This blog is dedicated to my good friend and concrete colleague Elaine Toogood. She recently inspired me to ‘get off my horse and write my blog.’ This came about through a discussion on sandpaper of all things.
"80 grit? 120 grit or indeed True Grit?" That was the question.
Of course we weren’t discussing the thespian talents of John Wayne or even listening to Glen Campbell... because the usual focus was on Visual Concrete of course. The subject in Elaine's holster was if sandpaper was a good idea to use for cleaning concrete surfaces…
We never got round to having that shoot out before, during or even after Eco Build. So in the spirit of sharing and, as John Wayne once said, “Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday.” here's what I think:
Ok, so if you want to find your True Grit for dry or wet cleaning concrete then Diamonds are a concrete’s best friend. Flexible Nickel encrusted Diamond hand...
Curing polished concrete floors has been and continues to be a topic with illusive answers and continual questions. Thus far I have not encountered what I would call a perfect system when considering the potential ramifications of aesthetic quality that curing systems have on a floor. For industrial purposes the consensus of opinion seems to be fairly agreed but I am yet to be convinced about popular curing methods for the high end domestic flooring market. However, it is well worthy of discussion and if any proven solution arises in the future I will blog it. Also, if anyone else has a system to recommend please get in touch.
What is curing and why cure a floor?
Curing concrete is the process by which newly placed concrete is kept moist so it can keep gaining strength. For industrial flooring this is especially important in terms of increasing surface wearing capability and reducing overall maintenance costs. For the domestic scenario wearing capacity becomes less important and the ae...
Elaine Toogood of the Concrete Centre recently wrote an interesting Blog http://www.thisisconcrete.co.uk/home_page/blogs/painted_concrete_-_elaine.aspx about painting exposed concrete, particularly soffits. This got me thinking as on many projects we work on the stock solution for fixing any problems (contractor banter) is “paint it”. I can see the attraction from a trouble shooting perspective but thus far have never experienced it myself.
We’ve been consulting and training local contractors on cleaning a soffit recently. The surface area is huge. Basically the soffit is top notch but is as troublesome as the last one I saw. Whilst cast extremely well it has a multitude of stains from reinforcement rust, airborne dirt, boot dirt, the odd poker burn, and the ever present dogbone spacer indentation. The staining is really the issue here and how to get it off. Covering it with paint would be a solution of course but I suspect this will not be the route in this instance and would (in my o...
Blowholes seem to have been the flavour of the month this January causing all sorts of debate and dilemma. We recognise Blowholes as a category of remedial works but within a framework that also sees them as friendly helpful nuances of fair faced concrete, giving it a sense of uncompromising honesty. Blowholes also perform a superbly useful role of helping to detract from other more urgent visual defects that warrant greater attention. Luckily they guide the eye away from nearby remedial works by being punctuated points of interest.
Much like the Architectural Concrete Repair Category blogs (which will continue to be posted by the way), Visual Concrete Finishes will be a series aiming to share my own personal experience of placing and finishing exposed concrete with some additional notes on technical aspects, what to expect, ideas on design details and how to look after the concrete when you are living with it.
The first part of this series will focus on Polished Concrete Flooring primarily for the domestic market, as this is where my experience lies. The Polished Concrete Flooring blogs will form five parts as follows:
Post finishing and after care
Just to say that the opinion, ideas, technical details and potential materials used are only my take on this rather broad and extensive subject. If anyone has any alternative opinion or additional information to add to this series, please do contact me and I will post it.