Concrete Surface Treatments?A Selection Guide

by P. James Bruner, Jr., Law Engineering Inc, Chantilly, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Materials: Performance and Prevention of Deficiencies and Failures


Concrete deterioration can take many forms. The most common forms of concrete surface deterioration includes delaminations, spalling and scaling. This deterioration is usually caused by water entering the concrete and promoting steel corrosion or through cycles of freezing and thawing if the concrete is not air-entrained. Both of these destructive actions cause surface damage to the concrete. Since water enters the concrete surface through cracks and the pores of the concrete, any rehabilitation efforts should include some sort of surface treatment to reduce water infiltration yet allow vapor pressure to escape. There are a great many treatment available today for use in rehabilitation of concrete surfaces. Most of these treatments can be categorized as penetrating sealers, coatings or membranes. Selecting the right treatment, from the many products available, can be confusing since each type treatment has a value in certain situations. This paper categorizes available treatments for use in concrete rehabilitation and provides a practical design guide for selection of a concrete sealer or coating. The paper discusses the physical properties of the various treatment systems.

Subject Headings: Concrete | Rehabilitation | Deterioration | Reinforced concrete | Surface properties | Sealing | Coating

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