Jimboomba Junction Shopping Centre in Jimboomba Queensland recently underwent a large rectification of all external floors in the shopping centre. A number of concerns were raised by the client about the existing 2,700sqm of flooring space at which Transitions Polishing and Grinding were able to rectify.
The Existing Floor
The issues first raised about the existing floors installed in the shopping centre included:
- floor finish was slippery when wet
- floor levels were uneven and did not fall towards drainage
- sealer looked yellow and dull
- water pooling on the surface, which was a potential slip hazard
In addition, the coating previously installed in the shopping centre was a two part epoxy coating with non-slip additive. This means that initially the slip rating was high, however due to the shopping centre being a high traffic area and of course daily maintenance occuring, the slip rating steadily decreased over time. Furthermore, the extensive exposure to UV light, rain and heat left the sealer looking yellow, dull and aesthetically unappealing. Overall, the sealer installed was not suitable for the conditions under which it was to be used.
The initial design and layout of the concrete slabs also presented difficulties. The design and layout of the concrete slabs are a critical component to any decorative concrete pour on this scale. Aesthectics aside, consideration has to be given to falls, slab thickness, dowelling or pinning of slabs, slab joint detail and slab curling. The overall fall and level of the concrete in the shopping centre, extensive pooling, incorrect falls and a slippery finish were a dangerous combination and a high liability for the shopping centre.
In order to rectify all the issues presented, the recommendation given by Transitions Polishing and Grinding was a complete regrind of the shopping centre. This solution was essential for a number of reasons - the most critical of which was to improve public safety through floor levelling and increasing the slip rating to meet Australian Standards at an R11.
The floor rectification process began with removing the existing coating and grinding the surface. An imperative step in order to correct the floor levels and falls towards drainage, eliminate trip hazards caused by slab curling and achieve consistent aggregate exposure. Once complete, the floors were honed to remove surface scratches caused by the abrasive first cut and honed to the specified finish.
Given that the previous sealer installed on the existing floor was desperately incorrect for its intended usage, Transitions put a heavy focus on analysing all factors thoroughly when making their decision of what sealer to install. These included traffic density, cleaning and maintenance scehdules, customer life expectancy and exposure to the environment. The sealer of choice was a solvent based penetrating sealer, chosen to enrich the surface of the concrete and last the distance.
Penetrating sealers are absorbed into the surface of the floor and in particular use the natural resistance of the concrete to achieve high slip ratings. The honed concrete acts as the finished surface and enables long lasting slip ratings to be achieved. These sealers are also very resistant to UV exposure and will not dull or yellow over time. More importantly, penetrative sealers enable the concrete to breathe, releasing any condensed moisture and eliminating an unsightly white powdery build up commonly known as efflorescence. The floor was tested when complete and achieved a slip minimum rating R11 - maximum R13, well within the tolerance nominated in the Australian Standards.
The rectification of the external floors at Jimboomba Junction Shopping Centre was a great success. Not only was public safety significantly improved but the overall appearance of the shopping centre was lighter and brighter.