09 Oct Power trowels: a smooth floor – no worries or hassle
Floors are arranged in different ways. One of them is concrete pouring. This type of flooring requires a special approach. As a rule, concrete pavements are used in public buildings, where there are always a lot of visitors, and the floors are under increased load. However, it is impossible to fill them with a continuous layer. This is dangerous for at least two reasons: when solidified in large solid volumes, concrete is prone to cracking, and during the slightest seismic events – earthquakes and the like – it can break into pieces. Therefore, when laying a concrete floor, at intervals of 3-5 m of the surface, expansion joints are arranged: pieces of glass or other materials are inserted that will take on the load in case of shifts in the main array.
But such inserts violate the aesthetic properties of the floor, in addition, by itself, regardless of the material, concrete or cement, it turns out to be very rough. This is not only inconvenient for future users, but will certainly lead to accelerated wear of the coating. How to avoid it? There is a way. Power trowels, also sometimes called grinders. The device of these devices may differ slightly, but the meaning of the action is always the same. Several abrasive nozzles are located radially on the rotating shaft, which scrape off all irregularities from the surface of the floor (and sometimes walls), acting like sandpaper, but with much greater coverage and speed.
The process of giving a concrete floor a mirror-like smoothness and eliminating the possibility of scuffing is called ironing. To do this, the concrete floor at the end of the solidification of the mixture, when it has already gained sufficient strength, but has not yet dried completely, is sprinkled with dry cement. This, on the one hand, allows you to extract excess moisture from the screed, on the other hand, to fill in natural defects and inhomogeneity of the coating. After applying the cement, trowels take over – they remove protruding excess mortar from the surface and rub the cement into the coating, forming a uniform and perfectly smooth surface.
The working elements of the machine are emery bars. Depending on the required degree of quality of the flooring, grouting can be carried out in several stages with the replacement of bars – from the coarsest fraction to the most “delicate”. In this case, the surface is smooth and can last for more than a dozen years.
Most often, worn cement floors are arranged in public areas with a high load from a large number of visitors. However, such a coating can be an ideal solution for large living rooms and garden paths. This solution is especially effective for outdoor concrete surfaces. In its pure form, concrete is heterogeneous and actively absorbs moisture from the environment. After ironing, the surface acquires water-repellent properties and is not subject to erosion, and the defrosting process is not terrible for it, when water that has entered the pores breaks the coating structure.
In practice, trowels greatly facilitate the improvement of a new building or a reconstructed building. They can be bought or rented. The main thing is to clearly understand the tasks facing the customer, because in some cases (for example, when laying a warm floor), grouting can do more harm than good.