Concrete makes up most of our hhomes’ walls and floors. It’s a commonly chosen material for its durability and longevity, but most of us think that it doesn’t need maintenance at all. While it may be low-maintenance, proper and regular concrete cleaning can greatly extend the life of the concrete and, in turn, your home.
Taking care of concrete walls
Mold, mildew, dirt and dust can build up on your walls, so you must clean them at least annually. Here are steps you could follow when you do:
- Make sure that the floor around the walls is protected with plastic sheeting.
- Dust the walls off with a rag or, even better, with a soft brush vacuum cleaner attachment.
- In a bucket, mix a gallon of water with some non-ammonia dish soap and fill another bucket with plain water.
- Afterwards, dip a rag into the plain water and wipe down the walls, while making sure to rinse and wring it often.
- With a scrub brush, scrub the walls with the soapy water; also rinse the brush often so the dirt won’t be reapplied to the walls.
Once you’re done, rinse the walls with a rag of plain water and wipe them off with a dry rag.
If your walls have mold or mildew though, you might have to scrub the walls again with a mixture of half a cup of chlorine bleach and a gallon of water, and let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing with a clean rag and warm water;
Make sure to dry the walls thoroughly.
Take note that cleaning your walls could affect the paint. For this, you may need to know more about different paint finishes.
Taking care of concrete floors
Your floor may already have urethane, acrylic, polyurea, or epoxy floor coating. Cleaning coated concrete floors may not be as difficult as cleaning uncoated concrete, so the following are just tips on how to take care of your coated floor:
- Indoor and outdoor floor mats or rugs can reduce wear and tear, and could also help reduce the amount of dirt that gets on the floor.
- Clean spills as quickly as possible to prevent staining.
- Regularly mop the floor with a dry dust mop or a damp mop. (Microfiber cleaning pads are recommended for both mopping methods.)
For deep-cleaning, use a damp mop with water and a pH-neutral cleaner.
If you are using sealers, you could also apply floor wax on top of the sealer for further protection.
If your floor is just plain concrete without any coating or staining, you may want to follow these steps for daily maintenance:
- Using a broom, blower, or garden hose, clean dust and debris from the surface.
- If you have to remove stains, use warm water and a soft scrub brush first. If the stain won’t come off, use mild to strong soap. You may use ammonia only if the previous ones did not work. Chemicals or degreasers may be needed for even more stubborn stains. (Note that these should only be used on plain concrete, and never on stained or polished surfaces.)
- Outdoor or semi-exterior areas such as garages may require power washing.
- Applying sealers after cleaning could make the next routine cleaning easier.
The walls and the floor are essential parts of your home. In taking proper care of those, you are also protecting your home and all the important things it houses.