Concrete Slab Protection Suggestions

Concrete that is intended to be polished must be placed, finished, and protected differently than concrete that is to receive vinyl tile, carpet, or other types of floor coverings. The following guidelines are intended to help the concrete installation contractor, the concrete finisher, and the General Contractor provide the best concrete slab possible to be polished.

How to Protect a Concrete Slab That is Going to be Polished:
Learn the best ways on how to protect concrete that is going to be polished.

Pre-Polish Concrete Slab Protection During Construction Suggestions

  • No satisfactory chemical or cleaning procedure is available to remove petroleum based or other deep stains from within the concrete surface (including many oils, fuels, paint products, glues, or other penetrating stains). Prevention is therefore essential.
  • Chemically (pressure) treated lumber may stain the concrete.
  • Paint, electrical wire lube, or stains in concrete pits may not be ground out.
  • Acids will damage the concrete and should be avoided
  • All hydraulic powered equipment should be diapered to avoid staining of the concrete.
  • No trade should park vehicles on the inside slab. If necessary to complete their scope of work, drop cloths should be placed under vehicles at all times.
  • No pipe cutting machine should be used on the inside floor slab.
  • Steel should not be placed on interior slab to avoid rust staining.
  • Do not leave buckets, mud, stored materials on the concrete slab during the first 28 days. This may cause uneven hydration of the concrete and those marks may remain for a long time or even permanently.
Tape Marks on Concrete are not a good way to protect concrete that is going to be polished.

These light colored markings are hydration markings. While the customer tried to protect the floor, they actually created permanent markings that cannot be removed by polishing.

Post-Polish Concrete Slab Protection Suggestions

Before, during, and after polishing, all of the pre-polish concrete slab protection suggestions should be observed, however, after polishing, there are a few additional precautions:

  1. Sometimes the glues in masking tape will damage polished surfaces. No tape, not even the new blue painter’s tape, should be applied to the polished surface.
  2. Only clear water or neutral pH cleaners should be used.
  3. There should be no paint thinners, paint removers, acids, citrus cleaners, or other chemicals or cleaners used on the polished surface.
  4. Water should not be allowed to stand or puddle on the stain guard until 72 hours post application. Damp mopping is permissible prior to 72 hours.

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