Polished floors make a statement about the professionalism and dedication of a building’s management staff and tenants. Of course, the polish on concrete floors is about more than just the esthetic appearance. It also helps to protect and preserve the concrete from the wear and tear of heavy foot traffic, as well as scrapes, scratches, and potential stains.
A professionally polished concrete floor is one of the most durable flooring options for commercial properties and professional offices. It tends to require less maintenance than other floorings like hardwood, or tile. Though polished concrete floors still aren’t “Maintenance Free.” They will benefit from some daily, weekly, and even annual cleaning. Not only will this help maintain the appearance and protect the concrete floor, but it can also improve overall safety on the floor. This in itself, can be a major benefit for commercial properties, as liability and safety are always important topics. will need a combination of daily, weekly, and yearly maintenance.
Daily Maintenance For Polished Concrete Floors
Even the most high-quality polished concrete floor can still suffer a little damage over a rough day. Spills are always an issue and need to be cleaned up immediately by the building’s janitorial staff or day matron. Spills that are left unattended, can gradually start to saturate into the porous surface of polished concrete creating residual, noticeable stains that are very difficult to remove with consumer-level cleaning products. Not to mention spills on polished concrete floors can be a major safety issue leading to dangerous slips and falls.
A commercial property that receives a lot of deliveries or needs to occasionally move cargo and inventory can also be at risk of scratches and scuffs on the polished concrete floors. Making sure that all hand trucks and other cargo delivery devices are in good working order will go a long way toward minimizing damage to a commercial property’s polished concrete floors. It also helps to enforce a policy of making sure that all loads that aren’t carried by hand are securely strapped to their means of conveyance.
In the wintertime salt and other deicing chemicals can wreak havoc on a polished concrete floor. People and delivery carts tend to pick up these corrosive substances and track them into the building on the bottom of shoes and wheels. Left unchecked the salt and chemicals can strip away the polish from the concrete floor, and even leave behind difficult scrapes, scratches, and scuff marks.
If possible, try to layout long mats with rubber backers in entryways and foyers throughout the building. Then make a point to have them frequently cleaned, replaced, or rotated. This will keep a lot of the salt and deicing chemicals in the mat, rather than on your floors.
Daily dry mopping can also help remove abrasive particles and dust in the winter as well as throughout the rest of the seasons. This helps keep stains from building up in the microvoids in the concrete. Left unchecked these fine particles and dust can start to grind on the surface of the polished concrete and damage its finish as well as dull the sheen.
Weekly & Monthly Maintenance Tips For Polished Concrete Floors
Daily dry mopping is certainly helpful, though it often isn’t enough to preserve the longevity of a building’s polished concrete floors. Weekly wet mop with clean water and high-quality cleaning solutions helps to wash away debris, dirt, dust, and the accumulated grime that can affect a polished concrete floor’s surface.
Ideally, you want to use a high-quality, pH-neutral cleaner that essentially suspends dirt particles, which makes them much easier to remove. Of course, most commercial properties have large floors and open areas. In these common spaces, it helps to work systematically to ensure the entire floor is cleaned, without any forgotten or needlessly overlapping areas.
It helps to divide these larger polished concrete floors into smaller areas that you can wet mop one at a time during the weekly floor cleaning process. If your cleaning solution dries on the floor before the section is fully cleaned, it can leave a residue that requires additional cleaning to remove. So make sure that you are breaking the floor sections down into manageable sections that can be effectively wet mopped in a matter of a few minutes, before moving on.
When choosing a wet mopping solution, you want to prioritize one that is certified to be “pH Neutral.” Avoid using caustic or corrosive cleaning products such as ammonia, bleach, or vinegar, as they can easily damage the integrity of the concrete floor’s surface finish.
Annual Or Quarterly Polishing
Even the highest quality polish on a concrete floor still has a finite lifespan. This is especially true for commercial properties that see heavy foot traffic in entryways, halls, and commons areas. Having the polishing on your concrete floors updated on a quarterly or annual basis will go a long way toward protecting the integrity of the underlying surface, as well as reducing pitting and eliminating scuffs or scratches in the concrete itself.
If you or the building’s custodial staff are diligent about daily dry mopping and weekly wet mopping, your concrete floors might only need annual polishing from a professional service. A lot of commercial property managers in this scenario will choose to have their concrete floors repolished in the fall to get them prepared for winter, or in the spring to restore their sheen after winter salt and sand have been tracked across the floor. This sort of seasonal renewal also helps maintain the professional esthetics of the building’s most frequently seen and used areas.
If your commercial property sees a lot of foot traffic, and cargo deliveries, then you might want to consider bi-annual or seasonal polishing. This will go a long way toward maintaining the concrete floor’s professional appearance as well as preventing dust and stains from settling into the microscopically porous surface of the concrete. It’s especially helpful in entryways and commonly used main hallways.