Reducing the likelihood of slip-and-falls is just one of the goals
It may sound like a bit of a pun, but the literal foundation for any efficient industrial facility is the condition of its concrete floor. Since customers typically never see them, and their maintenance can be costly, they can be neglected. As a result it’s common for these floors to be worn, pitted, and coated with dirt and grease, creating safety hazards and potentially damaging the condition of inventory. In fact, according to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), 55% of all slip-and-fall accidents are directly related to the floor surface. Traditionally the solution is expensive preparation and maintenance with chemicals. But now there’s a terrific alternative. We asked Steve Nelson, Vice-President of Business Development at Diamabrush, to break it down for us.
What are some of the benefits of keeping concrete clean and polished for industry facilities?
Steve: One of them is obviously the aesthetics in the facility. A cleaner, brighter facility is better for employees, employee morale. The customers want their vendor’s facility to be clean and neat because that obviously can make a difference in the dust and debris that’s on the products. So a lot of companies are polishing their floors and brightening up their facilities to attract and impress customers. You can also actually reduce lighting costs by getting a lighter, brighter, shinier floor as well.
Can you walk us through the process of polishing your concrete floor using Diamabrush?
Steve: Well, I think the first step is getting an assessment done by a qualified representative, either by Diamabrush or one of our customers. That will allow you to custom tailor the solution. Then we use diamond abrasive tools on common cleaning equipment that a facility may already own or can rent easily, so it’s part of their natural process. We don’t require them to buy new, expensive equipment. Their people know how to operate that machine, so it is something that’s not intimidating. Typically speaking, it’s battery powered equipment or propane powered equipment, so we’re not tied into big power requirements. And we use water in our process to keep it dust-free.
That’s terrific. What do you recommend as the best form of maintenance?
Steve: Typically speaking, the grit that you finish with is going to be the grit that you’re going to maintain with. So the owner of the facility would leave that thousand grit tool on his automatic cleaning machine and just scrub as usual, so that would become the standard for maintenance. There would be no extra labor costs.
What do you hear from people who have used Diamabrush for polishing and maintaining concrete floors?
Steve: So with Diamabrush, the benefits that they see, a much lighter, brighter concrete floor that can improve over time. They’ll also save over 80% of what they’ve paid to a contractor. And their own people can do it at their own speed and their own pace. We also hear that the Diamabrush floors appear to be less slippery. There’s a lot of evidence, because we don’t use any chemical, we don’t put any cleaner on the floor, there’s nothing between the foot of a person walking on the concrete floor other than the concrete.
Are there any tricks for people when it comes to either polishing their polished concrete floor for the first time or even maintaining it? Or are there common mistakes that you see people make that could be easily avoidable?
Steve: I think common mistakes that people can make—and I’m not saying they’re all that common—it’s starting on the wrong grit or running the process too fast. There’s really two phases to Diamabrush. There’s a restoration phase, which is the most important step, and then the maintenance phase, which is just basically running as normal, running the scrubber. So I think sometimes people might start on the wrong grit or they might run the process too quickly and may not get the proper profile that they should get with that particular grit. People need to just take the time and review the process and they should not have any problems. These are machines that they run every day. So it’s just a matter of understanding the speed they need to run, the down pressure and making the appropriate number of passes over the floor before they move on to the next grit.
It sounds like the key takeaway is every concrete floor is different, every solution is going to be different.
Steve: Right. And even within one facility you can have distinctly different conditions, even the conditions of the concrete. So having an assessment by a qualified representative will help. But the main thing is if they keep in touch with our technical service department and they view those materials that we have available to them, they should get a great result.
The typical alternative is using chemicals, right?
Steve: Right. And that’s very inconvenient because those chemical systems usually require people to shut down an area for a longer period of time. And you can spend a lot of money on chemicals and then just two or three months later you’ve lost your shine and your gloss and your boss is wondering what he just spent all that money on because the shine is gone.
Is there anything else we should know about concrete maintenance?
Steve: There is no such thing as a maintenance-free concrete floor. You can lose your shine and your profile relatively quickly. So maintenance is key. And there is no simpler maintenance system for polished concrete than Diamabrush.
Improved safety, lower maintenance and electricity costs, and happier customers and employees. It sure seems like using Diamabrush for concrete floor restoration and maintenance is a classic no-brainier. You can find out more by visiting diamabrush.com/industrial-facilities or contacting us.