As we are only working on the very surface of the floor, it is important to know how the concrete has been finished. The use of ’Cure and Seal’ products when the concrete was installed will determine the opening steps.
No ’Cure and Seal’ products.
1. Use STCD 30 grit ceramic diamond polishing pads on ’clean’ concrete floor to open the surface.
Note: If there is a heavy coat of curing compound on the surface, inconsistent ’swirling’ in the flooring profile will be seen after the 30 grit ceramic diamond has passed an area. If this is the case, it is important to stop the machine and check the tools for any burn marks where the curing compound has built up on the ceramic polishing pads. This should be scraped off by hand grinder/polisher before continuing.
With ’Cure and Seal’ products.
1a. Use 60 grit metal bond diamonds on new concrete if a ’Cure and Seal’ product has been used to protect the surface and speed up the curing process.
- This will remove any excess curing product and break the surface to give the ceramic diamond tool a keying surface to work with. A half set should be used moving at a fast operator speed to follow the floor without removing too much stock.
- This would also be the case on old concrete to decontaminate a heavily used or ’dirty’ surface.
1b. Use STCD 50 grit ceramic diamond tools on clean and keyed concrete.
Note: The use of GM3000 is not required before the application of Effihard, as the surface has not been broken significantly to reveal holes created by air-bubbles and extracted aggregate. This process also targets floor functionality rather than aesthetics and consequently pinholes in the finished product should be ignored.
2. Apply Effihard liberally with a very soft broom or sprayer. If spraying, ensure you follow with a broom to work the product into the pores of the concrete. Apply Effihard liberally so that the concrete is saturated but without forming puddles. Approximate usage should be 5 litres per 25 m2 (1500 sq/ft per 5 gallon).
- Once the Effihard has dried, a second coat may be required if the concrete is very soft and still absorbent. Again, spread out any puddling with a soft broom. When applying one coat to hard concrete or two coats to porous concrete, the floor should always appear damp/wet for 15-20 minutes after the application of EffiHard. If this is not the case, another coat is required.
- Allow Effihard to dry completely before moving on to the next step. 6 – 12 hours is recommended as a minimum time to obtain a maximum cure of the Effihard product. The curing time will vary significantly with extreme temperatures – for cold environments longer and for warmer environments shorter.
Note: We do not recommend removal of wet excess hardener with a squeegee or scrubber once it begins to gel off. For maxi-mum saturation and hardening of the concrete surface, it is recommended that the hardener be left in contact with the concrete until totally dry.
3. Remove excess cured/dry Effihard with STCD 100 grit ceramic tools.
- Apply a thin layer of Effihard with a micro fibre applicator about 2-5 metres (5-20 ft) in front of the machine. Ensuring that the dried Effihard has turned to a gel-like state, proceed with honing the concrete. This will close any remaining micro pores in the concrete surface and will make the ceramic tools more aggressive.
- If this thin layer is too wet when grinding, an inconsistent ’swirling’ in the flooring profile may be seen after the 100 grit ceramic diamond has passed an area.
Ensure that any excess Effihard is removed completely. In its unreacted state, dry excess Effihard can cause the following problems if left on the floor:
- It will create brown/dark and unsightly patches in the floor when polished using dry resin polishing pads.
- If it comes into contact with water, it will reactivate and become very slippery.
- It will cause dull patches or ‘clouds’ in the finished product as Effihard will not polish up to the same level as the harder concrete.
4. Continue the polishing process with NHD 200 grit new hybrid diamond polishing pads.
5. Continue the polishing process with NHD 400 grit resin bond floor-polishing pads.
- You should notice a sharp refection developing at this stage.
- Some slightly higher wear of the NHD 400 grit resin bond floor-polishing pads may be experienced at this stage compared to the Premium finish or Commercial finish systems.
6. Apply 2 – 3 coats of Effiguard penetrating sealer using a microfibre floor sweeper, allowing drying time between coats. The floor should be fully saturated without excess to ensure all the pores are filled. The use of Effiguard prevents contaminants from staining the floor and is highly recommended. However, in some circumstances, more so with the repair of previously highly contaminated surfaces, Effiguard will show up previous staining beneath the surface due to the concrete pores already having a contaminant in them.
7. Leave to cure fully for at least one hour or until touch dry and then buff off any residual Effiguard sealer using nylon buffing pads.
Note: The surface can be ground and polished to tailor to different levels of exposed aggregates and non exposed aggregates and to high or low gloss levels by adding or ommiting steps.