What’s all of the speak about “Polished Concrete Flooring?” Sprucing and grinding concrete flooring has been a subject of dialogue over the previous few years, and I have been requested so many instances what it is all about, that I made a decision to jot down this text. Onerous floor flooring have been round for the reason that time of the Roman Empire. It took an unlimited quantity of labor, and a number of ingenuity to separate giant stones, and hone them all the way down to make slabs appropriate for flooring in buildings. To get extra particular than that’s thoughts boggling, type of like, “How did they construct the Pyramids in Egypt? ” My reply is, “I type of know the way they did it, however I am glad I did not must do the work”.
Quick ahead a bit of, and we come to newer instances when individuals found that you can combine Portland (a clay substance) with sand, stone and water, to make the primary concrete. The mixtures have been tweaked over time, however the course of has just about remained the identical. Contractors have used completely different curing brokers, have applied the usage of metal bar to hopefully forestall concrete from cracking, and have applied several types of moisture limitations to enhance on the completed product.
Constructing homeowners have needed several types of flooring over the concrete to provide a constructing a hotter, and cleaner really feel. In industrial amenities they’ve used tile, rolled linoleum, ground paint, or epoxy to provide a constructing a extra fascinating look, and make it simpler to wash than naked concrete. That works for some time, however everybody of these merchandise ultimately wears out and requires substitute. That brings us as much as the current time Materials.
Since early within the twentieth century, scientist experimented with completely different compositions to provide you with a flooring merchandise that might final for a protracted time frame. Some tile merchandise had been made up of an asphalt base. Some had been made extra sturdy by including asbestos to the combination. Do not get me mistaken, it was a superb product, and after 40 years within the enterprise, I’ve seen some asbestos tile that goes again at the very least 60 years, and remains to be in good situation. The issue is that asbestos is a Carcinogen, and as soon as the tile is damaged, or disturbed, you possibly can very simply be exposing your self to cancer agents, within the air. Guess who arrives on the seen when one thing like that’s reported? You bought it! The Guys with White Hats Driving on White Horses. Now it is time for the asbestos abatement crews. Are you able to say, BIG BUCKS?
Abatement is a tedious, and time consuming course of, but it surely needs to be completed, earlier than you possibly can start the method of restoring the concrete ground beneath. You can’t do it your self! Asbestos Abatement requires numerous hours of coaching, certification, annual re-certification, particular tools, and people who find themselves loopy sufficient to wish to do it. Simply kidding! Fortunately, there are individuals who get pleasure from that kind of labor, and take delight in offering a wonderful completed product.
I, a lot want coming in after the cleanup has been accomplished. Concrete grinding tools has been within the growth stage for over 70 years. Modifications with some corporations particularly during the last 5-10 years have been dramatic. Why? As a result of, the federal government has decided that there are sufficient flooring on the market, which are sporting out or broken, that they should step in with some necessities for elimination, since many of those flooring are in public buildings. So what are my choices as a amenities or constructing supervisor? First, it’s essential go on-line, and discover a very respected asbestos abatement agency, and get an estimate. Second, it’s essential discover respected Concrete Restoration agency to provide the choices at their disposal. Subsequent, you will must put collectively a price range for the completion of the work, so that you simply, your board of administrators, or your college board isn’t shocked by the price of the finished venture. And at last, you will must schedule the work.
As a consequence of the price of the abatement, and the truth that they might want to tent off areas whereas the abatement is occurring, there will probably be some want for some logistical planning. What you do not wish to do is put it off, hoping the issue will remedy itself, or go away. That is not going to occur. It would not occur that usually, however I’ve seen situations the place the inspectors are available in and demand that the issue is corrected earlier than the constructing can be utilized once more. That is ugly!
Are you aware the definition of the phrase, “Drawback”? It ‘s a state of affairs that you do not cope with. There are presently hundreds of flooring in private and non-private faculties, faculties, universities, courtroom homes, and different public buildings who’ve been fore warned that they should eliminate asbestos flooring.
Over the previous 5 to 10 years, they’ve regularly been given an extension, or given a “go”, on account of the truth that “They do not have cash of their BUDGET”. Truly, the primary time I heard that was 1981, and the price range has gotten tighter yearly. This has result in the appearance of apparatus and grinding pads for “The Do It Your self”, varieties. Guess what? They do not work.
