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Caring for a Cement Floor

Concrete and Masonry
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A cement floor is prized for its durability and stain-resistance. When polished and/or colored, cement floors can also serve as a unique decorative flooring that delivers simple elegance and beauty with the added benefit of being easy to clean and maintain. However, special considerations need to be taken to ensure you do not scuff or damage the surface of your floor.

Cleaning a Concrete Garage Floor

The cleaning process for concrete floors varies depending on whether or not the floor is decorative in nature. For traditional concrete floors, such as those used in garages, it is recommended that you give the surface a deep cleaning at least once a year. To accomplish this, you will need to start by sweeping up any dirt and debris present on the floor.

After wetting the floor with a hose, apply dry granular cleaner to the floor. Use a push broom to adequately scrub the cleaner into the floor and then rinse the cleaner away with the help of a hose.

Caring for a Decorative Cement Floor

Decorative cement floors require more precautions to ensure long-lasting good looks. When it comes to routine cleaning, warm water and a mild cleaner work best for removing stains and spills. Dishwashing detergent is a good agent to use. Cleaning products with ammonia or vinegar are discouraged due to their corrosive abilities.

When scrubbing a cement floor with cleaner, it is suggested you use a non-metallic brush (as metals can scratch the floor). Additionally, you may consider applying plastic guides to any heavy or metal furniture present in the room. This will also help minimize the potential for scuffing.

Long-Term Care Considerations

Most decorative cement floors are given a protective coating of sealant when installed. Over time, foot traffic and other factors can wear away this protective coating. As such, it may be necessary to reseal the cement floor every three to four years (two to three years for outdoor cement floors). While this can be done on your own, it is generally recommended that you hire a professional.

Polished floors will hold their shine for several years. However, a good buffing may be needed after several years to bring back the shine of your cement floor. A commercial polishing compound may be good enough to bring out that polish. If not, a fine-grit abrasive can be used to re-polish the floor and remove and dings that may have formed in the concrete.

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