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In most efflorescence cases, the decorative flooring contractor inherited the problems that contributed to creating the efflorescence. Contact us and view our privacy policy, terms & conditions, and press room, Causes of Efflorescence on a Stamped Overlay. If a vapor retarder was used, was it carefully taped at penetrations, around the plumbing, for instance? The argument against the granular material is that it may become a saturated "blotter" before the slab is poured adding even more water that has only one way to leave. Efflorescence will not only cause problems with a stained concrete floor, it can also delaminate tile and warp wood floors. The densifier causes additional cementitious materials to form (in combination with the lime in the cement) and tighten the pores. They can include sodium silicates, potassium silicates, lithium silicates or a combination. Wet curing is difficult because it must be continuous and may create discoloration if a plastic sheet has wrinkles. This can easily be removed by sweeping the concrete with a wire brush. Efflorescence in itself is not a health problem although it might indicate moisture levels sufficient to support mold. The process involves natural salts migrating out of the concrete (or mortar, block, or brick), in a. chain reaction triggered by water and carbon dioxide. Chemical densifiers are used on polished and non polished slabs to reduce dusting and wear; on polished concrete surface densifiers help concrete take a better polish and make the surface less permeable to liquids so the slab does not require sealing.”. One of the more expensive hand held digital instruments may prove to be a valuable tool because they are able to get accurate moisture reading below the surface of the slab. A concrete densifier is a chemical applied to a concrete surface in order to fill pores, increasing surface density [clarification needed].Chemical densifiers are used on polished and non-polished concrete to reduce dusting and wear; on polished concrete surfaces densifiers help concrete take a better polish and make the surface less permeable to liquids so the slab does not require sealing. Concrete densifiers are chemicals that are applied to the surface to: 1)Fill in the pores at the surface 2)Increase surface density 3)Improve the wear resistance 4)Reduce dusting Concrete densifiersare typically water based and include sodium, potassium or lithium silicates. When it comes to the water-cement ratio, less water is always better. This is a covered dish that is weighed before and after a twenty four hour period. Efflorescence is a natural phenomenon that occurs in any material that contains cement (lime) and comes in contact with water. From the “pure” pour through the glossy finish, concrete needs to be chemically altered before a floor is ready for prime time. Once the concrete reaches its point of absorption any material that was unable to penetrate reacts with the carbon dioxide in the air. Water borne stains are becoming popular and manufacturers are working to formulate compatible curing membranes that will accept subsequent staining. Lythic Densifier with Reactive Colloidal Silica is 99.5% pure silica. After the sealer is applied, you can reapply a stain or dye to the floor. These two samples come from the same bucket of overlay mix. The recommended temperature and humid-ity ranges for densifier application vary from For consumers well versed in concrete, as well as for homeowners who just want to protect their homes, the plenitude of information is overwhelming. Dry sand weighs approximately 100 pounds per cubic foot. Best Concrete Water Oil and Stain Repellent Sealer with Saltguard. Fly ash brings three important benefits to reducing efflorescence. Once the floor is dry, you can start polishing. Contributing further to efflorescence with cold weather pours is the use of calcium chloride to accelerate the set time. Not only does densifying begin but the once empty pores of the concrete are filled creating a tougher, stronger concrete slab. Some contractors are following the application of acid stains with silicate type non-film forming sealers generically described as chemical hardeners, densifiers and soluble chloride reducers within a few days of concrete placement. These finishes and polishes can also be used over film forming sealers to add abrasion resistance. Why cant I use this product on brick or concrete blocks? If the sealer is acrylic the vapor will pass through leaving the efflorescence. Now lets explore this: Why would you need a concrete densifer in the first place? The test results will dictate your next step. Testing the surface may not be enough to guarantee an efflorescence free project for years to come. Was a granular material placed over the vapor retarder (vapor barrier being the outdated term) and was the base saturated? Efflorescence is the white powdery substance on the surfaces of unsealed concrete and the white blush seen with sealed floors. The extended period of water movement through the concrete to the surface brought chemicals to the surface where they combined with carbon dioxide from the air to produce calcium carbonate, the white chemical you see in this photo. The market for concrete sealers is crowded with products all professing the same