Concrete is an artificial stone-like structure that is often used to fill the base of a building and make a sturdy foundation. However, you may also use concrete slabs to build floors of a house, a factory, or even an office.
Concrete slabs come in many different forms like slab-on-ground, suspended slab and precast slab – all designed to provide comfort and environmental advantages. The concrete slabs are only ecologically safe but are also packed with numerous lifestyle advantages. These upsides give them a definitive edge over conventional concrete that’s normally used. There are many advantages of using concrete slab floors and some of them are listed below.
1. Building Conditioning
Building conditioning is much more effective than air conditioning and involves a phenomenon known as a thermal mass which explains the ability of a material to store heat and release it again. High thermal mass materials include concrete slabs that regulate the amount of heat inside and outside the building. It can act by absorbing heat on one side and releasing it on the other thereby lowering the temperature inside a factory room. In order to dissipate the heat absorbed faster, the slabs should be exposed to night sky radiation and also must be covered with a protective coating. Concrete slab floor installation by Raised Floor ensure proper heat regulation via the slabs.
2. Re-Radiation of Heat
Many factories built in colder regions use concrete slabs. The slabs are designed in a way that they can absorb heat from direct sunlight and then radiate the same energy many hours afterward. The deep ground slabs need insulation so less heat is dissipated and less heat is required to reach a comfortable temperature in the same amount of time.
Carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases that are produced by human activities that are harmful and cause global warming. Carbon neutrality, on the other hand, decreases the amount of carbon footprint and for something to be eco-friendly; its carbon footprint should be low.
Usually, once a concrete base has been laid out it has to be layered again with another material. Two layers exist above the main concrete foundation but when it comes to concrete slab floors, installation of new material is not required. This reduces the amount of energy and resources spent which ultimately lowers the total carbon footprint.
The concrete slab floors are carefully designed and placed with precision so that no voids or holes are present. In this way, they can last for almost a few hundred years. The maintenance or the initial quality control, however, is important to ensure the longevity of the concrete slab. The amount of water mixed while making the concrete slab or after is an important factor in determining if the slab will maintain its shape or not. Excess addition of water promotes concrete cracking that destroys the shape and functionality. Before placing the concrete slabs or transporting them to the construction sites, the slabs should be given appropriate curing time. It needs at least 28 days for the concrete to reach its peak structural strength before any type of load can be applied to it.
5. Resistance to Termites and Fire
The eusocial insects feed on dead organic matter like plants and trees and a lot of the material used in construction is organic in nature. Termites eat through construction material but concrete slab floors have been known to be resistant to a termite invasion. An inspection zone in the ground should be made by putting the concrete slab at least 100mm above ground level. Graded stone and PVC material should be incorporated into places where pipe penetrations are present in order to insulate the moisture and not let the termites form colonies. To ensure that no termite infestations occur, the slabs should have minimal shrinkage and crack.
Most factories don’t operate in safe zones. They have to deal with hazardous materials every day that may catch fire so concrete flooring is advantageous because it is noncombustible and offers a fire resistant floor for people to work on.
6. Design Flexibility
Most people picture an ugly gray cover with a bumpy texture when they think of concrete flooring, however, the concrete slabs offer a wide variety of designs to choose from to match the theme of the rest of the place.
The texture of the concrete can be switched from bumpy and irregular to smooth and shiny during the installation process. Acid staining helps change the color of the slab and also creates interesting patterns and designs. Once the acid staining it is done, it lasts forever and cannot be reversed. This is great for existing floors but for new ones, color can be mixed in with the concrete. As the concrete is in the stages of curing, different textural techniques like stamping can be used. Waterproof latex can also be applied to brighten up the room.
The best thing about concrete slab floors is that it requires the least amount of upkeep. The initial process of making the slabs and installing them into the floor does require accuracy and precision. But once they have been cured, installed and are ready to bear some weight, they won’t need much work for their maintenance. Once a concrete slab is installed, it requires a waterproof latex finish or even a simple protective finish that guards the surface underneath and makes the cleaning easier. The protective layer tends to wear off in about six months or more depending on how regularly or vigorously it is used. The protective layer should be waxed and sealed again after a few months. A mop is enough to clean the surface periodically and that’s about it.
Concrete slab floors are not only best-suited for an industrial environment but they are also making their way into people’s homes. They are not only cost effective but also help reduce the carbon footprint. They require very little maintenance and are perfectly capable of maintaining a comfortable inner temperature.