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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Why to use a colored grout sealer

October 9, 2010

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One of the most essential aspects of a tiling job is grouting the empty spaces between two tiles. Grouting would keep the tiled floor bonded together for a long duration of time. Grout between two tiles also prevents them from rubbing against each other and cracking. Although effective, grout is a porous substance that can easily absorb moisture and any liquid that is spilled on the floor. It is for this reason that the process of sealing the grout becomes highly essential.

Grout is generally available in two forms: sanded and un-sanded. The use of sanded or un-sanded grout would depend on the tile material as well as the size of tile joints. Irrespective of the type of grout being used, applying a layer of grout sealer is important for high durability of the floor.

A grout sealer prevents the percolation of moisture into the grout, thereby preventing problems such as mildew and mold. Along with this benefit, a grout sealer would also prevent discoloration and staining of the grouted area. Any liquid that is dropped on the tiled floor would stay on top of the grout due to the applied sealer. This would give you more time to clean the liquid before the grout absorbs it, thereby preventing staining.

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Grout sealer is available in two variants: clear sealer and color sealer. Application of a clear grout sealer would not alter the color of the grout and would ensure that the grout retains its natural color. On the other hand, a color grout matches with the color and design of the tiles, thereby allowing for a uniform look to the tiled floor.

A colored grout is either used to match with the tile composition or allow for a contrast in the look of the floor. Colored grout can even be used in case the earlier grouting has stained due to some reason. A colored grout sealer is generally available in a wide range of colors, thereby allowing you to easily select one as per your specific requirements.

Along with enhancing the visuals of your tiled floor, color grout offers a number of other advantages as well. Color grout is generally odorless, thereby creating a clean environment in the room. These sealers reduce the ongoing maintenance expenses significantly and enable the use of natural cleaners.

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You can apply color grout in two ways; by the “brush-on method” or the “spray-on method”. In the brush-on method the sealer is applied directly to the grout using a brush. In a spray-on method, the sealer is sprayed over the entire floor. The sealer over the grout gets absorbed while the sealer over the tiles gets evaporated.

The method used by you to seal the grout would depend on various factors such as your budget and type of sealing material. Due to its numerous advantages, the “color grout sealer” is being widely used by homeowners. Not only does a color sealer enable you to change the visuals of the floor as per your requirements, it enhances the durability of the floor as well.

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