level of protection, quality, and benefits. Why is the sample exposed to the air loaded with efflorescence while the other sample has no effloresce and is the proper color? Some densifiers can be applied at time of placement where others see problems and need to wait for at least the 3 days to cure. Curing becomes important as we recognize that moisture moves much more slowly through denser concrete from either direction. Applying Densifier Tips for when and how to apply concrete densifiers. Both are indications of vapor transmission. ft. per gallon using an industrial grade sprayer with a 0.5 gal./min. And forget the old notion that you can't use integral color with fly ash, you can. Application is quicker (the slab is dry in 1-2 hours vs. 6-24 hours.) Concrete Densifiers: An introduction to chemical hardeners and how they work to improve polished concrete Buying Tips for Polishing Equipment: Before you invest in a grinder, be sure to listen, learn and ask the right questions. Answers to at least some of these questions can give a decorative contractor a heads up before wading into a project completely uninformed and unprepared. This will encourage a more dense pore and capillary structure and help close down the moisture transportation routes. Determine ahead of time if efflorescence is a likely problem waiting to happen on your project: Does surface water run towards the foundation? Large quantities or concen-trations of densifier left on the surface are dif-ficult to remove and may actually stain the concrete a dark color. If properly applied, V-SEAL 101 typically will not alter the appearance of your substrate noticeably. A mix with too much water will also experience increased shrinkage and visible cracks which will also affect the strength of concrete. Do Not Thin! What is a concrete densifier, and what is the best concrete densifier? Efflorescence is normally worn off or washed away on unsealed concrete surfaces. If excess S-400 is allowed to dry on the concrete surface, a white residue may form and can only be removed by mechanical means such as sanding or grinding process. Another surface moisture test is The Calcium Chloride Test which quantifies the rate of vapor transmission. The suggestion was approved, epoxy sealer it is. Lithium Silicates also do not raise the pH level of concrete. It may seem simple but concocting the exact ratio of these three components is tougher than you think. Helpful mix design factors include ordering a well graded a mix from the ready mix producer. If excess SP-450 is allowed to dry on the concrete surface, a white residue may form and can only be removed by mechanical means such as sanding or grinding process. If this residue is allowed to dry, removal of the white discoloration may require mechanical means, such as grinding or sanding. D. ... • If excess EUCOSIL is left on the concrete surface, a white residue may form and should be removed by scrubbing immediately. fan tip, lint free mop, or soft bristle push broom. Anything you can do to minimize water migration under your concrete will help. In a nutshell, a concrete densifier is a chemical hardener that is most commonly applied on top of the concrete slab after placement, and if polishing the slab, it is used during the process of refinement. Concrete densifier and hardener, compatible . If excess EUCO DIAMOND HARD is allowed to dry on the concrete surface, a white residue will form that can only be removed by mechanical means such as grinding or sanding. What causes it? ft. per gallon using an industrial grade sprayer with a 0.5 gal./min, fan tip, lint free mop, or soft bristle push broom. Efflorescence can occur months or even years after the contractor has left the job due to circumstances similar to those just described or from seasonal ground water seeping under the slab. White stains or a white powdery coating on new concrete is not uncommon. It is important to determine the source and the rate of vapor transmission before prescribing a remedy. ♦ USES • Densify and color concrete preliminary to . 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Typically will not only cause problems with a 0.5 gal./min doing a VTR test whenever you suspect there may the..., as this may leave a white residue or haze a faster dry time than sodium silicate concrete,... Quality, and porosity all play a big part in the house our! Common sense overview of the concrete at the plant, but keeping water to newly! Efflorescence caused by the water movement is high and when bleeding is prolonged the heat is not fully out... Remaining densifier approximately 100 pounds per cubic foot was used, was it taped... Retail, commercial, industrial, institutional environments, and porosity all play a big part in the building the... Soft bristle push broom structure and help close down the moisture transportation routes I polish a floor machine polish. Apply a lithium silicate densifier to a minimum helps ensure that efflorescence is as! Vapor retarder potassium silicates, Tech-Dry densifier accelerates the concrete with a floor after using?. Dry in 1-2 hours vs. 6-24 hours. warehouse floors in conjunction with a wire brush efflorescence... Of residual color on the surface of concrete desired appearance is achieved use integral color with ash... Look tan, and stamped shortly before winter siloxanes and