Taking care of your Acid Stained Concrete floor or Custom Decorative Concrete Overlay requires periodic maintenance. There is Good news and Bad news. The Bad News is you have to put forth a bit of effort to keep your surface looking good - kind of like waxing your car - a necessary evil. The good news is it is not as hard as you may think; you certainly won't feel like the Lady in the cartoon.
There is one problem with transforming your dull Gray Concrete into a Decorative Concrete Overlay or Acid Stained Floor.........Once you make something pretty; you notice when it is dirty. The information below will give you the knowledge needed to keep your surface looking its best.
Your new Stained Concrete Floor or Decorative Concrete Overlay Floor must be maintained. Floors that need to be repaired due to neglect will not be covered in warranty and will be subject to full repair prices.
Interior Floor Care
Your Custom Interior Floor will last a lifetime if properly maintained. Plastic glides, Felt Pads or Magic Movers should be affixed to heavy furnishings or those which will move frequently. Use the same precautions you would use for a Hard Wood Floor. A Door Mat at the outside (Hemp or Rope style) and inside entrance (one with a solid backing that can be shook off outside) of a home will pick up over 85% of the dirt that would otherwise be tracked inside.
One important thing to mention about your walk-off mat is how to choose one. For the first month, an open-back mat such as a carpet remnant should be used while the sealer/finish cures. Plastic-backed products should NOT be used for your mats. An acrylic or plastic backed mat can cause discoloration under and around the mat. This phenomenon is called Plasticizer Migration. This is caused when a plasticizer in a floor mat or floor material transfers itself (migrates) into the floor finish or sealer. A Plasticizer is an ingredient of a floor finish (or flooring/mat product) that makes it more flexible and less brittle. This is accomplished with an additive which reduces intermolecular forces in the polymers. Since the intermolecular forces are reduced, the molecules in the Plastic mat surface next to your floor will actually want to bond with the molecules in the sealer MORE than the sealer bonds to the concrete. Then when you pull up the mat, you may be tearing up part of your sealer. If a solid backed mat is used, it should be a mat with a backing of 100% Rubber material.
Here is how to care for your floor:
Daily dust mopping Daily dust mopping removes the fine dust and grit which can grind away floor finish. It will help prevent major floor finish deterioration caused by normal foot traffic. The best results are obtained by using a Micro-Fiber Dust Mop. The following procedures should be followed:
1. Dust mop the floor in one continuous movement without lifting the mop off the floor. Overlap your stroke on each pass (you can also vacuum).
2. Clean the dust mop after each use by shaking it outdoors, brushing it with a brush over a garbage can, or vacuuming it.
3. NEVER use a "Swifter Wet-Jet" type of cleaning tool. The liquid in these devices contain trace amounts of Solvent material. The Solvent will not harm the sealer but will cause the wax to egg-shell. Also, you should not use Ammonia, Bleach or Pine Sol.
Damp mopping - use cool water
1. Damp mopping with cool water and a neutral ph cleaner extends the floor
finish life. It will not dull the finish and will enhance the gloss retention.
2. Follow the recommended dilution rates on label directions.
3. The mop should be wrung out tightly so that it is just damp. Do not allow the
cleaning solution to puddle.
4. NEVER use a "Swifter" type of cleaning tool. I know this is a repeat from above but I must
state this again. The liquid in these devices contain trace amounts of Solvent material. The Solvent
will not harm the sealer but will cause the wax to egg-shell. Also, no Ammonia, Bleach or Pine Sol.
Waxing Wax is the sacrificial coating to protect the sealer and bear the brunt of the scuff and scratches. Your floor was installed with 4 coats of wax for the initial protection. We leave the remaining wax with you so you know the type to use a 20% minimum solids wax. No Mop-n-Glo or similar wax should be used.
1. How often you need to re-wax depends on the abuse you, your children or pets put on the floor. It varies by owner and may be anywhere from every 3 months to every year.
2. I like to use a simple Sponge mop to apply the wax.
3. Pour a dinner-plate sized puddle on the floor and spread it evenly and thinly. Spread the material across the surface and let it dry for 1 hour. You are now ready for foot traffic again.
The use of a Floor Mat on the Outside and Inside of entry doors will pick up about 85% of dirt that would enter a home. The use of mats is especially good if you are living in a new housing development.
Problem Probable Cause Solution
Q. Floor is Streaky.
A. Floor was still dirty, allow floor to dry and dust mop or vacuum
Q. mop/water was used.
A. Clean mop and use new solution mixture.
Q. Footprints at Dirty Walk-Off Mat's.
A. Shake/Clean walk-off mats.
Q. Floor is Spotty.
A. Too much solution, water solution shouldn't puddle. Use just a damp mop so liquid will not stand on floor.
Q. Floor is Sticky.
A. Too much cleaner in solution Re-mop floor with clean water, solution ratio: Use 1 OZ of
solution to 1 Gal of clean water.
Q. Floor has a Milky look
A. Something wet remained on Floor wipe up any remaining liquid.
***Don't forget to rinse & clean the mop & bucket after use. Shake or brush off dust mop before using.
- Terms and definitions used in the Hard Floor world.
Exterior Surface Care
Your Exterior surface was sealed with multiple coats of a high-solids, UV-inhibiting, penetrating solvent-based sealer. This sealer will repel dirt, dust and other substances that can get a foot-hold on concrete surfaces and promote the growth of mold and mildew. Basic care is as shown below:
1. If you notice a powdery white or splotchy appearance; especially after a rain, the sealer is doing its job.
This is the dirt/dust mentioned above. A rinse with a garden hose followed by a leaf blower to remove
excess water will fix this.
2. Pressure washing is generally not needed. A rinse and a blow will remove most things on the surface.
3. If there was a spill of a soft drink or something you didn't see right away, use a mild soap like Ivory
liquid in some warm water to loosen the material. Rinse and blow and you are back to a clean surface.
4. Plastic glides or Magic Movers should be affixed to heavy furnishings or those which will move
5. Potted plants should have a dish placed under them to catch excess water; this is especially true if
you use a lot of fertilizer on the plants.
6. The surface should be resealed from time-to-time. The manufacturer of the sealant recommends
resealing every 1 to 2 years. How often your surface needs to be resealed depends on the amount of
rain and sunlight it receives. When you start to notice that water doesn't bead up on or seems to
absorb into the surface, it is time to reseal.