Tips for Maintaining and Cleaning Your Home’s Concrete Surfaces

August 13, 2020

Concrete has come a long way as a material. Concrete used to be limited to sidewalks, but it has made its way into virtually every part of our homes. There are concrete floors, counters, patios, siding, and more.

Concrete is well-loved because it’s cost-effective and incredibly durable. However, despite its durability, it requires specialized care and maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape.

What are the best practices for cleaning and maintaining your home’s concrete surfaces? Here are some of the top tips to keep your concrete surfaces looking great for years to come.

Smiths Paint Concrete Color Stains
Smiths Paint Concrete Color Stains

Tip #1: Routine Cleaning is a Must

Whether we’re talking about your concrete kitchen counters or your backyard concrete patio – it’s critical to have a routine cleaning schedule in place. Dirt and grime can build up over time, and if it’s not washed regularly, it can cause structural damage to your concrete surfaces.

Tip #2: Only Use Certain Cleaners

It’s essential to use certain cleaners with your interior concrete surfaces. Your outdoor concrete can typically withstand a power washer, but your concrete counters are going to need a special kind of cleaner.

Indoor concrete usually has polishes, sealants, or finishes. Harsh chemical cleaners can break down these sealants, destroying the integrity of your concrete. Check the manufacturers’ recommendations for cleaning products. If you can’t find them, your best bet is to go with a non-abrasive cleaner, like dish soap and water.

Tip #3: Seal It

The best way to protect concrete from moisture damage and stains is to seal it. There’s no shortage of sealants on the market. Some sealers are better for outdoors, and some are better for indoors. Some have higher levels of protection and last for years, while others aren’t as strong and require regular reapplications.

The right sealant for your concrete surface depends on the location of your concrete and the amount of moisture exposure you expect it to have. While a sealant isn’t necessary for outdoor concrete, you’ll definitely need sealant for your countertops and indoor floors.

Glaze N Seal Natural Look Penetrating Sealer
Glaze N Seal Natural Look Penetrating Sealer

Tip #4: Avoid Moisture

While a sealant will protect your concrete from moisture damage, you still want to avoid unnecessary moisture exposure. Concrete is naturally extraordinarily porous. Like a sponge, concrete soaks up liquids, and over time, these liquids can cause cracks and reduce the concrete’s durability and longevity.

Tip #5: Repair Cracks and Damage Promptly

If your concrete surface begins to crack or show visible signs of wear or tear, it’s imperative to fix it right away. Small fixes with concrete are relatively cheap and simple to DIY. However, if you let the issue continue to fester, it will cause more significant and complex damage to your concrete.

There are several signs that your concrete is damaged, but here are few of them:

  • Cracks – Moisture, temperature changes, and poor-quality concrete can cause concrete to crack.
  • Blisters – When bubbles get stuck beneath a sealed surface
  • Curling – When the edges of concrete begin to shrink, dry, and curl
  • Scaling – When the surface of the concrete degrades

If you see any of these indicators or notice anything peculiar with your concrete, it’s essential to repair it right away.

Tip #6: Remove Stains Immediately 

Stains happen. As with any surface, the sooner you clean the stain, the better your chances are of getting it up. With your sealed concrete, it will be much easier to clean these stains, because the sealant should protect the concrete long enough for you to address the spill. However, outdoor concrete tends to absorb spills and permanently stain.

The way to handle set-in stains depends on what stained the concrete in the first place. For instance, the difference between  how to remove grease stains from concrete and how to remove rust stains are two completely different processes.

Glaze N Seal Oil Stain Remove

Your best bet when dealing with set-in stains on outdoor concrete is to search for your specific situation. Regardless of what stained the pavement, the quicker you remove it, the better off you’ll be.

Maintaining Concrete Surfaces is Simple

If you follow these six tips, you’ll have no problems maintaining your home’s concrete surfaces. Ultimately, it’s about being proactive. Keep a cleaning schedule going and stay on top of any issues that arise. As long as you do those things, you can enjoy all your concrete surfaces for years to come.

Skylar Ross is a contributor to Innovative Building Materials. He is a blogger and content writer for the residential and commercial flooring industry. Skylar is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and manufacturers discover materials and methods of installation that increase property value, improve durability, and discover innovative flooring options for their home or commercial space.

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Upgrade the look of your homes deteriorating Concrete Surface.

August 29, 2016

Smiths Paint Concrete Counter-top Stains
Concrete Countertop

Decorative Concrete Resurfacing

Many homeowners believe that there is no other solution for the discolored or cracked old concrete flooring except removing and replacing it with a new flooring. However, this is not true, concrete resurfacing is an easy and affordable option available for aging concrete driveway, patio, or other concrete flooring. Resurfacing gives a brand new look to the old flooring and it seems as if a new flooring has been installed. It is a cost-saving and effective way of renovating a deteriorating concrete floor, but it cannot create miracle; hence do not expect it to solve severe buckling, underlying soil issues or other major problems.

Before you plan to opt for resurfacing, you need to assess whether or not the concrete flooring can actually be resurfaced. It is not such a daunting task, and you can do it without any need for professional guidance. You just need to inspect the floor and ensure that there are no deep or large cracks, warp or damages, and also that the soil has not yet begun to settle. In case any of these conditions do exist, resurfacing may not be the ideal solution to overcome such problems. You can even consult a concrete professional who can tell you whether resurfacing the concrete floor is a feasible option.

Smiths Paint Concrete Stains
Restaurant – Concrete floors

There are different types of concrete resurfacing options available, which you can choose to give the floor a whole new look. Overlays are one of the popular options owing to the different patterns that can be achieved by them. You can choose amongst the stampable overlays that look like brick or natural stone, the self-leveling overlays for smooth finish, or the micro-toppings for textured finish or troweled smooth. Most homeowners opt for the spray down overlays that are not only durable but also provide a skid-resistant surface.

Apart from overlays, you can also go for staining, where you can add an appealing solid color to a concrete floor. Moreover, staining produces rich semi-transparent color effects that can look like polished marble or stained wood because the stains seep deep into the concrete. Since the properties of the concrete surfaces vary from one another, hence the effect of staining also varies, and it is this distinctiveness that makes this option interesting.

Smiths Paint Concrete Stains
Exterior – Concrete floors

Another option that you may choose is the stenciled concrete patterns that are available in an array of appealing patterns. A stencil is placed over the concrete surface and a thin decorative coating is applied over it in different ways. There are different ways of applying the coating, such as spray down or trowelling down. You can even use adhesive stencils to create desired patterns on the concrete surface. For creating grids, geometric shapes or more intricate designs, you can select saw cutting option; the concrete is saw cut, after being hardened. You can even create a contrast with the adjacent concrete by staining the pattern in different colors afterward.

Smiths Paint Concrete Stains
Concrete Countertop

Engraving or etching is also a popular choice where attractive designs are etched on the concrete surface, with the help of special tools. Unlike overlays, it is a permanent surface treatment and hence, it is advisable to select patterns only after due consideration. For enhancing the appearance of the resurfaced floor, you can follow it by staining. Apart from these, there are many other resurfacing options available, with the help of which you can upgrade the look of your home’s deteriorating concrete surface.

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