how to clean concrete basement floor – Stone floors are really popular, and they’ve been for several years. The vast range of colours and colors, the durability, practicality and relative simplicity of upkeep, and their abundance in nature has made them a continuing selection of flooring material down the centuries. But they are not indestructible, they are easy to look after and preserve however there are a number of pitfalls to avoid.
1. Lack of Allergic
The number 1 enemy of all floors, not just stone, is grit. If I were to take two diamonds (the hardest known natural substance) and rub them against each other, guess what, they will both wear. Every-day grit, carried in on shoes may contain all sorts of minerals like quartz. The answer would be to eliminate grit, any way you can and one of the most effective ways would be to put a dust-collecting mat away from the door. If you add another just inside you’re giving your floor a much greater chance of preventing harmful grit.
2. Walking in your Stone Floor with Out-Door Shoes
This is associated with the initial point of course. In case you have a fancy polished wood floor, or an expensive carpet, I wager you take off your shoes right? All of us tend to automatically know how to be careful on other floors materials and treat them with the respect they deserve. Well stone is not any different, it needs love and respect too. Take off your shoes and put your slippers on, that way you cannot carry harmful grit onto the ground.
Some people just appear to need to wash their floor to departure. The more you clean with strong detergents and do not rinse effectively, (see point #6), the more chance of leaving residues that produce the floor appear dull and lifeless. Most often, all that is required is some regular dry sweeping or cleaning, using a gentle brush or micro-fibre floor duster or vacuuming. This will also help keep grit off the ground.
4. Not attending to Spills and Accidents right away
Somehow, we tend to treat hard stone floors differently to state carpet or wood. If, as an example, we have an extremely expensive carpet and we spill something about it, like a glass of wine for instance, would we sit and watch it become a stain? I don’t think so. Even if this carpet has any sort of stain protection on it, we all know that it is only going to buy us some ‘time to react’, so we rush off to the kitchen for those towels.
Well guess what, providing ‘reaction time’ is all sealers do for stone. Just like the carpet, if we spill something we should absorb it up straight away, particularly if it’s something such as wine or any other liquid liquid. We do not trickle ‘stains’ we trickle contaminants, it’s when we leave the contaminant for a length of time to penetrate the stone, that they become stains. If the floor is sealed using a good sealer, we simply get a bit more reaction time. Many stains could be avoided by caring for spills and injuries as the occur.
5. Wrong choice of cleaner for routine cleaning
It is so easy to purchase an off the shelf floor cleaner out of the super markets. But the majority of them are strong de-greasers, higher ph cleaners intended to wash very grubby floors. Furthermore, there is a natural human inclination to ignore instructions and allow it to be extra strong, if it states add one capful per bucket, how many people have inserted another one just for fortune? There are reasons for all these instructions and dilution rates but much more important, there is simply no need to use such compounds for every day or weekly cleanup.
When the floor does need a fast wash (and if we be aware of the initial 4 points then this may not need to be too often) no problem, we simply must make sure to use a neutral cleaner, that is one with a ph value of around 7 to 8. There are plenty of them out there, all designed to clean gently with no damaging effect on the ground or onto any sealer or finish that may be applied.
6. Only carrying on using the Exact Same old routine
Every now and then, the floor needs a little intensive care. This is the time to utilize those high alkaline cleaners.
The key word here is live period – these cleaners need to be left on the ground for a period of time – 5 to 15 minutes on average. The biggest mistake people make here would be to simply wash the floor using the high ph detergent. Ignore live time and you waste your time and effort. The cleaners need time to work. Then they need to be agitated, or scrubbed, remember we aren’t doing so every week, just a couple of times per year so we can manage the time to do it correctly. Notice, this kind of cleaner may have an impact on any sealer utilized, so check first; you may need to top up the sealer afterwords. This brings us onto the biggest mistake of most(it is also the easiest one to correct).
7. Not Rinsing the ground after washing
It does not matter how much effort we put into cleanup, nor how powerful the cleaning-chemical, if we leave dirty water lying on the ground, when it dries, we will have residues. Consider what we have just done: we put a solid chemical on the ground; we allow it to sit (live time) so it’s started to break down the ingrained dirt; we scrubbed – to loosen more dirt and permit the cleaner to penetrate deeper.
