Archive for June 2014

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Industrial Concrete Floor Characteristics

What makes industrial floors different from typical concrete floors and what are the special requirements for industrial floor design and construction?

In the past, the process of building a concrete floor was not quite demanding and sophisticated, as not many people were aware of the technicalities, the different ways in which they could measure a floor, build it or how all these factors could affect the final product of their work.

Whether used on the manufacturing plant of a factory, in the residential basement of a CEO or a big-box store, concrete floors are needed. When talking to a concrete contractor, one does not stop to ask about the differences between the methods used now and back then and whether they need industrial concrete floors or commercial. But what are these differences?industrial commercial concrete floor finishes

Industrial floors are unlike the typical concrete floors and although the reasons are not simple, they are convincing. There are many ways in which someone can measure a floor, pass it or fail it. Back when there was no knowledge of the F-numbers, used to measure characteristics such as flatness or levelness, the only means available was a ruler. After the measuring was done, the verdict was passed based on what the technician was looking to achieve. Now, in view are only the requirements of the space in use and, to meet those needs, the contractor must use special methods and slabs.

The slabs used in both commercial and industrial concrete flooring have special requirements based on the flatness or levelness required by each project. They can be found in nearly every type of building there is and, whether they exist below a layer of flooring material such as concrete, in this case, they provide foundation for all building foundations. You should keep in mind that the contractor must use special techniques to place and finish the concrete. They can be placed and finished by hand or by using laser-guided screeds and power towels.

Nonetheless, you should also pay attention to other types of requirements such as surface hardness, finish and colour. All of these contribute to the construction and design requirements of a floor and, for getting better informed, you should read the Guide for Concrete Floor and Slab Construction. By doing that, you might avoid the so-called bugholes, which affect the surface aesthetics of the industrial concrete floors and represent a problem contractors want to minimize. They do not exceed 9/16 inches and they result from the entrapment of air bubbles on the surface of the formed concrete structure during its placement or consolidation.

These types of floors can be suspended or can be built on grade. Those which are suspended can often be built on metal decking, which can be defined as a structural steel supporting a corrugated sheet of metal. In this case, achieving high flatness and levelness values can be difficult, as the frames can be deflected under the weight of the concrete.

Whether it is colour, slabs, density of the concrete or finish, the industrial floors are different in which that they can meet the needs of a space and buyer better than the typical concrete floor.

If you are looking to have your commercial concrete slab finished, contact us for a free estimate 

What to Know Before You Install Your Concrete Floor

The basement is one of the first places we think of renovating when looking to increase the usable square footage in our homes. In an ideal situation, it would be nice to paint and refinish the floor and begin looking at it like a functional space. What many are not aware of is that problems that can exist in a basement may not even show signs or symptoms. Some of the more common issues can be dry rot, humidity problems, slow leaks and moisture intrusion.

While it may be simple to see moisture in your windows via condensation or moisture behind your walls, what can even be more threatening to your investment is moisture protruding from your concrete slab.

In severe cases, moisture in a concrete slab will exhibit symptoms like colour blushing, dark spots or a white powder growing from the floor. With evidence like this, it is obvious that something needs to be done in order to rectify the problem prior to installing expensive new flooring.

concrete moisture test ottawaThis is not a problem that can be put off until later or easily ignored because when you put something on top of your floor, it is no longer able to breathe and the moisture becomes trapped and can lead to mould.

Even in cases where there is no visual or olfactory evidence, there can be an underlying moisture problem. The only way to know for sure that you are not throwing money out the window when laying new hardwood, carpet, tile, laminated bamboo, marmoleum, cork or click flooring is to perform a moisture test.

Moisture tests can be done rather inexpensively by taping down a piece of clear plastic and monitoring it for moisture on the underside over a 48 hour period. This test is fairly crude compared to hiring a concrete professional to do a digital calcium chloride test.

For a cost of around $150, hiring a professional is an inexpensive insurance to protect the health of your family and your bank account. While ‘winging it’ may not often lead to disaster, when it does, recovering from it is certainly more expensive and time consuming than preparing for it well in advance, not to mention the impact on the environment when throwing out building materials that have become contaminated due to a moisture intrusion problem.

If you are planning on a DIY project for your basement flooring, contact a moisture test professional to acquire our moisture testing services and be sure your project is protected form moisture damage.

Some DIYers will go that extra mile and rent a home depot type floor scrubber or sander to prepare a slab. This is not only insufficient but can be dangerous for those untrained with concrete preparation. What’s needed for correct concrete surface preparation is a concrete grinder or a shot blaster and typically these machines cannot be rented.

The main difference between the cheap rental and professional tooling is the weight and power of the machine. The cheap rental simply is not heavy enough to place enough down pressure on the floor. You will end up with a machine in your hands that is sliding and skipping around and it will barely affect the surface. if you are creating your own floor, consider hiring a contractor to at least to the floor preparation.

Questions? A concrete expert is waiting for you here