Some other areas where the reputation of polished concrete has tremendous strength are durability and its closely-linked friend, maintenance. It seems you don’t have to look very far with polished concrete to come across claims all but guaranteeing decades of service can be yours without so much as a mop in sight.
Polished concrete also needs some TLC
When done properly polished concrete can be extremely resilient, however any notions of maintenance-free flooring are more than a touch fanciful. The reality is all floors will need to be looked after if you want to preserve aesthetics. Good practices like regular cleaning and inspection, careful movement of heavy items (e.g. lifting not dragging), use of mats at entrances and suitable traffic use are simply not negotiable. If a high-gloss finish is desired, most will tell you extra treatment will be required down the track to refresh and rejuvenate.
Looks aren’t the only thing that can suffer on a neglected polished concrete floor either. The longevity of the floor can be compromised if owners fall into the bullet-proof thinking trap.
Polished concrete is still concrete after all
When it’s all said and done, polished concrete is still ordinary concrete at heart and it comes with the same potential weaknesses. For instance, joints will still look like joints, cracks will still be cracks and underneath it all you are still dealing with a porous material. If these matters aren’t addressed properly then you could still be exposed to the same type of risks we discussed in a previous series on this blog (re-visit why coating concrete floors will save you money here).
A couple of things to keep in mind
It’s worth noting that the densifiers used for hardening typically don’t seal the surface like a coating would. For instance, spilled red wine left overnight can result in a permanent stain rather than remain a cleanable puddle. Also, some hydrophobic sealers can be extremely difficult to bond to and, therefore, limit your flooring options down the track.
If you have any questions about maintenance of polished concrete, please don’t hesitate to contact me.