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What and Why of Concrete Treatments

What Are Concrete Treatments and Why Are They so Important?

Concrete is the backbone of infrastructure. It is used to build bridges, homes, and sidewalks. While it is incredibly strong and durable, it is also porous. This means that over time, it can absorb liquids and pollutants from the environment. We rely on concrete treaments to protect concrete structures and keep them looking their best for years to come. But what are these treatments, and why are they necessary? Let's take a closer look.

Concrete Needs To Be Protected

Concrete is one of the most expensive assets of a construction project. It needs to be protected from the elements and from damage during construction. That's why it's important to use the right concrete protection products during construction.

There are environmental factors that impact the longevity of concrete, like exposure to harsh weather, or heavy traffic that can cause wear.  It's important to keep engineers/specifiers connected with the concrete contractor and the concrete producer to make sure the mix design is appropriate for the application.  This may include additives that are integral to the concrete mix, finishing techniques, or surface treatments.

There are many different types of concrete protection products on the market, so it's important to choose the right one for your project. Here are some factors to consider when choosing concrete finishing products:

  • The type of concrete you're using: There are different types of concrete, each with its own unique properties. Make sure you choose a product that's designed for the type of concrete you're using.

  • The climate: Concrete protection products are designed for different climates. If you're working in a hot, humid climate, for example, you'll need a different product than if you're working in a cold, dry climate.

  • The type of traffic and use: The type of overall use upon completion will affect the type of concrete protection product you need. For example, foot traffic, forklift traffic, and airplane traffic each require completely different treatments based on use.

Differences Between Cures, Hardeners, and Finishing Products

Concrete curing, concrete hardeners, and finishing are all important processes that help to ensure the durability and longevity of concrete structures. However, these terms are often used interchangeably, which can lead to confusion about their specific functions. To better understand the differences between these three processes, it is first necessary to define each one.

Concrete curing is the process of keeping newly placed concrete moist and protected from drying out too quickly. This is typically done by covering the concrete with a layer of plastic or burlap. Curing helps prevent cracking and other forms of damage that can occur when concrete dries out too rapidly.

Hardening is the process of allowing concrete to reach its full strength potential. This typically occurs over 28 days. During this time, the concrete undergoes a chemical reaction known as hydration, which causes it to harden and become more resistant to damage.


How to Calculate the Proper Concrete Mix Design

When designing your concrete mix, there are a few key things you need to keep in mind to get the best possible result for your project. Here are three tips to help you make an informed decision in your mix design.

  • The first thing you need to consider is the type of project you’re undertaking. Are you placing concrete in a patio or driveway? Building a retaining wall? Knowing the purpose of your concrete will help determine the right mix for your needs.

  • Once you know what your concrete mix will be used for, it’s time to think about how much you’ll need. Use a tape measure and calculate the length and width of the area where you’ll be placing the concrete.
Mistakes can happen on any job, so it’s a good practice to keep extra materials on-hand just in case you need them.

  • Another important factor to consider is the weather. Hot weather can cause the concrete to set too quickly, while cold weather can make it difficult to place and work with. If possible, try to schedule your project for a time when the temperature will be mild.

White Cap's nationwide strategic account specialists will help you source hard-to-find and one-of-a-kind items while professional Account Managers offer tailored solutions for your specific job site or office.


So, What’s the Takeaway?

Concrete needs to be protected, and you need to ask the right questions to determine what type of product you will need. If you live in a cold climate, make sure your concrete is adequately cured before winter sets in. There are many different types of cures, hardeners, and finishing products on the market today – more than ever before. That can make it difficult to determine which one is right for your project.

White Cap can help you find the best solution for your specific application. Our extensive knowledge base ensures that we have what you need. If you are interested in learning more about concrete treatments, be sure to check out "Concrete Treatments: Cures, Hardeners & Finishing.”


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