Powerfloated Concrete

Powerfloated concrete is a type of concrete that has been treated with a mechanical process called power floating. This technique involves using specialist equipment to smooth and level the surface of freshly poured concrete, resulting in a strong and durable finish. This finish is commonly used in commercial and industrial settings, as well as for outdoor residential applications.

What is a Power Floated Concrete Finish?

Power floating is a finishing process that is typically done after the concrete has been leveled and tamped. A petrol power float machine is used to flatten and polish the surface of the concrete by applying pressure with rotating float pans and blades. This produces a smooth, even surface while also compressing any air pockets or weak areas within the concrete.

Benefits of Power Float Concrete Floor

There are a number of benefits to having a power float finish and we would recommend the use of these machines in nearly every application. It is considerably less labour-intensive then the traditional method of hand floating, this means concrete is quicker and easier to install.

Smooth and polished surface

Due to the rotational nature of these machines, you trim high spots or fill low spots when moving across the surface. This results in a compact, smooth finish.

The metal pans are used to flatten the floor, these are the first passes that the concrete receives, after this individual combination blades are used, and finally finishing blades. These metal blades close the slab and creates a dense surface finish, the blades are angled to suit the concrete finish that has been specified.

Durable

A basic concrete power float floor is strong and much more durable that one that hasn’t had this method. These floors can be even stronger when power trowelling is used with specialist densifiers and dry shake hardeners. The best on the market is the Concria Optimal Slab system.

By installing this leading concrete flooring solution the life expectancy of your industrial floor increases dramatically and your concrete floor turns into the most durable and long-lasting substrate available.

Resistant to cracking

The enhanced resistance to cracking is another significant benefit of opting for a concrete power float floor. This process of making a dense and level surface, recompacts the concrete surface minimising the likelihood of cracks forming, which can be a common issue with traditional concrete floors.

This resistance is particularly advantageous in environments that experience the weight of heavy machinery and vehicles, as it ensures the integrity and longevity of the flooring. This crack resistance contributes to maintaining a safer environment by reducing trip hazards and the need for frequent repairs, making it an ideal choice for industrial and commercial settings where safety and durability are paramount.

Dust-free

As the surface is mechanically smoothed and sealed, it minimizes the concrete’s porosity, reducing the amount of dust generated. This is particularly beneficial in settings where clean environments are crucial, such as warehouses storing sensitive products, data centres, pharmaceutical facilities, and food processing plants.

A dust-free environment not only improves air quality but also contributes to a healthier workspace for employees, reducing respiratory issues and enhancing overall workplace well-being.

Easy to maintain

The maintenance of polished concrete floors is surprisingly straightforward and cost-effective. Due to their sealed surface, these floors are resistant to stains and spills, requiring only regular sweeping and occasional mopping of the surface leaves them looking pristine.

This ease of maintenance saves significant time and resources compared to more traditional flooring options, which may require specialized cleaning agents or treatments.

The durability of polished concrete means less frequent replacements or repairs, further reducing long-term costs and environmental impact. This combination of low maintenance, durability, and aesthetic appeal makes polished concrete an increasingly popular choice for businesses focused on operational efficiency and sustainability.

How Does a Power Float Work

How Does a Power Float Work?

There are two different types of power trowel; a smaller walk behind machine is used for small domestic applications or hard to reach places. This machine is used by walking backwards to remove the footprints of the operative in the partially set concrete or screed.

The other is a larger ride-on machine, which is used in larger commercial and industrial projects. Both machines work on the same principle of a petrol engine or electric motor that power a pan or blades. The machine uses rotating circular motion and is moved uniformly across the floor to achieve the specified finish.

How To Use A Power Float?

Using a power float requires proper training and knowledge to ensure safety and effectiveness. Here are the steps on how to use a power float:

1. Preparing

Preparing the surface before using a power float is crucial to achieving a smooth and level finish. The first step involves ensuring that the concrete is poured evenly and is at the optimal stage of setting; not too wet, yet not fully hardened. It’s essential to remove any debris or obstacles from the area.

Next, check the weather conditions as environmental factors can significantly affect the curing process of concrete and can result in the concrete drying too quickly. Once these preliminary checks are done, it’s time to select the appropriate blade or pan based on the desired finish. For rough leveling, use a float pan, whereas, for a smoother finish, trowel blades are more suitable.

Lastly, ensure that all safety measures are in place and that you’re wearing protective gear before starting the machine.

2. Installing The Float Blades

Installing the float blades correctly is crucial for achieving an evenly leveled surface. Begin by turning off the power to the machine to ensure safety during the installation process. Carefully attach the float blades, making sure they are securely fastened and evenly distributed around the drive assembly.

