It’s hard to imagine a more durable and resistant surface than a concrete one. Concrete, other than steel, in homes and commercial property, is perhaps the strongest of all the materials. It’s a surface meant to last for decades if applied correctly of course. There are a number of things that can be done, before the concrete is poured, to mitigate future spalling, discoloration, or breaking off the concrete.
We must remember that the concrete, itself, is a mix of cement and water. And then there are things like the area where the mix will be laid, the perimeter that will receive the concrete, and then the sub-floor that will hold the concrete. There is a foundation underneath the foundation that has to be given special consideration. The steel that will be set under the concrete is susceptible to things like corrosion. If the concrete does not fully cover the steel every way by at least an inch and a quarter you run the risk of the steel being exposed to the elements and therefore, corroding away. Once corrosion starts, it cannot be stopped. Therefore, the sealing and whatever other layer you apply right over the concrete have to be water-impenetrable.
Unless you are aiming for a custom discolored finish, concrete should have one consistent color throughout its application. An unwanted discoloration could happen under a number of circumstances. One popular happenstance is with the repetitious exposure to calcium chloride, most commonly used as salt to melt ice, It penetrates the concrete surface and starts changing its chemical composition. Motor oil and other car chemicals can also have the same effect.
Recommended Products for concrete Discolorations
Scaling or crazing
Either of these concrete problems can be a result of improper curing of the concrete or not letting all water evaporate before finishing the concrete. There are a number of things to do to avoid such a thing from happening and it points to how well you prepare the concrete before pouring it on. You can use a low slump-air in the original mix, low water to cement mix ratio, and don’t use any salt-based chemicals on the concrete surface. If your concrete surface has extensive damage due to any of the above-mentioned, your floor may be in need of a solid resurfacing job or new concrete pour depending on the damage.
Most common amongst all concrete deterioration comes in the form of small to big cracks. Any of the above can contribute to how badly the cracks ultimately end up affecting your concrete floors. We’ve discussed how avoiding calcium chloride and other salts is one way to preserve your surface, another is by avoiding high-sulfate liquids from repeated contact with your floors. You can always test for this and see what, if any, nearby liquids may be the reason for this. By testing the sulfate content, you are able to see if you should apply another layer of sealant. You may also need to resurface and create a really resistant concrete mix that will withstand any and all high-sulfate content.