Polished Concrete Maintenance
That’s right, I said it. Polished Concrete and maintenance in the same sentence. Shame shame shame. Polished concrete is a ‘no maintenance floor’. Install polished concrete in your facility and your woes of having to occasionally fill a mop bucket are over. Better yet, throw out those old, stinky mop buckets….. Sound too good to be true? Good, because it is. The concept of removing a facilities’ existing floor, polishing the concrete below and utilizing that polished concrete surface for building traffic has become overwhelmingly popular in the last five years. Along with that popularity; manufactures, distributors and even contractors have marketed Polished Concrete as being a ‘One and Done’ finish- a no maintenance floor. As if the ability of using your existing concrete foundation as a floor didn’t sell itself. Whether or not the ‘No-Maintenance’ slogan is a ploy to grab buyers or merely an expression meant to exaggerate the ‘low maintenance’ quality- contractors & manufactures need to make buyers aware of the maintenance this lifetime finish demands. Polished Concrete installed correctly & maintained accordingly, is without a doubt a very cost conscious lifetime finish. “Contractor Does Not Provide Maintenance Services” Recently, more and more contractors are getting on the Polished Concrete maintenance bandwagon though there are still a large number of those remaining who only provide the initial concrete polishing service. In the event a building owner is left with the contractors’ taillights, no problem! The maintenance procedures for Polished Concrete are mostly achievable by in-house staff with occasional servicing by outside janitorial floor care firms. Please note: easy to operate buffing and scrubbing equipment can be purchased by the building, completely removing the need for outside janitorial floor care firms. In the event a building already utilizes a janitorial firm for the routine cleaning of their facility, that firm will likely carry the necessary equipment and be happy to add the cost to the routine contract.
A General Routine Template Upon initially having the Polished Concrete floor installed, a general template should be followed. That template however, will need to be adjusted on the buildings circumstances such as unique type of traffic, quantity of traffic and exterior climate changes. Utilizing the below general template, a building can monitor the condition of the floor under said template and ultimately choose which items to increase & which to decrease.
Excessively rough facility environments such as steel shavings combined with constant wheel traffic need to expect additional maintenance provided by Concrete Polishing Contractors’ down the road. ‘Additional, keep in mind, to those routine services expressed in the above table. The additional services are hard to determine price point as each scenario is different. One concept is very important with Polished Concrete maintenance, ‘Timing is Everything’. When the polished surface shows signs of light wear due to constant abrasion i.e. the gloss seems to be satin at best, a polishing contractor can return and perform 1 High Grit (800, 15000 or 3000) diamond pass to restore the finish. This one pass can typically be handled for around $0.30-$0.50 per square foot compared to the initial installation cost of $4.00+. In the scenario this pass is not performed prior further and further deteriorating of the polished concrete surface- simply passing a resin diamond polishing pad across the surface will no long suffice. In order to remove the excessive abrasions of the surface, the contractor now has to begin all the way in the grinding stages (metals) in order to restore the ‘palette’ and than commence the sequential polishing steps…pass by pass….grit after grit…for once again $4.00+ per square foot. In essence, you ignore the maintenance, you will be paying to completely re-do the area in a matter of time.
Seem expensive? It’s really not. Most building owners during the recent economic drought put off maintenance on their existing tile, wood and vct floors ‘hoping to purchase new once business came back’. Now, getting installation and associated maintenance quotes on Polished Concrete- many are finding sticker shock on the cost of routine maintenance and Interim Re-polishing. Polished Concrete’s associated maintenance cost is well below that of prior listed topical flooring’s, the issue is building owner’s have gotten accustomed to not paying maintenance services (on any type of flooring) in general.
Should Polished Concrete Marketeer’s (contractors, distributors & manufactures) keep holding the true cost of maintenance behind the curtain? In return, keeping an ever steady stream of new prospects? Is today’s installation profit worth the negative impact countless failing floors (due to lack of maintenance) can bring our industry?
Could showing upfront the true maintenance cost of a polished concrete floor cripple the current demand? Or, would it prove more beneficial; showing the consumer that Polished Concrete is a Lifetime Floor when choosing to accept the low maintenance costs associated….