Waterproofing Among Important Concrete Coating Application Considerations
Part three of a five-part article on concrete coatings
Exposure to water will affect the long-term performance of a concrete surface, so when workers apply coatings for protection, especially for an interior surface, they must consider the areas most susceptible to water.
“Any paint or coating you put on there is going to seal and keep water from being an issue,” Lancz says. “Something as simple as a dustproof sealant. Basically, it’s an acrylic where you do two or three coats in a day and it’s going to seal off a concrete floor. Stir the coating with a paint stick. You don’t need a power mixer or anything. You apply it like paint. It dries very quickly and you’re walking on it the next day.”
Workers need to resist the urge to apply coatings too quickly to newly poured concrete.
“If you have new concrete, you have to make sure it is properly cured,” Roehricht says. “I know sometimes people get into tight time binds and they want to get coating on something that’s newly installed or freshly prepared, but concrete being a substrate that cures through the process of hydration it takes time, and you want to make sure that concrete has fully cured so that whatever shrinkage or cracks come out of it, the concrete is ready to accept the coating.”
Managers and workers also need to consider additional issues that will affect the success of the application process::
Ergonomics. “You don’t want to break your back, so if you have an extension pole where you can do it from a standing position, that’s always ideal,” Roehricht says. “It’s not tremendously different from applying vertically. Also, tape off the areas you do not want to expose to coating.”
Mixing. “Prior to mixing, you need to clearly understand the ratio requirements,” Lancz says. “It’s always best to have an experienced person doing the mixing, making sure that he has read not only the technical data but the instruction sheet. Make sure he is mixing part A with part B, as opposed to grabbing two party As and wondering why it’s never cured.”