Then what tends to happen is that we push all of this around with a mop, sometimes rinse the mop in plain water that by now has long since stopped being clean or fresh, and we put the sole partly washed mop, back on the ground to disperse more grungy water around. Sure, some of this dirt is moved into the mop bucket, however, plenty has left behind. Along with the dirt (some of that is now broken down and finer, therefore it may get deeper into the ground, especially the grout joints) we also leave behind detergent residue. This combination of residue and partly emulsified dirt quickly builds up to leave a dull patina on the stone and is one of the chief reasons grout lines go dark and grubby so quickly.
The remedy is simple, after washing the ground, go change the dirty water that contains the detergent, rinse the bucket out along with the mop and fill the bucket with clean, fresh water. Now, examine the ground again with just that clean water. When it’s a big floor, you may need to modify the rinse water again, perhaps more than once – but do it since it will save you time in the long term.
8. Leaving the ground moist
Have you discovered what happens to glass windows after washing if they are just left to dry naturally? Streaks and smears. Many stone floors are smooth or even polished and as a result they can act in the exact same manner as glass. So, after draining the ground, it’s good practice to dry down the floor using an absorbent cotton towel or a micro-fiber cloth. Buffing floors dry like this (either by hand or using a machine, depending upon how big your floor) will remove the residual moisture (and any stray smudges that may have been missed).
9. Ignoring Little Stains
If we don’t react fast enough to spills (error #4) we can end up getting a stain. If we continually dismiss that stain, and another one and so forth, pretty soon the floor can look deeply ingrained and usually grubby.
When an acid sensitive stone floor, like polished marble is subjected to an acidic contaminant, like red wine, the result is often either a blot (the reddish colour) and also an etch mark. It is often confused with a stain because it’s so often accompanied by one. The acid basically burns fresh holes in the stone, those holes weren’t there before, therefore no sealer might have got into them, Additionally, most polished floors use impregnating sealers that work below the surface and so provide no protection against acids at the surface itself.
The best way to spot a etch mark would be to clean the ‘stain’ (deep clean or poultice for example) then after rinsing and allowing the ground to dry assess where the stain was. If the stain has now gone, but in its place is a dull spot often with a rougher feel (compared to the polished surface) plus a thinner or bleached (less color anyway) look, then this is an etch-mark. If we now ignore this harm (since that is what it is, physical harm to the stone surface) then it will leave the stone more vulnerable to staining (the surface is now more textured so that it will often hold dirt more easily, it’s also less dense, and therefore potentially more absorbent and any sealer will have been compromised). Small and localized etching may be immediately repaired with a hand applied re-polishing cream, bigger scale etching will likely require the services of a stone floor professional.
11. Using Home Remedies and Natural Acids
We have all heard household elders, and TV experts rave about old home made remedies for cleaning. Please, do not listen to them, period. The main reason why I take such a strong stance about this is that I have observed the results. The wonderful, versatile abilities of family products such as vinegar and lemon juice are forever being indicated for all manor of cleaning, and yes they can work. They work by virtue of becoming acidic and will break down a number of minerals (lime scale on tiles as an example).
Not only have you ever seen whole floors ruined, the surface completely etched, but they also stain the ground. After performing this as great job of taking away the polish, then they add their own color or colour to the now much more porous floor.
Lemon juice and juice belong in the larder or pantry, not the cleaning cupboard.
12. Neglecting the Seal
Do not assume that simply because your stone floor was sealed during setup, that it still has a powerful seal set up two years on. It may have, but during this time, the floor will have experienced a fair bit of visitors and it’s most probably been exposed to a number of cleaning compounds. It is highly advisable to inspect the integrity of this sealer occasionally. To get a coat type sealer I’d suggest checking about every 6 to 12 weeks, to get an impregnator every 12 to 24 weeks.
The way to do it is to shed some water onto the ground and leave it for say 10 minutes. If it moves in quickly and darkens the stone, then when wiped away it leaves a moist patch, then it would be a good idea to top up the sealer. If the water does not go into the stone except for an feint surface shadow, it’s most likely fine for the time being.