There you are admiring your newly laid concrete floor of your new warehouse. But how do you keep it looking good, meeting functional requirements and keeping costs low? Concrete is pretty hardnwearing stuff but it won’t last forever.
Eventually the surface will begin to wear, excessive amounts of dust will be created, strips of screed concrete will begin to disaggregate from the concrete substrate, and you will be faced with a huge bill to rescreed the concrete or, worse still, relay the floor entirely.
In this article we offer six tips to help you get the longest life out of your concrete floor.
One of the biggest problems with concrete floors is that it literally is its own worst enemy. Through use the floor begins to disaggregate to create concrete dust. However, this dust acts as an abrasive in its own right and will create more dust. The less dust you allow on the floor the less dust will be created.
Therefore, the cleaner the floor is, the longer it will last! Heavily used floors should be cleaned daily. At Becosan we recommend the use of a Scrubber Dryer to minimise the effort making it easier to keep your floor clean.
Use PH neutral cleaner
Before loading up your scrubber dryer with detergent check that the detergent is PH neutral. An acidic cleaning product will eat into the surface of the concrete weakening it and making it more likely to erode.
We recommend a detergent with a PH of around 7 or 8 like the Selden F176: Frequent Use Scrubber Dryer Detergent.
Repair those joints and cracks
Overtime cracks will appear in the concrete, it is inevitable. Also, the polyurea based filler in the expansion joints will eventually disintegrate (See the BECOSAN Guide to Expansion Joints).
Both problems result in exposed edges in the concrete which will cause accelerated disaggregation. It is important to get these problems fixed as soon as possible by refilling the cracks with polyurea based filler.
Keep it dry
Untreated concrete floors will suffer from penetration of liquids. In a warehouse environment oil and grease can easily be absorbed into the surface of the concrete causing a nasty stain.
Water based liquids can also be absorbed into the floor which can cause the concrete to degrade. As soon as any spill is identified mop it up.
Avoid epoxy coatings
Epoxy coatings are great for making a concrete warehouse floor look good and reduce dust. But for how long?
In a harsh environment an epoxy coating may only last between two and five years. To remove the epoxy coating chemical solvents will be used which themselves weaken the surface structure of the concrete and, therefore, reduce the life expectancy of the floor.
Treat the floor with the Becosan System
A better alternative to an epoxy floor is the BECOSAN® System, The BECOSAN® System involves the grinding of the concrete surface, with progressively finer BECOSAN® diamond grits, to give a smooth finish. During the process two chemicals are added.
The first, the BECOSAN® Densifier which binds with the free lime in the concrete creating a harder more durable surface.
The second, the BECOSAN® Sealer, which makes the surface more resistant to liquid spillage. Once the treatment has been executed the floor will be much easier to maintain and more resistant extending the life of the concrete.