Concrete is a popular basement flooring option for many Calgary homeowners due to its durability and resilience, as well as its visual appeal. It is also very easy to manage and maintain. Just like any other porous material, concrete absorbs water and other liquids which can make it exposed to oil, rust, or grime stains. To maintain the sophisticated look of concrete basement floors and keep it clean, one needs to follow a thorough cleaning procedure as well as use appropriate concrete floor cleaners.
Choosing A Cleaning Agent For Your Concrete Basement Floors
There are different cleaning agents that are suitable for cleaning concrete flooring. Concrete floor cleaners can be enzymatic, acidic, alkaline, or pH-neutral. The type of cleaner you will use for cleaning will depend on the type of stains you need to remove, type of floor finish (painted, stained, stamped), type of concrete flooring protective cover (sealed or unsealed), etc. Most cleaning solutions are pH-neutral and may not be effective in handling stubborn stains such as grease or rust.
As much as they are efficient, easy to use, and readily available, embrace safety each time you use any type of cleaning agent to avoid accidents caused by the chemicals in the cleaning solutions.
Commercial Cleaning Solutions For Concrete Basement Floors
This is the most convenient cleaning agent that you can easily access in Calgary. This pH-neutral cleaning agent mostly packaged in detergent form is specially formulated for concrete cleaning purposes making it efficient for cleaning your basement floors. Some other common agents for cleaning concrete floors are:
This is a great cleaning agent if mold or mildew is present on your basement floors.
Ammonia is a perfect alternative to bleach in cases where there are stubborn mold and grime stains.
Commonly known as hydrochloric acid, it is a strong cleaning agent that promises to get rid of build-up stains that have accumulated over the years. Its efficiency is powered by its high acidity levels.
Cleaning Sealed and Unsealed Floors
For unsealed flooring, stains such as grease and oil may be present as the floor has been exposed to dirt and liquids that can be easily absorbed without the protective sealant layer. An alkaline-based cleaning agent is best for unsealed surfaces as it turns the stains into soluble salts that can be easily washed away.
Sealed floors are much easier to clean as stains are minimized by the protective top coat of the flooring. PH-neutral cleaning agents are considered safe for home use and are great for sealed floors that do not avoid using acidic or alkaline cleaning agents on sealed floorings, as this will weaken and erode the seal cover.
How To Know If Your Flooring Has A Sealant
A simple way to find out if your concrete basement floor has a sealant is to pour a few drops of water on it. Wait for half an hour and check if the water has seeped into the floor. If it has, there is no sealant but if the water has formed a beadlike pool on the surface, your flooring is likely sealed.
Effective Steps For Cleaning Concrete Basement Floors
Ideal steps should be taken to ensure that your concrete surface is left looking spotless, clean and fresh.
Step 1. Clear The Entire Floor
It can be cumbersome to move the heavy items in your basement but this is the first step you need to take. Move everything from the floor which includes boxes and furniture. This will protect your items from soaking in water as well as allow you to reach all corners of the room. Once the basement is clean and dry, you can return the items back to their place.
Step 2. Remove Dirt And Debris From The Floor
This step is very crucial because if your floor is unsealed and the wet dirt sinks into it, new and stubborn stains may appear. Get rid of all the dirt by sweeping, making sure you reach all the corners of the room. You can vacuum to make sure that you pick out the small dirt that remains after sweeping.
Step 3. Identify And Remove Fungal Growth
Due to insufficient ventilation, the floors in your basement can produce mildew and mold. This eventually leads to a stuffy smell and the most efficient way of getting rid of the smell is by ensuring there is good air circulating the room. To remove fungal growth on the floor, use a diluted bleach solution and for more serious issues, you may need to reach out to a mold and asbestos removal specialist.
Step 4. Identify And Remove Efflorescence
Efflorescent is common to concrete basement floors that have mold and mildew. It is a whitish powder on concrete floors and walls that slowly occurs when water leaks into the concrete leaving a trail of soluble salts once it evaporates.
An efficient way of removing efflorescence is by scrubbing it off with a scrub brush then wiping the surface. To avoid this from happening, waterproof your flooring to protect it from moisture especially during heat seasons.
Step 5. Identify And Remove Stains
There are various stains that may appear on your concrete basement floors. Some are easy to remove while others are stubborn and require more effort and stronger cleaning agents. Being acidic, vinegar is a common ingredient that has been proven to work fast in removing concrete stains such as rust and efflorescent stains. You simply apply on the stains, wait for a few minutes before scrubbing it clean. Lemon juice works in the same way as vinegar. To neutralize the acidity of any of these cleaning agents, baking soda may be applied before a final water rinse.
Step 6. Mopping The Floor
The final step is to mop the concrete floor. The basic supplies you need to have for this step include a large bucket, water, protective gear such as gloves and goggles, mop, brush, and a cleaning solution. If your basement has a functioning drainage system, a pressure washer will be a fast method of cleaning the floors. It is a great tool that will be effective in cleaning the crevices and tight corners. Afterward, you can mop to increase the drying process time.
If your floor has a glossy look or is painted, you may need to perform a final step that involves polishing it with a suitable floor care product that will leave your surface looking shiny and clean.
Care Plan For Your Basement Floors
The best way to maintain your concrete basement floors is to plan and stick to a regular cleaning schedule. By having a manageable schedule, you will eliminate damage to your basement commonly caused by stains and mold. Here at TNA Concrete, we believe that for easier management, it is wise to have your basement floors professionally sealed. This will also ensure that your floors maintain their functionality and attractive texture appeal for a long time.
With the right information on cleaning and the correct cleaning agents, your basement flooring has every reason to look as you desire it to be. TNA Concrete embraces the latest trends in concrete basement flooring and we have the expertise to advise and give your basement a new shiny look. Our Calgary team of concrete flooring experts will help you with your basement floor issues and offer sustainable solutions that are customized for your basement. Contact us today if you need any help with your concrete basement floors.