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Concrete Cleaning Archives - Professional Surface Restoration

Concrete Densifier Explained

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Concrete DensifierConcrete densifier is often promoted as one of the top advancements in concrete technology today. However, the nature of the product can be confusing to those without a deep knowledge of the concrete industry. What is densifier? How does it work? How might it affect the life of your flooring?

Here is a brief FAQ regarding these questions and more.

What Is Concrete Densifier?

Concrete densifier is a chemical product applied to the surface of a concrete floor to provide more density to the concrete. Once applied, the densifier fills in the pores near the surface of the concrete, providing a denser product and a harder surface. Building owners utilize concrete densifiers to produce a finish that is more resistant to wear and staining.

What Is Concrete Densifier Made Of?

Although chemical components may differ slightly across brands, most concrete densifiers are similarly composed. Typically, densifiers are water-based and made up of chemicals that react with the concrete to fill its pores. Most often, these chemicals include sodium, potassium, or lithium silicates.

RELATED ARTICLE: How to Winterize Your Concrete Floor 

How Does It Work?

As concrete cures, it produces calcium carbonate as a byproduct – also known as free lime or concrete dust. After concrete densifier is applied, its chemicals react with this concrete dust to form a calcium silicate hydrate gel. The gel fills the pores near the surface of the concrete, eventually crystallizing and tightening the pores to provide more density and hardness to the concrete.

When Is It Applied?

Concrete densifier can be applied to multiple types of newly placed concrete floors, including high traffic areas like loading docks and warehouses, as well as large, flat areas for commercial spaces that will eventually receive polish. In fact, polished floors should always receive a densifier treatment during the refinement process to increase resistance to staining, abrasion, and dusting. The stage in the refinement process at which the densifier is applied can vary based on the nature of the concrete used and may occur after the initial metal grinding or as a final step.

RELATED ARTICLE: Concrete Floor Maintenance Tips

Why Should You Use Densifier?

Densifier does not replace sealers or epoxy coatings, both of which provide a truly sealed surface that repels stains. In addition, epoxy provides an additional layer of protection, which absorbs some of the wear and tear normally experienced by the concrete. However, for natural or polished concrete floors, densifiers provide oil and chemical resistance, minimal dusting, and increased durability against abrasion and other forms of wear.

Contact Professional Surface Restoration for more information about concrete densifiers and how to incorporate our commercial concrete cleaning services. Our in-depth knowledge of concrete surfaces ensures your floor will receive the best cleaning, sealant and aftercare in the business. We guarantee the work we do for all our clients, tailored to the exact specifications of your floor.

If you’re not sure how much difference professional cleaning and sealing might make for your concrete surfaces, why not see an expert demonstration? Professional Surface Restoration offers free estimates with no obligation. Contact us to set up an appointment.

How to Winterize Your Concrete Floor

By | Concrete Cleaning, Concrete Sealing | No Comments

how to winterize your concreteConcrete is a porous material, and despite its strength and durability, this means it’s vulnerable to certain weather conditions. Winter weather – especially snow – can wear down concrete surfaces by seeping into the material. Much like roads and sidewalks, concrete patio floors and driveways can experience destructive freeze/thaw cycles during the winter. As a homeowner, it’s important to understand why the winter poses such a big threat to concrete surfaces and how you can act to protect your concrete during the coldest months of the year.

Concrete’s porosity gives it the ability to absorb water. When the weather is warm, moisture in the air, such as rain or dew, can evaporate after it’s absorbed by concrete. But as temperatures go below 32 degrees, the moisture in the air freezes and expands after it is absorbed by the concrete. This not only causes cracks to develop on the concrete’s exterior surface, but it places extreme pressure on its internal foundation as well.

Once the concrete is cracked, it’s at a higher risk of damage because water can easily get into the openings and apply pressure as it solidifies and expands. This weakens the overall stability of the concrete surface and creates a potentially hazardous walking surface.

Thankfully, you have ample time to avoid the consequences of damaged concrete surfaces before the winter begins. Consider the following winterization steps to protect your home’s concrete exteriors from deterioration as the temperatures drop.

