Guide to Cleaning Up Oil Spills on Concrete

Aside from daily maintenance, there are times when unexpected spills happen. Left untreated, they can leave behind discoloration and stain your otherwise beautiful floor. In the case of our warehouse, we had hydraulic fluid leak onto our floor as we were unloading a large piece of equipment. Luckily, we were quick to remediate the situation and document (with pictures) the entire process.

We were unloading a power trowel off a pallet when we noticed a bit of fluid was leaking. Upon further investigation, it was identified as hydraulic fluid and was dripping onto the floor. Our team was extremely responsive in both identifying and stopping the leak.

Runyon Warehouse Oil Spill

We removed as much of the fluid as possible using clean dry cloths. It’s important to remember that polished concrete is not a coating and will absorb the oil, which is why it’s important to get it up as soon as possible. This is also why a dry cloth is the best method to remove as much fluid as you can. The use of mops, auto scrubbers, etc. at this point will only help the fluid penetrate deeper into the concrete.

Once we removed as much fluid from the methods listed above, it was time to use a product specific to oil and stain removal. We chose to use Prosoco Oil & Grease Stain Remover, as this was available in our warehouse and does the job well.

Runyon Warehouse Oil Spill Remediation
Runyon Warehouse Oil Spill Remediation - Prosoco Oil & Grease Stain Remover

The instructions call for the glue like substance to be poured onto the stain and left untouched to dry, which in our case was overnight. The product pulls the contaminants out of the substrate, capturing them in its highly absorbent blend of batter-thick surfactants, solvents and powders.  I attempted to take pictures throughout our workday to track this process.

Runyon Warehouse Oil Spill Remediation - Prosoco Oil & Grease Stain Remover

Once dry, we simply swept up the powdered remains and auto scrubbed the floor as a part of our daily maintenance routine. In all, I believe the biggest contributor to the successful removal of oil and grease stains is to address them as soon as possible. The stain definitely faded in color, but will probably require another treatment or further remediation down the road. Had the concrete not been polished, we would have expected the stain to dissipate completely. Coming from a background in concrete coatings and coating removal, I’ve been curious to compare and contrast differences in polished concrete and coatings. This was a great case study!

Runyon Warehouse Oil Spill - after using Prosoco Oil & Grease Stain Remover
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[INFOGRAPHIC] Densifier Comparison Guide

There are so many concrete densifiers to choose from when sealing and protecting your polished concrete surfaces. So, in order to make your lives a little easier, we’ve laid out the distinct differences between all the major densifier brands we carry. From Ameripolish to Prosoco to Convergent to Scofield to Dayton Superior, there are a variety of options. However, based on your specific needs, your decision may be slightly easier by taking a look at coverage rates, application and type of floor. Use this guide to help with your densifier selection process and let us know if you have any questions!

Densifier Comparison Guide

Crack Chaser Saws Make Crack Repair Easier

Crack chaser saws are designed to help simplify general crack repair in concrete, asphalt and stone. Building contractors, road crews and concrete contractors use crack chaser saws to repair roads, driveways, foundations and sidewalks because the blades not only cut through different materials such as nuts, bolts, rebar, fiberglass, PVC, ductile, HDPE, wire, rock, stone, epoxy, polyurea and caulking, they can follow, or chase, a random crack pattern and widen it so the cracks can be mended with fillers. In addition, crack chaser blades typically will not chip, crack or damage the surface that surrounds the crack.

Benefits of Crack Chaser Saws

  • Simplifies general crack repair
  • Can chase and widen cracks
  • Used on concrete, asphalt, atone and granite
  • Cuts through a variety of materials
  • Blades won’t chip, crack, damage surfaces
  • Can be used for both wet and dry cutting

A random crack chaser saw has a center-mounted blade and caster wheels that allow an operator to follow random crack patterns in the surface of the work area. Typically, an operator can also set a cutting depth with ease, while walking behind the machine.

Joint cleanout saws are use for cleaning out joints as well as concrete sawing and trench cutting. The up-cut rotation of the blade allows for complete material extraction and the saw can include an easy connection to a dust collection system.

The variety of crack chaser saws available from Runyon Surface Prep make your flooring jobs simpler. Below is a detailed comparison:

Crack Chaser Comparisons

5 Simple Steps to Keep Concrete Dyes from Fading

How to Keep Concrete Dye from Fading

Concrete dyes are an attractive way to add color to a concrete floor. However, because of the nature of dye — it penetrates the porous surface to create color, rather than reacting chemically with the concrete — contractors can conduct a few assessments and tests at the job site before determining whether a concrete dye is the right product for the job:

  1. Type of Concrete. Typically, a pure color dye will change slightly, due to the minerals in the concrete, taking on a lighter or darker shade, which can also change with time. Adjust the dye color to the type of concrete for the desired shade.
  1. UV Light Stability. Sunlight can damage dyed concrete floors, causing vibrant colors to fade. Check if windows in the room are made with glass containing UV-protection, which can keep floor color from fading.
  1. Moisture Vapor Test. When moisture in concrete brings salts to the surface, it causes dyes to seep deeper into the floor, diluting their color. Testing for efflorescence cannot only root out a bigger moisture issue, it indicates whether water will cause the color to diminish.
  1. Use Stain. Concrete stains work differently than dyes, reacting chemically with the concrete to create color that is more resistant to fading from sunlight or moisture.
  1. Apply Guard. A proper guard provides long-lasting, breathable protection for the floor and its color. Apply after polishing. 

