Everything You Need To Know About Concrete Sealing Melbourne
Concrete sealing protects the concrete from surface damage, staining, and corrosion. By blocking the pores in the concrete, the sealers prevent the passage of salts and water and thus check the formation of an impermeable layer.
Concrete is prone to damage due to the intrusion of surface moisture. Other potential threats include Alkali- Silica Reaction (ASR), corrosion of steel reinforcement and chemical intrusion.
This is perhaps why concrete sealing is important. However, here are a few things that you must know about concrete sealing before proceeding further.
Surfaces to be sealed
Various regions of Australia are prone to Freeze-thaw cycles. Freeze-thaw actions take place when the concrete is saturated with 91% of its volume filled with water. On freezing, water occupies 9% more volume and causes distress to the concrete. Hence, the concrete should be air-entrained. Other areas are abrasion resistance, repellence, dust reduction and chemical resistance.
Consequences of non-sealing
The expansion of frozen liquids inside the concrete destroys the unsealed surface and salt, oil, household chemicals and fertilizers cause discoloring of the unsealed concrete.
Acrylic-resin sealers and penetrating sealers like silicates, silanes and siliconates cost about $ 0.15 to $ 0.25 per square foot. The high performing urethanes and epoxies cost $ 0.50 to $ 2.50 as against the concrete replacement cost of $7 to $ 8.
Appearance after sealing
Chemically reactive sealers penetrate into the concrete and hence are not visible. Epoxies and solvent-based acrylic sealers enhance the color and gloss of the concrete. Water-based acrylic resin sealers enhance the colors moderately.
Mode of application
You can do it yourself (DIY) for acrylic resin sealers, 50 % solid epoxies and urethanes, by using a paint roller of the pump-up sprayer. But you need to have professional installation for 100 % solids epoxies polyureas and polyaspartic urethanes.
When to apply sealer
Apply the reactive penetrating sealers like silicates and siliconates on the new concrete. Apply silanes and siloxanes and high-performing like epoxies and urethanes after curing for 28 days.
What to repel by what
You should use a reactive penetrating sealer or an acrylic resin sealer to repel de-icing salt or water. For repelling oil stains, you can use siliconate. Additionally, you should be aware that petroleum sealers weaken the acrylic-resin sealers.
Most reactive penetrating sealers have no effect on the concrete surface. But, the most topical coatings may affect the surface profile and hence need the application of anti-skid additives.
Longevity of sealer
As the reactive chemical sealers penetrate into the concrete, they last the longest, even for ten years. The epoxy or urethane system lasts for 5 to 10 years depending on the exposure to traffic. The acrylic sealers have the shortest performance life and last for one to three years.
Water-based and some solvent-based sealers are environment-friendly and qualify for additional LEED points. Further, since the sealers enhance the useful life of concrete, they constitute an essential component of green building and are thus environmentally friendly.
We hope that the above article would have cleared all your doubts related to Concrete Sealing Melbourne. Still, if you have any got any questions, do let us know in the comments.