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Concrete Protection: Chlorides

The Portland Cement Association, or PCA, is the “premier policy, research, education and market intelligence organization serving America’s cement manufacturers.” They know cement “inside and out.” So, when they say that “no other contaminant is documented as extensively in the literature as a cause of corrosion of metals in concrete than chloride ions,” be assured that chlorides are a danger to concrete. However, they’re not a danger to the concrete itself, but the supporting materials.

What are Chlorides?

Chlorides are a form of the element chlorine. In its natural form, chlorine is found deep within the Earth and readily combines with other elements. Therefore, chlorine is commonly found in everyday substances, like salt. However, when chlorine is present in a water-based solution, it can permeate through concrete and reach the steel bars giving the concrete structural support. The chlorides corrode the metal framework, endangering the skeleton of your concrete floor.

Where Can You Find Chlorides?

Chlorides are often found in saltwater, bleach and swimming pools. Chlorine bleach is a typical cleaning agent in homes and businesses, commonly stored in concentrated form. When it spills, it poses a hazard to any concrete nearby. Likewise, although chlorine levels are kept low in public and private swimming areas, the rooms where the chlorine supply is stored is at high risk for spills and exposure.

A common place to store this liquid is in pump rooms for pools, which often see chlorinated water spill over the surface. Any areas at industrial, medical or other facilities that go under regular disinfecting procedures often use higher amounts of chlorine. In each of these places, the concrete itself might not show any signs of wear, except a random stain, but as the chlorine reaches the steel within the concrete, corrosion inevitably begins.

What Can Be Done About Chlorides?

By far, the best way to stop chlorides from endangering your concrete is with an epoxy coating from West Coast Epoxy. The epoxy coating seals in your concrete, providing a protective barrier that the chlorides cannot get through. The chlorides never have a chance to corrode the steel within your concrete floor.

Using an epoxy coating in regularly disinfected rooms not only protects the concrete, but provides a smooth surface without pores or cracks, so the disinfecting process is more comprehensive. Similarly, pump rooms and storage areas benefit from the structural integrity, protection from spills, and easier cleanup (especially when coved flooring is added). Adding color micas, granules, or color flakes to your epoxy floor adds color and texture to your floor, and chlorine will not cause it to fade away. If you’re concerned about your spills becoming a slip hazard, West Coast Epoxy can add an anti-slip finish, protecting your workers.

Keep Chlorides in Their Place

Whether your concrete floor supports a large business, a small hobby, or anything in between, West Coast Epoxy can provide functional protection and aesthetic enjoyment to your concrete floor. Our gallery has examples, and our agents have answers. Feel free to talk with them over the phone or schedule an appointment online. We’re glad to show you how epoxy flooring will keep chlorides from affecting your concrete.

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