If you are going to polish a concrete surface, I cannot stress enough how important it is to protect the surface from damage or the contamination generated by subsequent tradesmen with products such as gypsum plaster, paint, varnish or their tea and coffee breaks, traffic and scratches from unwanted abrasion. And let us not forget the muddy clay covered floors from building site footfall; always a recipe for disaster.
Concrete Is Not Indestructible And Easily Stained
From our experience it is clear that concrete is misunderstood to be indestructible, impervious, unstainable and repairable through grinding whilst maintaining the original finish chosen by the end client. This is NOT the case I’m afraid. This is why we always recommend covering the newly laid concrete with plastic sheeting to cure but also protect the concrete surface from damage.
Stains Can Sometimes Be Removed By Grinding
Admittedly by grinding past the stains and/or etching you can often remove the problem areas, but in doing so you are creating a terrazzo-like aggregated InfinityFloor Stone finish that not every customer would be happy to see.
If you desire InfinityFloor Cream, surface protection is imperative. InfinityFloor Cream which is an industrial looking finish generated by power trowelling the concrete surface to push down sand and aggregates away from the surface, leaving a stylish swirled appearance is very subseptible to damage prior to our polishing process.
Etching Of Concrete Surfaces Is A Major Problem
The main culprits for damage in the form of etching (white burn marks) of the surface are from gypsum plaster, drywall adhesive and coving adhesive. All of these products if left in contact with the cementitious concrete will chemically burn the surface to be polished; forcing you to either grind past the etch or cover with a micro topping such as CARRcrete PROtop Loft.
Paint Stains Concrete Easily
Other potentially ruinous contaminants are paint, varnish, silicone mastics, pva primer and of course tea and coffee. All of these are really easy to protect against with plastic sheeting or corrugated site protection; always ensure boards are taped close together to prevent cure marks forming where there are gaps between the boards and edges.
Always Protect Concrete That Is To Be Polished
So in general basic terms, if you have a concrete surface that you are to have diamond abrasive polished, please cover and protect from damage before your polisher arrives on site. It doesn’t matter if it is a concrete floor, worktop, furniture or stairs; they can all be damaged by neglect.
Timescales and costs can be kept on budget to schedule with simple site housekeeping and surface protection.