The Truth About Raw Concrete
Raw concrete is generally not extremely desirable on its own. It’s soft and prone to staining and powdering at the surface of the concrete slab. This concrete dusting is a nuisance primarily caused by the slow disintegration of the top layer of raw concrete. Foot traffic, vehicles and even cleaning can exacerbate the problem. Fortunately, there are plenty of options to make raw concrete easier to clean and a better choice for a variety of applications.
How to Treat Raw Concrete
- Densifiers. A densifier is a chemical hardener used on non-polished concrete to reduce dusting and help with stain resistance. Densifiers penetrate deep into the concrete to create a chemical reaction that helps fill open pores. It does not change the appearance of raw concrete or create a true seal, but it can improve the surface strength of concrete by up to 40 percent.
- Sealers. If dusting is your main problem, a siliconate sealer might be a good choice. These sealers react with concrete to form a barrier to seal and strengthen the surface of the concrete. Like densifiers, they do not change the appearance of the concrete, but they do also help protect it from road salts and stains.
- Mechanical Polishing. Mechanical concrete polishing is the most environmentally friendly, cost-effective way to polish and maintain concrete floors. Using specialized grinders, this process leaves behind attractive, high-gloss, durable, easy-to-maintain floors that last virtually forever.
- Coatings. For many commercial/industrial applications, a concrete coating system might be the ideal choice. Coatings provide maximum protection from spills and impacts. However, they are more expensive than polished concrete and require careful surface preparation to ensure the maximum lifespan.
For more information on how to make raw concrete more durable, attractive and/or easier to clean, contact us today!
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 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 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.
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.
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!