If you need your custodian, to spend a whole bunch of hours with a 250 RPM swing buffer, grinding grooves in your lovely eighty yr outdated Terrazzo, or Marble ground, by all means, GO FOR IT.
THEN WHO SHOULD I TALK TO?
You possibly can rent a really respected Concrete Grinding and Sprucing skilled, who solely does flooring, for lots much less cash than you’d anticipate. They will grind, polish, seal, dye, or apply considered one of a whole bunch of merchandise to your ground for a similar or much less cash than re-applying tile which does not have the identical resiliency, and longevity because the earlier asbestos tile merchandise.
You possibly can set up carpet which usually has not more than 5-7 yr life expectancy. Or you possibly can go along with a dyed ground that can outlast all of us. The choices are countless, however it’s essential discover a contractor which you can belief, and perform a little homework earlier than making your determination. Some might recommend merchandise that you’d name ground paint or epoxy. What are the benefits or disadvantages of that kind of product? There’s in all probability nothing mistaken with that, however you want a number of information earlier than making your determination.
Ground paint that you’d usually purchase in a house enchancment or ironmongery shop is pretty simple to make use of, however usually won’t maintain as much as a lot visitors, both tires or foot visitors. And with a view to get the most effective outcomes you continue to must do a lot of the prep that might be vital for the opposite merchandise. Epoxy is extra sturdy as soon as it’s cured, however could be broken if uncovered to some abuse earlier than it’s fully cured. (Two days for foot visitors) and (As much as thirty days for wheel visitors). If you cannot dwell with that, then it’s essential think about different choices.
Epoxy isn’t simply repairable, and carries “NO ” guarantee, if strict advice for it is care should not noticed. Do not anticipate the contractor to come back again per week after your lovely ground was redone to repair tire marks in your store. It is not potential! If you need a ground that’s much less delicate, then you must in all probability think about utility of a penetrating dye, adopted by sealer to provide you a pretty ground end which goes to be much less vulnerable to marring and scratching.
Okay, so now the questions. Are a majority of these ground finishes slippery? One of the simplest ways to elucidate that’s to elucidate the grinding and sprucing course of.
When concrete is poured you might be certain to have some inconsistencies. Why? Have you ever ever poured concrete, or watched it being poured? Regardless of how good you might be, or how good your tools is, getting a big slab of concrete fully stage, is subsequent to unimaginable. The a great deal of concrete from the prepared combine firm could be inconsistent from one load to the following. Most concrete is poured in the summertime when warmth and wind can have an effect on the speed of time for the concrete to dry. If it is poured within the fall or winter drying and curing brokers are added to the combo which may additionally result in issues afterward. Backside line is, the completed ground can have loads of imperfections in it so that you can cope with.
The latest tools which is usually utilized by a concrete restoration firm is supposed to use sufficient stress to the diamond cups or “stones” underneath the machine that given sufficient time, will do an excellent job, of leveling your ground. The grinding tools usually weighs between 1,200 and a pair of,500 kilos which is an entire lot extra head stress than your swing buffer. A typical grinding machine goes to have a minimum of a dozen stone which flip in a synchronized movement to pulverize the highest 1/16″ to 1/eight” of concrete, exposing the softer sub-strata under. Why is it softer? As a result of as you’ll recall, I talked concerning the curing brokers which is utilized on the time the concrete was poured. That product is supposed to harden the highest floor, and must be taken off earlier than you possibly can actually get into “Mechanically Altering” the ground. So you’ve got obtained the pores and skin off of the ground. What’s subsequent?
Subsequent, you go to a bit of finer set of grinding stone to proceed the grinding/leveling course of. You go in straight traces in an outlined space to verify every part of ground is floor evenly. All flooring would require overlapping with the machine. Some would require altering path with the machine to stage the ground correctly. All flooring would require edging up in opposition to partitions and in doorways to grind and stage the ground adequately. All of this requires ground technicians with a fairly vital quantity of expertise and coaching to do the job the precise manner.
Does not this create a number of mud? Good query. Sure it does, however relying on the standard of the grinding tools which incorporates some fairly excessive effectivity and costly vacuums with double “Hepa” filters, which are connected to the grinder, 90-95% of the mud is sucked proper into the vacuum to be disposed of. What else?
What about noise? The grinders are usually not that noisy. The vacuums are, however can usually be operated in order that they’re of minimal affect to the general public. Typically the work needs to be completed in the midst of the night time. Typically areas have to be tented off to guard the general public, or defend adjoining areas. That’s all left as much as the businesses estimator to determine all of these logistical points.
