Proper Cleaning and Maintenace
of Decorative Concrete Surfaces
Your decorative concrete surface has been sealed. It is stain resistant … it is not stain proof. Stains can become set over time if you do not clean spills of foreign matter as soon as possible.
Interior surfaces which do not have drains for ease in flushing with water, may be cleaned by mopping, use of carpet cleaning machine with extractor, floor scrubber with light duty pad, steam cleaner, or wet/dry vac. This will prevent damage to adjoining walls.
Exterior surfaces may be cleaned using a push broom and hose to flush clean or a pressure washer. If a pressure washer is used for routine cleaning, recommend that you limit the psi to 1200 and you never use turbo/rotating tip.
Do not place rubber backed mats on any decorative surfacing system. Rising vapors being emitted from cementitious substrates must be allowed to evaporate naturally. Rubber backed mats trap rising vapors, preventing the natural evaporation process, resulting in a hard mineral deposit build up which is difficult, if not impossible to remove without discoloration. Rugs which allow vapors to pass through them, or those with open weave/waffle like backing, are generally acceptable “indoors.”
Do not place potted plants directly on your surface. Use a plant dolly, or plant stand with legs to allow for ventilation between planter and surfacing system. Failure to do so will leave a white mineral deposit which will permanently discolor the surface. Plant fertilizers also have potential to cause discoloration.
All cleaning solutions must be rinsed thoroughly. Special care must be taken to properly meter all concentrated cleaning solutions, especially those which have an orange citrus base. Janitorial supply houses promote orange citrus cleaners as “all natural, non-toxic, environmentally safe;” however, they are non the less a natural form of acid and have the potential to pit, eat away, or permanently discolor your surfaces’ protective coat of sealer. All cleaning solutions must be properly diluted (in the case of concentrated orange citrus, at a rate of 20 parts warm water to 1 part concentrate). After use of all cleaning solutions your surface must be rinsed thoroughly to remove all cleaning material films and residues.
Do not use ammonia based cleaners on your decorative surfaces (such as Pine-Sol) or any cleaner having an abrasive nature. For routine cleaning/maintenance you may use any biodegradable/water soluble cleaner that is ammonia and citrus acid free. Rinse/flush completely with clean/fresh water after use.
Tree sap, and other like residues, can be spot cleaned using Goo-Gone or Disolves-It on an absorbent cloth. Carburetor cleaner works well for spot removal of road tar and black tire marks. Rinse/flush completely with clean/fresh water after use.
Never use MEK, Acetone, Xylene, Xylol, Paint Thinner, or any type of solvent based chemical to remove foreign matter.
Special care must be taken to rinse away pool or spa treatment chemicals which are in concentrated form as soon as possible to deter surface damage/ discoloration. Note: treated pool and spa water itself will not harm your decorative surface so long as it has been diluted at proper ratios.
Mineral and lime deposits, as well as efflorescence, may be cleaned using a solution of one pound (1 lb) TSP (Tri-Sodium Phosphate) per 1 gallon of warm water. Scrub with push broom or brush, allow to set for approximately 15 minutes, then rinse/flush thoroughly. Spot cleaning with Lime Away (or other like product) is also acceptable; again rising thoroughly. Note: these methods will only provide results if the mineral, lime, or efflorescence has not actually eaten into the sealer.
Standard good house keeping, preventing the build up of grease, oil, soap residues, suntan lotions, etc. are your responsibility. Failure to do so can result in slip/fall accidental injuries since foot or shoe sole is not in direct contact with decorative surface.
All decorative surfaces must be sealed to deter/ prevent entrapment of foreign matter. A sacrificial coat of wax, type and application method depending on the end use of the surface, may be applied over interior surfaces to deter scuffing from shoe soles or rubber tipped fixtures (furniture, appliances, exercise equipment, etc.) as well as to prolong life of the sealer. Never apply wax on exterior surfaces.
The use of any deicing compound containing ammonium nitrate and/or ammonium sulfate within a winter maintenance program is strictly prohibited. These chemical deicers rapidly attack and disintegrate many types of sealers and decorative surfacing systems. Those containing magnesium chloride can also cause moderate damage.
Hard water deposits have the potential to discolor decorative concrete surfaces if remaining wet for extended periods of time; therefore, the heads of landscape sprinkler systems should be set to deter excessive watering of decks, driveways, sidewalks, etc. Lay of the land should be graded to promote run off of water (rain or other sources) away from decorative concrete surfaces, with the same being true of roof drain gutters.
At some point in time it will become necessary for your surface to be resealed. Longevity and performance will depend on the end use of the surface, environmental conditions it is subjected to (moisture, freeze-thaw cycling, UV rays), wear patterns, and other contributing factors.
If a skid-resistant micro media was incorporated in your sealer when originally applied, traffic patterns and degree of use will bring about the wearing off of this slip/fall resistant deterrent to a certain degree over time. It is your responsibility to contact the applicator should you determine this to be the case. To address this safety concern it will be necessary that you have the surface properly cleaned, prepared, and resealed, again incorporating the skid resistant media, with the work performed by professional applicator/contractor