Repairing vs Polishing Damaged Concrete
New or existing floors all have the potential to exhibit damage by poor treatment, neglect, or bad placement techniques.
For a coating or flooring contractor, damage can be repaired comparatively easier than a polishing contractor because the repairs will be clad by the new flooring.
However, polished concrete, being a finish that is created through a mechanical procedure, has no topical treatment that can mask the repair. In other words, repairs must blend with the color and polish of the concrete or the repairs will be visible.
In the case of budget restrictions, visible repairs are acceptable and despite their appearance, the polished floor is still fully functional as a polished concrete floor.
In the case of repairs that must be flush with the surrounding concrete and exhibit a similar shine, epoxy and urethane products can work but should be tested prior to use.
These products may come in a variety of colors or appearance (think peanut butter or oatmeal) depending on the aggregates they contain. The material should have a suitable strength and durability similar to concrete and also exhibit a shine when diamond polished. The color or exposure can vary but the shine should be similar or the same to the polished concrete.
In the case of invisible repairs, all that is required for the visible repairs in terms of performance and polish remains the same, but the material must also match the concrete’s color and grain.
Whenever a patching material is to be used, visible or invisible, the bond of the material will be essential to its durability and performance. Proper preparation can be achieved by shot blasting, needle-scaling, routing, or power-washing depending on the environment, size, and depth of the repair area.
In the case of damage that is consistent and throughout the whole work space, a shot blaster is the best dry method to thoroughly prepare the vertical walls and recesses of the damaged areas.
Alternatively, if a wet method is acceptable, power-washing works like a shot blaster to thoroughly prepare an area. In cases of severe damage, a scarifier can also be used to clean and prepare the surfaces.
Whatever method of preparation, the damaged areas to be repaired must be free of all loose materials and dust free.