Fixing Faded Floors

If the concrete floor is already fading:

  • Clean and seal the flooring surface to stop additional fading
  • Remove the sealer, then re-dye the floor and protect with sealer

When you’re looking for quality concrete dyes and sealers, count on Runyon Surface Prep. We carry two of the top-rated concrete dyes and sealant brands in the business. AmeriPolish products assure perfect color that resists fading through cleanings, scrubbings and traffic. Prosoco products are designed to improve the appearance and performance of architectural masonry for years to come.

Browning Chapman’s Exemplary Floors Emphasize the Importance of Concrete Maintenance

Without a proper maintenance plan and the adequate steps taken to ensure a polished surface, concrete is worn by time, stains and foot traffic. However, diligent measures can really go a long way. This next featured customer demonstrates how important it is to not only achieve a finished, polished look, but also the importance of maintaining it after the floor begins to lose its shine. Although the majority of these pictures were taken directly after the floors were initially polished, Browning Chapman also restores and breathes new life into dull floors.

 

Browning Chapman really has a lot of specialties, some of which are evidenced in the photos above. These specialties range from polished concrete to repair and maintenance. And as part of maintenance for its customers, a valuable service, Browning Chapman uses several Clarke products to keep floors looking as shiny as when they were first finished. You can see that this crew’s polished concrete is incredibly reflective, and it will remain so if maintained properly.

Browning Chapman at a glance…

Browning Chapman, LLC is a contracting firm headquartered in Anderson, Indiana. The company specializes in concrete restoration and maintenance work, coating removal, concrete floor prep, structural concrete repairs, epoxy injection work, masonry tuck-pointing and repairs, parking garage repairs and deck coatings, joint sealants, MMA coatings, epoxy coatings, epoxy reflector floors, polished and stained concrete floors, and terrazzo vitrification. Browning Chapman performs work throughout the Midwest on new and existing facilities in the institutional, industrial, retail, commercial, office and distribution warehouse facilities markets.

If you have questions about the products used for any of these jobs, the process, etc., please feel free to contact us or add to the comment section below. Also, please be sure to check out other impressive decorative concrete work in the customer highlights section.

A Successful Sam’s Club Joint Fill Job by Exposed Design Group

Sam’s Clubs endure a large amount of wear and tear, not surprising considering their high volume of traffic. So in addition to regularly maintaining these floors with cleaners, scrubbers, etc., it is also prudent that spalls, cracks and joints are periodically repaired. Exposed Design Group prides itself on the ability to restore concrete floors in this very manner, as evidenced in the photo below.

Sam's Club Polished Store - Exposed

The Project:  a new Sam’s Club store in Burleson, TX

Main Materials Used:  Metzger/McGuire MM-80 and RS88

A little bit of commentary

In a high-traffic load setting like a Sam’s Club, MM-80 was the joint filler of choice for repairing the joints throughout the club’s sales area.  The benefit of using MM-80 over other products is its ability to carry heavy loads on forklifts across floor joints. On the other hand, in the deli/food prep areas, Sam’s decided to use integrally colored concrete and RS88 polyurea.  The benefits here include color choice and speed — how little time it took for the material to cure. As an installer, Exposed preferred the standard MM-80, as its crews could more easily fly through the store, shooting thousands of feet a day by hand. Then the next morning they shaved it off.

More About Exposed:

Exposed Floor Design Group, LLP was formed to bring highly specialized skills to the residential and commercial finish-out community. With more than 25 years of experience in general contracting, waterproofing, decorative concrete and polished concrete, the partners of Exposed Floors have the combined background and diversity to provide customers a service that cannot be matched. Exposed Floors has invested in the right equipment and training of its craftsmen. Each of their products and services require specific, skilled processes, as well as impromptu solutions, to give customers the floors they desire.

If you have more questions about the above project, the Metzger/McGuire products used, etc., then please contact us. For more customer highlights, visit our featured section, and be on the lookout for more to be added soon.

Kent Companies’ Metal Shake Floor Ensures Industrial Strength

Industrial warehouses undergo a substantial amount of wear and tear from heavy machinery, as one would expect. However, keeping factory and facility concrete floors polished and in pristine condition is crucial for efficient daily operation and ease of movement. Kent Companies is currently finishing up a job in a 60,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Grand Rapids, MI that aims to accomplish this very thing.

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The Unique Process

Since the floor in this manufacturing facility is meant to be durable and withstand heavy machinery, pallets, forklifts, etc. Kent Companies mixed aluminum aggregate into the concrete overlay, a process perfected with years and experience. Commonly known as metal shake, this floor is now restored with a polished concrete surface that can better withstand the tough rigors of industrial work. In addition to being stronger, the metal shake floor is open to the production area, which allows for easier turnover and movement through the production line and out the door. This office furniture manufacturing facility involved polishing all aisle ways throughout the plant.  Over 50,000 square feet of polished metal shake aisle ways are now in the facility.

Additional Measures

Kent Companies not only laid and polished metal shake concrete floors, but the crew also created control joints to better manage any cracking that may occur over time. And lastly, AmeriPolish densifier and guard were applied to protect and seal the floor from spillage and stains. The floor is dark already however, so stains will not be as noticeable.

If you are more interested in learning more about how this floor was completed, the products that were used, etc. please feel free to contact a member of the Runyon Surface Prep team, or comment below! For more project posts by Kent Companies, visit the customer highlights page.