More and more, concrete is becoming a core material used in various building projects from residential to commercial. Concrete has been revered for its durability and continuously increasing strength. Its composition allows it to experience consistent weathering stress with little to no major repercussions. But, concrete couldn’t function at its highest ability without the proper sealing and sanding process. Sanding concrete is the key to sealing the material such that it can be coated with a particular finish and used in day-to-day life.
When looking to finish your concrete flooring and walls, the sanding process is one to not skip. There are 4 main reasons why sanding concrete is an indispensable step. Sanding concrete works to improve the surface texture and appearance, smooth rough and jagged edges, remove stains or paint streaks, and repair any imperfections.
The first step in sanding concrete is prepping the slab. Much of the concrete’s aesthetic and strength comes through proper preparation techniques. Begin by inspecting the floor or slab for any glaring imperfections and fix them accordingly. From there, remove any major bumps. These generally develop around corner areas as a byproduct of the pouring, drying, and curing process. Bumps are best removed sooner than later as the more time they spend on the slab, the harder it is to remove them.
Once the prep work is completed, the sanding can begin. It can be tempting to take on the sanding process in a do-it-yourself manner as the necessary tools are relatively widely available. In fact, it’s one of the most common frequently asked questions. However, for a perfectly smooth result, a professional’s hand is the better choice. It can be difficult to properly remove all the imperfections and smooth the slab down to a single uniform piece. While it may be more expensive to hire a professional, the alternative of fixing a poorly executed DIY job will rack up a similar price tag.
There are various concrete sanding options available on the market. For starters, the main difference in sanders is whether they are used for wet concrete sanding or dry concrete sanding. Dry sanders are equipped with an insert for a vacuum to suck up dust and reduce particulates. Wet sanders are “water-fed” meaning there is a hose connection that provides a steady flow of water. There aren’t any major advantages of using one time of sander over the other. Wet sanders are said to produce a smoother finish and are less abrasive than dry sanders. Dry sanders, on the other hand, are more aggressive and best used to remove more, rougher material in less time.
For concrete countertops, floors, and walls, polishing is a step that should never be skipped. Polishing concrete helps improve the overall appearance of the slab and removes any imperfections that may have emerged in the pouring and curing process. For a proper polishing job be sure to have the following tools on hand:
How you choose to finish your polished concrete slabs depends heavily on your style. There are three main regular concrete finishes to choose from, the smooth finish, the salt and pepper finish, and the exposed aggregate finish, each of these should be then finished off with a chemical concrete hardener or a concrete sealer.
The sign of a quality concrete and sanding finish is a uniform look that stretches across the entire slab. Arguably the most difficult part of this sanding and polishing process is achieving uniformity. It requires even sanding throughout the entire slab. If you’re planning on staining your concrete to develop a darker color, you still need to sand your entire floor, not just the areas with imperfections. Because sanding opens up pores in the concrete if you sand one section and not the other, the stain will penetrate the slab unevenly and the coloring that develops will look different all across the surface.
A-Core has been helping individuals and companies alike in delivering high-quality, professional concrete services. Our client-centric approach paired with a talented team of experienced managers, project foremen, estimators, mechanics, and administrative staff, means good work done right. Our dedication to safety and service is an experience that makes for a lasting impression on our clients and partners. For any concrete sanding needs or other concrete services, call A-Core today.