When you look around your home, garden, work place, or even favourite local haunt, one of the most common sights that you’ll see is concrete. It is one of the most popular building materials due its versatile nature; especially as no other construction substance is quite as resourceful. Although concrete can be moulded, coloured, textured and more whilst offering unparalleled strength and endurance on a cost-effective scale, it can fall victim to the effects of the elements. As it is a porous material, water can get into the internal structure of concrete itself, and this can cause damage to its composition over time. So, what can you do to combat water damage and to prolong the life of your concrete? You can invest in concrete waterproofing, of course!
Choosing Concrete Sealers
One of the more common methods of waterproofing for concrete is sealant. Coating sealants are used to form a protective layer over concrete, and it’s this that stops water from penetrating the surface. You can opt to use either clear or coloured coating sealants, which are great if you want to customize the overall look of your concrete space. Penetrating sealants work in a different way, and by reacting with the composition of concrete to provide protection from both water and other liquids, and from other damaging substances, too. Penetrating sealants can also work to combat the more long term effects of erosion and wear and tear.
Causes of Broken or Damaged Concrete
As both buildings and garden spaces make use of concrete, coming across broken or damaged areas that need to be mended is a common occurrence. Cracks of all sizes, holes, crumbling and even erosion can affect the overall appearance and structural strength of concrete, so defining the underlying problem is as important as fixing the damage.
The most common signs of damage are generally caused by the shrinkage, expansion and contraction of concrete, but joint placement, poor construction techniques, inadequate concrete cover, mechanical damage and chemicals can all be contributing factors. On a much larger scale, reinforced concrete can also suffer with deterioration due to the corrosion of the steel reinforcing bars used within, and this instance is generally known as ‘concrete cancer’. This condition is better dealt with when detected early, and should only be handled on a professional level.