Densified and polished concrete is a leading alternative to conventional flooring materials for many well-deserved reasons, not the least of which is the stunning aesthetic possibilities and long-term durability. However, concrete polishing is not just about creating a beautiful floor or long-lasting floor. The true beauty of a properly polished and densified floor is the health benefits that extend far beyond the appearance or functionality of the floor.
The recent effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic have placed even greater importance on sanitation and safety in our daily lives, including places of employment. Never has this been truer than in industries such as manufacturing facilities, hospitals, restaurants, grocery stores, schools, and offices where employees work in close proximity to each other. A healthy indoor space contributes to the productivity of both employees and customers, and ultimately your bottom line.
A Healthier and More Hygienic Option
Densified and polished concrete stands head and shoulders above standard flooring alternatives such as carpet, wood, tile, and vinyl precisely because of its health and safety benefits. These flooring types are repositories for dirt, dust, and allergens. They are also breeding grounds for microorganisms such as bacteria and mold. For example, the joints between vinyl compositional tile (VCT) and grout lines in ceramic tile are porous. These pores are eventually filled with contaminants that contribute to unsanitary and unsafe conditions. For individuals who suffer from health conditions such as asthma, these conditions can also become dangerous.
Polished and densified concrete offers a much safer and hygienic environment. The process of grinding and polishing the concrete reduces surface areas, such as pores, that dirt and other debris are trapped in. There are no seams, grout lines or fibers that promote the accumulation of dust and organisms.
Easy to Clean and Disinfect
Floors that have been properly densified and polished are therefore very easy to clean and disinfect. Since the grinding process transforms normally porous concrete into a smooth, flat, non-porous surface, dirt, dust, and debris sit on the surface of the floor, making it easy to spot, pick up and dispose of. The easier a surface can be cleaned, the easier it is to sanitize because the soil which the pathogens travel on can be collected and deposited into a mop bucket or recovery tank. Also, polished concrete does not easily scratch and resists traffic wear, unlike other floor coverings and coatings, which have limitless areas for bacteria and viruses to hide and grow. Unlike other flooring options such as carpet, densified, and polished concrete will not hold onto dirt. Neither will it allow the migration of bacteria and other contaminants into spaces where it can grow and multiply.
Additionally, the densification process seals the concrete, prohibiting spills from seeping into the surface, or in the case of tile, into the space underneath it. Any liquid on the floor can then be quickly cleaned, with no long-term consequences.
Disinfecting requires extended contact time to ensure the product’s efficacy against the specified pathogen. On a polished concrete floor, this dwell time has little or no effect on the floor’s surface, but on other floors with seams or surface coatings this is not always the case and problems can arise as a result of extended dwell times.
Long-Term Benefits and Sustainability
Concrete densification and polishing add to the sanitary qualities of a concrete floor, making it easy to clean and keep disinfected. A properly maintained floor also increases the floor’s durability, reduces the long-term upkeep of the floor, and preserves its aesthetic qualities.