Cleaning unsealed concrete (power trowel finish)

Discussion in 'Hard Surface Hub' started by Sierra Clean Care, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. Sierra Clean Care
    Sierra Clean Care

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    I was asked to put in a bid to clean unsealed concrete. The lobby has been power troweled only. The building has been active for about 8 months. There is a coffee shop on the main floor, aswell as a small restaurant, and a wine tasting room. As you can imagine there are stains from all these businesses. My plan was to use a neutral cleaner, scrub with my Cimex, and rinse with a Gecko with my porty.
    My question is, I’m worried about the stains ( wine, coffee, grease from the food), and also if I’m on the right track with my method? Suggestions?
    Jeff @ SCC
  2. Blue-Collar Hero
    Blue-Collar Hero

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    Go to your local rental yard and rent an Autoscrubber. Much faster!
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  3. Old Coastie
    Old Coastie

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    Does cleaning mean removal of all stains?
  4. Sierra Clean Care
    Sierra Clean Care

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    That’s what they are hoping for. They then want to put down a sealer. I was in the building this morning for an encap job. He asked in passing about cleaning the lobby.... the building is 14 floors, and open core concept from the lobby to the ceiling. If I get the lobby looking good, I think they will give me all 14 floors.... I would really like this contract. I was hoping to get the cleaning and sealing contract.....
  5. Mikey P
    Mikey P

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    Why not an alkaline degreaser?

    Spinners and tile wands will power etch it if above 300psi I'm imagining..

    More chem and more scrub
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
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  6. Sierra Clean Care
    Sierra Clean Care

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    Ok, if you were in my shoes Mike, what would be your process ( step by step, after flat mop/vacuuming)?
  7. Sierra Clean Care
    Sierra Clean Care

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    I was worried about damaging the cream layer. I was going to rinse around 3-400 psi.... if that’s a bad idea, then how? And, what about the coffee and wine stains?
    What sealer?
  8. Lee Stockwell
    Lee Stockwell

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    What was the architect's reason for specifying an unsealed floor?
  9. dealtimeman
    dealtimeman

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    I think your overthinking an otherwise very simple job.
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  10. Hack Attack
    Hack Attack

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    Rent an autoscrubber, run a neutral emulsifier floor detergent boosted with peroxide. Multiple scrubbing passes if needed without extracting (at least 5 min dwell) extract slurry. Done
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  11. Mikey P
    Mikey P

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    This.
  12. Mikey P
    Mikey P

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    I imagine one or two of you had no idea what a power trowel finish was, as I did..

  13. Sierra Clean Care
    Sierra Clean Care

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    See now, that’s the funny thing about any industry. I worked around them for almost 2 decades. They to me were second nature.... like anyone here, I’m capable of learning anything. Part of the reason I belong to this board is for the level of professional advice, also the ability for each of us have fun at another’s expense in jest... NO, I haven’t done EVERYTHING in this industry yet.... and no, I don’t know everything. JUST LIKE THE REST OF US IN OTHER INDUSTRIES, SOME OF IT ISNT SECOND NATURE. YET...But I do appreciate all the advice....
    Jeff @SCC
  14. Sierra Clean Care
    Sierra Clean Care

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    I learned a long time ago, If I don’t know about something, id ask straight away, instead of looking like a bear cub fookin a football....
  15. Sierra Clean Care
    Sierra Clean Care

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    A power trowel is a way of finishing a concrete surface so that it is not only smooth, but creates a glazed face to the finish. My concern is that any product that use to remove the stains will etch the surface. I know acids will react to the lime in the concrete, thus ruining the perfect face of the finish. Because this building material is so porous, the oils wine and coffee etc, have already gone below the glaze. I’m not trying to overthink this, I’m trying to approach this from a professional perspective. The company that hired me to do encapping in one of the units, is the same that hired me to clean the series of banks....
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  16. Old Coastie
    Old Coastie

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    Jeff, if a simple degreaser didn’t fully clean, it would make a good start. Peroxide? Why not? Bleach? Sure. Done in stages, you should be able to get most anything. If you had to let it soak, pull plastic over an area.

    I should think a moderate pressure and brushed wand would do fine as a flush. When all is said and done, some stains penetrate and stay, but most of the material will clean out of the surface.
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  17. dealtimeman
    dealtimeman

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    I don’t understand the nuetral ph responses.

    Hit it with a 9-10ph and lightly rinse off, no acid and no high pressure.
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  18. Cleanworks
    Cleanworks

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    You will need peroxide in some form for the stains. Peroxide needs time to work. I would use a peroxide type cleaner as a prespray and maybe use a product such as the 2 part eliminate from Esteam as a final treatment.
  19. Hack Attack
    Hack Attack

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    Not sure the hard floor detergents you have there but most Im used to here have more surfactants in the neutrals. So tend to lift ingrained soiling better but they need the dwell time, they also rinse with less chance of leaving a visible haze.
    The stains from coffee and wine might lift with a scrubbing its not fibre, they may be permanent but I'd take a peroxide.
    I prefer reducers for coffee and wine on carpet but never used them on a hard floor so dunno
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
  20. Hack Attack
    Hack Attack

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    I demo cleaned a small area of concrete in a pizza restaurant, they didn't like it the floor had no patina (greasy dirt) a couple of weeks of there staff slopping a dirty mop they had there patina back lol

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