Epoxy Joint Filler is the Best Bet for Joints on Concrete Floors

MM80 Epoxy Joint FillerConcrete floors often have control joints, or deep V shaped grooves that run along the breadth of the floor and give the appearance of distinct slabs. Such joints are there not for the design but for a purpose – it prevents the floor from cracking. Concrete normally expands or contracts with changes in temperature, and this causes it to crack. Control joints provide a weakened line in the concrete and thereby direct the crack to run its course through these lines.

Many home or premises owners may want to get rid of control joints, to provide a seamless look to the floor. However, at the same time they would still want to ensure the integrity of their floors, and prevent them from cracking. Using epoxy joint fillers allows them to achieve the best of both worlds.

Epoxy fillers are 100% solid epoxy formulation crack filler, resembling hard rubber. It is resilient, even at temperatures as low as 10°F, facilitating the expansion of concrete floors without the effect manifesting on the floor. Its semi rigid characteristic facilitates a greater traction on the concrete edges of joints. This product is also resistant to most common chemicals.

Apart from effectively masking control joints, epoxy joint filler is also the material of choice to fill construction joints, isolation joints, chipped away chunks, holes, or any other depressions that accumulate over time.

The process of applying epoxy joint filler is simple.

  1. Mix in the ratio recommended by the manufacturer, which is usually 1:2.
  2. Add dry bagged fine sized sand to the solution, for harder resin and increased rigidity.
  3. Pour the solution into the cracks and joints that require filling up. Alternatively inject it into the joint using a caulking gun.

Alternatives to epoxy joint filler, such as latex caulk, are soft and shrink when dry, causing depressions and undulations. To get the seamless look for your floor, check out the line of epoxy joint fillers available at Runyon Surface Prep.

How to Effectively Grind and Polish Terrazzo

Terrazzo is one of the oldest flooring styles, but it’s still popular, even after all these years. In terrazzo, marble or granite chips are set in concrete or cement and polished, to provide a smooth surface. Unlike marble or granite slabs, terrazzo offers the potential of innovative designs and color combinations, and does not compromise the strength of the floor in any way.

The process of laying terrazzo floors is fairly simple, but still requires the use of the right tools to secure a floor that will last. Mix the marble and cement, or the other materials in use, pour it on the surface, ground it down flat, and smooth it out to the required finish, usually 100-grit. Next, apply a Terrazzo sealer, and multiple coats of floor wax or finish, as required.

Whether it is a new floor or a restoration, terrazzo grinding and polishing are the two critical tasks, on which the finish of the floor rests.Terrazzo Grinding

The standard method of terrazzo grinding is wet-grinding:

  1. Ensure an even surface, by eliminating all grooves
  2. Clean the floor to remove coarse abrasives and residual debris
  3. Use a floor surface grinder machine with the proper terrazzo grit matrices installed

The terrazzo grinding and polishing process uses diamond abrasives categorized according to grit size. Lower number grits are coarser and higher number grits are finer. Diamond polished terrazzo maintains its shine for a very long time.

Specific types of marbles may require dry grinding, which is more complicated. In either instance, concrete grinding machines are necessary to acquire the finish and strength of the terrazzo floor you wish to accomplish.

Tips to Buying the Right Concrete Sealer

Concrete SealerA concrete sealer will make a concrete floor or countertop look good and stay fresh over many years.

Concrete, left untreated, is highly porous, and hence, prone to stains and scratches. According to the American Concrete Institute, concrete sustains the most damage from moisture or chemical intrusion. Traditionally, basic materials like acrylic or wax were used to seal concrete. However, with the range of technological advancements today, one can choose from a wide selection of professional concrete sealers that resist heat, stains and scratches. You can also opt for food-safe concrete sealers for kitchen countertops – these also provide an easy-to-maintain experience.

The first thing to look for when buying a concrete sealer is if it suits the end use of your concrete product. For instance, sealers for concrete floors are vastly different from concrete sealers for countertops. Also, if you are using a concrete sealer on a decorative surface, you may need to check with the manufacturer or an expert on whether it is likely to interact with coloring agents or overlays. You can pick from two basic types of sealers: penetrating sealers and topical sealers. Do note that if your concrete has a glossy finish, only penetrating sealers, wax and densifiers/hardeners can be used on it.

Pick a sealer depending on the type of finish you want for the end product: colored finishes generally look good with a wet look. In this case, go for concrete sealers with a high-glossy sheen. Acrylic and solvent-based sealers are available in an array of sheens. If you would rather not go for a shiny look, check out products with low-gloss or matte finishes. Alternately, you can use a penetrating sealer, which is nearly invisible after application as it soaks into the concrete.

