Resist Attacks!

Softwater and other reactants hazardous to concrete

Resist Attacks!
19 April 2021 Posted in ,

Here’s the situation. You’ve got the care of your council’s water storage and supply infrastructure, which includes many elements constructed of concrete. Concrete is extremely durable – but it doesn’t last forever. Of course, you have an ongoing maintenance program, keeping the concrete watertight, joint sealing and protecting against surface and ultimately reinforcing steel attacks.
So you are on the lookout for concrete treatments that

  • Are very effective, without blowing your budget.
  • Help the concrete last longer, and therefore need less maintenance work.
  • Above all, are safe to use in and around potable water!
Contaminants attacking concrete

What are the hazards?

Let’s look at what we’re protecting against. Moisture-borne contaminants can enter the concrete, reacting with the concrete or with the steel reinforcing. Some of the key challenges for water infrastructure include

  • Soft water.Soft water is untreated water that is characterised by a low dissolved ion content. When soft water comes in contact with concrete it acts as a potent solvent, dissolving the lime that is formed as a by-product of the cement hydration process, and leaving the cement and steel reinforcement bars vulnerable to chemical attacks, corrosion and eventually structural failure.” – Hychem
  • Chlorides.Chlorides in concrete result in the corrosion of reinforced steel. … When chloride ions are present near reinforcing steel they override this passivation causing the initiation of the corrosion process. This is the most common form of corrosion.” – NRMCA
  • Carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide reacts in a two-part cycle, as shown in the diagram below.
The Carbonation Cycle


Vehicle for Contamination

What is common to each of these hazards? The movement of moisture into and around the concrete. Reactants are carried, dissolved in water, into the porosity of the concrete, setting up the conditions for premature deterioration.
Immobilise that moisture – waterproofing the concrete and robbing the reactions of their fuel – and you have successfully protected the concrete!

Safe Concrete Treatments with Many Benefits

Have you met AQURON concrete hydrogel treatments? These water-based colloidal silica products are extremely safe – nil VOC, and certified for potable water. This makes AQURON treatments ideal for potable water supply infrastructure, and equally suitable for bridges and marine structures in sensitive environments.

Enhanced Durability, Reduced Maintenance Costs

Genuine hydrogel treatments are the ideal solution for pro-active maintenance. By pro-active, we mean getting in early, arresting deterioration and delaying decay. AQURON hydrogel treatments immobilise moisture from entering or moving within concrete. This blocks the movement of contaminants and robs internal decay reactions of their driving chemicals.
The net result is preserved and enhanced service life, and reduced maintenance cost over the life of the structure.


Finally, spray-applied hydrogel treatments are cost-effective in a number of ways.

  • Minimal application time, and no need to wait for the structure to completely dry. Single application in most cases.
  • Minimal downtime of infrastructure or trafficable structures (useable about 2 hours after application).
  • No need to re-apply – treatment lasts for the life of the concrete. Don’t lock yourself into a system that needs regular re-coating.

And we’ve already mentioned the long-term maintenance savings.
Sounds interesting? You’ve got a specific concrete repair situation you’d like to talk about?
You can tell us more about your concrete challenges here, or request a 20-minute presentation directly to your team!
Or get in touch by phone or email! Our friendly and experienced team are keen to talk to you.

Markham concrete durability treatments


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We understand that choosing the correct solution and type of product is essential for the success of any project. Markham has a technical support team with many years of concrete industry experience and successful project applications and we are ready to help you find the right solution for your application.

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