When it comes to any construction project, it is vital to ensure that every brick and every square metre of cement is executed correctly, whether you are a contractor working on a major site or DIY enthusiast looking to improve their home. However, imperfections do occur, whether out of human error or unforeseen circumstances.
One issue you might encounter eventually is problems with your concrete sealers. Concrete sealers are essential in parts of the building that are exposed to high moisture. After all, concrete is somewhat porous; if water and other contaminants manage to seep into the nooks and crannies of your structure, it may result in expensive and possibly irreversible damage.
To help you prevent such incidents, we have compiled this list of signs that there are problems with your concrete sealer. With no further ado, here they are:
1 – Whitening, peeling, or flaking solvents
If this happens in the solvent, it means the sealer has failed to bond with the concrete. This phenomenon is called “blushing,” and is often caused by applying the solvent to wet concrete. It is also possible that the solvent was laid before the cement has cured; when cement cures, it slowly expels moisture from within itself, which can cause moisture to build up underneath the application.
Another cause of blushing is over-application of the sealer. If the sealer has been laid on too thick or applied in multiple layers over the years, moisture might end up trapped in the layers. Eventually, it will fall away from the concrete, causing it to look white. If you don’t address this problem, it will peel or flake over time.
2 – Bubbling
Bubbling is another effect of over-application. As a good rule of thumb, your concrete sealer should be about 5 millimetres thick once while still wet on the surface. It will lose roughly 60% of its volume as it dries, shrinking to about 2 mm. At this thinness, the solvent will allow air to escape from the concrete. If the layers are too thick, the air will have trouble escaping, forming bubbles in the process.
Bubbling can also happen if the environment or surface is too hot. If you’re applying it to an outdoor surface, make sure to apply it during the coolest part of the day.
3 – White and powdery water-based sealers
This type of sealer is a little more complex. It requires a precise set of conditions to set correctly. During the application, if the ambient temperature is too low or the area’s humidity is too high, the mixture of water and solvent will set incorrectly. Under optimum conditions, the water is meant to evaporate ahead of the solvent; in any other instance, the solvent might evaporate first, resulting in the powdery sealer.
Whether you’re constructing a new structure or managing an old one, it is essential to identify the signs of damage in the various fixtures and components. If you notice these symptoms in your concrete sealer, you might need to redo certain parts of it. As with all things, however, it is vital to use only quality sealers to minimise mistakes.
If you’re looking for top-quality concrete sealers, contact us at Phoenix Reinforcing. We are one of the longest-operating family-owned and operated businesses on the Sunshine Coast, with a fierce reputation for reliability.