Many believe concrete to be an impermeable, strong material for construction. While certainly one of the hardest materials, concrete is far from indestructible.
In fact, untreated, uncoated concrete can have serious durability issues. Floor dusting is the most common issue for concrete to face.
Concrete dusting can cause serious durability concerns, hurting the quality of your materials. Breathing in floor dust is also detrimental to your health. Aesthetically speaking, concrete dusting is also just plain unsightly!
When dealing with concrete dusting, there are a few things for a homeowner to know. Read on to see the common causes and fixes of floor dust.
What Causes Floor Dust?
Floor dust is, unfortunately, not caused by any single issue. Instead, concrete dust is caused by a wide variety of problems.
Weather, poor mixing, and rough treatment are all common causes.
Too Much Moisture!
Water can be one of the primary causes of floor dust. Concrete, like most stone, is weathered heavily by moisture.
Water is applied during the finishing process can cause the concrete to set poorly. This leads to poor durability as a result of improperly setting the concrete.
Exposure to rain will have the same effect. This is most common for outdoor areas or open-door garages.
Concrete that wasn’t mixed properly is likely to suffer concrete dusting. This is often caused by too weak of a concrete mix. Not curing the concrete correctly will also cause dusting.
A common practice for some is to spread dry cement over the surface of wet, setting cement. This is often done to speed up the finishing process. However, this can drastically lower the integrity of the mix and lead to dusting.
Concrete is tough but not invulnerable. Concrete flooring that’s being subjected to freezing temperatures is likely to suffer from dusting.
The same is true in the opposite direction for the high summer heat. High temperatures can cause the surface to dry out heavily, causing floor dust. This is especially true for concrete in direct sunlight.
Why Concrete Dusting is a Problem
There’s more at work than just an aesthetical nightmare. Yes, floor dust makes an area look unclean and untidy. But when it comes to fixing it, you’re guarding more than an appearance.
It may sound obvious, but concrete isn’t something you want to be breathing in. The floor dust that forms isn’t like the dust on an unkempt bookshelf.
When concrete dust appears, the substances inside of the concrete are mixed in. Lime, cobalt, silica particles, quartz, and many more materials are there.
Once these are airborne from something like sweeping or just a gentle breeze, you’re breathing it in. Needless to say, these aren’t the sorts of materials you want to have in your lungs.
From a purely practical point of view, floor dust is bad for the durability of your flooring. Concrete losing its top layer raises a variety of issues.
Sweeping this dust away with a heavy-duty broom can scratch or damage the concrete beneath. The more floor dust you see, the more erosion is taking place.
Fixing the issue is paramount to the longevity of yourself and your concrete flooring.
How to Stop Concrete Dusting
Once concrete dusting has begun, there’s more that you’ll need to do than just sweep up the dust and move on. It’s important to note that this isn’t a DIY project! Concrete dusting is a serious issue best left up to professionals.
The first step will always be to get rid of the dust so that a fix can begin. If sweeping, a soft-bristled broom should be used to avoid scratching the cement.
Vacuums are also an excellent way to get rid of dust. If outdoors, using an air blower to get the dust away is a good tactic. Just make sure to wear a ventilation mask to keep from breathing in the airborne dust!
Dusting causes the concrete to become porous and uneven. An expert will likely begin by grinding down the uneven surface. This will help ensure that the applied coating is secure.
Uneven ground can cause the coating to not seal properly. This can lead to insecurities and durability issues with the coating itself.
If this occurs, the coating itself will be vulnerable to being worn away. Because of this, the first step of any of our coatings will be mechanical preparation.
Repair and Replace
Depending on how much damage has been done to the concrete, repairs may be in order. Garage Force will repair any cracks or pits on the surface.
From here, we will prepare the coatings for the floor. This process can be different for our separate coating selections. After coating the verticals and nearby stairs, we will begin the application.
Coating and Chipping
With everything prepared and covered, our first basecoat will be applied. This polyurea basecoat provides a durable adhesive to keep everything protected and in place.
Afterward, we will evenly distribute chips. These chips are decorative and vary depending on the system. They also help with abrasion resistance and texture to help with the slip-resistant surfacing.
Once these have been set, we remove excess chips and scrape the ground smooth. This provides a comfortable walking surface, as well as helping with durability.
Finally, we vacuum up anything that may need to be removed. From there, we apply the final topcoat and allow it to set.
These coatings are the best possible way to avoid floor dust. Protection is the best way to stop concrete dust in its tracks. They bring the added benefit of being safer and aesthetically pleasing as well!
No More Floor Dust
Floor dust can be a serious issue, and while cleaning dust off the concrete floor may sound simple, it is far from fixes the problem. With proper protection, there’s no need to constantly be cleaning dust from garages.
Whether your concrete flooring is indoors or outdoors, Garage Force can help treat it. Be sure to check out our products, flooring, and informational blog for more on stopping floor dust in its tracks.