Concrete degradation is natural. Even with the highest quality finish and routine upkeep, your surfaces will eventually need reinstallation or extensive repairs. Typically, a polished concrete surface should last about 20 years. But that’s not a guarantee.
One of the greatest threats to the long-term integrity of polished concrete is the elements, and of those nothing is worse for your concrete than water. Water can get into concrete pores and cause cracking or general material breakdown. So, the introduction of snow and rain onto the floor can speed up that degradation process significantly if left unchecked. But there are ways to prevent premature concrete degradation and take care of surfaces.
We’ve posted this article to provide you with tips for protecting owner investments and ensuring the longevity of quality concrete surfaces.
Cold Weather & Pouring Concrete Facts
Keeping a balanced, moderate temperature is vital during concrete surface installation. Of course, pouring in extreme heat is certainly not recommended. But pouring concrete in cold weather can be especially risky, as the concrete can freeze before it strengthens, and this can compromise the entire operation.
In fact, anything lower than 40°F can seriously reduce reaction time during curing and keep it from setting. Some measures that concrete professionals use when pouring in cold temperatures include mixing with hot water, taking advantage of special blends, and heaters.
There’s also rain and snow to consider, which is not only a danger to concrete installation but to long-term integrity. Keep reading for more information.
You’ll want to recommend that your clients (or property managers) initiate routine concrete surface maintenance across the entirety of their floors. If they’re a commercial operation, they should be sweeping and mopping at least once a day – more so if they deal in chemicals and liquids. Housekeeping cadence should be adjusted based on foot traffic, especially during those wet months. They should also invest in a few protective accessories.
Concrete Surface Floor Mats
An easy and relatively cheap solution: floor mats. It may be obvious to some, but floor mats should be set up in entryways, near receiving and receiving doors, and throughout machine-laden operations. We recommend finding a commercial cleaner to remove and replace your flooring with clean mats on a regular basis.
Scrubbing & Buffing
When mopping or scrubbing, operators will want to use a concrete cleaner that’s engineered for mud and soil removal. We do not recommend going with traditional floor cleaner as it is not typically meant for concrete surfaces.
Even the greatest quality cleaner can leave behind some residual film of grime (and it can affect the shine!). Once it’s cleaned, the final step should be a thorough concrete surface burnish. Buffing may not be required throughout a 24-hour cycle for intensive commercial operations. but either daily or at the end of a worker’s shift.
Invest in a Concrete Sealer Upon Installation
To reduce the chances of premature concrete degradation by wet weather, you really can’t go wrong with a quality concrete sealant. The purpose of a concrete sealer is to prevent liquid penetration as well as protection from surface damage, stains, and corrosion.
Runyon houses a few different sealant types, including Ameripolish Acrylic Sealer, Convergent sealers, polyurethane sealers, and sealer enhancers. You’ll also want to make sure the sealer cures properly, which leads us to the next tip.
Ram Board for Concrete Curing Protection
Available for commercial and residential applications, Ram Board was made for contractors who want to provide clients with adequate concrete flooring protection during the curing process. You can use it indoors or outdoors, as it’s designed to prevent unwanted elements from invading the chemistry of hydration.
Ram Board also does not stain floors and uses Vapor-Cure™ technology that allows for curing vapors to escape the board, supporting the cure. This curing accessory is also designed to avoid leaving blotches, lines, or other marks on the surface once removed.
Your Concrete Surface Partner for Every Phase
Runyon Surface Prep is a purchase and rental facility for all-things concrete surface installation. From initial floor removal to ongoing maintenance, we have equipment and accessories that cover every step of the process. Machines and tools we carry include (but aren’t limited to) planetary floor grinders, power trowels, burnishers, and scarifiers.
Give us a call to learn more or reach out using our contact form.