Protecting Polished Concrete Floors with Sealers

Protecting Polished Concrete Floors with SealersStain protectors, guards and sealers are vital for ongoing polished concrete floor maintenance.

The final step in the concrete polishing process involves the application of a stain
protector. Stain protection is vital to the long term aesthetics of polished concrete, providing protection from discoloring penetrating stains and chemical etches. There are three main categories of stain protectors for polished concrete; penetrating, semi-penetrating guards and topical sealers. Each has its own features and benefits and its own required upkeep schedule.

3 Types of Polished Concrete Sealers

  1. Penetrating sealers: Made from a variety of silicones (silane, siloxane, silicate and siliconate) that penetrate deep into the surface. By sealing the access channels into the interior of the concrete, they shield against infiltration of liquids. Because they allow the concrete to breathe, these products are a good option for outdoor surfaces. Ideal for industrial facilities that want to avoid frequent applications, they provide invisible protection to the flooring. Since these sealers are not a topical layer, they do not alter the surface appearance by creating additional gloss or sheen and they also are not subject to being abraded away by foot traffic. However, they can breakdown over time and will need reapplication periodically. Use a sprayer and microfiber to apply this type of sealer.
  2. Semi-penetrating sealers: Often known as guard products, these have a topical aspect that will increase a floor’s surface sheen while also providing stain resistance and repelling water. Ideal for both indoor and outdoor concrete, these sealers (applied with a sprayer and microfiber) wear faster than polyurethanes and epoxies and need to be re-applied depending on the amount of foot traffic.
  3. Topical sealers: Give the concrete a high glossy shine while forming a protective film on the surface, like polyurethane and epoxy. They are economical and easy to apply by spray or roller. These sealants repel water and provide a durable chemical and abrasive resistant surface. Ideal for retail spaces where the vibrant color and high sheen of the flooring is an essential part of the design. They need to be re-applied periodically due to traffic wear and some may yellow due to UV exposure. Regular maintenance to prevent stains and scuffs is required to keep the surface looking its best.

Regular Maintenance

The type of sealer you select determines the frequency and extent of routine maintenance. For industrial floors, penetrating stain protectors offer better protection and liquid repellency than topical sealers. Because they are not a coating like topical products, stains and spills need to be removed promptly to prevent damage. Diamond impregnated pads can be used to mechanically clean and maintain floors. They come in a variety of grits for a variety of needs.

Use Diamond Pads to:

  • enhance the natural gloss and shine
  • deep scrub or strip a floor before recoating
  • repair damage from stains and etching
  • apply a light honing
  • prepare a floor for sealer application

Burnishing

If you over-apply a sealer and need to remove a leftover haze or film, you can burnish with a high grit polishing pad to enhance gloss after reapplying the sealer or guard. Use a diamond impregnated pad in conjunction with a burnisher to eliminate the excess.

Runyon Surface Prep Rental & Supply is a full-service sales and rental facility uniquely dedicated to the concrete polishing industry. Our uniqueness comes from providing our customers with a diverse equipment, product and supply portfolio. We offer training and support, such as technique workshops on prep, polishing or removal, and maintain a well-stocked inventory of consumables ready for your projects at a moment’s notice. Rather than perform contract work ourselves, we consult on job sites when necessary. With the backing of our vendors, Runyon Surface Prep offers support at any level, to assist in helping you get things done. We can deliver or ship wherever you need, or you can pick up from our facility.

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An Overview of Diamond Impregnated Pads for Polished Concrete

An Overview of Diamond Impregnated Pads for Polished ConcreteThe term “Diamond Impregnated Pad” typically refers to a lofty non-woven janitorial pad that has been sprayed, dipped or otherwise coated with diamond abrasive suspended in a binder, often a phenolic resin or form of latex. Diamond Impregnated Pads (DIPs) are very versatile tool that can be useful in the installation, on-going maintenance and rejuvenation of polished concrete. They are made in a wide spectrum of grits and sizes and can be run under auto scrubbers, swing machines, high speed burnishers and even planetary grinders.

