HELP!!! Pour in place cementicious terrazzo

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    Jim Heirigs

    Pipe burst ( potable clean water) and flooded Church with 1950’s cementitious terrazzo ( real poured in place, cement type, not resin). Floor area 10,000 sf . Water was on floor approx. 6 hours. Water extracted, floor dried with fans and dehu, checked drying with moisture meters, but now there are areas that are lightly discolored randomly throughout. Thought it could be old wax/floor finish but we stripped floors and discoloration remains. It is scattered randomly throughout. Does not appear to be bleed off from pews as the discoloration is worse on the alter and aisles and not where pews or other wood meets the floor? I was in the restoration business for 20+ years and have never seen tis before. Any ideas?

    Paul Kerby

    Likely still moisture in the slab coming to surface causing the discoloration. I would try tenting the floor and aggressively drying. Dehumidifiers might work but desiccant might be better. Hope that helps.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Paul Kerby.
    Lyndon Stromberg

    Its tough to say without photos, but here are my thoughts:
    The pews protected the terrazzo under them from heavy foot traffic. The aisles and area around the altar get more traffic and are more likely to have the original surface polish worn off. This wear opens the pores in the terrazzo up, so it will allow in moisture and hold it longer.
    Discoloration could be difference in moisture (which should go away when it dries), or it could be light colored mineral salts in the cement, darker color staining from impurities in the water or iron or other minerals in the aggregate.
    Dry it with fans as quickly as possible, lots of fans, lots of air movement. Depending upon the porosity of the original terrazzo this could take several days. If the stains remain, they may require a cleaning poultice to draw out the stain or possibly even regrinding and re-polishing the entire floor to remove a thin layer of the top surface and restore the polish of the terrazzo. If it is necessary, regrinding and re-polishing is not as monumental of a task as it sounds and once done your floor will be good to go for the next 70 years.

    Best thing is dry it and then get a terrazzo person with experience to look at it. Terrazzo is made of natural aggregates and part of its beauty is that it is a “natural” material. Depending upon the craftsman, the mix and the aggregate, densities vary, hardness varies, color varies, and every floor is unique.

    Pete Silva

    Had similar situation on terrazzo floor and found that it take enormous effort to actually dry out the moisture. SOmetimes it is a chalky substance that appears when the surface is worn only slightly. Was advised a yearlor at least every two years a cleaning and resealing was best practice. Regular mositure meters not sufficient-may have to infra-red the troubling areas.

    Bill Zoeller


    We have terrazzo in almost all of our churches and schools here in the Archdiocese of Louisville. we have had great luck in similar situations (and other situations) with diamond honing the terrazzo floor. The terrazzo is porous, just like concrete, because that in essence is what it is. Therefore the staining is most likely in the pours of the terrazzo. The diamond honing removes a fine layer of the terrazzo and can restore it back to its original color and luster. The added benefit is once you are done with the honing there really isn’t a need to do anything else. Sealer becomes optional. If you do chose to seal it, make sure it is a breathable sealer, one that will allow moisture to escape, but not penetrate the surface. I hope this helps, Good luck!

    Stephen Hecht

    Good afternoon, Our Flooring Division QUESTMARK
    replied to me with a copy of your message and problem.

    Since we are Contractors in the Polish Concrete business as well as all types of
    Flooring we would definitely appreciate an opportunity to look at your problem,
    and provide a labor & material quote if the situation provides itself.
    We have over 200 Flooring crews, all CentiMark/QuestMark employees in North America
    and if you want to have our local Technician inspect the problem just send me the Diocese
    location address and contact with a phone number for us to contact.
    According to his message we are in the process of working on a similar project.

    We are members of CCFM.
    Please check us out @ QuestMark or

    Louis Baird

    This is a terrazzo contractor who has performed several repair services for us successfully that you can contact for advice.

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