Check Your Concrete for Signs of Damage 

The first step in winterizing your concrete surface is to evaluate its current condition. If the surface is showing signs of damage, such as cracks, unevenness, or spalling, the best solution is to have these issues repaired as soon as possible. Making a point to get the damage repaired now will help prevent it from metastasizing as the temperatures drop.

If your concrete slab has cracks but is still even, you can repair the fissures with a durable sealant. However, concrete surfaces that are uneven or with cracks bigger than a quarter inch might need to be professionally repaired or resurfaced.

Seal All Concrete Surfaces 

Sealing is the optimal way to preserve your concrete and doing so before the temperatures start to decrease will help shield it from damage that occurs a when moisture from snow and ice seeps into the concrete’s surface. If your concrete is free of cracks or has just been repaired, you can protect it with an acrylic sealant to keep it safe from moisture during the winter.

If you’re not sure how much difference professional cleaning and sealing might make for your concrete surfaces, why not see an expert demonstration? Professional Surface Restoration offers free estimates with no obligation.

For additional information, visit our concrete cleaning and sealing web page, or contact us to set up an appointment.

Concrete Floor Maintenance Tips

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Concrete Floor Maintenance TipsOne of the perks of installing polished concrete floors in your home, garage, or patio is its low maintenance. Concrete is strong and durable, and part of the charm is in its imperfections. Without a bit of regular floor maintenance and care, however, you risk exposing your concrete floors to the elements. Concrete is porous and can absorb stains that may blemish your space. Use these concrete floor maintenance tips and techniques to protect you for the long haul!

Dust Mop Daily

If you want your concrete floors to look their absolute best, dust mop daily using a soft microfiber cloth. Going over your floors each day with a dust mop can remove dirt, dust, and debris that might otherwise be too abrasive for your polished concrete. You might also need to wet mop with clean water a few times per week to remove harder-to-clean spots. The more often you dust-mop, the shinier your polished concrete floors will remain.

Use a Neutral-pH Cleaner

Concrete floors are special in that cleaners that are too acidic or alkaline can deteriorate the flooring material. Don’t put your floors at risk or accidentally dull the shine of the polish with the wrong cleaner. Make sure you’re mopping with a mix of clean water and a cleaner with a neutral pH balance to prevent abrading, discoloring, and deteriorating your beautiful concrete floors. Avoid cleaners that are “heavy duty,” contain acid, or have vinegar or other acidic ingredients. The manufacturer of your floors or sealant may have recommendations.

Clean Up Spills Quickly

You don’t want to test the stain-resistance of your concrete floor sealer if you don’t have to. Clean up spills immediately to make sure your floors don’t absorb any colors, liquids, or odors. Stained concrete floors can be difficult to make like new again. The best way to maintain their clean and shiny appearance is to mop up spills right away. You might also want to consider laying down mats or rugs in high-traffic areas to catch dirt, grime, and spills before they reach your floors.

Seal against Water

Concrete floors are water- and stain-resistant, but eventually you will need to reseal them to make sure the protection from the elements lasts. Reapply the sealant every few years to keep your concrete floors looking like new. If you don’t reseal your floors every few years, they could be more prone to water damage, stains, and abrasions. Hire our professionals if you don’t think you can clean or reseal your concrete floors alone!

If you’re not sure how much difference professional cleaning and sealing might make for your concrete surfaces, why not see an expert demonstration? Professional Surface Restoration offers free estimates with no obligation. Contact us to set up an appointment.

5 Cleaning Tips to Maintain Your Concrete Surfaces

By | Concrete Cleaning | No Comments

concrete surfacesWith summer right around the bend, many homeowners will be pursuing their deep-cleaning plans to prepare their homes for the warmer months. Many homeowners forget to include the cleaning of hard surfaces, such as concrete and natural stone in their cleaning efforts. These surfaces require routine maintenance and cleaning, especially if you want to keep them looking great between professional cleaning and sealing services.

