Out of the Archives – the Napier Wool Store

Assisting in adaptive re-use of existing structures

How MARKHAM protected exposed concrete floors from heavy contamination!


An existing wool store in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, was being restored and upgraded. The exposed concrete had absorbed many years of lanolin from the wool and needed protection both from a hygiene aspect and to extend its service life. The floor was black with lanolin, and furthermore, there was moisture coming up through the concrete which would be detrimental to the wool.


As a first step, the lanolin which blackened the floors was scrubbed off the surface using a citrus-based cleaner and mechanical scrubbing. This also removed the ageing red paint which had been applied to some areas of the floor.

Then the floor was sealed with concrete hydrogel treatment, to arrest moisture movement outwards and seal against lanolin penetration inwards.


The result was a soundly sealed slab, protected against contamination and moisture movement, and suitable for continued use for many years to come. Service life was therefore restored and enhanced.

This was a very satisfactory outcome for the asset owner, and avoided the need of the floor being partially or totally replaced. More pictures here, or download the case study.

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