- Craig Smith
Polished concrete floors are uniquely resistant to the kind of abrasion
Updated: Aug 1, 2020
Among the many flooring options for commercial, industrial, retail and institutional settings, concrete has become a popular option due to its cost, low-maintenance, customizability and more. Polished concrete floors are uniquely resistant to the kind of abrasion that comes from heavy-duty use, as well as resistant to water, oil and other substances. Polished concrete floors are easy to keep clean and require minimal maintenance, which can save in labor and material costs as well. In order to achieve the desired look and maximum durability that polished concrete or terrazzo surfaces can provide long-term, it’s critical to use proper polishing techniques. Pentra concrete treatments including Pentra-Sil® (IH) can help improve abrasion resistance, reduce dusting and harden concrete for polishing.
The Pentra-Sil® (IH) surface treatment is a penetrating concrete hardener that allows abrasive tooling to work more effectively to achieve a superior polish. Pentra-Sil® (IH) hardens concrete and terrazzo surfaces while elevating the clarity and gloss. It neither discolors treated surfaces nor leaves unsightly blemishes behind. The application is extremely simple and the lithium-based and VOC-compliant concrete treatment formula can help add LEED points towards sustainable building design and construction strategies. Primary Features Pentra-Sil® (IH) is an environmentally friendly treatment that’s applied to the surface of the concrete during the polishing process. It is an insoluble Nano-Lithium® densifier that increases the concrete’s resistance to abrasion and helps concrete flooring withstand common challenges including heavy trafficking and costly maintenance and repair. Pentra-Sil® (IH) improves gloss and clarity of concrete flooring while helping reduce dusting and abrasion. As an impregnating hardener, it doesn’t require rinsing after application and it preserves the natural look of the concrete while creating a significantly harder surface. Pentra-Sil (IH) works to fill the pores in the surface of the concrete for longer-lasting and more durable polished concrete flooring. Pentra-Sil (IH) is a simple, one-coat application with no brooming or rinsing required Typical Applications Using Pentra-Sil® (IH) is a good choice for commercial concrete flooring protection and is often selected for industrial, retail, commercial and institutional settings. These include healthcare facilities, correctional facilities, grocery stores, schools, shopping centers, office buildings, laboratories, mezzanines, stadiums, and automotive dealerships. Other common uses for this concrete treatment include warehouses, manufacturing plants, utilities and public works facilities, and vehicle maintenance garages. Using Pentra-Sil® (IH) When determining what products to use to prepare polished concrete, consider the amount of traffic the flooring will receive and products that will help the polished concrete last longer. It is important to also consider how porous the cement is as it will affect the amount of product you will need. Pentra-Sil (IH) is an easy-to-use, one-step formula that doesn’t require any advanced skills or knowledge. Doing a small test of the product in an inconspicuous spot can ensure the product is a good fit for the project. Sometimes, impurities in the concrete can create adverse conditions that prevent Pentra-Sil® (IH) from performing as expected. For best results, use Pentra-Sil when temperatures reach a minimum of 40ºF (4ºC) for at least two hours after applying the treatment. How to Apply Pentra-Sil® (IH) This specialized treatment for polished concrete is most effectively applied with a sprayer to ensure even coverage. For best results, keep the surface wet with Pentra-Sil® (IH) for a minimum of 20 minutes, re-applying more if needed, and then allow the surface to dry. Once dry, grinding and polishing can continue until the surface reaches the desired specifications. Before and After Application Once an initial grinding of the polished concrete surface has been completed, clean the surface thoroughly. For Pentra-Sil® (IH) to work properly, impurities like dirt, curing compounds, coatings or laitance must be removed. Avoid citrus and acidic cleaners; neutralize acidic surfaces or those treated with acidic cleaners by washing with an alkaline cleaning solution. Then a sealer can be applied, like Pentra-Finish™ (HG), Pentra-Pel™ (SI), or Pentra-Guard® (EXT), adding an extra level of protection, and gloss. Soapy water will effectively clean any tools or equipment used to apply Pentra-Sil® (IH). Once the polished concrete floor is completed, keep it clean with a neutral-pH cleaner like Pentra-Clean™ (CR) or Pentra-Clean™ (DC).