Polished concrete floors are now becoming more popular in both commercial and residential settings. Although they are popular for their durability, this flooring material is also competing in the race as the most aesthetically pleasing flooring material for public spaces.
That aside, decorative concrete floors also offer a green solution to flooring needs and more value for your money with its affordability and ease of maintenance.
But while polished floors may require very minimal maintenance, it’s wrong to think that they won’t need any care and attention at all. Although the densification and polishing process makes polished floors extremely sturdy, decorative flooring can still lose its shine without proper maintenance.
On top of that, you may have certain habits that might be harming your decorative floor. Below are seven bad habits you could be doing that might damage your floor:
1. Not cleaning spills immediately
Because they are quite sturdy, decorative concrete can be used in just about any type of room, some of which may be subjected to moisture and spills.
Even with correct densification and polishing, decorative concrete floors are still vulnerable to staining, especially if spills aren’t cleaned immediately.
Fluids are left to sit on the surface can still penetrate the polished surface. The longer fluids are left there, the higher the probability of staining.
Some liquid substances may also deteriorate the refined surface of the floor. This includes acidic foods and beverages (e.g., soft drinks, ketchup, pickle juice, etc.) and alkaline solutions (e.g., ammonia and detergents).
For acidic spills, clean the surface immediately using a concrete cleaner or clean water. Never let these substances sit as they can damage the concrete finish.
For alkaline substances, use concrete cleaner immediately to minimize staining. You can also use a concrete guard to bring back the floor’s glossy finish.
Besides reducing the chances of staining, cleaning up any kind of spills immediately also prevents the floor from becoming a safety hazard.
2. Ignoring dust
Sure, dusty floors may not seem like a big deal, but dust can damage polished concrete floors.
Despite coming in small particles, dust and soil debris can grind on the floor’s surface and cause it to lose its shine. This is why dry mopping is recommended. Ensure that you get rid of dust every day to prevent abrasive particles from getting attracted to the concrete micro-voids.
3. Not keeping a regular maintenance schedule
Regular cleaning and maintenance are important for decorative concrete floors.
Remember that sand, dust, and other particles can take a toll on its finish, so keeping a regular cleaning schedule is most ideal. Cleaning schedules should be based on the amount of traffic the floor receives.
4. Not knowing the proper way of cleaning
For most residential spaces with this type of flooring, manual cleaning is advised. However, commercial establishments with bigger areas can use automatic cleaning equipment for faster, more efficient cleaning.
Whichever the case, the products and tools used should be suitable for the surface.
Manual floor cleaning usually entails dust mopping to get rid of soil particles and other debris. But instead of using just any mop, stick to those with microfiber pads or any similar tool that won’t scratch the polished surface.
If it’s necessary to use cleaning products, stick with those with neutral pH that loosen the soil particles for ease of removal. Let it sit long enough (follow the instructions on the product label) before removing it from the floor.
Avoid leaving any cleaning solution on the surface for too long that it dries up as this can create a dull haze on the polished surface and may even lead to discoloration. To be safe, clean small areas one at a time. Complete the entire process first before moving on to other areas.
When using a wet mop, make sure that both the water and the mop are clean, so you’re not spreading dirt and damaging particles while you clean.
If you use automatic floor scrubbers, make sure that they are fitted with soft, non-abrasive pads. Avoid ones that are too hard as they may leave scratches and etches on the finish of your polished floor.
Also, check the wheels if they are made of rubber or other similar materials to prevent the equipment from scratching the floor.
5. Using wax on your polished floor
Some people apply wax on concrete floors to make them shine. However, you should never try doing this with a polished concrete floor.
Using wax when the surface is already polished to shine can lead to irreversible damage to the finish. Over time, the wax buildup can dull the finish of the entire floor.
Apart from that, you might also void the warranty (if any) that came with your decorative concrete floor.
6. Sliding furniture across polished concrete floors
When moving furniture around glossy polished floors, it is easy to forget the potential damage it may cause the surface. While these floors are quite sturdy, they can still get scratched from the friction of sliding heavy objects across.
To avoid this, put sliding casters or felt pads under the legs of the furniture or equipment you’re trying to move. Even better, place rubber-backed mats or throw rugs in areas where these pieces are placed.
7. Applying tape on the decorative floor
Another huge mistake you should never do is applying tape on a decorative floor. No matter what your reason for doing so, you should remember that adhesive resins can stick to the floor finish and cause staining that can be difficult to remove.
If it can’t be helped, use blue painter’s tape instead of your average adhesive, but make sure you remove it as soon as possible.
If the damage has already been done, you can use acetone to remove tape residue. Be careful when using razor blades to remove the actual tape as it can cause scratches to the surface.
Keep Your Polished Floor Shining
Concrete floors are one of the sturdiest flooring materials available today, and – thanks to continually advancing technology – they are also quite beautiful when polished.
To keep your decorative floors shining, avoid these bad habits that can harm it.
Ralph El Eid is the Business Development Manager at COLORTEK – Wall & Floor Fashion. EQUIPAINT is the franchise owner of COLORTEK in Dubai (U.A.E.) and Doha (Qatar); an international paints manufacturer specializing in the widest range of decorative paints and seamless concrete & resin flooring, with a unique showroom concept, and thus an ideal destination for homeowners, consultants, architects, interior designers and paint applicators.