These topics will give you background
information to help you understand the nature of concrete
and why it is so hard to keep coatings/paint/floor
coverings on it.
Check out the topics in the right
column to learn answers to many issues about concrete.
These links will open in a new window so you don't
lose your place on this page.
By understanding that there are not
any "shortcuts" to properly preparing a
concrete slab for painting or floor coverings, you
can be forewarned and avoid the expense and hassle
of having to redo your floors.
Here are the topics on this page.
You can scroll down and read them or click on a topic
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Answers About Concrete:
Courtesy of the
Owners Contact Me Often Because of Bad Problems with
Peeling Paint and Coatings
The usual way folks address the problem
of keeping kennels clean is through applying either
toxic water proofers or paint. Paint ends up peeling.
Then you are faced with having to strip the floors
and start over again. This is real disruptive to your
operation, not to mention costly, messy and time consuming.
So save yourself a lot of trouble and expense, and
do it the easy way. Avoid the risk and expense of
maintaining failing surface coatings.
But let's take first things first
and start at the beginning with some basic information
about concrete so you will understand what you are
up against in trying to protect and perhaps beautify
your concrete kennel floors and runs.
Often we think that concrete is like
a rock. To the contrary, concrete is a living and
changing chemical composition. It is filled with voids
and canals and absorbs liquids, even wicking moisture
up into it.
Concrete is very complex. To have
a good slab of concrete, the mixture and quality of
ingredients must be good. Concrete is made of various
types of Portland cement, sand, aggregate (little
stones or rocks) and water. These days, due to the
increasing cost of Portland cement, fillers such as
fly ash are used to reduce the cost.
Beyond the ratio and quality of ingredients
that go into concrete, the issue of surface preparation
and actual installation and finishing of the concrete,
along with the curing process are the significant
factors in the quality of concrete you will have.
Proper compaction of the substrate
is critical if structural cracking of a slab is to
be avoided. Concrete typically has a high compression
strength..which is resistance to being compressed
or "smashed". On the other hand, concrete has a weakness
in the form of tensile strength. Essentially that
is resistance to breaking from twisting. Thus, when
the substrate or ground under the concrete is not
solid, or shifts or sinks, the forces acting on the
concrete are the "tensile strength" issues, or twisting.
And cracking will occur.
After site preparation, the concrete
is poured. The temperature, humidity and wind conditions
all will impact the quality of the concrete. Extremes
of hot or cold present special challenges that need
to be addressed or weakened, inferior concrete will
Sometimes concrete installers will
more water to the mix in order to make it easier to
work or finish. This deviation from the design mix
is often done for installer convenience but can have
serious affects on the quality of the slab.
How concrete is finished, and the
timing of finishing is critical to the quality of
After the slab is finished, the concrete
must be cured. The moisture in the concrete should
be retained in order for proper and thorough hydration
The point of the above is to give
a brief idea and understanding that there are many
critical factors that play important roles in the
quality of concrete and the useful life gained from
it. It is not just a simple building material that
can just be poured on the ground and spread around
without carefully and skillfully being installed.
And while it is an incredibly useful and versatile
building material…it does have noteworthy weaknesses
which must be addressed if you are to get maximum
usefulness and functionality out of your slab.
Because of the wide range of factors
that determine the quality of a slab, it is good to
keep in mind that the result is that all slabs are
different and the quality and lifespan varies according
to all those factors. Go to Top
Concrete is like a rock
Concrete is not a rock. To
the contrary, concrete is a living and changing
chemical composition. It is filled with voids
and canals and absorbs liquids, even wicking
moisture up into it.
It's More Like a Sponge
Concrete wicks moisture...a
lot of it. A 1,000 square foot slab of concrete
can wick 12 gallons of moisture PER DAY from
as far as 20 feet below the surface! See Section
About the Nature of Concrete
Cement gel is a jelly like swelling
that occurs around each grain of Portland cement when
water is added to the concrete mix. Aggregate gel
is essentially the same. It is the initial reaction
product between cement and water. The gel is the controlling
factor in cracking, uniformity, and structural quality
of concrete. Cement gel relates to the size of the
voids and pores in concrete. The cement gel imparts
fatty and cohesive properties to the mix. As hydration
of the cement proceeds, the gel partly crystallizes
and on drying, reverts to almost the original cement
grain size. Gel size and hydration can vary widely,
depending upon water available and temperature. It
is these variations throughout the concrete which
causes variations in the quality and porosity of concrete
for a given mix design. In the heat of summer, gels
form faster and longer, and large gels absorb more
water from the mix.
