Concrete ceilings are sometimes selected for ‘industrial’ interior decors, or to give a modern contemporary look, perhaps in conjunction with drop-down lighting. The soffits of suspended slabs may be left bare to form the ceiling, for aesthetics or for a cost-effective option.
Of course, concrete soffit ceilings are found in non-habitable spaces too, such as parking garages.
One issue that does arise over time, from an exposed concrete ceiling, is concrete dust.
What, How and Why?
Concrete dusting is caused by some of the basic components of the concrete not binding permanently into the matrix of the slab. If it occurs early in the life of the slab, it may have been caused by inadequate curing methods, or by rushed finishing or overworking of the surface. However, an unprotected slab will usually emit dust over time due to carbonation, regardless of the initial placement methods. The problem becomes significant when that dust is descending through habitable space, from the ceiling itself.
Concrete dust is made up of several elements, but fundamentally it contains calcium and silica compounds, leftovers of the concrete curing process or the result of carbonation of the surface. In addition to creating unsightly dust build-up in a room, neither silica or calcium are particularly good for the lungs, if inhaled, and have potential to cause long-term damage.
It’s critical to bind the various elements of the concrete, into the matrix of the slab.
The common approach is to seal the concrete with a surface coating. The drawback of this method is that the coating itself tends to deteriorate with age. Not only will it require recoating periodically (with accompanying disruption to the use of the habitable space) but small segments of the ageing coating can contribute to the detritus from the ceiling.
The best and advanced solution is to bind the ‘free’ and reactive elements, the causes of the issue, into a hydrogel formation.
Aquron 1000 penetrating hydrogel treatment can be surface applied to new or existing concrete surfaces. The treatment penetrates about 150mm into the slab, independent of gravity, due to a catalytic reaction with the elements of the slab. The result is a dust-free, durable surface – less permeable, less reactive, and above all less dusty!
For best results, act early
No question about it, the best results and most effective durability will be achieved if the concrete is treated early. Specify Aquron 1000 for treating new exposed concrete sealings, and avoid long-term deterioration issues.
If you are looking to treat an existing ceiling, Aquron 1000 will still penetrate and bind. It is advisable to have the ceiling inspected professionally before proceeding, to make sure there is no other underlying deterioration which may prevent the treatment being effective.
For more information, get in touch with the friendly team at Markham!