During the past few decades, the protection of concrete floors has shifted to a fairly sophisticated process of protective coating or surfacing. The main aim is to provide clear weatherproof protection against deterioration caused by gasoline, oil, de-icing salt, grease, weathering and efflorescence (white, powdery, salt-like deposits visible on surface). Efflorescence occurs when moisture moves through surface. And, the moisture picks up minerals, carries them to the surface and leaves them behind in the form of tiny crystals on the surface as it evaporates.
Concrete Protectors: Why Use Them?
The main reason to use a concrete protector is to restore and beautify existing surface. Cleaning concrete periodically will provide protection to the surface from deterioration or contamination, and provide some benefits such as chemical resistance, physical performance, aesthetics, wear, and a myriad of other benefits. You can also consult your manufacturer for an expert advice and see samples of various finishes achieved by surface cleaners, polishers and protectors.
How much maintenance is required?
Mostly all surfaces, when coated with a concrete protector, are resistant to stains, dirt and grease. Still, they need occasional cleaning to look their best. Ask to have a cleaning and maintenance procedures and life-time performance expectations before committing to a surface care regimen. Concrete floors are susceptible to wear and abuse. They are also subject to abrasion and chemical attack. It's for this reason that all concrete needs some sort of protection. Some recommend protecting surfaces annually, depending on the amount of traffic they receive and whether they are exposed to freeze-thaw conditions.
Be sure to check with the manufacturer for recommendations as to the appropriate cleaner to use for a particular application and to verify compatibility with the cleaner. Not all cleaners are suitable for exterior use. The flooring expert can guide the owner in application, long-term performance, thereby reducing the overall cost of floor-maintenance. To keep maintenance manageable, you will need to choose the right cleaner. For instance, for cleaning a walkway, you need a coating that repels grease and oil and prevents water penetration.
As flooring evolves to meet changing tastes and needs, so must the products and procedures used to enhance the beauty of surface. Although recent innovations such as concrete protectors have made floors easier to clean, they have also met both beauty and budget standards. A concrete protector, can give lackluster concrete a decorative makeover or restore it to like-new condition at a fraction of the cost.