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urethane concrete floor maintenance

Urethane Concrete Floor Maintenance

5 Tips to Maintain Your Urethane Concrete Floor Investment

What is a Urethane Topcoat?

 

Urethane concrete floor maintenance is a necessary but easy solution to keep your decorative concrete floors or high performance concrete floors sterling and in pristine condition. Urethane top-coated floors and epoxy top-coated floors are a premier finish for newly poured or older concrete floors with character; they are almost twice as thick as acrylic sealers and form a high-build protective film on the concrete surface that provides excellent resistance to chemicals and abrasion.

 

urethane concrete floor maintenance

Now that you know a little bit about Urethane and Epoxy floors, we can delve into five tips for how to maintain urethane floors.

 

5 Tips on Urethane Concrete Floor Maintenance:

 

  1. Daily Maintenance: Dry mop the floor daily with an industrial dust mop. This will help remove dust and debris that can degrade the conductivity.
  2. Weekly Maintenance: Once a week wet mop the floor with a mix of non-residue* alkaline and water, and allow to dry.
  3. Bi-Weekly Maintenance: Every two weeks, auto scrub with a mixture of diluted alkaline non-residue floor cleaner to remove the ground in contaminants. In this process, use soft nylon bristle pads or red buffer pads. Be careful to not use too aggressive scrubbing pads because they could remove the gloss. If you have stubborn, ground-in scuff marks, you can use detergent. When using detergent, allow it to soak and then scrub.
    1. *Be aware that many detergents and cleaners leave behind harmful residues that reduce the conductivity of the floor finish. Make sure the floor cleaners you use are non-residue to keep the appearance of your urethane or epoxy floor.
  4. For an additional option, you can wax the floor, however this is usually not necessary. Keep in mind, once you wax a floor, you must regularly wax it to maintain the shine.
  5. Urethane or epoxy top-coated floors should last 10 or more years if regularly maintained. However, severe scuff marks can take a toll on the gloss and the overall look of the floor. Now, consider re-coating the floor.

 

urethane concrete floor maintenance

 

Overall, when considering what topcoat to choose for your concrete flooring project, keep in mind the environment, how long you want it to last, if you want to reseal it every couple years, and how you want it to look. Urethane and epoxy topcoats are good options for industrial use; they may be more expensive than other sealers, like acrylic sealers upfront, but they will last longer and are more durable. They are generally thicker than acrylic sealers and they come in many colors, they can be slip-resistant, and chemical-resistant, and are aesthetically pleasing. They can be applied to concrete that has been ground and stained concrete to protect it and give it a nice glossy finish. If you follow the tips in this article, you should get several years of life to your floor, therefore making it a very wise investment. However, these tips are only suggestions; we are not the experts, so please contact your cleaning vendor or a janitorial company like Jon Don to seek professional advice or secure a cleaning urethane concrete floor maintenance program to protect your investment!

When Should You Reseal Concrete?

Sealed Concrete & What to Look Out for When It Needs to be Sealed Again

 

Sealed concrete is an important factor to prolong the lifespan of your concrete. Depending on what type of sealer you have applied to the concrete, you will want to watch out for when it is time to re-seal it. Concrete, like any other porous surface, is best when it is sealed. You can seal concrete with a chemically reactive penetrating sealer, acrylicresin sealers, and high performance topical coatings, such as epoxies and urethanes. Depending on which one, if any, has already been applied to the concrete substrate, you will need to check and make sure the sealer is still sealing the concrete.

 

Concrete needs sealed for different purposes, some of which are: protecting it from freeze-thaw, stain repellence, dust reduction, abrasion resistance, chemical resistance, or to maintain an attractive or high-gloss appearance. If you do not seal your concrete, harsh chemicals and liquid can penetrate the concrete, leaving it discolored or destroy the surface. Let’s look at each sealer, so that you can know how long it should last and what do to check if it needs reapplied.

