Stained concrete has become an economical and versatile way for treating floors and countertops. Residential and commercial builders are finding many applications for and utilizing the strength and durability it retains. Interior floors and exterior patios, verandas, and pool decks are becoming more beautiful because of the use of acid staining and stamping of concrete.
How is Staining Different from Painting?
Staining or acid etching concrete is a different process than painting. The color penetrates the top layer of the concrete so it will not flake off like a painted surface, but it will be subject to wear and fading. Wear will occur because of foot traffic and fading is caused by exposure to the elements of weather. Proper maintenance will insure the beauty and durability of stained concrete.
Maintaining Stained Concrete: Tools
Multiple coats of a clear sealant similar to polyurethane are applied to outdoor usages for stained concrete. To maintain these areas keep them clean with a broom or blow debris off the area with a leaf blower and simply rinse with a typical garden hose. If there are areas of sap or residue that do not sweep off, use a mild cleaner and soft bristled brush to remove the build-up and rinse with water. If you have outdoor furniture or potted plants directly on the stained area, be sure there are plastic slides under the furniture legs and water basins beneath the plants. These simple measures will avoid scratching the sealant or allowing water or fertilizer to stand on the surface. Any breach to the sealant will begin an early breakdown of the protection of your stain, so use caution when rearranging your outdoor décor. Additionally, once water stops beading on the surface the sealant will need to be reapplied. Expect this on a yearly basis, but depending on your usage and the elements it could occur earlier or later.
Indoor stained concrete is protected in a manner similar to wood flooring. A wax is applied to add shine and enhance the color of the floor. This wax will also repel dirt and prevent wear, but must be maintained properly in order to give the best result. Furniture leg protectors are recommended to prevent scratches in the wax and throw rugs in high traffic areas and entry ways are always recommended to avoid excess wear. Dry dust with a cotton loop mop on a daily basis; the use of a damp mop with a mild cleaner will bring back the shine if the concrete seems dull. A new layer of wax should be applied yearly; however, individual wear will be the best determinate.
Chemicals to Use (and to Avoid)
Countertops are similar to the interior floors for care and maintenance. Carnauba wax is most common for sealing and no harsh cleaners or bleach should ever be used in order to avoid weakening protective coating. If you notice eggshell like cracks on the surface, you will need to reseal the countertop. Light dish soap is all you should need for cleaning the countertop and a new sealant coating should be applied when the luster is fading.
Following the simple steps outlined above and remaining stead-fast against using chemicals, degreasers, strippers, rotary grit buffing pads or pressure washing will keep your stained surfaces beautiful for many years. The strength and durability of concrete is undeniable, but it needs to be cared for and maintained properly.
This article was written by Billy Dunham, an avid writer of home improvement articles across the web. He writes this on behalf of Remedy Roofing, your number one choice for a roofer in Dallas. Make sure to check out their site to see how they can help make your house even greater!