The previous articles of this series focused on corrosive liquids that deteriorate concrete. You may not worry about such materials, but there are other common things that affect concrete. One of them is something nearly all of us see at one time or another in Sacramento: freezing temperatures.
Aggregate Expansion in Concrete
To discuss the problem with freezing temperatures, we first need to define an aggregate. Any object or structure formed from a loosely compacted mass of fragments or particles can be called aggregate. For our purposes, the term refers to one of the main ingredients in a cement mixture — such as mineral rock fragments, gravel, sand, or even recycled bits of old concrete. Despite being solid, a concrete slab is still porous. Therefore, the aggregates inside concrete can absorb water. A lengthy rainstorm or standing water can thereby lead to aggregates becoming saturated, like rocks in a river, pond or stream.
Problems really start when this water freezes, because when water becomes ice, it expands. That means the water inside concrete and aggregate expands the concrete itself in a process called aggregate expansion. A common visual feature of this phenomenon is a popout — a fragment of concrete that breaks away from the surface of the slab. Sometimes it looks like a sliver or chip that’s come loose from your driveway or garage floor. If you see one of these, or the cavities they leave behind, your concrete is suffering from aggregate expansion. This weakens the concrete’s integrity over time.
Keep Your Concrete Solid
Thankfully, West Coast Epoxy knows how to waterproof your concrete, significantly limiting the amount of moisture that makes it to the aggregates. Our epoxy coating acts both like a seal and a blanket, keeping your concrete dry and reducing the chance of popouts or aggregate expansion. This protective coating especially benefits companies with freezer rooms. And let’s not forget the nearly infinite ways you can customize the look, feel, and safety level of epoxy flooring!
Even if you haven’t seen popouts or cavities in your concrete, it’s a great idea to contact West Coast Epoxy. Our skilled agents look over your floor for any concerns and then discuss with you how to address them. Perhaps concrete polishing would be best, or maybe your floor might need moisture remediation before we install an epoxy coat with a non-slip finish. Give us a call, or schedule a free consultation so we can help you protect your concrete from freezing temperatures or moisture.