Thus, the resulting concrete has poorer
quality. As water is consumed by hydration and rapidly
lost through evaporation, internal stresses are created.
The eventual results are shrinkage cracks. In cooler
weather, gel formation is retarded. Smaller gels are
formed, take longer to form, consume less water, and
as a result less water is required. Because hydration
is slower, less shrinkage occurs, concrete is more
dense, and usually has a higher structural quality.
One area of controversy today is how
to properly cure concrete. In the interest of speed
and increasing profits, the use of "curing agents"
which are sprayed over the concrete to retard premature
drying has become the norm.
However, in my opinion, there is no
substitute for the old "water cure" for
concrete...where the slab is kept wet for 5-7 days
after finishing, by flooding with water or using burlap
etc to cover the slab and keep water on it. The strength
and density of concrete cured by this method will
always be exceedingly better than concrete which is
just finished, sprayed with curing agent and left
So if you ever pour a new slab of
concrete, make sure you insist on water curing. Concrete
that is water cured for 7 days can show as much as
50% greater strength and be much more dense.
Concrete Remedy DS, due to its chemical reaction forming
a silica aero gel, aids in retaining the water in
the concrete during the hydration/curing process,
resulting in a higher quality concrete. For this specific
application, using Concrete Remedy DS as a cure for
new concrete, a coverage rate of approximately of
150 - 200 square feet per gallon is recommended. Go
Get an article
that tells you how to best cure your new concrete
by water curing the easy way. Click
"Capillarity" is the transmission
of moisture and water in masonry. By definition, it
is the action by which the surface of a liquid, where
it is in contact with a solid, is elevated or depressed
( rises or falls ). The elevation or depression is
caused by capillary action. By capillary action, moisture
may travel from a lower to higher elevation or can
travel in any direction. The amount of moisture that
can be transmitted from the ground by capillary action
is often underestimated, if understood at all.
Tests by the Housing and Home Finance
Agency (US Government) conducted at the Forest Products
Laboratory have clearly indicated that as much as
12 gallons of water per 1,000 sq. ft. per day can
be transmitted through a concrete slab and, if permitted,
evaporates into the air.
When the slab is covered by floor
covering, this moisture will carry alkalis, salts
or additives from the concrete. This will collect
under the floor covering and attack the bond of the
adhesive, resulting in destruction or deterioration
of the adhesive itself.
This same principal also applies to
vertical concrete, where fog, dew and dampness can
collect causing paint and other sealants to peel or
wear off prematurely. The distance which water will
rise from the ground by capillary action is also underestimated.
Test by the same US authority indicate that moisture
can climb form a water table that may be 20 feet below
the ground or slab.
Obviously, general ground dampness
speeds up the transmission of moisture. It is suspected
that this transmission may result from a combination
of capillary, absorption and various pressures rather
than capillary alone. Nevertheless, moisture can migrate
from this depth.
Concrete Remedy DS, due to its unique penetration
factor and chemical reaction with alkali its ability
to fill voids and create a solid mass, and its ability
to hold a hydrostatic head, will eliminate the problems
associated with capillary action.
A simple test can establish the amount
of Concrete Remedy DS required to solve the problem.
After your first application, merely tape down several
pieces of ordinary dry sponge or foam rubber to the
treated surface. After 24 hours, under normal conditions,
the sponge will appear dry and the job is completed.
However, in extreme problem areas of excessive moisture
and seepage, the sponge will be be damp to wet.
When this occurs it is an indication
the treatment must be repeated as many times as is
necessary until the sponge is dry after 24 hours.
The Concrete Remedy DS treatment is now permanent.
