Working with concrete is very different in the winter than during the warm summer months. Especially in the early stages of hydration, cold temperatures can be extremely harmful. A huge problem involves trying to increase the temperature, which leads to carbonation. Although concrete is at a risk for becoming carbonated at any time, the risk factor is much higher when the substance is placed.
When installing concrete flooring in your New York home or business, you need to work with a company like Specialty Concrete Services that is aware of this and other cold weather dangers.
As mentioned, heating mistakes during the installation of concrete flooring in New York can lead to carbonation. In trying to bring temperatures up, heaters that burn fossil fuels are used. However, these heaters produce flue gasses containing carbon dioxide, which is heavier than air. Therefore, carbon dioxide settles into the concrete’s bleed water and dissolves, causing carbonic acid to form.
Once placed, fresh concrete experiences two fast and opposite phase effects. The first is hydrophobic, which is the bleed water that surfaces. The second is hydrophilic, when bleed water absorbs back into the concrete. If the bleed water contains carbonic acid, a chemical reaction occurs with the calcium hydroxide in the paste whereby a compound known as calcium carbonate develops. This soft, white powdery substance is on the surface of the concrete, making the surface softer and, thereby, less resistant to abrasions.
By working with a company like Specialty Concrete Services for your New York concrete floors, carbonation can be avoided. However, if your flooring already has a minor problem, our experts can apply a chemical hardener with a siliconate or silicate base that reacts with the calcium carbonate. The outcome is flooring that is hard, durable, and aesthetically pleasing.