At a building project, concrete is on the scene early, if not first, and endures a lot of rough treatment from the finishing that follows. Since you are responsible for the concrete that will be stained and engraved, your first thought is to protect it from gouges, paint, oils, and more.
Maybe you’re thinking you should tape down a protective cover of some sort?
Don’t use tape!
Using tape on concrete that is stained or will be stained is an absolute no-no. Don’t use it for masking purposes or anything else. Why not?
The glue that makes tape stick will react with new, unstained concrete, changing the color and texture. The concrete will then ‘take’ the stain differently in the places where the tape was stuck down and the places where there was no tape. Getting a good stain color match is going to be hard.
Tape is nasty on stained and sealed concrete because too often, when the tape is removed, it pulls sealer off and can pull some of the stain as well.
It’s not fair to tell you about the problems tape can cause without giving you different solutions to protect your concrete.
The first way to protect new concrete is to let it cure for 30 days before doing any other building procedures. Then, wait until the framing is up.
Spread a 10 mil plastic sheet out on the floor and roll the edges, like a hem.
Now, you can tape…put duct tape on the rolled edge of the plastic to make it sturdy enough to hold staples. Then, staple the plastic to the base plate of the framing, putting the staples through the rolled, taped edge of the plastic.
Last, place cardboard down on the plastic sheet. The cardboard will protect the plastic from sharp tools and help to keep workers from slipping on the plastic sheeting.
Remember that you can contact our senior tech adviser, Chris with questions about decorative concrete engraving at 1-800-884-2114 or email him at Chris@Engrave-A-Crete.com