Different Levels of Polished Concrete

Polishing concrete includes many steps, some of the steps are extra steps to optimize shine and durability others are a must to achieve a properly polished concrete floor. The steps for polishing concrete can be reduced or increased depending on the budget for the job, the design outcome, or how the concrete was finished at the time of placing. When determining what steps are needed, I refer to three factors; shine level, stone exposure, and maintenance.

Steps for a basic concrete floor polishing (Medium shine 800 grit, salt and pepper stone exposure, and low maintenance):

  • 70 grit metals
  • 120 grit metals
  • 100 grit hybrid
  • Apply densifier
  • 200 grit resin
  • 400 grit resin
  • 800 grit resin
  • Seal with penetrating sealer

If the concrete was watered down at the time of placement this will cause small voids that need to be filled to achieve the best finish. To do this we add a step to grout the floor, so the above process will look like this:

  • 70 grit metals
  • 120 grit metals
  • Grout the floor
  • 100 grit hybrid
  • Apply densifier
  • 200 grit resin
  • 400 grit resin
  • 800 grit resin
  • 1500 grit resin (shinier)
  • 3000 grit resin (shinier)
  • Seal with penetrating sealer

If you want a basic polished floor and the concrete was not finished well or there are a lot of high and low spots we might need to add a step to grind more off by using a lower grit diamond (stone exposure will be increased). Here is an example of what the basic option looks like with doing a heavy grind:

  • 30 grit metals
  • 70 grit metals
  • 120 grit metals
  • Grout the floor (optional)
  • 100 grit hybrid
  • Apply densifier
  • 200 grit resin
  • 400 grit resin
  • 800 grit resin
  • Seal with penetrating sealer

Some floors call for a cream polish where very little of the concrete is ground down. The steps are reduced and the cost is the lowest (not all floors can have this finish). The steps could look like this for a cream polish:

  • Apply densifier
  • 200 grit resins
  • 400 grit resins
  • 800 grit resins
  • Seal concrete with penetrating sealer

As you can see polishing concrete can be done in different ways to achieve different results. A premium polish can have 11 or more steps, while a basic cream polish can be as little as 5 steps. Be sure when you choose to have your concrete floors polished to go over all of the different options. This steps will often be adjusted depending on the condition of the concrete.

If you would like for us to go over the different options in more detail give us a call (210)422-6116 or email mvlconcrete@yahoo.com

 

 

 

First Step To Restoring Concrete

The first step when looking at repairing concrete is to determine what caused the concrete to fail. Concrete can fail from poor workmanship, environmental factors such as water penetration or atmosphere gasses penetrating, and chemical attack. When you figure out what caused the concrete to fail, you can then begin to plan what type of repair materials and processes you will need. For example, to repair a concrete parking garage that is failing from water penetrating into the concrete and corroding the steel reinforcement causing the concrete to spall will include two process. The first process will be to repair the spalling concrete, the second will be to waterproof the concrete to prevent further damage. This process will be different if the concrete is spalling because of bad workmanship, in this case you will only need to repair the spalled concrete and not waterproof the concrete.

The first step of identifying what is causing the concrete is the most important step if you want a long-term success full concrete repair. If you are in San Antonio, and need us to come take a look at your concrete repair, give us a call at 210-422-6116.

 

 

What Customers Should Know When Shopping For Polished Concrete

Before hiring a contractor for polishing concrete, there are a few things you should know about. Saying you want polished concrete is almost like saying you want tile flooring, polished concrete is a relatively broad category . Like tile flooring, there are many options to choose from when you have your concrete polished. For instance, you can have large stones or small stones exposed in the initial grinding or you can have a very high shine (3000 grit finish) or a lower shine (800 grit). After the concrete is polished it is also recommended to be sealed to prevent stains. There are two main types of sealers used for polished concrete, a guard (film forming sealer) or a penetrating (non-film forming sealer).

So before you hire someone, make sure the contractor goes over all the steps and if a sealer will be used. If you just ask for a price for polished concrete with out stating the details, one contractor might give you a price to polish to a 800 grit finish and apply guard (it will enhance the shine), while another contractor might give you a higher price but it is for polishing to a 3000 grit level and using a penetrating sealer (will not enhance the shine).

The Benefits of Waterproofing Concrete

We all have heard that concrete is like a sponge and soaks up everything, for example motor oil in a driveway. Stain/Waterproofing concrete to prevent motor oil from soaking into concrete is obvious because you don’t want to see a big dark stain, but what about waterproofing concrete to prevent water from soaking in? Water doesn’t leave a big ugly spot like oil does, so what is the benefit of waterproofing concrete. It turns out that water can damage concrete in more ways oil can, sure oil leaves an ugly stain, but water will soak deep down and begin to corrode the rebar causing areas of the concrete to spall off. Another reason why it is good to waterproof concrete, especially when areas are prone to have freezing rain, is that when water soaks into the concrete and then freezes it expands and will pit the concrete eventually the concrete will need to be replaced. So be sure to have your concrete waterproofed to prevent stains and also water damage.

The Most Effective Way Of Removing Stain From Concrete

Did you have someone stain your concrete floor and it just turned out horrible? If so you might be interested in knowing how to remove the stain. Depending on what type of stain was used there is two possible ways to remove the stain. If the stain was a water based acrylic stain (paint) you could use a paint stripper to remove the stain from the concrete.

If however the stain was an acid stain or an acetone dye, you will not be able to use any type of strippers to remove or lighten the stain. You will have to grind the concrete with either a hand grinder fitted with a diamond wheel or use a stand behind grinder. Grinding will remove any type of stain that was used, so if your not sure I would begin with grinding the concrete. You want to make sure you don’t use a very aggressive diamond wheel or you will leave a rough profile.

When grinding concrete make sure you have a vacuum and respirator because the concrete dust is very harmful to your lungs. Hope this helps!

 

Removing Tar Roofing & Installing Cementitious Waterproofing

Posted below is a recent video clip of some pictures of a recent concrete waterproofing job we completed. Our client had a concrete building with a built-up tar and gravel roof that he wanted to remove. They were planning on using the roof as a useable space consisting of a sitting area and areas that will be converted into a garden.

Stage one was to remove all of the tar from the roof, and install membrane c waterproofing cement. This is to get the general roof top waterproofed. The next stage will be to build cinder block planters and then add another coat of membrane c to the planters.

Check out the video below.

Click to view more waterproofing jobs.

 

 

How To Reduce Wear Patterns In Your Stained Concrete Floor

Most people are turned off on the idea of getting their concrete floors stained because they are worried that they will eventually get unsightly wear patterns in the high traffic areas. While this is true because the sealer will eventually wear away that is protecting the stain; there are a few things you can do that will help prevent wear patterns.

The easiest thing to do is to follow the Pareto Principle, this basically means that 20% of the floor will receive 80% of the wear. So if you simply find the 20% of the floor that will receive the most wear you can use area rugs to prevent wear to the stained concrete floors.

The second option to preventing wear patterns is to regularly apply wax to the floor. This will acts as a sacrificial coating preventing the wear of the sealer and stain. The only bad thing about having to wax the floor is typically you will want to wax the whole floor, but as the Pareto Principle tells us only 20% of the floor will need wax. If you only wax 20% of the floor you will most likely see a noticeable shine difference.

In conclusion it is best to use area rugs in the 20% of the floor that receives the highest amount of traffic. Then you will have 100% of the floor looking good for a long period of time.