The type of flooring that a home or business uses can really reflect the overall quality and craftsmanship of the building. Some homeowners opt for a warmer, rustic material like wood, while some buildings like to go with nice polished concrete. There is no right answer as to what material works best, but it’s quite apparent that the importance of the quality of the installation is always a major concern.
After the installation process, it also becomes apparent that the flooring needs to be protected as well, as the longstanding quality also reflects well on the craftsmanship. In this case, a good concrete flooring solution should be protected because it can be a high-quality material if it is cared for properly. Concrete isn’t simply an industrial material, it can be very nice looking which is surprising to many.
Polished concrete, especially, is a flooring material/style that will impress if done properly, which means it needs to be protected and maintained well. Here are 6 ways to ensure that a concrete floor is protected, maintained, and retains its luster and quality.
1. Clear and Clean the Concrete of Dirt and Debris
It’s important that before any work is done to seal or polish concrete, or keep the material looking good, that it is cleaned and cleared of any debris. Loose dirt and other debris on a concrete floor can be left in the material and it can create scratches or small bumps. It may not be noticeable at first, but it becomes more apparent over time. It’s very important that a concrete floor is swept, vacuumed, or sanded to get all the material removed prior to any sealing or painting so it’s entirely flush and clean.
2. Seal Properly With the Right Material
Polished concrete and sealed concrete looks incredible when done right, so the right sealing material has to be employed. An often-used material is an epoxy because of the luster quality it has and how well it seals. Similar to epoxy is resin floor paint, which also retains a high-quality sheen to the flooring. Urethane or polyurethane sealers are also very common as well. These are popular materials that will keep cracks field and maintain the right level of seal that repels stains and hides imperfections easily. These sealing methods will serve as a way to make the floor incredibly good-looking, along with providing you the protection necessary for long-term maintenance.
3. Ensure Concrete Was Properly Poured
Before any of these steps are taken, like sealing it with good material or clearing the concrete by sweeping debris, the concrete needs to be poured and set properly. If the initial stages are done right, some seals will never be fixed. Similarly, improperly set concrete will show signs of dips, bulges, or warps. This is a problem that would require significant fixing by grinding down the top layer and repouring a new layer of fresh concrete. Before any of these steps are taken, it’s imperative that the concrete is properly set so that it lasts a long time and any sealing or painting done to it will look as good as possible.
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4. Remove and Prevent Moisture
Sealing concrete does the job well here, but it’s also good to make sure that any moisture is removed during any step involving the setting of the concrete or applying coating or paint. Removing moisture can be difficult, but one such way to do so is to dry a room out. Extremely dry temperatures are not always great for concrete as it can cause it to dry improperly and crack, but the right warmth can help dry out moisture enough to keep it from damaging the process. It’s also possible to vacuum out the moisture, but most importantly, any leaks should be managed to prevent water from harming the concrete or sealing.
5. Avoid Heavy and Damaging Traffic on the Flooring
It’s hard to avoid foot traffic on a floor, that’s partially the reason why it’s there, but it is possible to avoid heavy or damaging traffic on a floor. The time when a floor should be under stress is during the processes involving heavy equipment. This means cleaning the floor, doing the sealing process, and any of the initial installations. These are the times when the floor will be most susceptible to heavy equipment putting stress or damaging the surface. It’s good to note that these are times when it’s going to feel the most strain, but that’s okay. After that, it’s important to avoid using too much heavy equipment on it, especially if it’s a residential or lobby floor, as opposed to a warehouse or industrial concrete floor.
6. Cover With Something to Prevent Scratches
Another great way to protect the concrete floor, and one that is quite simple, is to put down something to protect the floor. This could be a rug or some form of carpet and you don’t need to cover the entire floor if you still want people to see the quality of the floor, especially resin paint, epoxy coating, or some other form of aesthetic polishing, but it helps to place under furniture or in heavy traffic areas like entrances. This is a good way to ensure that the floor is going to be as protected as possible, even in small forms. It’s not a long-term way to protect concrete or a fundamental way but as mentioned, any little way to help preserve its quality is worth the effort.
A concrete floor is often associated with an unfinished home, a warehouse floor, or some industrial zone, but the reality is that concrete is a highly versatile material used in flooring because when properly maintained, and with some work, it can be incredibly attractive. If you’ve ever gone to a nice hotel lobby, the shiny floor is actually concrete that has been polished and coated. The coating is intended to make it look nicer, but most importantly, it helps protect the material with sealing, which is one of the few ways you can see how to make the concrete ground more protected.