L&M Construction Chemicals, Omaha, Neb., is a family-owned company that has been in business since 1961, says second generation President Greg Schwietz. Schwietz's father Larry started the company and Greg came on board in 1974 after graduating college.
The company manufactures concrete chemical and treatments for both the concrete construction and the polished concrete industry. L&M's first product was its DEBOND Form Coating, a form release agent. Since the release of the DEBOND product, the company has expanded its product line to include topical sealers, chemical hardeners, densifiers and products of that nature manufactured for the concrete construction industry.
L&M manufactures densifiers, topical sealers, repellents and color dye specifically for the polished concrete industry. The products form a family of polishing products, Schwietz says. "These products work together hand-in-hand depending on what the contractor's needs are," he says.
Schwietz says densifiers are the fundamental building blocks of the polished concrete process. Since mechanical polishing removes some of the top "hard troweled" surface of the concrete, it weakens the concrete from its original state. Densifiers provide a necessary function of restoring lost durability and adding more when a second coat is applied toward the end, he says.
Schwietz stresses that it is important to add one coat of chemical densifier toward the end of the polishing process to help restore the floor hardness. A second coat helps improve the surface of the floor, he adds.
Topical sealers and repellents are used to give polished concrete floors added protection. Topical sealers are generally used where floors need chemical resistance or color enhancement while repellents usually serve more specific demands or unusual needs, Schwietz says.
L&M also manufacturers its FGS system of products for polished concrete. "The benefit of using a system of products is the contractor has the proper products for use at the right time," Schwietz says.
Why join the CPAA?
L&M Construction Chemicals has been a member of the CPAA for nearly two years. And Schwietz can't say enough about the benefits of the CPAA and being a member. "The CPAA provides the needed steps to prepare contractors for proper polished concrete installation," he says. "We see polished concrete being something owners will desire for many years, but even the best chemicals can't help out a contractor who doesn't take the time to learn the process. We encourage our contractor customers to get the CPAA training."
L&M has six of its employees accredited at the CPAA Craftsman level. "I want our employees to learn what their contractor customers are learning. The accreditation gives us an opportunity to understand the process beyond the chemical components even better," Schwietz says.
Schwiezt believes it is important for everyone in the polished concrete industry to support each other and to work toward eliminating shoddy workmanship. He says the mission and the commitment of the CPAA will help to achieve that goal.