No other waterproofing treatment will EVER be necessary.
Go to Top
All concrete is the same
Concrete is extremely variable.
Even in the same slab, you will find variations
and differences in appearance and quality.
Many factors determine the quality
of a concrete slab.
Major issues are: the ingredients,
e.g., proportion of water to cement, type of
cement and the type and cleanliness of aggregates.
The most critical issue for
quality of concrete has to do with how it was
finished and cured. Weather conditions have
a huge role in determing the quality of concrete.
Problem" (in concrete walls and subfloors)
Alkali is never pure and rarely stable.
It is made up of combination of elements and almost
always reacts with other elements or chemicals. We
start with hydrogen; then lithium, sodium, potassium,
rubidium, cesium and francium. Francium is radioactive
with a half-life of 20 minutes. The other five are
the very active alkali metals. Each element has electrons
and molecules which are always eager to take part
in chemical reactions with other elements. The two
most important alkali metals are sodium and potassium.
We find a hint of them in potassium carbonate and
sodium carbonate. Sodium makes up 2.6% of the earths
crust and potassium makes 2.5%, yet we never see them.
They are always found in combinations with other elements.
Neither of them could remain in a pure state in air
The increased use of concrete subfloors
in direct contact with the ground makes it more important
than ever to completely understand the moisture and
alkali inherent in these subfloors and their effects
on paints and floor coverings.
Well known as the "alkali problem",
this condition is primarily a problem of moisture.
Alkali is present in every concrete
slab and is more detrimental when moisture is present.
On adequately ventilated suspended
concrete subfloors, moisture is not present in troublesome
quantities. However, when the slab is in direct contact
with the ground or a poorly ventilated air space,
moisture is brought up through the slab by capillary
action. It dissolves the alkaline salts in the concrete
and appears at the surface as a destructive alkaline
solution causing spalling and efflorescence.
Although moisture and alkali conditions
can vary greatly, there is always sufficient moisture
in the ground and alkali in concrete to present an
" alkali problem " on subfloors.
It is never safe to assume that
a concrete slab will always be dry because it has
been dry until now.
When paint or floor coverings are
applied, even a small undetected amount of moisture
can cause coverings to warp, buckle or separate from
the concrete surface.
Concrete Remedy DS will alleviate this problem by
sealing, waterproofing and moisture proofing the concrete
slab eliminating spalling and efflorescence, leaving
clean surfaces similar to " etching " to which paint
or mastics and adhesive can effectively secure a better
bond with. Concrete Remedy DS treatment will eliminate
these destructive, moisture and alkali related problems
for ever. Go to Top
Dusting and Wear Due to Abrasion
The following is a quotation from
Chemistry and Technology of Paints, by Maximilian
Toch, published by D. Van Nostrand Co., New York,
New York: " Portland cement is a rocklike alkaline
lime substance composed of sand and / or gravel mixed
with cement and water.
In attempting to apply paints, adhesives
or floor coverings, it is recommended to clean the
surface first. Surfaces are cleansed with muriatic,
sulfuric or acetic acids. The application of these
acids to Portland cement destroys the cement because
they dissolve out the lime and leave the sand and
aggregate loosely bound. Portland cement floors '
dust up' merely under the abrasion of (shoe) heels.
Factories that have machinery, calculators, electronic
or delicate instruments have found it impossible to
operate under these dusting conditions. To alleviate
these conditions, paint or floor coverings are used."
The above quotation is used to illustrate
that concrete alone, by its very nature, creates a
multitude of problems.
Coatings such as paint and floor coverings
are used in an attempt to alleviate or enhance the
use of masonry.
However, such coatings have proven
completely ineffectual when excessive moisture and
alkali contents are present.
Concrete dusting, ( small particles
of the surface broken free) , is caused by any vehicular,
foot, machinery and other traffic over the concrete
surface. Dusting is a costly foe to efficiency due
to damages it causes to machinery, merchandise, other
equipment, and environmental health. In extreme situations
dusting can be classed as wear due to abrasion (i.e.
high traffic areas like bridge decks, garages, stairs,
etc.) and the result can be costly premature replacement
of the surface or structure.