There are a multitude of manufacturers of DIPs and one should always follow the directions of the specific maker of the pad being used, but in general usage:

  • They are useful for burnishing out guards under a high speed burnisher or planetary grinder at high speed
  • DIPs can be used for regular, routine maintenance under an auto scrubber or swing machine
  • Scrubbers and high speed burnishers can be used in conjunction with DIPs to perform light rejuvenation on worn polished concrete floors
  • Etches in polished concrete resulting from exposure to acidic or alkali substances can be mitigated or minimized with the use of DIPs under janitorial equipment

Diamond impregnated pads are an important tool to have in the toolbox, as evidenced above. If you have any questions about how to best integrate DIPs into your polished concrete install or maintenance regimen, give Runyon Surface Prep a call and we will be happy to help you out.

Runyon Surface Prep Rental & Supply is a full-service sales and rental facility uniquely dedicated to the concrete polishing industry. Our uniqueness comes from providing our customers with a diverse equipment, product and supply portfolio. We offer training and support, such as technique workshops on prep, polishing or removal, and maintain a well-stocked inventory of consumables ready for your projects at a moment’s notice. Rather than perform contract work ourselves, we consult on job sites when necessary. With the backing of our vendors, Runyon Surface Prep offers support at any level, to assist in helping you get things done. We can deliver or ship wherever you need, or you can pick up from our facility.

Restoring Polished Concrete After Spills & Stains

Restoring Polished Concrete After Spills & Stains

Polished concrete is a fantastic flooring choice for industrial facilities, commercial spaces and retail stores. Though durable and low-maintenance, it is possible to damage this type of flooring. Liquids left on a polished surface can stain or etch, especially if it is citric, acidic or caustic in nature. Stain protectors are added as a final layer to prevent damage.

Removing Scratches and Stains

If an etch happens, use diamond impregnated pads and specially formulated cleaners to restore the concrete. The condition of the floor determines which grit to start at to remove scratches and stains. Always start with the least aggressive grit that will effectively remediate the etch. They can lighten a surface and remove dyes.

Polished concrete cleaners are formulated to remove dirt without damaging the
refinement or aesthetic values of the floor. They work with stain protectors to retain color and prevent further damage. The source of a spill will determine how to clean it. We compiled a list of substances that can stain when spilled and the appropriate way to clean them.

  • Acidic Substances (e.g. cola, milk, pickles, mustard): Acids will etch if not removed quickly. Clean immediately with fresh water or a concrete cleaner like Prosoco DailyKlean.
  • Adhesives: Remove the tape with a razor blade, being careful not to scratch the floor surface. Use Prosoco Wax & Cure Remover or acetone to eliminate the gummy residue.
  • Alkaline Substances (e.g. laundry soap, ammonia): Clean spills quickly and minimize stains by using a concrete cleaner like Prosoco DailyKlean. Refresh the gloss with a stain guard such as Prosoco LSGuard.
  • Candy: Remove the substance from the floor and clean any sticky residue with a concrete cleaner. Prosoco DailyKlean works well for this.
  • Chocolate: To get rid of most stains, dilute Prosoco Cleaner/Degreaser in a 1:10 ratio and light scrub.
  • De-Icing Salts: Use a concrete cleaner like Prosoco DailyKlean to remove the deposits.
  • Grease, Oil, Brake Fluid: Following a spill, clean with Prosoco Cleaner/Degreaser diluted to a 1:10 ratio with water.
  • Set-in Stains: Use Prosoco Oil & Grease Stain Remover to pull out tough stains. For deep stains, you may need to apply more than once.
  • Gum: Remove quickly to avoid staining and gently scrape up the remains. Eliminate leftover residue with Prosoco Wax & Cure Remover.
  • Heel Marks: Rub scuff marks with a concrete cleaner like Prosoco DailyKlean.
  • Mildew – For biological staining, treat the area with Prosoco EnviroKlean ReVive.
  • Tire Marks – Scrub smudges with Prosoco Cleaner/Degreaser.
  • Water Spots – Use of a high-speed rotary burnishing machine gets rid of most water spots quickly. On stubborn spots, dilute Prosoco LSGuard in a 1:10 ratio with water and lightly mist the surface before burnishing. The product creates a wet-looking shine.

