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Question DetailsAsked on 4/13/2018

Polished our concrete basement floor but there are cracks and barely any shine. What can we do?

We asked our contractor to come and discuss options for improving the floor but he keeps making excuses for not showing up. Is there a way to salvage the floor and make ii look glossy and suitable for an indoor living space? He also left the place covered in concrete dust and we are having a hard time trying to clean our belongings as well as the floor. Any advice would be very welcome.

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If you justifiably and reasonably are not satisfied with the job, don't pay for it until corrected. If he fails to perform or refuses, then the next step is filing a claim with his Bonding company to have them get another contractor in to make it right.

Now - to the reasonable expectations - cracks should have been cleaned out (compressed air then washed or waser jetted to remove dust) and "floated" - filled with epoxy modified repair grout (unsanded for all but large cracks) pressed in with a "float" - a rubber surface flat trowel for larger cracks, steel for small, or other suitable tool. Larger cracks (over about 1/8-3/16" open width) would normally be epoxy injected to both fill and bond them. Of course, the more cracks, the more it affects the cost.

Lack of shine probably relates to the finish - plain polished concrete will only "shine" after sealer or polyurethane or such has been applied, or when wet. Was that part of the contract, or did you just pay him for polishing only - which is commonly $1-3/SF depending on access, amount of edges needing hand polishing, how planar and smooth it was in the first place, and amount of special care needed for dust control (which it sounds like he did not do well on). Polished and sealed or urethaned concrete floors commonly more like $2-4 sealed, $5-8 stained or urethaned - extreme high end surfaces like polyurea and polyaspartic finishes (though I have never seen them done in clear) more like $7-15/SF including the polishing.

Concrete dust cleanup - initial shop vacuuming to remove the worst of it followed by compressed oil-free air combined with filtered high-volume fan exhausting to the outside is normally used to remove the worst of it, then sponge wiping (typically 3 passes in quick succession so it does not dry between passes - first 2 with a bit of Dawn in the water) with cold water to remove the last of it.

Floor - shop vacuum, then several passes wet mopping till wrung out water is basically clear. Commercially - most flooring finish contractors have a carpet and hard floor cleaning machine (usually rotary floor cleaning type but may be pure suction type like Rug Doctor for around edges and small areas, or large riding machine like used in malls for large areas.

Of course - sealing off the work area with double layer visqueen at the doorways and putting the room in a negative pressure situation with exhaust fan venting outside mostly prevents the dust issue except in the room itself. Indoor floors commonly are damp polished to minimize dust, with an outdoor high-volume filtered exhaust fan connected to the polishing machine by suction hose - cuts the dust to an absolute minimum, but adds typically a dollar or two to the cost because makes it a two-man job with no increase in productivity, or requires a one-man operation to stop periodically to clean fan filter and rewet (typically with hand held pesticide sprayer tank) surface being polished.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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