In English | Issue 4/2021

Concrete floor’s life cycle

Concrete floor’s life cycle
Photo credit: Marc Goodwin

The important decisions that influence the life cycle of a concrete floor are made at the design stage. These decisions include the appearance of the floor, its structural strength, load bearing design, solutions for correctly placed joints, choice of flooring materials, and at the final stage, the solutions for the protection and maintenance coating of the floor surface.

The design of the concrete floor must be based on the loads and stresses the floor will be subjected to as well as other applicable requirements. In terms of a long service life, the possibility of modifications should be considered also with floors.

As concerns solutions applied to floor joints, prefabricated armouring systems have largely replaced the so-called sawcut joints. The joint distribution affects the floor design, the rule of thumb being that the less joints, the less problems.

The selection of the flooring material and protective coating also depends on the purpose of use of the room. In heavy traffic areas, an efficient solution such as high-durability concrete should be chosen, while an effective protective coating is sufficient in areas with less traffic. A concrete floor always requires a protective coating – either a light silicate coat or a coating that also contains surface protection agents.

This reduces the risk of the floor generating dust and thus makes the space healthier.

When discussing the cleaning of concrete floors, we usual refer to housecleaning services. The need for daily cleaning depends on the floor’s use and degree of soiling. Architectural Design floors shall be swept or vacuumed carefully in order to eliminate any sharp materials. A concrete floor needs to be washed on a daily basis.

Thorough and correctly timed maintenance will increase the service life of a concrete floor. It is advisable to check the floors regularly for any damage on the surface and particularly on the joints.

Read the entire article in Finnish and see the images >>