Runyon Surface Prep Rental and Supply – Dedicated to the Surface Prep Industry

Runyon Surface Prep is a full-service sales and rental facility uniquely dedicated to the concrete polishing industry. Our uniqueness comes from providing our customers with a diverse equipment, product and supply portfolio. We offer training and support, such as technique workshops on prep, polishing or removal, and maintain a well-stocked inventory of consumables ready for your projects at a moment’s notice. Rather than perform contract work ourselves, we consult on job sites when necessary. With the backing of our vendors, Runyon Surface Prep offers support at any level, to assist in helping you get things done. We can deliver or ship wherever you need, or you can pick up from our facility.

The Benefits of Polished Concrete & How to Maintain It

The Benefits of Polished Concrete & How to Maintain It

Polished concrete is a cost-effective alternative to traditional flooring. Ideal for use in industrial and commercial spaces, polished concrete is most often used in large warehouses, retail stores, office buildings or private residences. By treating an existing concrete subfloor with a multi-step polishing process, no other materials are needed.

The Benefits of Polished Concrete

  • Ecologically Efficient: installation requires no other flooring materials
  • Cost Effective: it has a long life span
  • Environmentally-Friendly: it releases no toxic fumes or VOCs
  • Easy-to-Maintain: low up-keep
  • Durable: it does not rip or scuff – can withstand heavy foot traffic
  • Allergen-Free: does not harbor dust mites, pet dander or mold
  • Versatile: it comes in a variety of colors, finishes and sheens
  • Reflectivity: the high-shine cuts down on the need for artificial lighting

The Polished Concrete Process

Thorough prepping of the concrete beforehand, to remove stains and moisture, helps to achieve quality results. The grinding stage removes imperfections and flattens the concrete surface by refining with a progressive sequence of diamond tooling, starting with lower grit metal bond tools (e.g. 30s then 70s), hybrid coppers and finally with resins. Depending on the porosity of the concrete, densify after 200 or 400 grit to harden the floor. Then continue on with resins to polish the floor up to whatever level of shine your job requires (e.g. 400, 800, 1500). As a best practice: protect the floor with a topical guard or penetrating stain resistor. Guards/sealers are preferable for retail or commercial floors that require an aesthetic appearance. However, keep in mind that they are topical, so will scratch, scuff and walk off over time depending on level of foot traffic. Penetrating stain resistors help to tighten up the floor at a sub-surface level, protecting against spills, water, etc. These are ideal for industrial floors or floors that don’t require as shiny of an appearance, but need the stain resistance.

Properly Maintaining a Polished Concrete Floor

Although polished concrete flooring is relatively low-maintenance, it is not maintenance-free. Polished concrete typically does not require frequent sealing. Abrasive dirt and grime can result in the top coat sealant, wearing down and losing its luster. As a result, proper cleaning is needed to keep the high gloss shine from dulling.

  • Dust Mop Daily: this will remove dirt and grime accumulation
  • Frequent Wet Mopping: use water with an appropriate cleaner – avoid harsh chemicals that can break down the sealant
  • Use a pH Neutral Cleaner: solvents with too much acidity or alkalinity can dissolve the concrete and dull the shine
  • Work in Small Sections: keep the cleaner from drying and leaving a haze by tackling small sections
  • Correct Floor Pads: use softer (higher grit) cleaning pads to prevent scratching and etching e.g. white pads
  • Automatic Floor Scrubber: use non-abrasive attachments to clean large areas i.e. soft brushes, not coarse black brushes
  • Wipe Up Spills: prevent stains by cleaning them up immediately

Runyon Surface Prep Rental & Supply is a full-service sales and rental facility uniquely dedicated to the concrete polishing industry. Our uniqueness comes from providing our customers with a diverse equipment, product and supply portfolio. We offer training and support, such as technique workshops on prep, polishing or removal, and maintain a well-stocked inventory of consumables ready for your projects at a moment’s notice. Rather than perform contract work ourselves, we consult on job sites when necessary. With the backing of our vendors, Runyon Surface Prep offers support at any level, to assist in helping you get things done. We can deliver or ship wherever you need, or you can pick up from our facility.

RSP Q8 Series – Quality Diamond Tooling for Superior Concrete Polishing

Runyon Surface Prep’s Q8 Series of wet/dry diamond tooling offers high-quality compositions and a variety of grit/bond distinctions to complete any polishing job.

Today’s contractors have a wide variety of concrete flooring styles and finish options from which to choose. Successfully prepping and polishing concrete begins with selecting the right grit and type of diamond tool to use. To narrow down your options, know the hardness of the concrete (hard, medium or soft) and the desired finish you wish to achieve for your customer.

