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Best Practices For Concrete Resilent Floor And Care. Part Two
We continue our series on best practices for concrete resilent floor and care with focus proper maintenance and care for concrete resilent floors
The project evaluation provides the basis for choosing the right equipment. There are several options based on the starting condition and desired end result, and two key factors to remember. First, avoid using equipment that is too aggressive for the end result since it can damage the concrete. Second, always prep the floor properly for the coatings being applied—some concrete needs light grinding, while others require a very coarse finish.
Mechanical scrapers are good for removing carpet, tile, overlays, hardwood, and more. They are available for rent in walk-behind or ride-on models and can be fitted with special blades for cutting the carpet into strips so it’s easier to roll up and throw away. Coarse diamonds can be used for grinding off adhesive left after carpet or tile has been scraped up. If there is still adhesive left after that, mechanized grinders can remove it. For aggressive removal, a 30- to 50-grit metal bond works well, while a 70-grit metal bond can start to smooth out the finish. When trying to remove a thick coating, polycrystalline diamond (PCD) scrapers are another option, but they must be used with caution because they can leave deep scratches in the concrete.
If the desired finish is smooth and matte, hone the concrete with a combination of hybrid and resin abrasives that are progressively finer.
For a polished finish, polishing pads operated on a floor grinder will provide varying levels of shine. Pads with 400 grit leave a flattened finish, while an 800-grit pad is the first step in which the concrete will begin reflecting light. Pads between 1,600 and 3,000 grit offer more clarity to the polish. Early in the polishing process, apply a densifier to advance preparation: It is absorbed into the concrete to harden it.
Conduct Regular Maintenance
Keep concrete floors in top shape with regular cleaning, which includes vacuuming or sweeping to collect dust and debris as well as mopping with a pH-neutral cleaner and clean water. A mechanized cleaner is another option that can speed cleaning over larger areas and should be done with light head pressure.
Be sure to clean up any spills as soon as they happen to prevent staining. Acidic stains require both cleaning and neutralizing to prevent etching of the concrete.
If the concrete is polished, daily sweeping and mopping prevents dirt and grit from scratching or wearing the surface. Using diamond-impregnated pads in conjunction with an auto scrubber helps refresh and revive the surface and restore it to its original shine. Use an 1,800-grit pad over several passes. One to three times a week, consider a high-speed burnish with an 1,800 pad to bring out the shine. Protective treatments can also be applied during routine maintenance to maintain gloss levels.
Protect The Investment
In addition to safe and proper concrete preparation and daily care, ongoing evaluation can provide insight into when to refresh and revitalize the surface. This is especially true for polished concrete. Along with providing equipment and training for the preparation, a rental partner can assist in restoration to keep the concrete surface in good shape and make it last.
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