Innovative Concrete Coatings

After graduate school, I followed my love interest to Cincinnati, OH, where I responded to an ad for a concrete surface coater. Why not? So, I applied. The VPs of the concrete ready mix company had set up a subsidiary to cure freshly poured concrete. The concrete contractors were doing a poor job of curing, and the ready-mix concrete was getting the bad rep.
Easily, ninety-nine percent of concrete problems are with the contractor, not the concrete. Cracked concrete is not the concrete's fault, for all concrete cracks. The goal is to control the cracking with control joints.

Pitted or scaled concrete results from improperly curing the concrete. Instead of a weather-resistant hard surface, the surface is porous which soaks up water. Freezing temperatures turns the water into expanding ice which pops the concrete surface. As you would not let a painter hopscotch about painting your house with a water house nor should concrete be cured with a non-methodical method. NUBS

How can you tell if your new or old concrete was not cured properly? Take a garden hose to it.

  1. If the concrete turns grey, it was not cured at all.
  2. If the concrete has the look of a painted house that is badly peeling so as to look like a moonscape, then it was haphazardly cured.

Most curing methods are akin to the little girl getting into momie's cosmetic chest. What looks cute on little Suzy looks like an impending expensive replacement job on concrete.

How do you salvage a poorly cure concrete mess? Like a peeling house, you paint it with a weather-resistant product, a water sealant. If the concrete was properly cured, you should re-seal it every ten years as you would reseal an asphalt drive way then the coating weathers away. If the concrete was not properly cured, then you will need to surface seal it twice as often. The best water-sealant ?

The VPs had purchased an expensive low volume, high pressure gasoline powered machine for several thousand dollars. Wrong solution for a big problem. The pressure could not be turned down low enough to avoid the curing compound (watery in density) vaporizing in the wind. Spent a lot of time doing areas in 6" swatches.

Quickly, over one weekend, I constructed a low-pressure, high-volume sprayer from a garden hose, fertilizer nozzlers, 1/4 copper tubing and a 7psi air pump. Cost? Less than $100. With this 6-nozzle, 6-ft spray wand, I could cure a whole concrete drive in less time than it took to get the hose on and off the truck. What had been the weekly goal became a daily or half-day achievement.

My compensation rapidly grew as my modest weekly salary received a bonus of one cent for each square foot. I was soon making more than the VPs! Soon, out of the blue, the Senior VP said I could benefit from an office manager. News to me. I'd not had a problem in providing the accountant with needed paper work nor heard a complaint about bookkeeping problems. Soon, I was looking for a job.

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05-22-2015 @ 07:32:34