Techniques For Preventing Damage And Deterioration To Concrete Surfaces

To prevent deterioration from environmental factors, concrete structural members must have their surfaces protected. Damage to concrete structures is caused by a variety of factors, including chemical attack, corrosion of reinforcement due to water or moisture permeability, structures nearby sea-coast etc. In order to prevent from damages, concrete members must have their surfaces protected.

What are the techniques to protect the concrete surfaces?

The surface protection measures listed below can be used to reduce or stop damage to concrete structures: –
  1. Hydrophobation
  2. Painting
  3. Impregnation
  4. Sealers
  5. Coating

    The degree of surface protection for concrete structures achieved from these measures increases in the order as they have been listed above. The procedure by which the protection of the concrete surface is accomplished differentiates between various methods of surface protection. In the impregnation system, by preventing concrete from absorbing water through capillaries, protection is achieved. Sealants and coatings create a closed, thin film on concrete’s surface, increasing the level of surface protection.

What are the differences between methods of sealers and coatings?

  1. Sealers – It protects the concrete surface by creating a film on the concrete surface. The application of more impregnation agent, which tends to produce a film, or the selection of suitable resins are two methods for sealing concrete surfaces. The following plastics are frequently used as concrete surface sealants: –
    • Epoxy resins (EP)
    • Polyurethane resins (PU)
    • Polymethylmetacrylate resins (PMMA); and
    • Unsaturated polyester resins (UP)
    Additionally, sealants can act as a coatings primer.
  2. Coatings – Compared to sealers, coatings offer more protection for concrete surfaces. Coatings have a higher resistance to the diffusion of internal moisture. Coatings come in two varieties: thin coatings and thick coatings. A thin layer conforms to any surface unevenness of the concrete. As much as possible, a plain surface with a thickness of 1mm or greater is formed using thick coatings. A thick coating will therefore even out any surface unevenness.

    The following qualities should be present in a suitable coating material: –
    • Resistance against chemical attacks
    • Resistance to temperature changes
    • Good adhesion to the surface
    • Adequate tensile strength and elasticity; and
    • Adequate abrasion resistance
    Epoxy resin, bituminous compound linseed oil, silicon preparation, rubber emulsion, or even simple cement coating are coatings appropriate for protecting concrete surfaces. Additionally, coatings are used to patch cracks in concrete structures. High elasticity coating materials are employed for this. Epoxy systems are well recognised for changing their characteristics in response to changes in temperature and sun exposure.

To learn more about how we can help your commercial or residential property, contact the team at Structural Repairs (M) Sdn Bhd for more information. Our team will be happy and glad to assist you.

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