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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Maintain Concrete Pavers and Brick

October 16, 2011

How To Seal & Maintain Concrete Interlocking Pavers & Brick

glaze n seal, Pavers sealers, Brick sealers, sure seal Sealant, stone solution sealers, tile and grout sealers, Stone Color Enhancer, Stone Sealant Impregnator

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The following information is based on product application reports and manufactures information and is provided in good faith to assist the consumer. READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS AND PRODUCT LABELS COMPLETELY BEFORE USING. PRE-TEST IN AN INCONSPICUOUS AREA PRIOR TO APPLICATION TO DETERMINE IF THE DESIRED RESULTS ARE ACHIEVED.

Unsealed interlocking pavers & brick are subject to staining, fading, sand loss, and can sometimes develop weeds and mildew growth. With proper sealing and maintenance your pavers will be more likely to have a long lasting, beautiful and durable life and appearance. The sealer selection for Interlocking Pavers, brick and other types of sand set pavement material is generally based on the desired “finished” look and the degree of stain resistance required as well as the need for joint sand stabilization. Most paver installations will benefit from a sealer that has joint sand stabilizing properties. Use of Glaze ‘N Seal’s Paver Sealer & Joint Stabilizer will protect from stains, oil and fading as well as sand erosion.

Recommended Product Stain Resistance Finished Look Comment
Paver Sealer/Stabilizer Excellent Low-Medium Sheen Water-based – Film-forming

Surface Preparation

Newly manufactured concrete pavers should cure 14 days or more before sealing. Follow paver manufacturer’s recommendations. Prior to the application of Glaze ‘N Seal’s sealer products, surface must be thoroughly clean. Remove all dirt, oil, grease, paint, efflorescence and any previous sealers that may not be compatible with the new sealer. General cleaning may be done using Glaze ‘N Seal’s alkaline base Heavy Duty Cleaner. Mix the concentrated detergent according to label instruction depending on severity of surface soils. For Efflorescence stains or hard water deposits, use Glaze ‘N Seal’s mild acidic cleaner Efflorescence Remover. Note…(When acid has been used for any reason, surface must be neutralized). For neutralizing, we recommend Glaze ‘N Seal’s Neutralizing Rinse. Always read cleaning product instructions and cautions with any cleaner.

After tamping down joint sand and sweeping the sanded areas for new installations, be sure the sand is at least 1/8 inch below the surface of the pavers. Make sure all sand residue and fine powder is removed with broom & blower before application of any film forming sealers. Allow any moisture in or on the surface of the pavers to dry at least 24 hours. Allow 48 hours or more if temperatures are cool or a pressure washer has been used. For best results the sand should be dry to its full depth before sealing. It is always recommended to test the sealer of choice in a small area first. Always read product label and directions carefully before beginning to use any sealer products.

Seal

  • Apply Glaze ‘N Seal’s Paver Sealer & Joint Stabilizer to a clean dry surface using a compressed air hand pump garden-type sprayer. Apply a heavy saturating coat of sealer. Ensure that all joints are flooded to maximize sealer soaking into the dry sand. Immediately squeegee any excess product down into the sand joints using a large foam or rubber squeegee. Avoid puddling on the surface. An optional second thin coat may be applied to the surface of the pavers after two hours if desired to increase protection & gloss. Ideal surface temperatures should be above 55° and below 85°.
  • After final coat, allow sealer to dry 2 hrs before foot traffic. Limit heavy traffic. Keep vehicular traffic and moisture off for 72 hours while sealer cure

Maintenance & Other Sealer Options For Concrete Interlocking Pavers & Brick

Seal

  • Maintain your pavers with periodic cleaning of grease, dirt, loose soil and hard-water stains with Glaze N Seal’s (Heavy Duty Cleaner). For stubborn grease spots use Heavy Duty Cleaner in a more concentrated formulation. Rinse surface well with water.
  • Reapply maintenance coats of sealer as needed. All Glaze N Seal sealers are re-coatable. Make sure surface is clean and dry at time of reapplication.

If Considering Other Glaze ‘N Seal Sealers For Concrete Interlocking Pavers & Brick, See Options Recommended From Chart Below

Finished Look Stain Resistance Recommended Product Comment
“Wet Look” Excellent-S, O, W “Wet Look Lacquer” Solvent-based – Film-forming
Low-Medium Sheen Excellent-S, O, W Multi-Purpose Sealer* Solvent-based – Film-forming
“Natural Look” Excellent-S, O, W Stone Sealant Impregnator Water-based – Penetrating
“Natural Look” Excellent-W Natural Look Penetrating Sealer* Water-based – Penetrating

Stain Resistance: Stain (S ) Oil (O) Water (W)

*Economical water repellant. If a natural look with oil resistance is needed, use Stone Sealant Impregnator.

  • If a deeper wet look appearance is desired, Glaze ‘N Seal’s “Wet Look” Lacquer can be applied to an unsealed surface, When applying film-forming sealers as “Wet Look” Lacquer or Multi Purpose sealer, use 2-3 thin even coats. Minimize foaming. A solvent resistant spray applicator is recommend when applying “Wet Look” Lacquer“.
  • Glaze N Seal’s Natural Look Penetrating Sealer may be used to provide a long lasting water protection that looks natural on the paver surface. Glaze ’N Seal’s Stone Sealant Impregnator will provide premium stain, oil and water protection that looks natural on the surface. When using penetrating-type sealers Stone Sealant Impregnator or Natural Look Penetrating Sealer, apply one liberal coat using a sprayer or roller. Do not allow excess Natural Look Penetrating Sealer to dry on the surface. Wipe up excess sealer before it dries. After 10-24 hrs check repellent by dropping water droplets on surface to check for water bead. If need apply second coat.

More information on how to clean Seal and maintenance your hard surface