During this period of travel restrictions and self-quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies and schools across the country are eager to use their downtime to take care of long-awaited maintenance issues and do some upgrades in their buildings. With fewer employees, students, or customers inside, the owners, principals, and managers are hiring professionals to repair, remodel, and refresh the interiors (and exteriors) of their warehouses, schools, retail spaces, showrooms, lobbies, and offices.
To extend the life of, enhance, and clean vast concrete surfaces, such as floors, walkways, patios, driveways, garages, etc., business owners and commercial property managers are looking for help from concrete floor resurfacing companies.
Polished Concrete? Really?
Instead of the expense of installing brand new floors: i.e., carpet, tile, wood, vinyl flooring, etc., over the cement, business owners have come to realize the money-saving benefits of revitalizing an existing concrete floor. It is an inexpensive solution to flooring, and yet it can look very chic and high end if that is the look you're going for. On the other hand, concrete is also incredibly tough and can stand up to abuse from trucks, forklifts, heavy boots, falling stock, etc.
Floors made of poured concrete are no longer the dull grey, the industrial-looking surface that most people think of when they hear the word "concrete." When polished or resurfaced, professional concrete floor resurfacing companies can transform even an ordinary, dull, beat-up concrete floor and give it the appearance of high-gloss marble, granite, or other stone. It becomes stylish and decorative and, for many years, will be surprisingly beautiful, durable, and deficient maintenance.
Damage to Concrete - Why Concrete Cracks
Plastic shrinkage is the most common reason why concrete floors crack. Before hardening, concrete floors are still full of water and in a more pliable - or plastic - state. This moisture makes the slab a specific size and causes displacement. As it loses moisture, the concrete dries and cures and gets smaller. Falling moisture may ultimately lead to cracks in the concrete floor because the shrinkage can cause stress on the now, very rigid, material. Reduction especially happens if the concrete dries too quickly.
Another reason why concrete can crack is due to internal expansion. As the weather gets hotter, extremely high temperatures will make a concrete slab expand. This expansion can cause cracking if the concrete doesn't have room to flex and pushes against a nearby slab or adjacent wall. In northern states, the extreme cold can have a similar effect as the groundwater freezes, expands, and shifts the concrete slab upward from underneath.
However, concrete surfaces can also deteriorate due to the external effects of road salt, battery acid, oil, gasoline, high traffic patterns, and even sunlight, rain, or harsh weather conditions. But no matter the reason how it got damaged, if left untreated, concrete can and will continue to worsen over time. Chips, cracks, and holes may become trip hazards and accidents waiting to happen. Don't take any chances of employees, students, or customers getting injured!
By adding a layer of a concrete coating, overlay, or merely having the top of the slab polished, a resurfacing professional can repair problems and protect the floor from further deterioration, refresh its appearance, and lengthen its lifespan. This process is also useful in modernizing and updating designs and eliminating discoloration from years of stains and wear and tear.
Polished Concrete Floors
When old and worn out concrete is damaged, and the surface has inconsistencies, the first step to restoration is to grind off the uppermost section of the uneven surface. This will give the concrete floor a flat plane that is usable, smooth, and safe again. The grinding process removes imperfections that mar the finish and starts the process of giving the floor a whole new look. Grinding also removes old paint, grease, oil, ground-in dirt, and can prepare the surface for installing a fresh finish. The process is quite similar to using sandpaper on a rough piece of wood. The concrete resurfacing process can take over six passes of various grinding levels of diamond polishing pads to give it the desired finish, from low luster to high gloss.
Once the process is complete, the professional concrete floor resurfacing company will have created a low maintenance, easy to clean floor for their customers. This flooring can rival many high-end materials such as ceramic tile, granite, or marble for their beauty, elegance, and shine.
The Benefits of Polished Concrete
Polished interior concrete floors offer many benefits. Medical facilities (hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, clinics, etc.), schools from elementary to college, retail stores, showrooms, professional offices, and more, are all choosing polished concrete as their floor finish. The popularity in polished concrete is due to polished concrete's benefits over other floor coverings such as tile, terrazzo, hardwood, vinyl sheet flooring, and low pile carpet.
Here are several reasons why these employers choose concrete:
When compared to purchasing other kinds of floor coverings, professionally polishing your concrete floors is extremely cost-effective. When you use the slab on grade, it also offers a decrease in maintenance costs and upkeep. Most concrete flooring resurfacing companies will suggest a consultation and assessment of your floors to have a real price comparison to other flooring products.
It's Low Maintenance
Many big box stores, warehouse facilities, auto showrooms, and other businesses choose polished concrete because of its durability and exceptionally low maintenance. This kind of floor is resistant to stains, extremely easy to keep clean, and holds up well to rolling vehicle tires, heavy equipment, and lots of foot traffic. An occasional quick sweep with a broom or a damp mop is needed to keep it looking great.
It's Unique and Appealing
As stated above, polished concrete cost-effective and low maintenance are also unique, appealing, and can be made to look like polished marble or granite. When marble, granite, or other stone flooring is not an option due to its high price, this gives business owners a great alternative. Colors and patterns can also be added to the concrete for artistic designs and finishes, such as with acid stained concrete.
