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How to Stop Dust From a Concrete Floor

the word dust writtne in the dust on a shelf

My first summer job way back when was at an industrial distribution warehouse.  One of my jobs was sweeping the concrete floors. I swept and swept, but there was always what seemed like a never ending cycle of more and more dust. It got all over everything. Where was all of this dust coming from?

Why Do Concrete Floors Have Dust?

The dust, which gets all over everything, comes from calcium hydroxide, a soft byproduct of concrete hydration. Over time the wearing surface gets weaker and the amount of dust you get increases. Concrete floors are filled with microscopic pores. Each pore has edges which abrasion can break off. Time, traffic and abrasion combine to break off concrete pore edges, contributing to dusting.

Restore Your Concrete Floors

Concrete floors can be polished manually using a concrete floor grinding machine and various grit diamond abrasives. Use a Husqvarna S 36 dust extractor during the dry grinding and polishing process to achieve maximum productivity and manage levels of hazardous dust in your facility. Proper concrete floor finishing and curing helps minimize dust, but won’t eliminate it. 

illustration of pores in concrete flooring

Seal in a Dust-Free Shine

Back in the day it was a real hassle to seal a concrete floor even if you were aware of the technology to begin with. That was in the days before we had easy-application lithium-silicate densifiers. Hardener/densifier/sealers stop dusting by reacting with the soft calcium hydroxide. The product of that reaction is hard calcium silicate hydrate. Calcium silicate hydrate is the same tough stuff that makes properly cured concrete tough to begin with. That’s the hardening part. A hardener/densifier/sealer fills in the concrete pores with calcium silicate hydrate. That’s the densifying part.

Result: Hard, dense floor and no dusting.

sealed and polished concrete floor in warehouse

Benefits of a Sealed Concrete Floor

Reducing dust in a large facility like a warehouse or distribution center achieves a more professional aesthetic, makes a safer work environment, and can help you maintain OSHA silica dust compliance. Additional advantages of a sealed concrete floor include:

  • Ease of maintenance over time
  • Shinier appearance if it is burnished at time of application
  • Sealed floors deter the concrete from staining
  • Safer working surface

What to Look For in a Hardener/Densifier/Sealer

  • Easy spray or brush-on application. No scrubbing or rinsing off excess needed.
  • Fast drying. Should bear traffic within an hour.
  • Should measurably increase hardness, as checked with MOHs scale hardness picks.
  • Should be backed up by readily available manufacturer support, both field and toll-free telephone tech support.

When you want to reduce the dust in your warehouse, you first have to understand what your concrete floors need. If you’re interested in cleaning and sealing your concrete floors to reduce dust in your facility, contact the floor cleaning professionals at Factory Cleaning Equipment. We'll help you select the best equipment to fit your budget and your facility’s needs, including daily, weekly, and monthly concrete floor grinder rentals.

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