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How to Clean Concrete Floors

How to Clean Concrete Floors
How to Clean Concrete Floors

Considering how much attention you devote to keeping the main floors in your house clean, it's easy to see why your concrete garage or basement floor might fall by the wayside. But concrete gets dirty just as easily as hardwood and tile, and nobody wants to be greeted by dirt, mold and mildew. Read on to learn more about keeping your concrete floors looking just as nice as the rest of the house.
Scrub me Up, Scotty

If your floor is to the point where routine sweeping and vacuuming barely make a dent, then it's time to get scrubbing. By adding a neutral commercial floor cleaner to a measured amount of warm water in a bucket, you'll create a simple but effective concrete cleaning solution. Use a stiff nylon brush to scrub the solution over the floor's surface, then rinse with a hose and remove any excess water with a shop vacuum. This cleaning solution is safe to use on decorative concrete.

For rust spots, sprinkle dry cement on the spot and rub with a small piece of flagstone. (And don't use metallic brushes when you clean, as you could end up creating new rust spots from fibers that get trapped in the concrete.) If you have a build-up of efflorescence - a white powder caused by water seeping through concrete and leaves salt behind - use a combination of a rigid nylon brush and a wet mop. Keep in mind that the source of moisture must be eliminated to stop the efflorescence from reappearing. For garage floors, you may also have to deal with oil and grease stains. Spray diluted bleach on any oil stains and let sit for 20 minutes, then scrub with a hard-bristle brush and rinse. Cover grease stains in a thick layer of fresh cat litter and let set for 2 to 3 days before sweeping.

Smells Like Concrete Spirit

Just thinking about the musty odor that fills a basement or garage where mildew has built up can make the strongest stomachs queasy. In addition to improving air circulation and reducing moisture, you'll also need to get rid of the growth causing the smell. Mix 1 to 2 ounces of bleach per quart of water in a spray bottle, then spray down the floors and walls before scrubbing them with a nylon brush. If this isn't effective, sprinkle the floor with chlorinated lime bleaching powder (scouring powder) and let it sit for a full day before sweeping or vacuuming it up.

The New, Improved Concrete Floor

If you want to give your concrete floor a new look while also protecting it from the elements, a good method could be to stain or finish the concrete, a practice that is growing in popularity. To ensure that you are finishing your concrete floors correctly, it is best to consult a local professional to be sure conditions are optimal for this application. Typically, the stain will need 24 hours to completely dry.

When working with caustic chemicals such as bleach it is important to protect yourself and anyone else working in the space by maintaining good air circulation and by wearing protective gear including rubber gloves and safety goggles. Protect your skin from making contact with chemicals and follow all safety procedures outlined on the product label.

To ensure the results of cleaning with bleach or other harsh chemicals will meet your expectations, test in an inconspicuous, small area before working on complete project.

Kitchen and living room floors shouldn't be the only good-looking floors in your home. After all, there are shades of grey in any life, and you want your concrete floors to be one of the good shades. Contact 1877FloorGuy today to learn more about floor care and maintenance for any residential or commercial space.