How does the temperature effect your concrete and coatings?

June 5, 2017
Concrete Polishing
Polyurethane Coatings

Temperatures here in Iowa vary dramatically in both the summer and the winter. If you have a concrete floor that gets exposed to temperate changes, you need to take those changes into consideration when you are redoing your concrete or terrazzo floor. We wanted to share three quick stories of where we applied different coatings or polishing techniques when temperature changes played a factor in the decision making process.

Example 1: Really Quick Temperature Changes

In the shipping area of a manufacturing facility there was a specific room that was blocked off from the facility so it won’t let the hot or cold temperatures into the facility. Sometimes the concrete would be sixty degrees, and then within twenty minutes, the concrete would be twenty degrees.We worked with this company to determine the best concrete solution for their situation. When concrete is expanding and contracting so quickly a coating will never work. A coating like polyurethane or epoxy won’t have enough time to expand or contract with the concrete so it would create cracks.The only solution: polished concrete.A mechanically polished floor can breathe with the concrete. It doesn’t care about the temperature changes.

Example 2: Slow Temperature Changes

In a very large non-heated/cooled warehouse, there was a concrete floor that needed to be fixed up. By having the temperate changes happening throughout the different seasons in Iowa, it is important to consider this when coating the concrete. This client wanted to use a coating in which they could change up the colors over time, so we needed to consider something that could hold up to the gradual hot and cold temperature changes while meeting the needs of our client.In this case we decided to use a hybrid polyurethane.Hybrid Polyurethane was used because we needed a coating that could hold up to heavy machinery but could also be cleaned up every year if needed without having to regrind the concrete floor. It would hold up as well to the moderate changes in temperature. Hybrid Poly is more durable than epoxy coatings and is also more flexible, so it can expand and contract at about 20% with the concrete through the seasonal changes.

Example 3: Little Temperature Changes

An auto body shop wanted to have an extremely durable floor. This shop would have momentary temperature changes with the door would open to bring vehicles in or out, so the concrete floor temperature would change very little.The solution: A base epoxy system with a hybrid polyurethane over the top.In this case, the concrete temperatures were not as important. The biggest factor was to create a high build system to protect the concrete floor in case any heavy machinery or parts were dropped. It was also important to protect from any solvents.Side Note:We don’t like to use epoxy coatings when it comes to quick temperature changes because epoxy coatings are too rigid, so they don’t expand or contract very well with the concrete.

Final Thoughts

You need to consider two important factors when choosing a concrete floor solution. It first depends on how you are planning to use your floor. Then it depends on the temperature changes it will incur. Performance Concrete Polishing can come to your business and give you the best advice on what to do for your unique situation.Thanks for Reading.McKinley SchillingPresidentPerformance Concrete Polishing515-202-6706

8 Ways to Upgrade Your Concrete Floor

There are so many ways to upgrade your concrete floor from polishing to coating to engraving or staining. We love helping our clients pick out the right fit for what they are looking to accomplish. Sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming to choose what to do with your concrete flooring. Here are 8 ways you can upgrade your concrete to protect and/or enhance it with a little explanation about each technique. We hope this helps when deciding what to do with your next project!

Mechanical Polishing

Mechanical polished concrete is a process that takes abrasives (diamonds) and mechanically places scratches in the concrete. This scratching process uses finer grit abrasives to remove and replace the scratches with smaller and smaller micro scratches.

The objective is to refine the floor and take away the small scratches so that you see a reflection in the floor. This process can be achieved with older concrete, new concrete and/or coated concrete.

This process is considered to be the maximum refinement method, and can be considered the best long-term solution for polished concrete.

Topical Polishing

Topical polishing is similar to the mechanically polished floor, but the course of action is shorter, and it leaves the floor at less than maximum refinement.

Most of the time the topically processed progression ends at a 200- or 400- grit step. These grits leave peaks on the top of the scratches that have zero lateral support. A topical sealer is then added and is placed into the gaps left by the scratching process. As the sealer settles and dries, it gives the appearance of being completely polished and is referred to as “polished concrete.”

This process is a much cheaper alternative to the mechanical process. The “topical polish” is exactly the same thing as putting on a coating. This method can be done with a burnisher, a floor scrubber and even a swing machine.

Decorative Epoxy Coatings

Epoxy floor coatings are hard wearing and durable solutions for both commercial and residential flooring. These floor coatings can be applied over concrete floors to provide a high performance and an attractive surface.

New technology now offers you the ability to choose almost any color. Metallic additives create a gorgeous surface and multiple colors can be randomly applied together revealing a swirling effect that is very unique and attractive.

Decorative Overlays

Overlays are a great option for concrete floors that are damaged or distressed. They are extremely durable and attractive. Overlays typically consist of a cementitious product, but some may be a combination of polyurethane and cement. They can be stained, mechanically polished, coated or stamped with any pattern you can imagine. Overlays are a great way to make an old concrete floor look brand new.

Dyes and Stains

The skies the limit when it comes to colorants. Multiple colors and patterns add to the beauty of your polished floor. There are a multitude of application techniques to add interesting effects when applying dyes and stains.


We can incorporate engraving into your polishing process to provide borders and logos. Engraving can turn ordinary concrete surfaces into slate, tile, stone, brick and much more.

Hardeners and Sealers

Hardeners/densifiers are products that penetrate into the concrete surface and react with the Portland cement and fills the micro-pores. This reaction creates a very dense surface that helps with ease of cleaning, abrasion, dusting, staining, and overall wear of your concrete surface. These products do not change the appearance of the surface but can generate a sheen after burnishing and actually becomes harder the more you use the surface.

Sealers are an option for some floors. Depending on your needs it may provide a shiny surface that is easy to clean. All sealers will need to be reapplied at some point depending on wear and tear.

Final Notes

Performance Concrete Polishing is focused on providing services that are related to concrete surfaces. These services are appropriate for new and existing concrete. The majority of services we offer are oriented to improving the aesthetic appearance of these surfaces. Decorative concrete services are the hallmark of this company, and we’d love to help you out with your next project!