Concrete Remedy DS's chemical reaction with the alkali
and lime which causes the independent particles of
concrete to solidify, harden and strengthen the concrete,
along with its ability to stop the penetration or
transmission of moisture, can permanently eliminate
dusting and abrasion due to wear for Ever.
Concrete Remedy DS can eliminate the
necessity of a floor covering. Go to
Floor covering failures are often
caused by one or more combinations of the following:
· Moisture · Alkali
· Hydrostatic Pressure or Differential Humidity
between the slab and the interior of a building
It should be noted that the main cause
of floor covering or coating failure, including paints,
is not the fault of the product. Instead, improper
preparation of the concrete can account for nearly
80% of all failures.
If you fail to control the moisture/alkali
problem within concrete, you have failed to properly
prepare the concrete. Simply covering the concrete
with a surface coating to serve as a moisture barrier
will not solve the problem because the problem originates
down in the concrete. As that problem develops, it
will cause the moisture barrier to lose its bond with
the concrete, and then the coating or floor covering
will fail as well.
To apply asphalt, vinyl or rubber
tiles and other floor coverings, there usually must
be some site preparation consisting of the removal
of contaminates and loose particulate/dust from the
surface to be covered. Mastics or adhesives of some
kind must usually be applied in order to bond the
covering to the surface. We are aware of the make-up
of concrete and the problems built into using it in
the form of alkali, lime and moisture. We are also
aware of the factors of porosity and how the water
used to mix the cement and aggregates evaporates during
the long curing period leaving mass voids and pores
through which moisture passes and mixes with the alkali.
When the slab is covered, the drawing
action (from capillary action) on the moisture in
and under the slab, is greatly increased. When this
alkali-rich moisture is drawn up into contact with
the adhesives, the following occurs: The adhesive
emulsifies or starts to deteriorate, resulting in
bubbles or blistering which cause warping, cracking,
and peeling (off) of the adhesive and/or the cover,
necessitating replacement of one or both, at substantial
Concrete Remedy DS, due to its internal chemical reaction
caused gels, its ability to hold a hydrostatic head,
and the fact that it is not a surface, but, an internal
sealer, will solve the problems related to the floor
covering trade because Concrete Remedy DS prevents
the moisture from reacting to alkali and then being
drawn up into contact with the adhesives or mastics
It has been noted that the pH of moisture
under failed coatings and floor coverings can be as
high as 13...a condition that the best adhesives or
paint cannot withstand.
Please Note: It must not be overlooked
by applicators that Concrete Remedy DS is an internal
sealer, and as such, the surface to be treated cannot
absorb the product well unless it is bare.
The surface must be free of any surface
coating or contaminant prior to the application of
Concrete Remedy DS. Go to Top
Why do paints blister or crack on
It is due to a problem called saponification
(soap creation). When soap is manufactured, the basic
ingredients are a form of alkali and oil. The combination
of alkali in the concrete and the oil in the paint
causes saponification, which in this case is more
commonly identified as flaking, blistering, and peeling
of paint from the surface. Even the much improved
vinyl, rubber and latex based paints tend to peel
and crack off of the surface.
The prime reason for this is that
the alkali and lime are still "fighting" the paints.
If these coatings are being used to seal or waterproof
the surface they will need to be reapplied periodically
to be effective, requiring costly stripping before
each re-application, or the formation of many layers
of material in various states of decomposition. Such
multiple layers will not allow the concrete floor
to breathe, and if concrete can not breathe it will
decompose and disintegrate.
The application of Concrete Remedy DS to concrete
surfaces will give a permanently alkali and moisture
free surface for better bonding of paints. When applied
in accordance with the manufacturer's directions,
the paint life on a structure can be increased up
to 300%, providing a longer ' fresh paint ' appearance
and reducing maintenance cost.
Concrete Remedy DS treatment is essential
if concrete is to be painted.
Close examination of the concrete,
after Concrete Remedy DS has been applied and the
surface washed, will reveal clean pores. In many cases
this has the same effect as ' etching' which is quite
often necessary prior to applications of paints and
adhesives for better bonding.
