Cleaning unsealed concrete (power trowel finish)

#1
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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
 
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Does cleaning mean removal of all stains?
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.....
 
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I imagine one or two of you had no idea what a power trowel finish was, as I did..

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
 
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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
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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.
 
#19
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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.
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
 
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#20
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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
 
#23
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No one has addressed the stains? HOW DO I REMOVE THEM without ruining the ‘glaze’?
Your not going to know if they are truly stains until you try.
Pretty much guarantee any cleaning staff have not been allowing dwell time of product they will most likely be slop mopping.
Sèveral have mentioned peroxide I wouldnt use it straight let the detergent buffer it so its not too acidic
 
#25
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You don't want to use an acid cleaner. Think of it as a tile and grout job without the tile. Concrete is porous the beverage spills will have soaked into the concrete and will wick. Put an impregnating sealer on it. It takes some pressure to remove the cream but test.
 

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