Calcium Hydroxide is left over from the cement paste hydration process. If left untreated, calcium hydroxide reacts with carbon dioxide in the air and turns into chalky dust. Dust ends up on everything.
For years, the only remedy to sealing concrete floors was to cover them with a film or membrane. Products included acrylics, urethanes, epoxies and waxes. These treatments were a temporary method of sealing concrete. They are subject to delamination, scratching, chipping and wear. Eventually, they have to be replaced.
Densification – Hardening From the Inside Out
A concrete floor is usually between 4-6” inches thick. Most of the wear takes place in the top 1/16th inch wear zone of the concrete. That’s where the concrete is most vulnerable. Densification is not a topical layer that seals the surface of a concrete floor. Densification is the application of a liquid silicate hardener to a concrete surface to create a chemical reaction. The densification reaction process fills in the natural pores and voids in the concrete through a process of crystalline growth. The concrete is densified internally and inorganically. The same reaction also hardens the concrete and locks up the dust.
What remains is a crystalline-densified version of the concrete that was there in the first place. Because the chemistry is inorganic, there is nothing to wear out, scratch or peel. The seal is the result of an ongoing chemical reaction that takes several months to complete.
Once densification takes place, foreign matter such as oil, alkali, free lime and traffic scum are easily removed with regular cleaning. A regular maintenance program is highly recommended to remove surface contaminants. Any acids or other corrosive materials should be removed immediately from the floor.
Ashford Formula – LEED Certified Densifier
Ashford Formula is a chemically reactive densification liquid that penetrates the concrete, solidifying the concrete surface components into a solid mass. It produces a permanently denser, harder, penetration and abrasion-resistant concrete surface. Ashford Formula is inorganic, non-toxic, VOC free, colorless and odorless. It produces no fumes, vapors, off-gassing and improves indoor air quality
- The Ashford Formula’s green qualities make it an exceptional choice for today’s sustainable and green building initiatives. It has been widely specified for use on projects that have garnered LEED Certified, LEED Silver, LEED Gold and LEED Platinum status.
- An Ashford Formula treated floor will be 32% harder within the first 30 minutes of treatment. The treated concrete will continue to harden over time. The Ashford Formula also acts as a supplement to surface and aggregate hardeners. also significantly reduces crazing, or “map cracking” because it stabilizes the surface.
- Floors are more resistant to staining, easier to clean, and free from dusting. In our experience, densifiers also produce a higher, deeper gloss.
Immediately After Treatment
- The hardening and dust proofing will take effect within the normal curing period on new concrete and within 24-48 hours on existing concrete. The floor will have a normal concrete appearance or a slight sheen (broom-finished or rough-textured concrete will retain its natural concrete appearance.)
- The density and hardness of the floor will be immediately enhanced. However, care should be taken not to gouge the floor with nails, etc. after the initial placement.
- To accelerate the sheen, the floor can be burnished or cleaned daily using an auto-scrubber equipped with medium-aggressive nylon brushes. A spiff coat can also be done to enhance the initial sheen.
3-6 Months After Treatment
- If the standard maintenance program is followed, smooth-troweled floor surfaces will develop a sheen.
- Note: A sheen will not develop on floors with an open, porous finish, or on floors with a broom finish.
- On steel-troweled floors, water typically begins to bead on the surface.
12 Months After Treatment
- A hard shell-finished surface will develop.
- Surface is resistant to oil penetration and moisture contamination.