It’s important to check that each blade is properly aligned and set at the correct angle for optimal performance. Once installed, do a quick test run of the machine at a slow and consistent speed to verify that the blades are operating smoothly and efficiently.

This step not only prepares you for a successful concrete finishing job but also helps avoid unnecessary wear on your equipment or potential accidents caused by loose components.

3. Attaching the finishing blade to the power trowel

Attaching the finishing blade to the power trowel is a crucial step in preparing for a concrete smoothing operation. Begin by ensuring that the machine is still powered off to maintain safety. Locate the mounting points on the trowel where the finishing blades will be attached. Align each blade carefully, making sure they are positioned correctly according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Use the provided hardware to secure each blade tightly, checking for any movement or misalignment that could affect performance. Once all blades are securely fastened, it’s advisable to manually rotate the trowel assembly to ensure there is even clearance and no obstruction. This proactive measure will guarantee a smooth operation and superior finish on your concrete surface, setting the stage for a job well done.

When Should You Power Float Concrete?

Power floating concrete is a crucial step that should be taken when the concrete has started to set but is not fully hardened. This usually occurs when the surface bleed water has evaporated enough to prevent the weight of the float from sinking into it, but the concrete is still malleable for smoothing and compacting.

The ideal timing can vary depending on environmental conditions such as air temperature and humidity, but generally, this window appears approximately 1 to 2 hours after pouring in typical conditions. However a better method is judging by a footprint leaving an indentation of approx 3mm – 5mm.

It’s essential to monitor the concrete closely during this period; starting too early and the concrete is too wet, the machine will tear up the surface, while beginning too late can make it impossible to achieve a professional finish. Proper timing ensures a durable, level, and visually appealing surface that meets both aesthetic and structural standards.

Where are the Best Places to Use a Power Float Concrete?

Power-floating produces a smooth, level surface with high durability and aesthetic appeal. This includes a wide range of sectors, commercial, industrial floors and warehouses, garages, and large retail spaces.

Additionally, it’s well-suited for sports courts where a seamless finish can significantly improve functionality and appearance. The method’s versatility in creating both visually appealing and hard-wearing surfaces makes it a preferred choice for various construction projects.

Disadvantages of Power Floating Concrete

Despite its numerous benefits, power floating concrete does have some disadvantages that need consideration. One of the primary drawbacks is the requirement for skilled labor to operate the machinery effectively, as using a machine can be tricky for inexperienced workers. This can increase the overall cost of a project, as specialised operators are often more expensive to hire.

Additionally, power floating must be done at a specific time during the concrete’s curing process—too early and the concrete won’t set properly; too late and the surface may not achieve the desired smoothness. This narrow window for operation can lead to scheduling challenges on larger projects.

Furthermore, in environments where a textured or non slip surface is required, such as outdoor walkways or areas prone to wet conditions, power floated concrete might not be suitable without additional treatments to modify its inherently smooth finish.

What is the Difference Between Power Float and Polished Concrete?

Power float and polished concrete, while aiming to create a smooth surface finish on concrete floors, differ significantly in their execution and final appearance. Power floating involves the use of a machine with rotating blades to smooth and compact the concrete surface before it is fully cured.

This method is typically used to prepare the floor for further treatment or to achieve a basic level of smoothness and attractive shine. Polished concrete, on the other hand, is achieved by mechanically grinding and polishing the fully cured concrete surface with progressively finer grinding tools. This not only results in a highly reflective, mirror-like finish but also increases the durability and stain resistance of the floor.

Polished concrete allows for a variety of aesthetic options through the addition of colours or aggregates before polishing, making it a popular choice for both commercial and residential applications where aesthetics are a priority.

Contact us today for a free advice on all nationwide concreting, power floating or polished finishes.

FAQs

What is the purpose of a float in concrete?

A float is used to smooth and level the surface of wet concrete before it hardens. The float removes any bumps or ridges, creating a more even and uniform surface. They can be fitted with either pans or blades, deteremining the concrete finish achieved.

 What is the difference between a power trowel and a power float machine?

They are essentially two different names for the same machine. They’re machines designed to smooth concrete floors once all bleed water has evaporated.

What does a circular pan do on a power trowel?

The circular pan on a power trowel is responsible for applying pressure, levelling, and smoothing the surface of the concrete. It works in conjunction with the blades to create a smooth finish on the concrete surface.

What is the best float for concrete slab?

The best float for a concrete slab would depend on the size and type of the project. Typically, a combination of both power trowel and power float machines are used to achieve the best results. However, for small or tight spaces, hand floats may be more suitable.

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