Creating a concrete surface is no easy process, which is why it is essential to take proper precautions to ensure its longevity. Concrete is often used in public spaces or car parks which are in constant use, which makes it very difficult to access when repairs are required. This is another reason why it is preferable to ensure that the surface is long-lasting and durable in the first place. As you will see in pavements, although concrete is a very solid material it can also be especially susceptible to wear and cracking. Although heavy use, including footfall and vehicles, can cause wear and tear when it comes to concrete, these are not actually the main problem when it comes to maintaining a smooth concrete surface.Surprisingly enough, one of the main culprits that causes damage to concrete is water.
How Does Water Effect Concrete?
Despite the fact that water is a key component in cement, it can in fact be incredibly damaging to the final product of concrete. If there are any small cracks or crevices, allowing water to enter them could spell disaster. When water freezes, it expands, which means any water inside a crack is liable to make the problem a whole lot worse, especially in colder temperatures. On top of this, rainwater often carries with it chemicals which can have an adverse reaction when they come into contact with concrete, causing even more damage. Due to this, it is essential to put precautions in place in order to protect concrete from water damage. Below, we will take a look at the best methods by which to achieve this.
How Can You Protect Concrete?
There are a number of solutions you can use in order to protect concrete from the effects of water damage. These generally come in the form of protective concrete coatings which increase the hardiness of the concrete itself and create a layer that protects against water impregnation. There are a number of different types of coatings which can be used to good effect when it comes to protecting a concrete surface. One of the most successful is water-based impregnating wax, which is used to create a protective layer over the surface of the material, whilst at the same time filling in any small holes to make it smooth. As a natural product, wax is often preferable as it has no adverse effects on the look or the properties of the concrete itself, whilst at the same time providing a fully water-proof layer. On top of this, wax coatings allow vapour exchange which is essential in preventing the high-pressure build-up of vapour, thus allowing the surface to breathe. Without this, the surface may be liable to come loose or crack. Another popular option is a cement-based coating, which consists of silica sand, cement and water repellent. However, these coatings are generally only effective against damp and not against heavy rainfall, as their concrete element means that the surface remains porous. This makes them useful for indoor spaces rather than outdoor.
If you are using concrete in your construction project, be sure to take the right precautions in order to protect it from water damage.