Steam mop damage to sealed cement floor

Discussion in 'Cleaning, Maintenance & Restoration' started by Kristin Mestyan, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. Kristin Mestyan

    Kristin Mestyan Pro Member

    Hi there everyone, my name is Kristin of KM Pro Clean. I'm a professional cleaner, but I've made a mistake on a sealed cement floor and am looking for advice? When I arrived at the job their worklist was painting as a priority which I occasionally do. I didn't pack the car for painting so had only one available drop cloth. After painting, there were some minute specs of paint on the sealed cement floor from the roller, where I didn't have the drop cloth positioned properly. I normally just use a razor on hard surfaces, as when carefully used, lifts all paint without damage. I hesitate to use any chemicals, even vinegar, as I know they can just discolor or damage particular finishes. On this floor, it wasn't possible because the cement or finish was rough in texture. In past jobs with similar circumstances I've used my steam mop on a low setting to help loosen the paint for easier removal. Not a terrific idea on this floor as it left marks ( lines) where I used the steamer. I talked to one of the owners at the juice bar about the damage and she wanted to check in with her husband about the finish and what could be done, but judging on past communication at this busy place, I'm not sure if that will ever happen. I'm heading back today to finish the painting job (with a multitude of drop cloths ) and interior clean. I would love to be able to fix the floors while I am there as it is a 2 hour drive from my house. I wish now that I had taken photographs, but the floor felt like something new to me. Definitely cement underneath, and sealed with something clear that almost felt like rubber when the edge of the razor caught it? Definitely a different finish from what I'm used to. I consulted some sites online about steam mop damage, but everything brings me directly back to resurfacing. I was hoping that there would be a wax or something that could fill in or buff out what minimal damage there is? It's not a very large space but directly in front of the counter so very noticeable. At least it is to me. I will keep pushing for more information on the floor but knowing that I may not get it, I am looking for any ideas or specific questions to shoot to her husband if I am able to get his personal number? I'm sure you'd want to know exactly what they sealed the floor was which was my question as well. Rarely do I cause damage, but I want to make it right. I would appreciate any help or advice you can give! And thank you so much! Kristin Mestyan, KM Pro Clean~
  2. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Paint thinner, small bristle brush and Terry cloth to soak up? Polished concrete usually uses silicone sealers. Could be an overlay system 1/4” thick over top of slab. Could also be a Urethane coating.
  3. Kristin Mestyan

    Kristin Mestyan Pro Member

    I would have been nervous about using paint thinner on the surface so great to know, thank you. Do you have any suggestions for the damage that the steam did to the surface? Short of resurfacing the entire space? In other words, is there something that won't create further damaget, I could try? It just dulled the surface in a small area. Possibly a wax to cover?
  4. Rigo

    Rigo Pro Member

    For what I understand reading your post is that, whatever is on the floor (paint, sealer or urethane moisture mitigation system) it not designed to be exposed to foot traffic.
    I would recommend you to scratch the floor with you fingers nails in a hidden place.
    PD. I'm sorry for my English writing skills, also pictures will be really helpful to determine what went wrong.
  5. Incognito

    Incognito No more Mr. Nice Guy! I Support TFP Senior Member

    It's really going to be necessary to:

    A. Know very specifically what the concrete finish/sealer is.


    B. Trial and error in a remote location----under something that's never moved or in a closet-----to determine what kind of COMPATIBLE fix you can work out. When we damage a floorcovering surface and aren't sure what the manufacturer requires because we can't identify the material we'd just have to mess around with various paste waxes, clear coats and such of incremental til we could be sure we've fixed it.

    Your dilemna is certainly one of bringing attention to the flaw that might not otherwise come to anyone's attention. So your choice is to fess up, find the correct product(s) and procedures to fix your error or be silent and hope they don't notice.

    Generally I choose to fess up when I'm on site to avoid the whole screaming match over the phone, nasty Emails and WORSE of all the digital photos, close-up and high resolution from the least flattering lighting and angles. I can't afford THAT.

    Really, the only clue we have as to what kind of surface this is that it's something over concrete that discolored when steamed. Probably a water based product. Could be a REAL simple repair.

    One never knows.
  6. Kristin Mestyan

    Kristin Mestyan Pro Member

    I think out of the many chiefs there that some are inquisitive enough to have done their foot work on a good surface? So I'm not so sure about the wrong product being used for cement flooring, but I'm not sure? I did put a request into the person who should know what it was sealed with by text but he still hasn't answered. I will definitely take photos once I get there and hopes that someone will have something for me to try. Hopefully they will text back with what it was sealed with thank you!

    I'm sure I'm still not navigating hear properly, but to 'trial and error", I will find an inconspicuous spot and steam a tiny spot to mimic the damage already done. What do you propose I bring with me to try to cover the dulling marks? And thank you
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2019
  7. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    As I said in my email reply to you, posts can be edited. Look at your own post and you will see your options available.


    If you want to lean more about editing your own posts, see this topic: Editing Forum Messages
  8. Kristin Mestyan

    Kristin Mestyan Pro Member

    Missed your email, Thank you
  9. Mike Antonetti

    Mike Antonetti I Support TFP Senior Member

    Steam damage sounds like a wax coating to me. (Turning white) my ride on with 3000 lbs and a 2 “ bit causes the Urethane to turn white, basically coatings turn white from damage. I’m not sure how to reverse it, I couldn’t get a glass water ring out of a wood table.
  10. epoxyman

    epoxyman Pro Member

    I’ve taken white marks out of sealed floors by using a torch or a heat gun
    Just don’t let it stay in one area keep it moving
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Kristin Mestyan

    Kristin Mestyan Pro Member

    Looking at the floors more closely tonight I'm questioning whether the marks on the floor where mine after all? Much more noticeable without daylight that the floors have been marked up by something other than a steam mop. Probably the delivery guys coming in with produce excetera. These markings were also an area is that I did not steam mop. Any ideas on how to rid the floors of these markings?
  12. Mark Brown

    Mark Brown On The Surface Flooring I Support TFP

    If you can't fix it just run the steam mop over the while floor then shrug your shoulders and proclaim "how can it be my fault it's everywhere" :)
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  13. Jim McClain

    Jim McClain TFP Owner/Founder Administrator

    Did you read the post just above yours? :hu:
  14. Graeme

    Graeme Pro Member

    Is the finish discolored or is it the concrete? If the floor is darker where you have used steam, there is a chance you have forced water vapor through the finish into the concrete. That area is now darker, because it is "wet". The good news is if the concrete floor has a permeable finish, that discoloration will likely go away over time (this may take quite a while, unfortunately). We have seen this phenomenon more than once with polished concrete.

    Alternatively, if the finish itself is discolored, it would be essential to find out what that finish is made from before trying to repair it.

    One last thought on the subject... there have been a couple of suggestions mentioned about solvents and acids (vinegar). I would advise NOT using any of those on a polished / sealed concrete floor. There is a very good chance you will make things worse.

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