How to fix scratches on stained concrete floors

by | Mar 31, 2021 | epoxy

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Concrete floors that are stained and sealed don’t just look beautiful but are also very durable. But this does not mean they are invincible. If you don’t take good care of them, they can develop scratch marks, become dull, and wear out over time. This happens much faster if the seal isn’t applied properly. This is why many times consumers will opt for a polished concrete floor instead of a stain and seal because it is virtually impregnable. If you have a floor that has a simple stain and seal, be aware of the issues that can arise over time with scraping and scuffing if you are heavily utilizing the floor.

Whether you want to address the scratch marks on your residential or commercial property or completely fix a bad concrete stain job, Paradigm Concrete Finishes is only a phone call away to meet your needs. In this article we go over some how to fix scratches on stained concrete floors, and figure out how serious the issue is. Otherwise, you can call us and we’re happy to help you with it.


Identifying the severity of the scratches to your floor.

The approach we use to address scuffs and scratches on stained concrete floors depends on how deep the scratches are. With this in mind, fixing scratches can range from simple cleaning to applying another sealant coat or regrinding the entire floor. Another thing that informs the repair process is the kind of finishing done on that floor. Some floors are just acid-stained without a finish, while others are sealed. We can identify the types of scratches and depth of the damage from pictures of the floor but you’ll want to look at the floor closely and see if it is a surface scratch or if the scratch has actually gone deep enough to penetrate the topcoat and divot the concrete.

If the floor has a true polished concrete finish, many times buffing the floor will take out any imperfections in your concrete floor. If the scratch is deep, you might have to resand a coat the concrete again.


Scratches on the Finish

 The finish is the last coat on concrete that helps protect the floor. It often gets damages that result from daily activities. This could be an outcome of anything including your feet movement, vacuuming, sweeping, machine vibrations, and vehicle movements. Sometimes the scratches can be seen from a specific angle and other times they are just obvious ugly marks on the floor. To get rid of these scratches, you need to reapply a wax over the previous one. You don’t apply the wax in the affected areas alone; do it over the entire floor to get a level finish and even glow.

Ideally, applying wax on your concrete floor should be scheduled at least once a year in residential property and twice every year on a commercial building floor because of the heavy traffic. Sometimes it can be even thrice or four times every year if the amount of traffic on your floor gets significantly high. Doing this also gets rid of scuff marks.


Scratch Marks that Penetrate the Sealer

Sometimes scratches penetrate through the wax finish to the sealer. And some staining jobs don’t include the finish, leaving the sealer as the topcoat. When scratches happen on such floors they start with the sealer. If the scratch marks on your floor appear on the sealer, you need to reapply another sealer in the affected area. You first need to clean the scratches using a solvent like xylene and xylol. Scratch the sides of the scratch and remove the dirt and debris you get. Then apply a sealer filling the scratches and leveling the affected area with the rest of the floor.

When working with these solvents, make sure there’s enough ventilation because they emit toxic fumes. The rest of your tools should also be resistant to the solvents in use as well. You don’t want them reacting to course more damage to your floor.


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Scratches that Reach the Concrete

If the scratch goes past your sealer to the concrete surface, you have more work to do. Depending on how bad the scratch is, you might need to grind down the floor in the affected areas, clean away the residue, cover the damage with cement, stain, and apply a layer of sealer on it. Again, concrete damages vary in-depth and each situation presents unique challenges. Some will be shallow, which needs less grinding work while others will be deep which might demand you to remove most of the stained surface.

When dents reach the concrete, you shouldn’t even attempt to do the fixing yourself. This work might need industrial-grade equipment and a skilled individual to address it. Apart from likely doing a bad job, you might end up physically hurting yourself.

What Goes Into Fixing Scratches on Stained Concrete

As a flooring contractor, we’ve come across all kinds of concrete problems and can tell you for a fact that each comes with its own set of challenges. Scratch marks on concrete surfaces require skills and equipment to renew your floor. Though challenging, fixing scratches on concrete is a straightforward process. Here’s what goes into fixing dents on concrete floors.

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How to fix scratches on stained concrete floors

Step 1: Clean the Affected Area

Regardless of the condition of your scratch, you must clean it first before you can do the fixing. That means sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, scrubbing, and using cleaning solutions to get rid of dirt and grit. By doing this, you remove contaminants that might ruin your fixing materials like wax or sealant. It also helps protect the rest of the floor from abrasion that could result from your shoes and tools during the fixing process.

Step 2: Rub Through the Scratch Marks

The purpose of rubing through the damaged areas is to make sure you remove any residue that might be trapped in there, you actually might not need to restain or seal the floor if the scratches come up. This can be done with a simple paper towel. If you have a large area to work on, run through the entire surface with an industrial cleaning machine like a floor scrubber.

concrete grinding machine

Step 3: Remove the sealant on the affected area.

If that didn’t do the truck, your scratches are probably pretty deep. You can remove the sealant in the affected area. The goal is to remove the sealer and open up the concrete surface so the area can be resealed. If it’s a small floor and you’re looking for a DIY solution you can use sandpaper, but we always recommend against this because it can turn out worse than when you started.

Step 4: Seal the Target Area

After you’ve ground down your concrete floor, it’s time to re-apply a sealer to the target area. We make sure the new coat levels with the rest of the floor and is of the same quality as the previous installation.

Prevention Keeps Your Floor in Good Shape for Longer

You heard it from us first, the best way to fix scratches in a stained concrete or concrete sealed floor is to avoid scratching the floor in the first place! We’re just joking with you, but there are some things you can do to keep your floor in good shape for longer. Here’s a list of actions you need to take every day.

  • Figure out what could potentially cause scratches on your floor surfaces and try to eliminate them before they happen.
  • The reason behind your floor dents, scratches and cracks might be because of the large machinery or rubbing against the floor surface in which case, we recommend polished concrete in the future so that you won’t haveto deal with the same issues again.
  • You can also install your floor protective pads on the legs of your furniture and machines to protect against accidental drags
  • Cleaning of your floors on a regular basis is always helpful. Use a dust mop, clean water, and mild soap to clean away dirt and grit. You can read our guide on how to clean epoxy floors for a guidelines.
  • Avoid scrubbing your concrete floors with stiff-bristled brushes and scrubbers like steel wool
  • Spot clean the floor every time there’s a spill or dirt
  • Wipe away soap residue and moisture from your floor after every cleaning process then let it dry

Find Help With Your Concrete Flooring Needs from Paradigm Concrete Finishes

Getting rid of scratches from your stained concrete can be anything from a small refinishing job to a huge overhaul project. Regardless, you should invite a flooring expert to assess the condition of your floor and suggest the best remedy. Paradigm Concrete Finishes is a top flooring contractor that serves Florida and its surroundings. Got more questions about how to stain or repair your floor? We service over 100 cities in the state of Florida and Georgia and are happy to help.

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