Concrete is the most widely used construction material in the entire world, and it can be used for just about any construction job, from building foundations to highway overpasses and sidewalks. Not only that, but it is also the oldest man-made construction material. The ancient Egyptians made a primitive sort of concrete with aggregate and water, though today’s concrete is even tougher. But even the toughest concrete will sometimes need care and upkeep, and this ranges from concrete floor grinding (to put epoxy down) to concrete services that can effect concrete crack repair. Even concrete may get cracks or blemishes sometimes, and a sidewalk or a warehouse’s concrete floor should be fixed up right away. How can this be done? What does concrete floor grinding involve?
All About Concrete
Concrete is made up of sand, aggregate, water, and cement, and once it is poured into place, it can cure (harden) into its final shape. For this reasons, concrete mixer trucks store this material in a rotating drum, to prevent it from settling in the drum and hardening to the point it’s impossible to pour. During a construction job, pouring the concrete foundation is one of the earliest steps, after the foundation itself is dug. Concrete companies will bring over their trucks and set up wooden barriers to define the foundation’s edges, then pour that concrete into place. Workers will use rakes with long handles to smooth over the surface and eliminate any bubbles, and the concrete is ready to start curing.
How strong is this material? Average concrete boasts a strength of 3,000 psi (pounds per square inch), but some other types of concrete offer an incredible strength of 20,000 psi instead. Concrete can be used to make sidewalks and highway overpasses, as mentioned earlier, but it also has its uses indoors. Many buildings are making use of concrete floors where granite, tile, or linoleum flooring is usually found, and concrete’s high durability and performance make it ideal for this role. More buildings than ever feature polished concrete floors, and carpeting can easily be placed atop it. And that’s not even counting the buildings where concrete floors are a must, such as warehouses and auto repair shops.
Concrete Care: Floor Grinding and Sidewalk Lifting
When is it time to perform some concrete floor grinding? Concrete floor grinding machines come in large and small sizes, and the larger ones are used on the floor in general while small ones are used for concrete floor grinding at the edges and corners (where large machines are too bulky for the work). A concrete floor grinder features a rotating disk made of tungsten carbide or silicone carbide, and they might have diamond bits embedded in them. These floor grinders may remove 1/8th of an inch of material, and the user will walk behind it as they pass over the concrete floor many times to make it as smooth as possible. The smaller concrete floor grinding devices are handheld, and are used at corners to finish the job completely. Once this is done, epoxy and other coating can be applied to the concrete floor, to make it more attractive and durable. Epoxies can make the floor resistant to stains, and it’s easy to paint on a treated concrete floor like this.
Meanwhile, what is concrete raising? This is a process used on a faulty sidewalk that has started sagging and cracking, due to the earth underneath becoming too heavy with water. Such uneven sidewalks have huge, ugly cracks in them, and the uneven surface is hazardous to foot traffic and light vehicles such as bicycles and skateboards. A concrete patio might suffer a similar experience.
So, concrete lifting services can be hired, and these workers will use machines to perform a minimally invasive procedure to fix that sidewalk. The workers will inject materials that will expand underneath the concrete, and thus lift it up and restore its proper level on the surface. Once that is done, touch-up work to seal the cracks and smooth out the surface can be done, and the sidewalk is ready for use. This process is a fairly quick one, and once the material is injected and the sidewalk is leveled out, it can be used almost right away.