Most industrial buildings are made of concrete, with a sturdy concrete slab as the foundation. You might be tempted to use that bare concrete as a floor for your industrial space. It makes sense: it is just a place to work, not look pretty.
But bare concrete is a poor choice for industrial floors for several reasons. While finishing a concrete floor costs more upfront, it could save you money in the long run. Bare concrete floors are more susceptible to damage, release more dust and absorb the light you need to work in your industrial space.
Bare Concrete Is Susceptible To Damage
Concrete looks solid, but it is actually a porous material that absorbs water or all liquids. The porosity of bare concrete leaves it vulnerable to damage from moisture. Moisture that enters concrete can cause it to crack, break down and wear out far before it should.
If water gets down to the rebar in your concrete, it can begin to rust and scale. The scaling process of the steel rebar has enough force to break open concrete. This rusting process could lead to a complete failure of your concrete floor.
The freeze and thaw cycles are also a concern when you have a bare concrete floor in an industrial space. Moisture that enters your slab can freeze and thaw during the cold months and wreak havoc on your slab. The best way to keep water from damaging your concrete floor is to have a polished concrete floor professionally installed.
Dust Is A Much Bigger Problem On Bare Concrete
During the drying process, concrete forms microscopic tunnels called capillaries. Inside the capillaries, you can find calcium hydroxide, a chemical that could cause skin, eye and lung irritation. Calcium hydroxide is released continuously by bare concrete floors, and its dust could affect your workers.
The dust from a bare concrete floor could also damage machinery. In any case, you will be cleaning much more when you have a bare concrete floor. Polishing your concrete floors keeps the dust in the concrete and you have much less maintenance over the years.
You will spend much more on cleaning costs with a bare concrete floor. Leaving your concrete floor bare might save you money to start, but over time it ends up costing you more.
Bare Concrete Floors Absorb Light
An industrial floor made of bare concrete has a dull appearance that doesn’t inspire anyone to do their best work. Bare concrete reflects little light, lowering productivity.
Not only is it harder to work in a dim, bare concrete industrial space, but the electricity bills are also higher. You need light for safety and quality, therefore, with a bare concrete floor, you have to add additional electric lights. This adds to your utility bills and raises your monthly costs considerably.
On the other hand, an industrial space with a polished concrete floor is brighter and uses less energy. This is another example of polished concrete having a higher upfront price but costing much less over time.