may even have trained some of them. If they didn’t, they sure know who’s buying the right equipment and supplies to do a good job.
The cleaning industry at large keeps the floors of America looking beautiful. The success of polished concrete cleaning protocols rests on whether there has been adequate training and whether the training is followed. Distributors should set up systems that encourage end users to read product labels carefully and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Remember polished concrete, goes beyond regular care. Proper light diffusion can help train customers to be able to see when a floor needs something beyond ordinary, daily maintenance. Do you want a high gloss, one in which the reflection of a light bulb is clear and crisp, or just a brightness. Although that’s usually the expectation with high-grade marble or other stone floors, it’s unusual with polished concrete. If facility owners want it, however, they can get it.
Even if the optimal look for the facility is much softer, where the light will diffuse nicely on the floor, it’s the end user’s job to be able to look at the floors and see whether they’re ready for more maintenance. Your local distributors and manufacturers should be able to help end users learn the look of their polished concrete. Desired looks to achieve may require 10 to 12 steps to really bring the floor back into it's full beauty. Any one of those options will involve diamond honing or polishing.
As an end user of cleaning staff to get you those exceptional looks on the life of your flooring on a regular basis, know your floors, know what it takes to get there, then call a company like Texoma Cleaning to get it done. And keep it beautiful year round.
Helping end users see the early signs of wear gives them the ability to plan the heavier maintenance for times when the facility use is slower.
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