Restoration of Concrete Flooring
Why is “Polished Concrete Flooring” getting so much attention? The past few years have seen a lot of talk regarding polishing and grinding concrete floors, and I’ve been asked so many times what it’s all about that I decided to create this post. Since the period of the Roman Empire, hard surface floors have been a common sight. Splitting and refining big stones into slabs for creating floors required tremendous labor and inventiveness. It is impossible to be any more detailed than that; think of it as asking, “How did they create the Pyramids in Egypt?” “I kind of know how they accomplished it, but I’m grateful I didn’t have to do the job,” is how I respond.
We were more modern when people learned that Portland (a clay component) could be combined with sand, stone, and water to create the first concrete. Over time the combinations have been modified, but the method has not changed. To improve the finished product, contractors have utilized various curing agents, established steel bars to prevent concrete from cracking presumably, and implemented various moisture barriers.
Building owners have desired various types of flooring over concrete to make a building feel cozier and cleaner. Tile, rolled linoleum, floor paint, and epoxy have all been utilized in industrial facilities to give buildings a more appealing appearance and make them easier to maintain than bare concrete. That functions for a time, but ultimately each product ages and needs to be replaced. We are now in the present, thanks to that.
Scientists have been experimenting with various compositions since the early 20th century to develop flooring materials that would last for a long time. Certain tile products have an asphalt foundation. Asbestos was added to some to increase their durability. It was a quality product, and in my 40 years in the industry, I’ve seen asbestos tile that is at least 60 years old and still in good shape. The issue is that asbestos is a carcinogen, and if the tile is disturbed or cracked, you might very quickly be breathing in substances that cause cancer. When anything like that is reported, who do you suppose shows up on the scene? That’s it! White Horses and the Men in White Hats. It’s now time for the asbestos removal teams. Say it with me: HUGE BUCKS.
Abatement is a complex, time-consuming operation, but it must be done before you can begin repairing the concrete floor underneath. You can’t finish it on your own! Many hours of training, certification, annual recertification, specialized tools, and individuals with the necessary level of insanity are required for asbestos abatement. , ,,,,,, Luckily, some enjoy that type of work and delight in giving an outstanding end product.
I greatly enjoy entering when the cleanup is over. For more than 70 years, concrete grinding machinery has been in development. Specific organizations have seen substantial change within the previous 5–10 years. Why? As many of these floors are in public buildings, the government has decided that there are enough worn out or damaged that they must intervene with specific standards for removal. What are my alternatives as a manager of facilities or a building? You must search online for a highly regarded asbestos removal company and request an estimate. To get the possibilities available to them, you must first locate a reliable Concrete Restoration company. The next step is to create a budget for the project’s completion so that you, your board of directors, or your school board are not taken aback by how much the project will ultimately cost. And lastly, you will need to schedule the work.
There must be some logistical planning because the reduction will be expensive, and they must tent off certain sections during removal. You don’t want to put it off, hoping the issue will resolve or disappear. That won’t take place. Although it doesn’t happen frequently, I have witnessed situations where the inspectors insist the problem be fixed before the building is used again. That isn’t very good!
Do you know what the word “problem” means? It’s a circumstance you avoid dealing with. There are currently thousands of floors in public and private schools, colleges, universities, courthouses, and other public institutions that have been fore advised to get rid of asbestos floors.
They have consistently received an extension or a “pass” during the last five to ten years since “they don’t have money in their BUDGET.” I first heard that in 1981, and every year after then, the budget has become more constrained. This has prompted the development of tools and grinding pads for “Do It Yourself” ers. What’s this? They are useless.
By all means, go for it if you want your custodian to spend hundreds of hours using a 250 RPM swing buffer to grind grooves in your gorgeous, 80-year-old Terrazzo or Marble floor.
THEN TO WHOM SHOULD I SPEAK?
You can hire a respected Concrete Grinding and Polishing specialist who works on floors at much less money than you would anticipate. At the same price or less, they can grind, polish, seal, dye, or apply one of the hundreds of products to your bed rather than using tile again, which is less resilient and durable than the prior asbestos tile products.
You can set up carpet, which usually lasts only 5-7 years. Perhaps you might choose a floor that has been colored; it will outlive us all. There are countless possibilities, but you must choose a contractor you can rely on and conduct research before choosing. Some people may recommend items that you would refer to as epoxy or floor paint. What are the benefits and drawbacks of that kind of product? Nothing may be wrong with that, but you need more information before deciding.
Although floor paint that you regularly purchase from a home improvement or hardware shop is pretty simple, it typically won’t withstand heavy usage, including foot and vehicle traffic. And you still need to complete most of the prep work required for the other products to obtain the most outstanding results. Epoxy is more resilient once it has fully set, but it can be destroyed if it is subjected to some abuse before then. (Two days to account for foot traffic) (Up to thirty days for wheel traffic). You should look at other possibilities if you don’t live with them.
Epoxy is not easily repairable and bears a “NO ” warranty if stringent suggestions for its care are not observed. Don’t count on the contractor to return a week after redoing your lovely floor to fix tire marks in your shop. It can’t be done! Applying a penetrating dye followed by a sealer to your bed will give it an attractive finish that is less prone to scratching and marring if you want a less sensitive floor.
Now for the questions. Are these floor finishes slick in any way? The procedure of grinding and polishing is the best approach to do that.
There will inevitably be some irregularities in concrete pours. Why? Have you ever participated in or witnessed the pouring of concrete? No matter how professional or sophisticated your tools are, it is nearly impossible to completely level a massive slab of concrete. The ready mix company’s loads of concrete can vary from one load to the next. Most concrete is poured in the summer when wind and heat can alter how quickly the concrete dries. Drying and curing chemicals are added to the mixture if run in the fall or winter, which might potentially cause issues later. In the end, there may be numerous flaws on the final floor that you must deal with.
