You’re the proud owner of a concrete garage floor, and you want to make sure it lasts for many years to come. The benefits of concrete driveways and garage floors are similar; Concrete garage floors add value to your home, are environmentally sustainable, and withstand the weight of vehicles. Concrete garage floors are also low-maintenance.
However, just because concrete garage floors don’t require a lot of maintenance doesn’t mean you should skip garage care altogether. On the contrary, regular garage floor maintenance is essential to extend the life of your floor. Keep reading to discover the best tips for garage floor upkeep.
How Often Do You Need to Perform Garage Floor Maintenance?
As a Minnesota homeowner, you know how intense winters get each year. Since you live in an area with drastic weather patterns, garage floor maintenance is essential. Ideally, you should perform a complete garage cleaning twice a year, at minimum.
If dirt, stains, and leaks are left on your garage floor for too long, they can cause your foundation to deteriorate faster over the years. Additionally, leaks and debris make the area unappealing and even less safe. To extend the longevity of your concrete garage floors, follow these steps at least twice a year:
1. Wipe Up Puddles or Spills
Before sweeping, you will need to wipe up any standing liquids on your garage floor. It is a good rule of thumb to wipe up these liquids when you first see them; otherwise, they present as a safety hazard and can stain your concrete floor over time.
Any standing liquids besides rainwater will need to be absorbed with sawdust or cat litter before you wipe them up. You may need to let the liquid sit for a few hours in the sawdust or kitty litter before it’s fully absorbed.
2. Sweep the Floor
Once all standing liquid is cleaned up, the next step is to sweep your garage floor. It is wise to sweep your concrete floors every few months. The best broom to use is a wide push broom, as it will cover more surface area in less time. Ensure all the items in your garage are cleared out before sweeping so that you don’t miss any spots.
3. Perform a Deep Clean
Once you’ve primed your concrete garage floor by removing standing liquid and sweeping, you are ready to perform a deep clean. Deep cleaning a concrete floor involves scrubbing, cleaning stains, and removing rust. This step is the most important for cleaning concrete floors with any finish.
Scrub the Floor
To best clean your garage floor, you will need to gather the following materials:
- Deck brush
- Garden hose
Before you scrub the floor, you will need to mix a warm soapy solution. You can make cleaning solutions by combining any of the following cleaning agents with warm water:
- Laundry detergent
- Dish soap
- Baking soda
Additionally, store-bought degreasers or garage floor cleaners will do the trick. Start by pouring your cleaning solution onto a section of your concrete floor and start scrubbing with a deck brush. Let the solution sit for five to ten minutes, then add a little more of the mixture and scrub once more. Rinse the solution off with a high-pressure nozzle, and repeat the process until all sections of your floor are washed clean.
Clean Oil Stains and Grease
If oil and grease stains remain after the heavy cleaning, you can remove these individually. To tackle tough stains, first wet the area around the stain. Soaking the area first prevents the stain from spreading to a dry place.
Next, apply a degreaser and scrub it in. Let the degreaser sit for a few minutes, then apply more solution and scrub again. Finish by rinsing with a high-pressure hose. Be sure the solution doesn’t dry out before you rinse it off.
If you have rust stains on your garage floor, don’t lose hope. Small rust spots are easiest to remove with lemons or white vinegar. If the stain is larger, stick with white vinegar. Pour the vinegar or squeeze the lemons over the rust stain, and let it sit for at least five minutes. Add more lemon or vinegar and scrub with a stiff brush. Rinse well and repeat the steps as necessary.
If lemons or white vinegar aren’t cutting your rust stains, you can also try making a water-based solution with the following products:
- Oxalic acid
- Trisodium phosphate (TSP)
- Over-the-counter concrete rust stain removers
4. Fill in Minor Cracks
If you notice tiny cracks in your garage floor, you can fill them yourself. First, use a chisel to remove any loose material inside the gap and draw it out with a shop vac. Next, use a putty knife to fill the crack with an epoxy paste. Scrape away access paste with a trowel, and smooth over the surface. Once the paste dries, use sandpaper to lightly sand the area.
This trick works well for minor cracks, but you should call Richfield Concrete right away if you notice large cracks or any other significant concrete damage. Growing cracks, drainage issues, and holes all require immediate repair or replacement before the situation worsens. If you find yourself filling cracks frequently, it is probably a sign that you need a professional concrete garage floor replacement.
5. Apply a Concrete Sealer
After you’ve completed all the steps of an in-depth garage floor cleaning, the last step is to apply a concrete sealer. You can find concrete sealers at any local hardware store. The sealant will improve the longevity and appearance of your concrete floor.
Frequent Upkeep is Essential
Even though you don’t need to perform a thorough garage cleaning more than twice a year, you should still stay on top of simple upkeep. Sweep your garage floors often, and try to scrub stains out as soon as you notice them. The more maintenance you perform on your concrete garage floor, the longer it will stay in pristine condition.
If your garage floor has cracks, holes, or stains that won’t budge, it may be time for a replacement. Contact Richfield Concrete today to receive a free quote.