What is the process for concrete polishing?
A concrete polishing process can vary significantly based on the condition of the slab, the age, and the environment; however, there is a general process that most areas will undergo. Polishing concrete floors is a step by step process that should always be performed by licensed professionals who have the tools to truly produce what you’re looking for.
  1. A professional will first evaluate your floors and fix any scratches, cracks, or holes then the professional will ensure that any residual paints, coatings, oils, or stains have also been removed. This process is very important prior to the actual grinding and polishing.
  2. Grinding can begin after everything that needs to be fixed has in fact been fixed. The grinding process is determined by how fine you want your floors to be.
  3. A chemical hardener is then added to aid your concrete, it is applied to further strengthen your concrete.
  4. Polishing is the last step that also depends on what level of sheen you’re looking for.
How long can a polished concrete floor last?
Concrete polished floors are highly sought after for many reasons, one of those reasons being their incredibly long lifespans. Each situation is different, some slabs will last longer than others depending on the original age of your concrete and what it is exposed to on a daily basis. In general, a polished concrete floor will last 15 or more years, possibly longer if it is properly maintained.
What are the benefits of polished concrete floors?
Residential, commercial, and industrial properties alike have begun realizing the unmatched benefits of a polished concrete floor. Some of those benefits include:
  • Savings: When you polish a concrete floor, you are using the flooring material already available, meaning, there aren’t any extra materials needed. The fewer materials needed the less manual labor and installation fees are associated with polished concrete.
  • Lifespan: A polished concrete floor lasts for decades without needing replacement, this is also why they are so incredibly cost-effective.
  • Maintenance: Polished concrete floors are easily cleaned and maintained that way because they keep all debris, grime, oils, and spills on the floors surface. They are easily wiped or mopped away.
  • Resistance: Most flooring systems are easily worn down if they experience high levels of foot-traffic, however, a polished concrete floor is not that vulnerable. Polished floors do no wear down from high usage nor are they susceptible to chemical, water, oil, or stain damage.
  • Moisture: One of the less known facts about concrete is that it is highly absorbent and if left unprotected it will absorb any spill, including water. When water penetrates your concrete surface, it creates a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and bacteria growth. Polished concrete does not have that issue.
  • Design: If you have a specific vision of color and design for your floors, a polished concrete floor can help make it come true.
Why does concrete crack?
Concrete can crack for many different reasons, some under your control and some aren’t. The chances of your slab of concrete increase if it is not installed by a licensed professional, below are some of the more common reasons why concrete cracks:
  • Too much water. A concrete mixture does not need more water to reach maximum strength, in fact, adding too much water weakens the concrete mixture. As concrete dries it also shrinks, so if too much water is evaporating then there is more shrinkage than should be taking place, cracking concrete is the result of this.
  • Quickly drying. Concrete, when it is first poured, has a chemical reaction happening within it because it is turning from a liquid to a solid, if this chemical reaction is sped up cracking occurs. The hydration process takes place for a couple of days post pour so the water necessary for it to happen properly must be available.
  • Improperly poured. When individuals try to “save money” an improper pour can cost more than one professional pour because there will be many repairs, maintenance, and replacements. If your concrete is not poured correctly for the environment it is will be in, then cracking is inevitable.
  • Freeze-thaw cycle. The ground beneath your concrete freezes and thaws as the seasons change, which causes your slab to shrink and expand. When it is cold your concrete shrinks and when it is warm your concrete expands, this is an issue that you have very little control over; however, regular inspection is highly encouraged.
What kind of maintenance is associated with polished concrete floors?
Maintenance for a polished concrete floor can vary, depending on what environment it is installed in, for example, a medical clinic with polished floors will require different cleaning standards than a residential kitchen. The good news about maintenance for polished concrete floors is that it is always quick, easy, and affordable:
  • Dusting, sweeping, and mopping are always encouraged.
  • When wet mopping be sure to use soft pads that attract debris easily.
  • Never use cleaners that contain high levels of soap because they leave residual marks dulling your polished concretes shine.
  • Avoid using cleaners with high acidic properties that could damage your concretes protective layer.
  • Do not let cleaners dry on your floors.
  • Give cleaners enough time to work, it is okay to let them sit on your floors surface but do not let them dry.
  • Sweep on a daily basis and mop on a weekly basis to keep your floors safe.