Know Your Concrete’s Hardness

One of the most frequently used terms in diamond tooling is bond. It refers to the matrix that suspends the diamonds. The type of concrete hardness determines whether you will need a hard bond tool (for soft concrete) or a soft bond tool (for hard concrete). Using the incorrect diamond tool can slow down productivity and incur additional cost for replacement tools. We’ve simplified our Q8 metal bond tools with an easy identification delineation:

RSP Q8 Bond Code

The Runyon Tooling Line Has What You Need

RSP Figure 8 - back designThe components of our diamond tooling line are high-quality compositions. They are color-coded for easy identification, come in a variety of grit/bond distinctions and feature interchangeable attachment styles. The RSP Q8 Series comes with a Figure 8 design on the back of the tool to allow them to fit several different floor grinder types. Runyon Surface Prep metal bonds are 10mm rather than 8mm, like other products. They feature 20% more diamond content than comparable brands and offer a tighter scratch pattern when polishing.

RSP Tooling Line Color Codes

RSP Q8 Metal Bond Series Diamond Tools:

  1. RSP Q8 Metal Bond ToolsRSP Q8 Nitro Mastic Tool: It’s designed specifically for mastic removal, but can also remove glue and epoxy. This tool is for prep work before.
  2. RSP Q8 Trac PCD: Available in both left and right alignment, this tool aggressively removes material quickly. Its bar design ensures a constant cutting depth.
  3. RSP 4-Seg Quattro Metal Bond Tool: Like a cap cutter, this heavy cutting tool is ideal for exposing large sections of aggregate. Perfect for 110V, swing, and light grinding machines.
  4. RSP Turbo Tulip Tool: This tool creates a very tight scratch pattern, which makes a seamless transition to resins. It is ideal for the beginning stages of polishing.
  5. RSP 8-Seg Metal Bond Tool: A wet or dry premium tool with 20% more diamond content than the RSP 10-Seg. Ideal for prepping floors for polishing, dry cutting terrazzo or for taking lippage out of marble wet.
  6. RSP 10-Seg Metal Bond Tool: This is the standard diamond tool in the Runyon line. It is excellent for the initial step in polishing. The tool’s matrix is made of premium metals and can be used wet or dry.

We Help You Find the Right Tool

Runyon Surface Prep has the polishing tools to fit your needs. Whether you are looking for a wet or dry polishing system to hone and polish your customer’s concrete flooring, we have the tool you desire.

Other Runyon Surface Prep tooling available:

  1. RSP Transitionals, Resins, Hand Pads & DIPsRSP Copper Transitionals: Designed to be used wet on heavier machinery, these 8mm pads contain a very high diamond content mixed with copper resin. They are perfect for removing rough scratches put on the floor by other metals.
  2. RSP Race Resins: Made with phenolic resin with beveled edges, these 10mm pads are for dry polishing concrete and overlays. They work with heavy machines and provide a high gloss finish at lower grits.
  3. RSP Hand Polishing Pads: In our line, we offer Drift Drys and Whip Wets, which come in 5” and 7” for use in polishing the edges and corners of floors where machines cannot reach. As the names suggest, these hand pads are suitable for wet and dry grinding.
  4. RSP Rocky Dips: These high-speed diamond impregnated pads are for general use. They remove topical sealer, scuff marks, light surface scratches and can be used for refinement, terrazzo restoration and burnishing.

For the full presentation on our new Runyon Tooling Line, download the PDF here.

Runyon Surface Prep Rental and Supply – Dedicated to the Surface Prep Industry

Runyon Surface Prep Rental and Supply is a full-service sales and rental facility uniquely dedicated to the surface prep industry. We currently service more than 28 states throughout the U.S. from our headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana and our west coast division. Our uniqueness comes from providing our customers with a diverse equipment portfolio for rental, expert equipment training and support, such as technique workshops on prep, polishing or removal, and maintaining a well-stocked inventory of consumables ready for your projects at a moment’s notice. Rather than perform contract work ourselves, we consult on job sites when necessary. With the backing of our vendors, Runyon Surface Prep Rental and Supply offers support at any level, to assist in helping you get things done. We can deliver or ship wherever you need, or you can pick up from our facility.