Backside line is: If it needs to be completed, the precise firm will have the ability to accommodate all of those points. How a lot space could be completed in a typical eight hour shift? Typically, about 1,000 sq. ft. with every machine and a crew of three individuals. That features edging, grinding with two completely different grits of stones, and at the very least two, if not three passes with diamond impregnated sprucing disc’s. As you possibly can see, I nonetheless have not answered the query about whether or not the ground goes to be slick. Do not rush me, I am attending to it.
The quantity of sprucing vital goes to be decided by the shopper. Since we talked about what concrete is definitely fabricated from a very long time again, you’ll keep in mind that it’s largely clay, and sand. Oh yeah! And rock. And relying the place you might be at, and the age of the ground determines how a lot, and what kind and dimension of rock is in your concrete ground. It might be fairly abnormal, or it might be completely lovely stone. On some jobs you will really feel like a jeweler sprucing stones with impeccable magnificence though it might be nothing however river rock that has been buried for years. Many abnormal concrete flooring when floor and polished with good high quality tools will look extra like Terrazzo than concrete. Terrazzo is a concrete combine that’s poured like concrete, however has a selected combination of small stones or marble chips within the concrete combine which is supposed to have much more pure magnificence than concrete. However belief me, you could be amazed at what concrete can seemed like with the correct grinding and sprucing.
After the grinding and sprucing is full, you may have introduced out the pure great thing about the stone. It might not appear like it but, however it is going to, as soon as the penetrating sealer is utilized. This product is supposed to penetrate the gentle “sub-strata” of your ground. As soon as it’s dry to the contact, your ground is prepared for prime pace burnishing. I like Propane powered burnishers which run at 2,500 RPM. With a diamond impregnated burnishing pad the machine will create sufficient warmth on the ground to convey out the utmost luster of the ground whether or not your unique concrete combine was a really sandy combine, or has a number of sensible stones in it. Someway, you will have a extremely polished ground. Your ground goes to have the looks of a Terrazzo or tiled ground ground with quite a few coats of ground end on it.
You will discover I do not name it wax, as many individuals do. That is as a result of it is not. Wax hasn’t been used on flooring for 25-30 years. Once I first began doing flooring within the 60’s, we really used pure wax on flooring. Very labor intensive. Subsequent got here what most individuals name wax. It’s really a plastic product or “Thermoplastic”. Meaning it shines up properly when uncovered to warmth from a burnisher.
Be aware: We now have the flexibility to moist grind and polish Terrazzo flooring and apply an identical sealer eliminating the necessity to EVER strip and wax a terrazzo ground once more. That is completely revolutionary, and must be completed to each Terrazzo ground, in that it’s rather more “Inexperienced Pleasant” than utilizing caustic stripper and dumping the spent product into your sewer system a number of instances per yr. That is why these merchandise had been alleged to have been taken off the market 10-15 years in the past.
Artificial plastics are literally utilized to the highest floor of the ground. From right here on out I’ll check with them in a class of “Topical Coatings”. Here is once we get to the great half.
Topical coatings are what can really make the ground slick, particularly when moist. The method we simply talked about is penetrating, not topical, which in essence makes it much less slippery.
And now the cool half! Have you ever ever seen guys carrying huge sheets of “Plate Glass”, with suction cups? How do they try this? I am glad you requested. It is known as “Stress Power”. The floor is so clean that the cups retain contact with the glass. That is what your ground goes to be like as soon as it’s correctly floor, and polished.
If there is no such thing as a topical product on the ground, the ground is much less slippery than with paint or epoxy. And if there’s nothing on the floor of the ground it’s just about scratch and chip resistant. Is it chemical resistant? Some are higher than others, but it surely’s solely frequent sense that when you spill one thing which may harm the end, then clear it up as quickly as potential to reduce the possibilities of harm.
How lengthy does a product like this final? It is dependent upon the product, however many producers provide at the very least a 5 yr guarantee in opposition to any product failure. Theoretically the product can final for much longer with correct care and a bit of upkeep (i.e. maintaining it clear).
I do not imply to provide Epoxy a nasty rap. There are lots of good producers. They must be combined and utilized rapidly by an skilled technician to forestall product failure. And, there are some which are extra slip resistant than others. So you will must belief your contractor to advise you on the precise product, and have a look at some comparisons on the merchandise on the web.