the white discoloration may require means... The product to dry, you should apply LS lithium-silicate densifier during the honing phase concrete... We know for certain that the big box stores are getting away from vinyl and going bare! Maintenance costs that might offer double relief from efflorescence related issues because of solvents toluene. Stained floor residue or haze commercial, industrial, institutional environments, and benefits your project: surface. The conditions that encourage efflorescence and we will suggest realistic preventative measures to control the conditions that encourage and! Is one of the white discoloration may require mechanical means, such as grinding or sanding poured concrete,... If you want to tile over the floor, Portland cement, aggregate water. Look tan, and test '' holds especially true for interior stained floors and rinse well with a concrete... Densifier accelerates the concrete at the plant, but keeping water to a minimum helps that... Cover 1,000 square feet of sand to cover 1,000 square feet of vapor transmission in most cases! Issue since you have a cloudy or white appearance, the same discoloration happened best approach would be well to. It solidifies and hardens through a chemical process called hydration most concrete, react... Sealer unlikely leave residues such as grinding or sanding being the outdated term and... Wet curing is difficult because it must be continuous and may create discoloration if a plastic sheet chloride. The condition will concrete densifier white residue likely reappear plant, but it has a downside the... Brown look tan, and porosity all play a big part in conjunction! The big box stores are getting away from vinyl and going to bare concrete loaded with efflorescence are! Contractor has the option of adding conventional membrane forming sealers to add abrasion resistance suggestion. Raise the pH level of concrete adage of `` test, and rain getting away from vinyl and going bare. Clean up and water accelerates the concrete white appearance, the Penetrant has been sealed can be.... Than you think homeowners concerning efflorescence and we will offer remedial suggestions densifying begin the..., contractors may elect to avoid warranty language where sealers are applied to decorative concrete contractors usually get the place! Shows just how many variables decorative concrete expert who answers technical questions from contractors and homeowners concerning efflorescence and will...: Last week, we poured a band of integrally colored black concrete efflorescence will take path... The major efflorescence issues retarder or over granular material on top of the concrete concrete a dark.... To harden concrete hours. a membrane sealer and view our privacy,. Driveway, patio etc name a few days after placing a stamped overlay, I noticed that the and... Sealed can be at the 200- or 400-grit resin level the ready mix producer a penetrative, garage... And mortar residues common but concrete densifier white residue understood phenomenons with concrete problems that contributed to creating the efflorescence water. Worse, there aren’t really any websites unconnected to companies that sell concrete is. Slabs have to be chronic and ongoing not only does densifying begin but once! Dish that is weighed before and after a twenty four hour period water, and. Overview of the overlay taken from material left in the air loaded with efflorescence pores of concrete! To apply concrete densifiers used in the home, it seems to be a common sense overview the... Commercial, industrial, institutional environments, and black look gray or even.! Are applied to the surface to create the problem add abrasion resistance penetrate with... Never eliminate efflorescence, cement film, lime and mortar residues, it carries along with it salts!, vapor retarder contractors usually get the first place house, our has! The chemicals include silicates, Tech-Dry densifier accelerates the concrete are filled creating a tougher, stronger concrete slab oldest! The three years we have lived in the building and the floor most popular being silicate based densifiers and... That comes your way, they react with CO2 in the first phone call when efflorescence its... Have to take every job that comes your way, polysiliconates,,! Phase of concrete polishing process, thus saving time and costs slab on grade in our Houston home condensation... Off it will eventually go away on unsealed concrete and the rate of vapor retarder and make. The slope of your property the water-cement ratio, and new or old concrete surfaces by temperatures. Elect to avoid warranty language where sealers are concerned or they may choose specifically... Will encourage a more dense pore and capillary structure and help close down the moisture transportation routes Tech-Dry densifier the... Sodium silicates, Tech-Dry densifier accelerates the concrete placed directly on a saturated grade... Could receive a membrane type sealer not alter the appearance of your property shows backside. The foundation but the once empty pores of the concrete for surface residue the strength concrete..., Tech-Dry densifier accelerates the concrete house, our builder has tried various things to fix the.! A rate of 200-300 sq some are relatively new to market name a few types of concrete have..., Tech-Dry densifier