DIY Concrete Floor Rescue

By Published On: May 9th, 2024
A rescued badly poured concrete floor.

Rescuing An Improperly Poured Concrete Floor.

In the construction and home improvement world, DIY projects can be tempting, but they often lead homeowners down a challenging path, especially with specialised tasks like pouring concrete floors. PMAC recently came across a case that perfectly highlights the risks of overestimating one’s abilities in areas best handled by professionals.

DIY badly poured concrete floor rescue.

The Initial Plan

A client recently approached us with a request to polish a newly poured concrete floor in his home. Determined to save on costs, he decided to skip hiring a professional for the pour and took on the job himself. Despite our recommendation to hire a professional for quality and durability, the client proceeded with his plan.

Uneven and badly finished poured concrete floor
Unfinished corners on a badly poured concrete floor

The Results of DIY Effort

When we inspected the site, the issues were immediately clear. The floor was far from the smooth, level surface required for a quality polish. Instead, we were greeted by undulating waves across the concrete, with level variations reaching up to two inches in some areas. These conditions presented several challenges:

  1. Uneven Wear and Tear: An uneven surface is prone to irregular wear, which reduces the floor’s lifespan.
  2. Increased Costs: Achieving a uniform polish on a wavy surface requires significantly more effort and time, resulting in higher costs.
  3. Aesthetic Compromises: The unevenness can lead to a less-than-satisfactory finish, affecting the overall look and feel of the space.
  4. Potential for Cracking: High points are more susceptible to cracking under weight, a problem that can appear sooner on such an uneven floor.
  5. Water Pooling: Uneven floors can cause water to pool in dips, creating potential slip hazards and damaging the floor.
Water pooling in an improperly poured concrete floor

Water pooling in an improperly poured concrete floor

The Salvage Operation

The challenges we faced made our task both clear and daunting. Our goal was to save the floor and deliver a result that, while not perfect, would still meet the client’s needs. We meticulously ground down high points and carefully polished the surface, aiming to achieve the best finish possible under the circumstances.

Delivering a Silver Finish

After considerable effort, we achieved a “silver finish” for the floor. This finish reflects the traits of a thoroughly ground floor, boasting a matte appearance. Following the initial grind, we used increasingly finer diamond discs to eliminate scratches from previous grinds, resulting in a finish that offers a matte or satin look.

Client Satisfaction

Despite the compromises, the client was satisfied with the final result. This project served as a powerful reminder of the value of professional expertise, particularly in specialised areas like concrete pouring. While the allure of DIY projects can be strong, the risks and potential for costly mistakes are very real.

Unfinished corners on a badly poured concrete floor
Corners smoothed out on a badly poured concrete floor.

Lessons Learned

This experience offers several important lessons for homeowners and DIY enthusiasts:

  1. Recognise the Value of Expertise: Some projects are best left to professionals, especially those that require specialised skills and equipment.
  2. Cost vs. Quality: Trying to save money by skipping professional services can sometimes lead to higher expenses down the road.
  3. The Importance of Preparation: Proper preparation and execution are crucial in concrete work to ensure a durable and aesthetically pleasing result.

While this project was challenging and far from ideal, it clearly demonstrated the importance of choosing the right approach for home improvement projects. Saving the floor was satisfying, but we hope this experience serves as an educational moment for others embarking on their home renovation journeys.

Rescued DIY badly poured concrete floor.

Rescued DIY concrete floor.

Get in touch

Our legacy is quality projects we can be proud of. We value the inputs of our customers, our team and our supply chain in reaching positive outcomes. Health and safety to our people and the public is a priority for us and without compromise.

If you are working on a similar project we would love to hear about it. Dont hesitate to call us or send in the details of your project through our contact page at  https://pmac.ie/contact-pmac/ You will also find our FREE downloadable concrete brochure which is a helpful guide.

PMAC is a registered Heritage Contractor and a link to the site can be found below.

https://heritageregistration.ie/heritage-contractors-listing/

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