Concrete Protection: Considerations for Choosing the Right Coating Product
Concrete floors and slabs are robust and long-lasting structures. However, these surfaces are exposed to adverse conditions which can cause contamination and accelerated deterioration. In general, floors and other flat areas are subjected to diverse forms of abuse, including mechanical impact, chemical attacks and abrasion. Therefore, concrete needs protection to prevent damage from these harsh processes. Also, a protective coating will improve the appeal and service life of the surface. If you are uncertain about selecting the right protection product, consider the below-outlined factors for optimal results.
Condition of the Concrete Surface
When choosing a concrete protection material, you should know the state of the surface. Simply speaking, not all the coating products are suitable for every type of structure. As a precaution, you should only use protection on surfaces which are in good structural condition, clean and free of contamination. However, older structures can still be modified with the right coating. If the surface is distressed and has cracks and spalls, you should choose a protective product with levelling and patching properties. On the other hand, if the concrete floor or slab is new, a coating with excellent adherence is necessary. The right material will limit the need for extensive preparation of the fresh, smooth surface.
Surface Performance Condition
You should evaluate the type of conditions to which your concrete surface will be exposed when choosing the right coating product. In simple terms, determine the environmental adversities from which you would like to protect the floor or slab. If you are planning on modifying a structure in an industrial setup, you might want to choose a product which is resistant to chemical exposure. Abrasion is a common problem for high traffic areas, so the protective coating should be thick and free from long-term wear. If the area is used for bulky loads, install a product with the ability to withstand high impact. Also, evaluate temperature fluctuations and select a protection system which can withstand thermal shock.
Protective floor coating systems are not primarily intended to improve the visual impact of the concrete surface. However, you can improve the aesthetic value of the structure in addition to boosting the functional performance. Therefore, when shopping for your protective product, you should inquire about its final appearance. Choose a colour which will complement the environment in which the surface is installed. Also, look for a good texture with a distinctive decorative appearance.
Finally, you should remember that low-cost concrete protection systems often come at the expense of quality.