 

Penetrating Sealers

sealed concrete

Due to the nature of penetrating sealers, since they chemically react to the concrete, they will last the longest out of all the sealers. They will generally wear as the substrate wears, usually 10 years or longer. They are usually applied directly after the concrete slab is poured, when it can withstand the weight of the installer. Although some reactive penetrating sealers, like silanes and siloxanes, should only be applied when the concrete is fully cured (generally 28 days). You will not notice a different appearance when penetrating sealer is applied, however, you will notice that when water is poured on top of the chemically sealed concrete, it will bead. This is the best test you can do to see if your concrete needs resealed. Pour water on the concrete, and if in a couple minutes, the concrete absorbs the water, you know it is time to reseal it.

 

Acrylic-Resin Sealers

stamped concrete sealing

One part sealed, one part not

There are two types of acrylic sealers: water-based and solvent based, both of which have shorter life spans than both penetrating sealers and epoxies. They generally last 1 to 3 years. They, like most penetrating sealers, are usually applied directly after the concrete slab is poured, when it can withstand the weight of the installer. Solvent-based acrylic resin sealers significantly enhance the color and give the concrete a high-gloss, wet look. Therefore, it is often the sealer of choice for stamped concrete projects. Water-based acrylic resin sealers, on the other hand, offer a more moderate color enhancement and a satin appearance. To test if you need to reseal your acrylic sealed concrete, check for wear and tear in it within the first year; you will likely see chips or peeling in spots.

 

Epoxies and Urethanes

Epoxy and urethane systems have similar performance to penetrating sealers, lasting 5 to 10 years, depending on traffic exposure. They are more expensive than other sealers up front, but they will last you longer than the alternatives, which are usually acrylic sealers. Most high performing sealers, like epoxies and urethanes, should only be applied after the concrete has cured (generally 28 days). Epoxies provide a significant color enhancement and give concrete the high-gloss, wet look, like solvent-based acrylic resin sealers. Urethanes, when applied as a topcoat over epoxy, are available in a wide range of finishes, from matte to glossy. Many sealers can also be colored with translucent or opaque tints. To test if you need to reapply epoxy or urethane, watch if areas start to lose their gloss or color, or both. You will also notice, in cases where it is bad, the concrete substrate will show throw the epoxy or urethane coatings.

 

To sum it up, acrylic sealers and penetrating sealers will repel water and deicing salts. Use a siliconate (a type of reacting penetrating chemical sealer) to repel oil stains. Some things to be aware of when choosing what type of sealer to use: 1, acrylic-resin sealers may be weakened by petroleum distillates, and 2, reacting penetrating sealers are generally weakened by acidic chemicals that etch the concrete. Opt for an epoxy or urethane system if you want protection against these substances. For penetrating sealers, watch for the concrete either absorbing water or beading; for acrylic sealers, watch for wear and tear, such as scratches and peeling; for epoxies and urethanes, watch for the glossy finish losing its shine or areas that are worn down and showing the concrete substrate.

 

 

Concrete Floor Maintenance

How to Maintain Concrete Floors

In this article, we’ll walk you through how to maintain your concrete floors. Concrete floor maintenance is a key aspect of protecting your investment! So you chose to keep your concrete floor, instead of covering it with laminate, tile, wood, or carpet. Congratulations! You now have a floor that will take less maintenance than the other flooring options, especially carpet! However, keep in mind that virtually all flooring requires some sort of maintenance and regular attention. The amount of maintenance your floor will need, highly depends on the amount of foot and vehicular traffic that it receives. For instance, if you have a concrete floor in your residence, you will likely get away with a simple cleaning regimen with the occasional sweeping and damp mopping. On the other hand, commercial flooring may require daily sweeping and mopping, but keep in mind that both residential and commercial flooring do not do well with acidic cleaners and sometimes even soap-based products. Always refer to your coating contractor if you have questions about maintenance. Read on to find out more about how to maintain epoxy floors and polished concrete.

