Protecting and Maintaining Concrete Floors

The economic value of floors plays a significant part in the total efficiency of any industry. Characteristics such as durability, aesthetic appeal, and affordability are what your floors should possess. The floor is an investment that many industries take for granted. They forget how important good flooring is to any company.

When a company has good flooring, it lessens the risk of employee injury. Tripping and slipping are two of the most common reasons for injury in a workplace and if your floors are slip resistant, slipping accidents and corresponding lawsuits are big problems off your mind. A good flooring system is also able to withstand heavy foot and machine traffic. No cracks and crevices on the floor give way to seamless mobility insuring that forecasted productivity is met. These kind of floors are also easy to clean with mere sweeping or mopping .This  translates to minor maintenance, what with the company lessening the amount of time and money spent on cleaning floors.

Unfortunately, even the best of flooring systems go through their own wear and tear process, including concrete. Knowing how to take care and protect concrete increases its lifespan significantly saving you a lot of money, time, and headaches in the future. Here are some tips:

Mix Design

In the creation of concrete flooring it needs to have good genetics. In the industry it is called mix design. It is based on this mix design whether or not the lifespan of the concrete will be good. This mix will be the basis of concrete’s resistance to degradation.

Curing

There is a rule of thumb in the curing process that states that a curing method is not needed if the temperature is 70 degrees F and 70% relative humidity with low wind. Research has proven this to be incorrect. A proper curing process is needed to achieve the maximum design characteristics of the concrete. Research has shown that concrete needs curing in the first two hours to prevent early shrinkage cracks.

There are three curing methods to take note of. These are: Initial Cure, Middle Cure, and Final Cure. There is a need for the application of all three methods for concrete to be able to achieve maximum design characteristics and crack free durability.

Know the Environment

It is imperative to know the exact conditions the concrete is going to be placed into to know the steps needed to protect and maintain it. There are normally three types of environments that should be taken into consideration when putting concrete. The first one is a chemical environment where the concrete is subject to spills of acids, alkali, and other chemicals. The second is a mechanical environment where the concrete is exposed to heavy machine traffic such as traffic from fork-lifts, carts, and other vehicles. The last is the natural environment where the concrete is exposed to acid rain, dirt, sand, rain, ice and snow. Knowing what can potentially damage the concrete is a great way to help protect and maintain it.

Eliminate Dusting

In many warehouses, dusting is a major problem. Dusting is basically the chalking at the surface of a concrete slab. These types of floorings become powdery. It is also easily scratched with a nail or a stiff bristled broom. The problem occurs when the wearing surface is weak. To eliminate dusting, compliant hardener densifier is needed. Applying this will significantly extend the life of your concrete floor.

Water Protection

Water is considered to be the worst enemy of any concrete flooring. Water can easily stain the surface, allow cracks to form, and allow mold spores to develop. Mold spores will make concrete very slippery. There are two ways to protect concrete against water, namely: waterproofing and a water runoff system that would allow water to move from the concrete to a drain.

These are the basics of protecting concrete. The most important part here is to know the conditions where the concrete will be placed. Knowing the needs of the company is also important to find out what to do to lengthen the life of concrete. Acting now will not only save time, but also a lot of money in the future.

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