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How to Clean Concrete

One of the most effective ways to clean concrete prior to coating or shot blasting is to use a biological cleaner. Regular detergents and caustics remove or disperse hydrocarbons from the surface of concrete, but do nothing for contaminants in the pores of the concrete. Biological cleaners however use microbes to migrate into the pores of the concrete that totally digest oils, converting them to carbon dioxide and water. In other words they leave a very clean concrete with no residue therefore eliminating major adhesion problems for subsequent floor coatings.

Industrial strength microbes will eliminate a number of contaminants, including Motor oil, Cutting oil, Hydraulic oil, Gasoline, Diesel and Heating fuels, Fats (animal and vegetable), Grease, Solvents, Alcohols. Microbial clean concrete can normally be coated as soon as the floor is dry enough per the coating manufacturer moisture recommendations. It is important to remember that microbes are not enzymes which only break up the oil rather than consume it. Similarly they are not a detergents and do not disperse oil. Microbes are living bacteria that eat hydrocarbons just the way you and I eat carbohydrates. They need the hydrocarbon food source to survive. Once their food source is gone, they die out.

Case Study Aerospace Factory Floor

Test Application

Floor cleaning equipment Manufacturer Tennant Co, asked CoverTec Products to supply CT- MicroClean HC as part of their test application. After cleaning with MicroClean HC the test area was mechanically abraded with captive dust equipment and the next day and epoxy coating applied.

The Results

Zero blistering or “fish eyes“ were detected in the cured epoxy product. 7 days later pull off of test were carried out in accordance with ASTM D4541. Average pull of strengths were greater than 600psi. This measured pull-off force provides a direct indication of the strength of adhesion between the coating and the substrate. In fact concrete failed before the coating pulled away from surface substrate. As a result of the successful testing MicroClean HC was used on the whole project to clean over 36,000ft2 of factory floor.

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