Polished concrete: Is It All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

by Vince Outlaw

  • November 27th, 2017 / 
  • Education

Polished concrete is one of the most sought after looks for both interior and exterior projects.  But can polishing alone stand the test of time?

The term ‘Concrete’ invokes thoughts of permanence and something solid. It should, dams, buildings and monuments are built out of concrete. It’s an undoubtedly strong material but when concrete cures, it shrinks on average of .3%, creating micro fissures and cracks that leave it open to damage from the elements – both from nature and those that are man-made.

Polishing does densify the top layer of the concrete which offers some immediate protection.

However, without sealing it, you won’t get as much life out of your investment. In order to maintain and protect polished concrete, it must be waxed on an XX basis. While sealed concrete requires maintenance of being resealed every 3-5 years. Cleaning products, coffee, wine, and soda all have damaging effects on concrete.

When these materials permeate the surface they cause damage below what can be solved by polishing the surface again. Not to mention, concrete is not waterproof. If cleaning materials are used on a frequent basis, they will absorb and collect below the slab. In order to maintain the desired look of polished concrete over time, it should be sealed to resist the effects from everyday use.