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  • Craig Smith

Choosing the Best Concrete Treatments

How to Choose the Right Formula for Concrete Curing

Concrete is a popular choice for floors and other installations where high-performance needs demand a surface that’s durable, abrasion-resistant, environmentally friendly and economical. While those benefits are inherent in the concrete itself, using the right concrete cures and densifiers at the right time can enhance the look, performance and longevity of your concrete floor. 

Choosing the Best Concrete Treatments Before choosing a concrete product, consider the existing nature of the concrete surface. A newly poured concrete surface may have greatly different characteristics than one that’s several decades old. Evaluate the severity of any already-present issues, too, like spalling, scaling and imperfections. Factor in the practical cleaning, treatment and maintenance needs of the surface, as well as environmental factors like exposure to cold weather or precipitation. Consider a product’s ease of application. A one-step cure or densifier that requires no rinsing allows the application to entail less labor and materials costs. When this treatment can be applied by the same staff or contractors who may already be performing an installation or maintenance work, it can reduce delays.  Environmentally friendly concrete treatment formulas can minimize the chance of harm to employees, customers or visitors from application onward. The use of VOC-compliant formulas often counts toward LEED points. Use this guide to explore the benefits of each Convergent Concrete Pentra product and help you decide which ones best fit your concrete treatment needs for densifiers and cures. Cures and Densifiers Curing concrete can be a labor-intensive and time-consuming process when traditional methods like water curing are used. Because it’s so important to control the moisture in the concrete, a reliable curing method must be used before any additional concrete treatment can be applied. An improperly cured concrete surface, because of plastic sheets or higher temperatures, for example, can lead to future problems with epoxy coating, polishing and overlays like tile or hardwood. That’s why a chemical membrane cure may be the best solution. Not only does it effectively manage the curing process, but it also hardens the concrete surface. Densifiers can be applied before or after curing to harden and improve the durability of a concrete surface. 

  • Pentra-Cure (MH) is a 1-step chemical membrane-forming cure and hardener that enhances the look of concrete surfaces while also protecting them. This is an eco-friendly treatment that is VOC-compliant and specially formulated for commercial and industrial floors.

  • Pentra-Sil (H) is a dust-proofing hardener made for freshly laid concrete slabs,  tilt-up construction surfaces and existing concrete surfaces. Treated surfaces are more abrasion resistant while also protected against water and staining because of the chemical reaction of this densifier. Application requires only one coat, and rinsing is not necessary.

  • Pentra-Sil (HDS) is a hardener, densifier and sealer designed for polished concrete surfaces. It also performs exceptionally well on integrally colored, dyed, stained and polished concrete surfaces. Treated surfaces are less susceptible to color loss and abrasions while color is more effectively retained. After a single application treatment rising isn’t needed. This concrete treatment also helps minimize efflorescence. 

  • Pentra-Sil (IH) is a penetrating hardener used in polishing terrazzo, stone and concrete surfaces. Expect clearer and shinier gloss after polishing treated surfaces. This high-performance formula will not discolor, deteriorate or leave surface blemishes. Application requires only one coat and no rinsing. 

  • Pentra-Shield hardening densifier strengthens new and existing concrete and masonry surfaces by reducing porosity. Spalling and scaling are lessened, and treated outdoor surfaces like driveways, sidewalks and parking structures are less susceptible to freeze and thaw cycles, efflorescence and water damage. 

  • Pentra-Sil (244+) provides salt and UV protection as well as dust-proofing, hardening, densifying and sealing of exterior concrete surfaces. This premium formula is chemically reactive with the concrete to ensure permanent effect on treated surfaces, allowing them to better resist liquid exposure and cutting down on efflorescence and sweating.

  • Pentra-Sil (HD) strengthens existing concrete surfaces while reducing abrasion and increasing stain resistance. When used in polishing, this treatment beautifies the surface with a light sheen and improves the longevity of the finish. Additional benefits include less efflorescence and sweating. This treatment doesn’t contribute to surface ASR or crazing.

  • Pentra-Sil (AC) alkalinity control hardener reduces efflorescence and slab sweating in acidic environments through chemical reactions that are permanent. Treated surfaces resist abrasion as well. On highly acidic surfaces, a treatment of Pentra-Sil® (C&N) may be needed first. 

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