|Posted on May 5, 2011 at 4:11 PM|
Concrete polishing floors process was developed and originally marketed sometime in the mid 1990s and this process has evolved a long way since then to now. The main marketing focus of this process back then for concrete polishing was the "no-maintenance" floor which is not totally true. Even today's marketplace many contractors are still pitching it as a "no maintenance" floor. The truth is all finished floors require some degree of care.
As polished concrete systems and products have evolved to date, so has the popularity of a proven polished concrete maintenance programs designed to keep polished concrete look as if it was polished yesterday.
Polished concrete maintenance program consists of periodic cleaning with lithium based cleaners and polishes and diamond polishing pads. These programs are designed for high traffic commercial establishments such as showrooms, big box stores, etc. preventing slow deteriation from soils brought into the facility from heavy foot traffic, shopping carts, production carts, forklifts, which cause over time micro scratches in the polished concrete surface. This causes the light to refract and the floor begins to loose its luster slowly. Although this deteriation process would take place over a much greater period of time in a home or restaurant, or galleries as an example. So for that reason we do not recommend a systematic maintenace program for low traffic businesses since maintenance is only required maybe every couple years.
The micro-scratches tend to trap minute particles of dirt that over time dulls the polished concrete floor. We do not recommend cheap "neutral " cleaners, they may work in a loft or small retail space or office, but commecial high traffic facilites require specialty products designed to maintain polished concrete flooring.
The current maintenance programs for polished concrete floors, is similar to maintaining marble and natural stone polished tile and floors and has been incorporated in polishing concrete maintenance. The natural stone industry in it's infancy needed to develop programs for proper care of their floors so has the polished concrete industry.
Let's use the example of a busy high end office lobby. The management is aware that if a maintenance program is not implemented the freshly placed and polished marble floors will begin to lose its luster in about 45-60 days from the foot traffic, de-icing materials used in winter, and the micro-scratches brought into the building and caused with foot traffic as discussed above occur in polished concrete floors.
Management also knows that it is cost effective to implement a good maintenance plan as it costs much less than having someone come in to re-polish the concrete floor every 3 or 4 month.
Maintenance for polished concrete floors can be done by the janitorial contractor, maintenance crew or even the contractor that polished the floor in the first place, but it needs to be done. As in the example of the marble floors, it is cheaper than having someone came back to diamond polish the floors again.
Proper maintenance program is very simple.
1. Daily or every other day schedule of dry dust mopping preferably with a micro fiber mop.
2. Weekly cleaning and vacuuming of the floor mats (commercial businesses) which is highly recommended to be placed at every entrance to the building, this is especially critical in the home and restaurants as sandy type dirt and material is your biggest enemy for polished concrete floors.
3. Usually a weekly cleaning the polished concrete floor with specialty concrete cleaner/conditioner is recommended in high traffic facilities. In large facilities this is done with a ride on or walk behind auto scrubber or mopped on in smaller facilites such as a home, restaurant or retail stores. For the Toronto area we recommend Serv-U-Clean Ltd. Janitorial contractor for regular maintenance program..
4. The last part of the program is to use a high quality self-penatrating liquid concrete polish that is typically applied with large micro fiber mops or proper equipment designed to apply over larger areas. This step eliminates those pesky micro-scratches that we talked about several times. It also makes the floor easier to maintain and clean cutting down on your long term floor care costs.
The self penetrating sealers and polishing liquids used by Concrete Art-FX Inc. in conjunction with lithium densifiers extend the need for these maintenance procedures less frequantly and will last even longer and cost only pennies compared to repolishing every 3 or 4 month or every year.
If you are considering a polished concrete flooring for a high traffic facility application be sure to discuss the maintenance program with the concrete polishing contractor.