Concrete densifiers harden from the inside out
Concrete is formed when cement is mixed with water to form a paste. Through a chemical reaction called ‘hydration”, this paste hardens to form the solid structure we know as concrete. The longer the concrete is kept moist, the more durable it will become. There are many factors that influence the hardening rate such as humidity and temperature, mix ratio of water and cement, as well as the composition or fineness of the cement. Once most of the hydration process and strengthening has taken place (usually within the first month) calcium hydroxide is left over. If not dealt with, this calcium hydroxide will react with carbon dioxide in the air and make white chalky dust.
Hardening from the inside out
To remedy this in times gone by, a sealer made from substances like waxes and acrylics was applied on top of the concrete. However, this would eventually wear or flake off and need to be replaced. Concrete densifiers were thus introduced which work from the inside out. They penetrate through the top few layers where most of the wear-and-tear happen. When densifiers like liquid silicates are applied to a concrete surface they then create a chemical reaction. Through this chemical reaction, a by-product is formed which goes on to fill in all the irregularities and pores in the actual concrete structure. The concrete is thus strengthened and densified internally and inorganically. This will prevent dust from forming as well.
Due to the inorganic chemical reaction that solidifies and hardens your concrete from the inside out– matter like free lime, alkali, and traffic scum pose no threat to the integrity or aesthetics of your concrete and are easily removed.
Immediately after treatment
- It will take 24-48 hours for hardening and dust-proofing to take effect on existing concrete. Hardening and dust-proofing on new concrete will happen during the usual curing process
- Although the density and strength is immediately enhanced after the densifier application, care should be taken not to strike the floor with sharp objects immediately after applying it
- Burnish or clean floor daily with an auto-scrubber that has medium-strength nylon bristles.
3-6 months after treatment
- With regular maintenance over time, your smooth-trowelled floors will develop a beautiful sheen
- Water will typically begin to bead on steel trowelled floors.
- Note–floors with a broom finish or with an open porous finish will not develop much of a sheen
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