For a DIY project, it is important that you are able to use the surface soon after you have it prepped and ready. In that case, you can avoid going for polyurethane and epoxy sealers, which need a long time to set—more than 24 hours to be completely cured. The swiftest-drying sealers are acrylic, which may be ready for light use in as little as 12 hours.

If you plan to use a solvent-based sealer, do check that its VOC content falls within the legally acceptable limits for the area. The VOC content will be listed, among other things, on the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or specification sheet of the product. Also do note that if you are using the sealer indoors, it would be wiser to opt for a water-based product. Solvent-based sealers are highly flammable, besides emitting noxious fumes.

Check if the concrete sealer manufacturer provides a warranty on the product. If yes, do take care to apply the product exactly as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Also, when buying a sealer, go in for the best product that suits your requirements, noting that price often equals quality.

Protect Against Mold with an Ermator HEPA Air Scrubber

Air ScrubberMachinery like jackhammers that pound, drill, scrub or scrape the surface of any worksite generates dust and air pollutants. Breaking down concrete, for instance, results in the spread of hazardous dust containing respirable crystalline silica (RCS), exposure to which causes silicosis.

Facemasks and other protective equipment are limited in their effectiveness, and moreover restrain the worker. A far more convenient and effective solution is installing air scrubbers at the work site. Air scrubbers comprise a filtration machine that removes gases, chemicals and other particles from the air within its range.

Air scrubbers suck in contaminated air, remove harmful dust and particles and emit fresh air. To remove pollutants, they adopt different technologies. The most common spray nozzle scrubbers emit a mist of water or other liquid, with adapted chemicals, into the air to form water droplets. Absorption or chemical reaction with the water solution removes the aerosol, gaseous pollutants and other particles from the air. Fiber bed scrubbers adopt a process of filtration using fiber beds, but this type is unsuitable where there are solid pollutants, as solids may clog these types of filters.

Air scrubbers come in various types. Small sized air scrubbers handle only one type of pollutant, whereas heavy duty industrial grade air scrubbers handle multiple or all contaminants. Most scrubbers complete six cycles of operation an hour.

If you are working on DIY tasks, such as renovating your kitchen, or building a patio, or if you are a contractor who works in a constant environment of harmful dust particles and chemicals, the rental of an air scrubber can literally be a lifesaver to you and your workforce.

Air scrubbers can keep your workers safe from harmful chemicals and exposure to contaminants that are damaging to the skin, lungs and immune system. Don’t put your workforce at risk; instead, employ the use of Ermator Industrial HEPA air scrubber rentals on your work site and protect your employees!

Concrete Polishing is Fast Becoming the Ultimate Flooring Solution

concrete polishing

When it comes to floors, concrete is unbeatable for its strength and durability. However, the inability to provide a smooth and polished finish to concrete floors and surfaces invariably forces a layer of marble, linoleum, tile or other material above the concrete. Recent advances in polishing techniques however make it possible to grind concrete floors, and thanks to this, polished concrete is now becoming the ultimate no-wax flooring material in offices, retail spaces, warehouses and even homes.

Concrete polishing equipment provides a high-gloss, and superior finish to concrete floors, rivaling most alternatives. What’s more, the effect is long-lasting, and the gloss does not require wax or coating to sustain. The machines come in many types, ranging from hand held units to specialized heavy-duty machinery. All types consist of diamond-impregnated disks and diamond polishing pads.

  1. The first step in concrete polishing is to treat the surface with a chemical densifier, normally lithium or sodium. The densifier forms a hard layer that is easier to grind. Mixing stains to the densifier provides the required color or design to the concrete floor.
  2. The next step is to grind the concrete with concrete polishing equipment, to the desired grit. The minimum grinding required for polished concrete is 400 grits. Higher grit delivers greater shine and smoothness. Most concrete polishing equipment touch 3000 grits.

The trick in using the machine to get a perfect finish and avoid circular marks, as the machine meanders around the surface, is to proceed slowly and apply even, vertical pressure to the concrete polisher. The optimum weight applied and speed ultimately depends on the floor surface and the type of machine. For instance, uneven floors and lighter machines may require application of extra force than normal.

Polished floors look attractive, are highly resistant to moisture, staining, and damage from wear and tear. You can use concrete polishing equipment for your home, office, commercial space or industrial facility, or elsewhere, to give your floors that incredibly smooth and sparkling finish.