To make sure the concrete surfaces of your patio and around your pool are ready in time for the spring and summer months, check out the following five ways to keep your hard surfaces looking as good as possible:

  1. Use Baking Soda or Vinegar-Based Solutions

Baking soda and vinegar are two great ingredients for cleaning cement and concrete patios. Both are safe and natural options. To remove heavy stains, use a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water. For a gentler cleaning solution, mix ½ cup baking soda with one gallon of water and 1/8 cup of liquid dishwashing detergent. Simply spray your patio thoroughly, scour, and rinse completely.

  1. Pressure Washing

If your patio is severely stained or mildewed, it might be a good idea to utilize a pressure washer, which can be rented or purchased at a tool rental center or your local home improvement store. Be sure to follow the directions when using the machine and to wear eye protection because these machines send water out in quick, forceful streams.

  1. Protect Stains with Concrete Sealer

When your patio is thoroughly cleaned, you can ensure it is safe from additional stains with the use of a concrete sealer. Always begin at the center of your patio and use a paint roller to spread the sealant out to the corners. When your patio is dry, it will be shiny and clear just in time your first barbecue of the season.

  1. Use Walk Off Mats

Dirt can erode the exterior layer of a hard surface, and it can cause serious damage if it is not kept at bay. If you have concrete flooring inside your home, experts say having at a walk off mat with a length of at least 5 feet can reduce approximately 35 percent of the soil from reaching a hard surface. Even better, a walk off mat of 25 feet can deter nearly all of the soil from getting to and deteriorating your hard surface floor covering.

  1. Conduct Routine Maintenance of Concrete Surfaces

The best way to avoid lasting stains and surface erosion to your hard surface flooring is to reduce the amount of debris and dirt that accumulates on a regular basis. Basic weekly or monthly upkeep means starting with dry maintenance procedures including sweeping, dusting, microfiber mopping, and vacuuming, and then moving on to wet maintenance procedures, such as spot and wet or damp mopping.

For questions about how to maintain your concrete surfaces, call Professional Surface Restoration at (419) 705-8693 today.

4 Reasons to Consider Concrete Cleaning and Sealing

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Concrete CleaningYour concrete surfaces suffer the effects of dirt and grime more than other types of surface. Over the years, concrete can become stained from chemical spills, chewing gum, and more. Concrete cleaning and sealing can return your soiled surfaces to brand new. If you’ve been thinking about having your concrete cleaned, here’s why you should call an expert today.

  1. Concrete Cleaning Improves Curb Appeal

Before you invest in any type of home improvement, you want to know what value you’re receiving in exchange for your dollars. Dirt and discoloration build up over time, so you might not notice how much your concrete has changed from when it was new.

You might sweep away or scrub at your concrete, but that doesn’t provide the deep-level cleaning that comes from hiring a professional. Technicians perform a comprehensive analysis of your concrete surfaces and use professional-grade equipment and chemicals to loosen every bit of debris. Heated, high-pressure extraction sucks away what scrubbing removed so it can’t be redeposited. Experts then seal your surface to help it resist future stains.

  1. Sealing Protects Your Investment

Whether you’re finally installing the patio of your dreams or restoring your current one to its previous glory, a sealer can protect your concrete for years to come. You wax your car to protect its paint and apply sunscreen to protect your skin. Sealing provides the same type of protection for your concrete surfaces.

Unsealed concrete is exposed to the elements. When moisture settles on your concrete, it freezes and thaws repeatedly throughout harsh Ohio winters. Fluctuating temperatures can cause unsealed concrete to weaken. Chemicals and oil are also able to quickly penetrate concrete that remains unsealed.

  1. Sealing Adds Luster

You choose how your concrete will look after professionals apply sealer. Most sealers soak into the concrete and become invisible after they dry. Acrylic resin sealers and epoxies can give your concrete a glossy surface. Sealers can also be tinted to change the color of your concrete.

  1. Sealer Is Long-Lasting

Some maintenance has to be repeated every year, but with proper care, sealers can last for years. Because they penetrate deep into your concrete, they offer long-term protection.

If you’re not sure how much difference professional cleaning and sealing might make for your concrete surfaces, why not see an expert demonstration? Professional Surface Restoration offers free estimates with no obligation. Contact us to set up an appointment.