Acid Stained Concrete
One of the ways to give your concrete floor a one-of-a-kind look is by using a system of deep-penetrating concrete stains. Whether used on a brand new or old, damaged floor, there are unlimited ways to transform ordinary concrete into an endless palette of design and color. The acid stained concrete process can be used in either residential spaces or commercial projects, on both exterior and interior cement floors. The acid creates a luminous, translucent, yet saturated color tone that is incredibly lovely and aesthetically pleasing. The surface is also very hard-wearing because of how deeply the acid penetrates. Unlike conventional masonry stain or paint, the colors of acid stained concrete won't peel, crack, or chip off.
It Reflects Light
Polished concrete flooring offers many hotels, office buildings, casinos, public facilities, restaurants, and retail stores the benefits from a high degree of reflectivity. Polished concrete provides an elegant yet contemporary look while requiring 1/3 less lighting because of its reflectiveness.
For floors without much damage, grinding and polishing can be the end of the resurfacing process. However, there is also a vast array of high-performance coatings and overlays to choose from. What's the difference? Why would someone choose a new layer or an overlay instead of just having their cement floor polished? To find out, keep reading.
High traffic areas like customer service locations, big box stores, commercial kitchens, garage floors, warehouses, and hospitals will generally install a high-performance coating on top of their cement floors.
This is because a concrete coating will protect both the standard grey or a decorative or an acid stained concrete floor from high traffic and harsh chemicals. The high-performance coating will seep into the concrete's cracks and flaws, filling in the holes and making it seamless and even more durable. This coating can be used alone or on top of an overlay for harder wearing and protection of the floor.
The Benefits of Polished Concrete Overlays
When simply polishing your existing concrete floor is not a viable option; hiring a professional concrete flooring resurfacing company to install a polished concrete overlay is the most economical and ideal solution to your flooring problem. An overlay is used when the floor's excessive flaws such as carpet tack holes, deeply stained spots, several areas of patchwork, and pitting will still show even after grinding and polishing. Overlays are used to cover up problem floors and achieve a surface that is perfectly smooth and seamless. None of the existing floors' imperfections will show through, leaving a beautifully flawless surface after it's installed.
Overlays are Customizable
To achieve the look you want, overlays of polished concrete are highly customizable. They can be created to match your décor with your preferred colors or designs. Concrete flooring resurfacing companies can create overlays that look like marble slabs, swirls, large stone tiles, designs, patterns, and more. Overlays can also create unusual mottled color tones, textures, and luxurious richness in existing concrete floors.
Overlays Have a Quick Turnaround Time
Compared to completely replacing or patching an existing concrete floor, or covering it with another type of flooring, the turnaround time of installing a concrete overlay is incredibly fast. In as little as 24 hours, installation can be done over almost any hard surface that exists, such as terrazzo, concrete, or even tile after the surface of the floor has been prepared.
Overlays are Environmentally Friendly
Polished concrete overlays are very environmentally friendly. They are mold and mildew resistant and won't attract allergens because polishing creates a surface resistant to a variety of potential contaminants, as well as water and oil. If you are concerned that your employees, customers, residents, or visitors may have respiratory conditions or allergies, or the work environment uses chemicals (commercial kitchens, chemistry labs, operating rooms, etc.), this is an ideal solution for your flooring problems.
Installing Polished Concrete Overlays
Compared to polishing an existing concrete floor, installing a polished concrete overlay requires a higher level of expertise. Once the damaged areas of the flooring have been ground and repaired, the process of the installation of the overlay can begin. The overlay is poured and leveled over the entire floor. Colors and other additives can be combined with the thick liquid overlay to create designs, patterns, and textures. Once the overlay has set for a minimum of 24 hours, the floor is given a final polish. Presto! It's done.
Creative Maintenance Solutions to The Rescue!
A Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based company, Creative Maintenance Solutions has a stellar nationwide reputation for offering top-quality flooring solutions and always adhering to concrete safety laws. For more than thirty years, we have provided businesses and homeowners from across the country state-of-the-art cement floor covering and resurfacing systems.
Since 1989, to continue offering innovative concrete flooring solutions and meet the ever-evolving business and safety needs of our clients, we've never stopped educating ourselves to stay up to date on new products and features. Creative Maintenance Solutions is committed to outstanding customer service. Our exceptional work and professional products guarantee a superior outcome to our customers who span from residential homeowners to Fortune 500 companies.
As one of the best concrete flooring resurfacing companies in the country, our skilled staff has provided expert resurfacing and installations. Creative Maintenance Solutions can satisfy any client's range of deadlines, needs, and budgets. The results we consistently offer are solutions that lay the foundation for a productive and safe environment that will stand the test of time.
You can trust that Creative Maintenance Solutions is the perfect partner to make your uneven or cracked concrete floors look brand new or to give your flooring a modern, updated appearance. Our flooring solutions add increased durability, and we always deliver unparalleled satisfaction to our customers for a safe, clean, and attractive work environment.
Contact us for an assessment for your concrete flooring project today! You'll be happy you did.