Sealing Concrete

What This Man's

Face Teaches Us

About Concrete.

This is Bill McElligott who delivered milk in Chicago for 28 years.

The window side of his face, exposed to sunlight, is badly damaged. His protected side is fine.

2 Things you need to know about concrete:
1 - Concrete's surface layer is the weakest part of a concrete walkway, driveway or slab (see the bottom of this page to understand why).
2 -Like our skin, without proper care and protection, concrete will wear and break down prematurely. Erosion starts at the surface.

2 Ways to prevent premature erosion of concrete:

A - Maintenance: Avoid deicing salts and keep concrete dry when below freezing. But on-site managers use salt to keep their tenants safe. And clearing walkways 24-7 is not always practical. Note: It is especially important to keep deicing salt off concrete the 1st winter.

B - Prevention: Seal the concrete against moisture and salt. Apply a penetrating, silane based sealer with a 10 year life. (see the bottom of this page to understand how this amazing sealer works). Silane sealers work on both new and partially worn concrete.

Contact Armadillo today for a free demonstration, inspection or estimate.

Greatly extend the life of your concrete investment.

Keep your property looking top-notch.

Concrete's Weak Surface:

Two factors important to concrete's strength are:

a) The amount of water in the concrete at initial hardening.

The more water, the weaker the concrete.

Concrete is a mixture of water and concrete solids. During the initial hardening, the water rises to the top while the solids sink to the bottom. So the surface layer has excessive water, making it the weakest part of the structure.

b) Water available during the curing process.

The more water available, the stronger the concrete. Curing takes several days.

Concrete is a mixture of water and concrete solids. During the initial hardening, the water rises to the top while the solids sink to the bottom. So the surface layer has excessive water, making it the weakest part of the structure.

It is ironic that, on the surface, water is present the wrong quantities at the wrong times.


Even more bad news:

To compound the problem, concrete is porous and hydrophilic (attracts water). 

Concrete is porous.

It contains channels that allow water and salt to soak into the concrete structure.

Concrete is hydrophilic.

Hydrophilic means that concrete attracts and retains water. When water lands on concrete, it soaks in carrying salts from the surface to the interior.

The salt weakens the concrete even further.

The water freezes exerting tremendous pressure which causes the surface to spall and pop.

The result is a common sight around Saskatoon: Surface erosion on walkways, driveways and concrete pads:

In Saskatoon's harsh climate, unprotected concrete is destined to early failure.

Contact Armadillo today for a free demonstration, inspection or estimate.

Greatly extend the life of your concrete investment.

Keep your property looking top-notch.

Silane Sealers:

An effective solution to this problem is to prevent water and salt from entering the concrete.

Sealing concrete is the most cost effective method of prolonging the life and concrete, keeping it looking attractive and avoiding costly and premature replacement.


Silane sealers are like ScotchGuard for concrete. They repel water and salts so that so that freeze thaw cycles and salt erosion cannot happen.


One of their amazing properties is that silane sealers penetrate the concrete, avoiding breakdown by ultraviolet sun rays and continuing to protect even as the surface wears. The protection stays active year after year.

Highway departments use silane sealers on concrete bridge decks.

The silane treatment protects the deck from premature erosion in one of the harshest environments - high volume traffic constantly grinding salt, water and grit into the bridge deck.

Armadillo uses only Alberta Transportation approved silane sealers that have passed rigorous testing. 

How silane treatment protects concrete.

(The video can be accessed here . Key frames from the video are displayed below.) 

Silane sealers create an impermeable membrane that keeps water and concrete apart, preventing erosion and preserving the appearance and integrity of walkways, driveways and concrete pads for years.


Silane sealers DO NOT change the appearance of the concrete. They are invisible.

From Alberta Infrastructure "Best Practices Guidelines for Selecting Concrete Bridge Deck Sealer":

(link to document here)

"By applying penetrating sealers to existing concrete surfaces, the permeability of the concrete is reduced by up to one order of magnitude. The permeability of the concrete is one of the most important factors which will effect the rate of deterioration of rebar corrosion, alkali-aggregate reaction, carbonation, and the effects of freeze-thaw cycles of which all could occur at the same time."

Summary:

1 - Concrete surfaces are the weakest part of walkways, driveways and slabs.

2 - Water and deicing salts, combined with freezing and thawing, erode the concrete.

3 - Silane sealers are an effective solution.

Contact Armadillo today for a free demonstration, inspection or estimate.

Greatly extend the life of your concrete investment.

Keep your property looking top-notch.

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