Walk around any city, and you get the feeling you’re in a concrete jungle. Once upon a time, concrete acted as a major distinction between urban and rural communities. However, times have changed. These days, concrete is not just a significant component of large infrastructures. In fact, one author refers to "concrete as the single most widely used material in the world". However, its popularity does not make it indestructible.
If you’ve worked with concrete, you surely know some of its downfalls. One of the biggest issues is that concrete can crack. In many cases, it’s a factor of the weather. The freeze/thaw cycle not only causes cracks in concrete sidewalks. On a larger scale, the same can happen on massive concrete bridges.
Rest assured. It won’t take long for water to find its way into the places where concrete has cracked. You may watch in horror as the cracks expand. This is troublesome whether you’re dealing with concrete subflooring or even a home’s foundation. If the water infiltrates the soil, it may also lessen the integrity of the concrete surface. Whether you’ve discovered a hairline fracture or a major crack, you could be in for trouble.
Meanwhile, water seepage and chemical exposure can cause other issues as well. For example, many parking decks are concrete structures. Scaling or spalling happen for a number of reasons. Concrete flaking may occur as a result of quick temperature changes, or even because of chemicals used to make surfaces less slippery or icy.
Industrial Coatings and Concrete
In a best-case scenario, industrial coatings become a part of the initial work project. If nothing else, waterproof coating adds to the life of the concrete surface. The best waterproof coating applications have elastomer qualities. As you might guess, this means they are flexible.
However, flexibility isn’t the only significant quality of industrial coatings designed for use on concrete surfaces. Since they are comprised of polyurea, the coatings are durable. They create a hard surface that actually acts as a protective shield.
In the meantime, you should also consider polyurea coatings for repair work. This will require surface preparation in addition to coating application. In some instances, the coatings need to be done on an expedited basis. Concrete is used in some containers; therefore, leaks of deleterious substances may cause massive problems.
Working with concrete and have questions about industrial coatings? Contact our technical experts at Marvel Coatings to see how we can help you.