By: Joe Noble
The days of super-sized everything arrived about a decade ago, making large concrete-floored buildings common in a sea of commercial applications, including box-retailing, airports, malls, convention halls, and more. It also created demand for concrete polishing unlike anytime in the past. Today, professionally polished or decorated concrete floors are coveted for their clean, low maintenance finish, their dust-free, smooth feel, and for their aesthetically pleasing look. Managers report how polished floors boost morale among employees, improve light reflectivity (reducing light usage) and garner positive customer comments.
The market for concrete polishing and design continues to flourish and evolve. What hasn’t changed is the need to repair cracks, chips, joints and spalls in the floor prior to polishing. Without the proper repair material, the repair will fail, sometimes quickly costing time and money.
Curtis Venable is president of C&C Construction Co., a concrete repair and polishing services provider. Venable said that cracks, spalls and other deformities in the concrete must be properly repaired before polishing. Use of an inadequate repair product, or improper use of a repair product can cause more problems than they solve.
“I don’t want to get a call from a client at midnight wondering why a chip repair popped out in the middle of his floor,” said Venable. “Improper or poor repair prior to polishing is bad service and undermines my credibility with my clients.”
While Venable utilizes various repair products depending on the job, he often relies on 10-Minute Concrete Mender™ by Roadware, Inc (www.concretemender.com). Concrete Mender combines with sand to form a tough instant polymer concrete.
Venable uses Concrete Mender for several reasons. First, he said, Concrete Mender penetrates deep into concrete to establish a permanent bond with the host concrete, producing repairs that absorb the shock and transfers the load of heavy traffic without cracking or disbonding. Its chemical resistance means it can be applied in a wide range of temperatures.
“I know that it won’t melt, smear or come out of a repair when my polishing machines are run over it,” he said. “And I can apply it in cold temps found in freezers.”
Concrete Mender accomplishes its unbreakable bond through a process called Microdowling™. Microdowling drives the repair deep into the micro-fissures of the crack, joint or spall, where it forms an unbreakable bond with the existing concrete.
“The Microdowling capabilities eliminate the anxiety caused by the liability that I and all contractors must carry for each job,” he said. “I know of jobs that are going on six and seven years without Concrete Mender failing in any way.”
Besides performing for years, it cures in only 10 minutes. At a recent job in which Venable repaired and then polished an 110,000-square-foot concrete floor for a national grocery retailer, he used Concrete Mender for efficiency reasons.
Venable inspected every chip, crack and spall before the job began, looking for joints where the filler has come out, anchor bolt holes, corner chips and spalls. He assessed each repair, and then made recommendations that clients repair each one.
“I put six people on polishing machines to work at the site for almost three weeks,” he recounted. “It becomes expensive if I have to wait for the repair material to set. Concrete Mender takes only 10 minutes.”
Finally, Venable said his customers require that the shade of the repair material match the existing concrete for aesthetic reasons. Large retailers, such as Home Depot and Sam’s Club, understand that today women are making many of the purchasing decisions for the home, including home repair. Because women prefer shopping in light and well-kept stores, shiny, clean floors are important to a retailer’s image. A patchwork of different repair shades and colors has become unacceptable among peer retailers.
After hardening, Concrete Mender blends flawlessly with surrounding concrete, resulting in a near perfect color match. After polishing or coloring, a repair made with Concrete Mender is indistinguishable from the original floor.
“Having various shades and colors of repairs on the floor is unacceptable in the concrete polishing industry,” said Venable. “Today, to meet the expectation of women shoppers, repairs must blend to give the appearance of a single, neat and clean finish.”
Concrete Mender can serve many demands in the concrete polishing industry. It hardens within 10 minutes, after which it can be treated like the surrounding concrete. It can be cut and polished, and won’t smear or come out in the process. It’s efficient for use on large jobs, including where heavy machinery is operated, airport hangers, freezers, retailers and more.
“Concrete polishing is an expanding market and becoming more competitive,” said Venable. “I have confidence in Concrete Mender to help me meet customer expectations of looks, performance and efficiency.”
For more information 10-Minute Concrete Mender, contact Roadware, Inc. at www.concremender.com. For more information about C&C Construction, visit www.candcconst.com.
Microdoweling™, Roadware 10 Minute Concrete Mender™, and respective logos are trademarks of Roadware, Inc. Copyright 2008.