Beauty and the Beast
I recently had the privilege of working with FloorTex out of Ogden Utah. They are a husband - wife team of concrete and floor coatings contractors. This article specifically highlights the better half of FloorTex, Angie Kirby. At least in my experience, I haven’t run into a lot of women concrete polishers, so to me it was rather unique.
Obviously the 780 1200 pound Sase ( now a Dynamic 780) is the Beast , and Angie Kirby handles the machine quite handily , once her husband , Clair gets it loaded out of the trailer. They have a nice two person system to load and unload the beast, Clair has an ingenious winch set up in their trailer to load and unload the machine. Once they are up and running, Angie will start cutting the floor, usually their first metal steps are ground wet whenever possible. Clair has mentioned he noticed a visibly better floor since he and Angie started using SuperAbrasive Super thick 3 inch metal bond Velcro backed diamonds on their first cuts, switching to SuperAbrasive Natos to finish the floor. They also typically use Convergent Concrete Technologies Pentral-Sil lithium densifier whenever possible. They seem to have found a great workable system. Angie does enlist Clair to help change the diamonds however; she just dangles from the bars, so Clair lends a helping hand. In the mean time, Clair is usually busy following the big Sase with their Aztec battery auto scrubber picking up the slurry.
When I asked Angie what she likes about polishing concrete, she had several things to say. Like all of us in the business, the challenge to polish concrete gets in your blood. Also taking a dull surface and grinding, honing, refining and polishing, turning a dull gray slab into a beautiful shiny colorful slab is very rewarding. She and Clair get to work together and travel to locations all over the West, and that proves to be not only enjoyable hard work, but strengthens their marriage. She also appreciates Clair sharing new technology and bouncing ideas off her, after all, she has a vested interest in providing the highest quality floors as possible. Clair and Angie are a blended family; they have 5 children between them, with a couple still in school. When out of town their family looks after the younger children. When traveling from job to job, they enjoy the scenery, looking for new places to travel and camp as a family. Of course, new places to eat are a bonus as well!
Angie and Clair also expressed they have enjoyed meeting and working with other concrete polishers, and their shared sense of hard work and helpfulness. It seems most polishers I know are willing to help out with advice and also lend a hand from time to time. I think it’s the mutual respect we have for each other.
Angie and Clair helped out as independent judges at the CPM Concrete Polishing Rodeo, and Angie took some excellent photos, we might have to enlist her as the official photographer for next year’s event, Jan 19 -21 2012 in Las Vegas . I watched Angie run the largest, heaviest machine at the Rodeo, the 3100 self propelled Terrco , she handled it with ease, in fact I heard her tell Clair, “ I want one of these!” She also definitely had her own opinion on what she liked and what she didn’t like. She also had some input on how to make next year’s Rodeo even better. CPM hopes to see other women join the ranks of concrete polishing professionals.
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