The recent advances in the world of concrete formulations and polymer chemistry has spawned a whole new branch of industrial sealants and additives for the construction industries.
One of the best items I have used over the past year has to be the “water based silicone concrete sealers” that are used for waterproofing concrete and cement surfaces. These silicone materials are best applied when the temperature is between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Also be aware that new concrete should typically cure at least 30 days before the application of this material.
I have been applying this water based silicone material to many of the small concrete repair jobs that I have done at various places, and the results are dramatic. One small sidewalk I put in looks exactly like it did the day I poured the concrete by hand. The owner was very happy with the results of this sealer.
The chemistry is such that the silicone material in the sealer binds to the pores in the cement and prevents the moisture from exiting the concrete through the top surface. This helps it stay wet inside which aids in its proper curing and this makes the concrete become much harder as it ages.
This one fact in turn helps keep the concrete from cracking due to expansion and contraction. The concrete continues to absorb moisture from the dirt below and it stays wetter on the inside. This is amazing technology in a gallon jug. Penetration is typically up to a half inch into the concrete surface. This depth makes the concrete almost impervious to penetration of salts, oils, and mold.
The material looks white when you pour it on and it turns clear in less than an hour. Clean up is just a water rinse. This formulation can be used on most concrete surfaces after the month of drying. Once the silicone chemical is cured then any vertical surface you have coated can be painted with any oil or latex based paint or primer.
You can also use these silicone materials on brick and stone, either vertically or horizontally. They typically only require one coat and since it penetrates into the concrete there is no need to reapply later. The source company is not really that important as they all work about the same, but the less expensive brands do not seem to have the material density that some of your larger name brands would.
This article comes completely from personal and technical knowledge and experience.
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