Typically employed by a concrete restoration company, the newest machinery is designed to exert enough pressure on the diamond cups or “stones” beneath the machine to level your floor effectively over time. The grinding equipment generates a lot more head pressure than your swing buffer because it typically weighs between 1,200 and 2,500 pounds. A typical grinding machine will have at least a dozen stones that rotate in unison to pulverize the top 1/16″ to 1/8″ of concrete and reveal the softer sub-strata beneath. How come it’s quieter? Because as you may remember, I mentioned the curing chemicals used when pouring concrete. Before you can begin “Mechanically Transforming” the floor, that product must be removed because it is designed to harden the top surface. You have thereby removed the floor’s skin. Next, what?
The grinding and leveling operation is then continued using a slightly finer set of grinding stones. You move in straight lines inside a predetermined region to ensure that each floor part is ground uniformly. The machine will need to overlap with all levels. For some, shifting the machine’s direction will be necessary to level the floor adequately. To adequately grind and level the floor, it will be required to edge against walls and through entrances on all floors. All of this demands floor experts with considerable expertise and training to execute the job the right way.
This generates a lot of dust. That is a good query. Indeed, it does, but depending on the caliber of the grinding equipment—which may include some quite expensive, high-efficiency vacuums with multiple “Hepa” filters—90–95% of the dust is vacuumed directly into the void to be discarded. Then what?
How about sound? The grinders often don’t make a lot of noise. The vacuums are, although they can typically be operated to have little influence on the general population. Sometimes it’s necessary to do the assignment late at night. Occasionally it’s essential to tent off sections to protect the general public or neighboring places. The company’s estimator is responsible for resolving all logistical concerns.
The bottom line is that the right business can address these concerns if needed. How many square feet can be covered in an average eight-hour shift? Usually, a workforce of 3 workers, and each machine occupy roughly 1,000 square feet. Edging, grinding with two distinct grits of stones, and at least two, if not three, passes with polishing discs infused with diamonds are all included. You can see that I still haven’t addressed the issue of whether the floor will be slippery. Please don’t push me; I’ll get to it.
The consumer is going to choose how much polishing is required. You will recall from our lengthy discussion of the materials that make up concrete that they are primarily clay and sand. Yes, yes. Plus rock. How much, what kind, and how big of a rock is in your concrete floor depends on where you are and how old the bottom is. It could be a reasonably common stone or a stunning piece of stone. On some jobs, even if it’s just river rock that has been buried for years, you’ll feel like a jeweler polishing stones with flawless beauty. When polished and ground using high-quality tools, many regular concrete floors resemble Terrazzo more than concrete. To have a greater sense of natural beauty than concrete, terrazzo is a concrete mix poured similarly to concrete but contains a unique combination of small stones or marble chips. But I assure you that concrete can look amazing with the proper grinding and polishing.
Once the grinding and polishing are finished, the stone’s inherent beauty has been enhanced. It might not appear to be it yet, but it will after the penetrating sealer is applied. This product is supposed to penetrate your floor’s delicate “sub-strata.” Your bed is ready for high-speed burnishing once it is touchably dry. I enjoy burnishers that are fueled by propane and rotate at 2,500 RPM. Whether your original concrete mix was very sandy or had many brilliant stones, the machine will create enough heat on the floor to bring out the maximum brilliance of the bed when using a diamond-impregnated burnishing pad. You’re going to have a beautifully polished floor either way. Your floor will resemble a Terrazzo or tiled floor with many coats of floor finish applied to it.
As opposed to what many people call wax, I don’t call it that. Because it isn’t, that is. Floors haven’t been waxed in 25–30 years. We utilized natural wax on feet when I started working with flooring in the 1960s. Quite time-consuming. What most people refer to as wax came next. It is a plastic product or “Thermoplastic.” This implies that when heated with a burnisher, it shines up nicely.
The need to ever strip and wax a terrazzo floor is no longer necessary because of our ability to wet grind, polish, and apply a comparable sealant to them. It is much more “Green Friendly” than using a caustic stripper and disposing of the used product multiple times a year; this is entirely revolutionary and should be done to every Terrazzo floor. Because of this, these products should have been removed from the market ten to fifteen years ago.
The top of the floor is covered in synthetic plastics. From this point forward, I’ll refer to them as “Topical Coatings.” We now reach the exciting phase.
The floor might become slick due to topical coatings, exceptionally when moist. The discussed technique is less slippery since it is permeating rather than topical.
Now, this is the fun part! Have you ever seen men using suction cups to carry large sheets of “Plate Glass”? How do they do that? I’m happy you inquired. Tension Strength is the name of it. An an an an an an an an an a. Your floor will look like that when it has been thoroughly polished and ground.
The floor is less slick without a topical treatment than with paint or epoxy. And the floor is practically scratch- and chip-resistant if nothing is on its surface. Is it resistant to chemicals? Some are better than others, but you should clean up any spills that could harm the finish as quickly as you can to reduce the likelihood of damage.
What is the shelf life of a product like this? Depending on the item, several manufacturers provide a minimum five-year warranty against any product malfunction. The product might theoretically last much longer with good maintenance and care (i.e., keeping it clean).
I’m not trying to accuse Epoxy. There are a lot of reliable manufacturers. To avoid product failure, a skilled technician must promptly combine and apply them. And some surfaces are less likely to slip than others. You will therefore need to rely on your contractor’s recommendations for the best goods while researching product comparisons online.
After learning about the past, visit the website below for further information from a local contractor or to make an appointment with one of your contractors’ estimators.
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