Concrete is obviously an extremely hard material, it’s made from rocks, after all. So, you might wonder about using the bare concrete that’s already in your warehouse or other industrial space as flooring.
It makes sense: the concrete slab in your industrial space is flat, smooth enough and as strong as a street. It should be a great floor, right?
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple, and several reasons make unfinished concrete a poor flooring option, especially in the challenging environment of industrial spaces. An unpolished concrete slab is susceptible to damage from different sources, and it poses a few safety risks for people working on it.
Damage From Equipment and High Traffic
An industrial floor might see high foot traffic and heavy loads from machinery or stored goods. Unfinished concrete could develop several problems from all this stress that lead to costly repairs or total failure.
While your concrete slab looks dry, it’s actually slowly drying out for a long period after it’s poured. It’s vulnerable to cracking during this period if it’s unfinished, and will never perform the way it should if that happens.
Polishing your industrial concrete floor before using it prevents damage like this from happening. Compared to the cost of repairing a slab, finishing it the right way is a cheaper option.
Unfinished Concrete is Vulnerable to Liquids
It may not look like it, but concrete is porous. Meaning it’s full of tiny tubes like a sponge. These holes readily soak up any liquids that spill onto the floor during your industrial processes.
Over time liquid erodes the concrete and leads to damage requiring immediate repair or total failure. This problem is disastrous in Ottawa’s frigid winters, where the expansion and contraction of the freeze/thaw cycle can rip a slab apart.
Properly sealing your concrete floor by polishing it stops spills from entering the pores. Leaving an industrial concrete slab vulnerable to liquid is bad for business.
More Dust From Unfinished Concrete Floors
A typical work day slowly grinds away at the top layer of unfinished concrete, turning it to fine dust. Concrete dust contains high levels of calcium hydroxide, which is bad for workers’ health and machinery performance.
You can spend money paying hourly workers to clean the dust regularly, but it’ll still negatively affect people and equipment. A polished concrete floor has much lower levels of dust, which has many benefits, including:
- More professional appearance
- Higher morale
- Lower health-related costs
- Less equipment maintenance
- Prevents stored goods spoilage
Diminished Reflection Levels
An unpolished concrete floor absorbs light. This may not seem like such a big deal, but darker industrial spaces cause several problems, including:
More lighting needs, meaning higher installation costs and increased monthly energy bills.
Dangerous conditions if workers can’t see well.
Lower productivity because workers’ morale suffers from working in a dull environment.
A bare concrete floor might reflect 40% of the light that falls onto it. On the other hand, a polished concrete floor reflects up to 70%.
All these reasons add up to bare concrete being a poor choice for industrial flooring. If you’d like to have your concrete floor polished by the best team in Ottawa, contact us today to learn more about our process!