How to Protect New Concrete

This section, protecting new concrete, deals with concrete that has already been poured and finished but never treated or protected.

Because it is new, untreated concrete, you have the perfect opportunity to avoid problems with your floors. Take your time and investigate options.

Sometimes folks decide to paint a floor, or apply a clear sealer or a stain. The next thing they do is go down to a big box store and buy something off the shelf and do the floor. Then they have a failure of the material. Now they are up against it. I hear this story very often.

As an old cowboy poet/humorist named Bill Jones from Lander, Wyoming was famous for saying: "I ain't makin' this up!"

If you don't have a good track record of successfully treating concrete flooring with very good results then make sure you get some expert advice so you can avoid pitfalls.

The first step is to decide exactly what you are going to do before you do anything.

Deciding "exactly" includes these (at least) things:

First, knowing specifically what product you want to use and why.

Decide what features and performance characteristics you want and seek a product that will provide them. Every product has pros and cons. Every product is not best suited for everything. Although some advertising leads you to believe there is a perfect, miracle just isn't so.

Secondly, it means knowing exactly what is required for preparation before you buy the product.

Different types of products and ways to protect floors require somewhat different preparation steps. By deciding exactly what you are going to do before starting into preparation may save you from back-tracking and starting over or doing unnecessary work.

Thirdly, it means that you know the pros and cons about the material.

For example, a product may have good stain resistance (a pro) but it gets that capability by forming a film over the surface of the concrete, which ends up making it very slick (a con).

Fourth, it means you know exactly what has to be done for maintenance and the preparation required for maintenance.

This is an area of huge problems. Usually sellers of products do not make clear to the consumer what has to be done to do ongoing maintenance. Often it is minimized to make the product sound easy to use.

For example, if a coating or sealer peels or comes up in places, the whole surface should be stripped. If you don't clean off failed coatings, the new coating on sticks to the old coating and not the substrate, i.e., your concrete floor. So as the old material continues the process of gradually coming off, it will take the new coating along with it. The only exception to this rule is if you have very specific small areas of obvious contamination resulting in peeling...and everywhere else it is stuck well.

Fifth, it means you have given consideration to the issue of price versus cost and have estimated the future cost of your choice.

Everyone loves a good deal... a real steal...getting something for a little bit of money. That's a good idea for garage sales, but in coatings... well the old saying says it best...

"Only rich people can afford to use cheap paint"

Same thing is true of concrete sealers and coatings. Trust me, if you pay a little it is going to cost you more in the long run. Usually many times more.

So when it comes to coatings, paint, floor treatments for your concrete floors -- do not be a "price" buyer. Instead, investigate the issue of "cost" as well.

The truth is that the very most expensive material is not always the best, nor the least expensive not always the worst. But the general trend is indisputable. After many years of stripping failed coatings myself, and talking to people every week who have coating failures, I want to warn you... take this advice to heart.

A good starting point is to read over the information in "How to Plan for New Kennel Flooring". Clicking this link will open a new window, then you can just continue here when you have read over that information.

Here's my advice for things to consider and some things to avoid

Remember to consider both interior and exterior areas. They have different exposures and many products for interior use should not be used outside.

The Kennel Kit is an exception to the general rule. It can be used equally as well indoors and out of doors. In fact, I strongly urge using it outside as it avoids all the pitfalls and risks of surface coatings. If you are going to put a coating on the interior for cosmetic improvement, then you would just use the Deep Seal as a concrete prep (similar to primer idea) and not the Top Seal.

More to come.... in meantime, please call or email for more information or help.




Remember This:

Changing the color of concrete is always going to cost you more over time than not attempting to alter the look of concrete.

Totally penetrating materials that do not change the appearance are usually the easiest to maintain.

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