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).
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.
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!
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.
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.
Quartz epoxy is an excellent choice for creating a non-slip surface outside. The surface will be resistant to scratching and staining and has enough texture to prevent someone from slipping. You can use this system on ADA Ramps, sidewalks, or patios. Another added benefit of using this system is the color choices available, so you will still be able to achieve a decorative finish. Below is a photo of a concrete patio and stair we applied the quartz epoxy system to.
If you have a typical plywood second story and you are considering having concrete floors installed, there are a few things to consider.
First you want to make sure there are no extreme low spots in the plywood. If there are and if it is a older house you might need to reinforce the floor joist the plywood is sitting on. You probably should consider this with any other ceramic or stone floor also. The weight of concrete floors is about the same if not less then installing ceramic tile and hardi-board. So if second story in your house is qualified to accept ceramic tile on the second story you will be ok with having concrete floors.
The next thing is you should not use self-leveling overlay material to get your concrete floors. This material is brittle and will crack excessively when the plywood moves a little bit. If you need guidlines on how to install concrete floors on a second story follow the link http://mvlconcrete.com/blog/upstairs-concrete-overlay-acid-stained/ . If seen many people try to use self-leveling material and then they have a huge mess to clean up when it fails.
The first concrete floor we did on a second story was about 5 years ago, and so far there has not been any major cracking. There are a few hairline cracks that are not opened up; you mainly see the crack because of the color on the surface. So don’t expect the concrete floors to have minor cracking.
If you have any questions or are looking for someone to install concrete on the second story of your house please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 210-422-6116.