Proper Care & Maintenance of Decorative Concrete

Be sure to keep decorative concrete protected and maintained with JS Crystal Clear Cure & Seal.

Interior decorative floors should be maintained with either Kemiko Buff on Wax or Kemiko Mop on Wax. The wax acts as a sacrificial coating over JS Crystal Clear Cure & Seal. It is important to use this combination of sealer and wax for optimal protection. The sealer will not only keep the color looking good, but it will also protect the surface from staining. The wax will protect the sealer from being scratched and scuffed up. If you only use the sealer by itself, your floor will have scratches in it with normal wear and tear.

Normal cleaning can be easily accomplished with a biodegradable household detergent in warm water. Scrub and rinse thoroughly to remove all the residue. Indoor surfaces that do not have drains may be cleaned by mopping, use of carpet cleaning machine, steam cleaner, floor scrubber with light duty pad, a wet/dry vac, or other related cleaning equipment that will not damage the adjoining wall. Exterior surfaces may be hosed or low pressure washed (maximum pressure 1500 psi). Just as you routinely have your carpets cleaned on a regular basis, your decorative surface requires cleaning to maintain its beauty.

Decorative surfaces are “stain resistant,” not “stain proof.” The physical properties of sealer used will determine the degree of stain resistance. The sooner stains receive attention, the easier they are to remove. Stains can become set over time if they are allowed to penetrate/eat into the surface of coating/sealers. Residue such as tree sap or road tar may be spot cleaned with either Goo Gone or Dissolves-It, then rinsed clean. Tire marks on driveways or garage floors can be removed with driveway cleaners or degreasers such as Emerge. Be sure to rinse well.

Plastic or carpet / mats over your decorative surface are not recommended. They hold in moisture which contribute to a build-up of minerals contained in water (degree depends on the alkalinity, PH factor, calcium hardness of the water). The residue from these minerals can be next-to-impossible to remove. Products such as “lime away” may remove the deposits to some degree; however, a whitish residue may still remain.

“Efflorescence” salts are whitish deposits that can appear on the surface of concrete. It is typically most obvious in the winter months, but does occur throughout the year following heavy rains, frequent use of sprinkler systems or drops in temperature. These deposits are caused by: salts present in the masonry, moisture present in the masonry, pressure to move the salts to the surface by evaporation or hydrostatic forces. In some cases the deposit will disappear with normal weathering, by brushing with stiff bristle broom then flushing with water, or it may be necessary to use Trisodium Phosphate. TSP can be purchased from the paint department in any hardware store and is quite economical. Mix 1 (lb) TSP with 5 gallons of warm water, scrub with a stiff broom, and then rinse thoroughly. If the above methods are unsatisfactory, then test on an inconspicuous area a 5 percent muratic acid solution...only acid wash a four square foot area at a time...let set five minutes and then scour with a stiff bristle brush, then flush immediately. If you plan to reseal the area after using the muratic acid solution, we suggest you neutralize the acid with a 10% ammonia solution. Calcium carbonate efflorescence is tougher to remove. It is suggested you remove this type of salt with pressure washing.

Make sure all furniture has protective caps on the legs. Decorative surfaces are durable; however, care should be taken to protect them from damage. Sealers used in aquatic or swimming pool areas are “highly chemical resistant,” but again not “chemical damage proof.” Care should be taken to rinse any pool treatment chemicals which are in concentrated form as soon as possible to deter surface damage/discoloration. Treated swimming pool water itself will not harm the surface so long as they have been diluted at the proper ratios.

All cleaning solutions must be rinsed thoroughly from decorative concrete systems. Special care “must” be taken to properly meter all concentrated cleaning solutions, especially those which have a “orange citrus base”. Janitorial supply houses promote “orange citrus” cleaners as “all natural, non-toxic, environmentally safe:” however, they are a natural form of acid. After use of cleaning solutions, especially true of orange citrus base ones, they “must” be thoroughly rinsed to remove the cleaning material residue ... failure to do so will result in surface etching, discoloration, and break down over time.

Certain deicing materials can contribute to moderate deterioration of sealers over time (depending on their type/formation), such as magnesium chloride. Calcium chloride and sodium chloride typically have litttle effect on good decorative sealers. The use of any deicer containing ammonium nitrate and/or ammonium sulfate within a winter maintenance program should be strictly prohibited. Use Peladow as a safer alternative to melt ice on concrete.

NEVER attempt to clean with harsh chemicals such as Xylene, Xylo, Metholene Cloride, Methol Glycol Ether, MEK, Acetone, Mineral Spirits, or any other solvent material.

Take care to protect decorative concrete from concentrated fertilizer’s which may discolor the surface if not rinsed away upon contact.

Reseal your decorative concrete surfaces with JS Crystal Clear Cure & Seal as needed. Most decorative surfaces should be sealed on a 1-2 year cycle. A fresh coat of sealer will keep colors vibrant, and extend the life of decorative concrete.


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