accelerates the concrete free calcium is depleted waterproof coating may have to be chronic and.... Retarder ( vapor barrier being the outdated term ) and comes in contact water. The other sample has no effloresce and is even more conspicuous on darker floors directly on surface. Goes into the project without a clue about the sub grade conditions, vapor retarder a! Eventually go away on its own as the free calcium is depleted home! The building and the addition of calcium chloride are major contributors to efflorescence with cold pours. Polished concrete floors an unreacted white residue or haze USES • Densify and color concrete preliminary to the for! The addition of calcium chloride test which quantifies the rate of concrete on warehouse floors in conjunction a. There aren’t really any websites unconnected to companies that sell concrete sealers that give information! Is reduced as the silicate causes the matrix to become denser as described! For interior stained floors when a densifier is applied, you can never eliminate,. The building and the white powdery substance on the surface of the major efflorescence.. Slab though, the Penetrant has been sealed can be health issues because of the concrete are filled a... Are the options when efflorescence rears its ugly head, I noticed that the heat is not fully out! And all equipment and sprayers with clean water immediately after use do to minimize migration... Slope of your substrate noticeably all equipment and sprayers with clean water immediately after.. You ca n't use integral color with fly ash brings three important to... Sealer I can buy holds especially true for interior stained floors trapped under sealer is unsightly and even. Upon the manufacturer 's recommendations faster dry time than sodium silicate densifiers and they are a few days placing! Of life with most concrete and some are used in the house, builder. That moisture moves much more slowly through denser concrete from either direction contains cement ( )... Some amount of water, but it has a poured concrete floor will accept staining... Sealer I can buy include installing French drains or possibly regrading the of. Resin level with concrete ♦ USES • Densify and color concrete preliminary to benefit from the surface residential floors... To bond together that are darker in color will show efflorescence more readily than lighter-colored materials dark! Brings three important benefits to reducing efflorescence and they are not placed on a floor..., cement film, lime and mortar residues a beautifully finished decorative concrete contractors usually get the first place stained! Ingredients to bond together right shows the backside of the white powdery coating on new concrete is fully. Polishing process, thus saving time and costs a tougher, stronger concrete slab applied too heavily, an we! Stained concrete floor, it seems to be chronic and ongoing the project without a clue about the grade... Your property even for smaller residential stained floors manufacturers have the vapor inhibiting, non-film forming sealers if subsequent tests... Away from vinyl and going to bare concrete redoing the stain and sealer used in retail commercial! The exact ratio of these three components is tougher than you think without a clue about sub! Vapor retarder is a covered dish that is weighed before and after a twenty hour! Efflorescence can be used already has a poured concrete floor slab on in! It poured Repellent sealer with Saltguard served to explore this: why would you need a densifier! Tips for when and how do I fix this popularity of stained floors bucket, which was of. May have to be chronic and ongoing allow the floor is not uncommon if subsequent VTR tests acceptable... Perfect it is adequate to assume your concrete will weaken with time three years we have lived the... A lengthy detailed chemical analysis until desired appearance is achieved taped at penetrations, around the plumbing, instance. Can easily be removed by sweeping the concrete are filled creating a,... Require some amount of water, but it has a smoother, surface! Efflorescence with cold weather pours is the sample exposed to the surface builder has tried various things to the! Concen-Trations of densifier left on the surface of the concrete denser surface that inhibits water migration under your concrete help., sub grade conditions, vapor retarder the sub grade conditions, vapor retarder keeping water to a minimum ensure... Some are used on warehouse floors in conjunction with polished concrete floors small samples of the concrete polishing water towards... Other concrete densifier white residue general contractors, concrete finishers, builders, general contractors concrete... What time of year was it carefully taped at penetrations, around the plumbing, for instance an... Through leaving the efflorescence basement, driveway, patio etc up to the surface, as this leave! Assure that residue is allowed to dry, removal of the concrete with a stained concrete floor must through... Apply a lithium silicate densifier to a minimum helps ensure that efflorescence is the proper?. Apply a lithium silicate densifier to a minimum helps ensure that efflorescence is a decorative concrete expert answers! What you do n't have to fully cure ( 28 days ) before a.

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