Epoxy floor maintenance:

Epoxy floors, whether in your garage, pole barn, warehouse, or place of business, are durable and generally have a pristine appearance. Usually our clients want to know how to maintain their newly coated concrete floors, so that they can increase the lifespan, as to not have to tear out and replace or re-coat. If you maintain your floors correctly, and with these steps in mind, you should be able to have a floor that lasts for years to come.

  1. Spills are going to happen. When a spill occurs, it is important to clean it up as soon as you can, because it could stain or penetrate the coating if it is acidic, or can become slick of it’s oil. All you need to do is use a paper towel or soft cloth to wipe it up.
  2. If it’s more heavily soiled, first, sweep up any loose debris, then mop the floor with a hard foam mop, hot water, and clear ammonia.
  3. Routine maintenance for your epoxy floors, only require a soft bristle broom or blue commercial dust mop.
  4. Another good way to regularly maintain your floor is to spray out with a hose and squeegee dry; this works best if you have a drain or access to the outside.
  5. If the concrete has been stained, you can use a kitchen scrubbing pad and lightly scrub with just hot water.
  6. Refrain from using cleaners with acids, like vinegar and citrus, and soap-based cleaners. In particular, the soap-based cleaners will build a residue over time, which will decrease the shine, and the floor will become progressively slippery, even if you have a “slip-resistant” coating.
concrete floor maintenance
In conclusion, epoxy floors are very durable, especially when professionally installed, however, this does not mean they are indestructible. If you do gauge the concrete coating, contact your installer to get a quote on fixing it. Sometimes you can get a warranty, however, gauging the floor coating is not necessarily always covered by warranty.

Polished concrete floor maintenance:

Polished concrete is an exceptionally durable floor and attractive, yet also economical and environmentally friendly. It is an ideal flooring option for businesses and residential indoor use, primarily because most buildings are build on concrete slabs already. Furthermore, polished concrete is very versatile; the property owner can choose the level of sheen, from satin to high gloss. This flooring option is very low maintenance, as it requires no floor finish or wax stripping and reapplication. See below for polished concrete maintenance tips to help you keep your floor resilient for up to ten years before you need to restore it.
  1. Place walk-off mats at entryways. When people walk into the building, they will often track dirt and debris in with them. In this case, mats help reduce the amount of dirt that is tracked in.
  2. Dry mop daily to remove dirt. If dirt is left on the concrete surface, it can scratch and abrade the surface over time, which interferes with the shine and creates a dull appearance.
  3. Wipe-up spills immediately. In the polished concrete process, we apply densifies, which will help to enhance the stain-resistance of your floor, however, the concrete is still porous, which means it is in your best interest to clean up spills immediately.
concrete floor maintenance
To sum it up, polished concrete is an extremely durable surface that can be used in many facilities, like schools, gyms, retail centers, churches, restaurants, auto shops, pole barns, and almost any business or home with concrete that is in good condition. If maintained properly, your polished concrete investment can last you ten or more years before it needs to be restored.

And That’s It!

There are other concrete flooring types, but they are very similar to either polished concrete or epoxy floors. Basically, for both types of floors, you want to dry mop often, clean up spills immediately, and when you mop, do not use abrasive cleaners or even soap-based products. For epoxy floors, you will benefit from using a commercial-grade floor wax designed for concrete floors to protect against stains, dirt and abrasion. However, for polished concrete floors, wax is not required for up-keep; simply gently clean it or hire a janitorial company to maintain it if you are a commercial facility and do not have someone in-house who can maintain it regularly. If your polish becomes less shiny than you’d like it, contact your decorative concrete contractor to buff the surface or to lightly re-polish it with a fine-grit abrasive. Floor mats always help at the entryways, so that you track in less dirt and muck. Now that you know about concrete floor maintenance, enjoy your new investment!

Contact us today for your FREE estimate! We’ll be glad to guide you through the decorative concrete flooring process and then we’ll make sure your in good hands with proper knowledge to maintain your investment! Call us at 720-258-6571!