Any surface treatment or coating must
be removed prior to applying Concrete Remedy DS to
allow it to penetrate the surface. On occasion, foreign
matter such as grease and oils will be floated to
the surface by the Concrete Remedy DS as it penetrates
the concrete. This foreign matter should be flushed
off with water prior to painting. In areas where there
is an excessive amount of foreign matter, several
rinsings may be necessary. Go to Top
With respect to wall sweating, it
should be remembered that the surface of most common
concrete building materials have an affinity for water
molecules. This molecular film is proportionate to
the relative humidity. At saturation points, all voids,
pores and capillaries can become completely filled.
When the atmospheric conditions, inside or outside,
(which caused the excessive moisture in the first
place) is alleviated, the porous wall may become filled
to saturation point with moisture in liquid form.
This condition then provides an excellent opportunity
for (water) vapor to travel within a wall or structure.
In its travels, the vapor may strike
a cold(er) area or dew point and condense in sufficient
quantities to reach the interior wall surfaces and
appear as wall sweat or bleeding. Both sweating and
the condensation which causes it, can be greatly affected
by temperature, humidity, wind velocity, soil moisture
These conditions, if allowed to go
unchecked, can cause peeling paints, spalling, formation
of mildew, and efflorescence resulting in heavy maintenance
costs. All porous masonry materials will be subject
to the same conditions unless the proper steps are
taken to avoid such conditions.
The application of Concrete Remedy DS in the same
manner as for waterproofing, will, due to its unique
capabilities and results, stop these conditions which
lead to wall sweating, FOREVER. Go
Issues with Concrete
to Prevent Dangerous Bacteria From Growing In Your
Did you know that the
concrete floors of your dogs' kennels are a perfect
breeding ground for bacteria, mold and mildew? Concrete
is a porous material and acts similarly to a sponge.
When liquids are spilled on it, they will soak deep
into the concrete. These damp pores in the concrete
provide the perfect breeding ground for bacteria,
mold and mildew.
Dampness is the critical
element in bacteria, mold and mildew and pathogens
multiplying. By stopping perpetual dampness, you remove
that critical element.
Beyond the question of
liquids with contaminants soaking down into concrete
from above, there is the issue of the WICKING nature
A 1000 square foot slab
of concrete is capable of "wicking" 12 gallons
of moisture per day, from as far as 20 feet below
the surface. That is significant moisture.
Solution: The Concrete Remedy Kennel Solution
eliminates the breeding ground for bacteria in your
kennel floor by preventing moisture from getting into
your concrete. Both from ABOVE and from WICKING up
from BEKOW. It will make your kennel safer for your
dogs, easier to clean and reduce urine odors by preventing
the urine from penetrating into the concrete.Go
from below coming up through a slab. Click on photo
to enlarge and read details.
Don't Like Lying on Cold, Damp Concrete Anymore Than
Maybe you've never tried it. I mean
lying on concrete. But your dogs may spend hours doing
just that. Even concrete that doesn't look wet is
Remember, concrete actually wicks
moisture from as deep as 20' below the surface. What
this means is that there is almost always moisture
IN concrete. If it rains, or after you clean your
kennels, the moisture is IN the concrete long after
the surface dries. Even if you have applied a topical
sealer or paint, there still will be moisture down
IN the concrete.
Lying on continual dampness and cold
can aggravate or contribute to aches and pains. When
concrete is damp--even though it looks dry on the
surface-- it doesn't warm up under your dog. Your
dogs will be much more comfortable and avoid the dangers
from damp concrete if their body heat warms up the
area they are lying on. Since most dogs can't talk,
we felt it was important to tell you this on their
Applying Concrete Remedy Deep Seal (DS) and Concrete
Remedy Top Seal (TS) stops concrete from soaking up
moisture from the ground and prevents it from holding
moisture internally. By fixing your concrete so no
moisture gets into it, from above OR below, your dogs
will be much more comfortable.Go to
"Thanks to the Concrete Remedy Kennel Solution,
my kennel is safer, cleaner and more comfortable!"