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Tips and Tricks
Can we use it to cover over old paving paint? Print E-mail
We've got paving paint which is getting old and it's constantly grimy and very hard to get clean.  Can we colourise some Concrete Guard and use it over the top to hide the ugly paving paint?

This may be possible, but it is not recommended. 

First and foremost, Concrete Guard is designed to be a penetrating concrete sealer which makes its way in to the pores of the surface.  It doesn't make much sense to be applying it over the top of a paint.

If you did apply it over a painted surface, the weak link would become the bond between the paint and its underlying surface.  As the paint is already through a significant portion of its life span, long term satisfaction with the solution could not be guaranteed.

Furthermore, if your paving paint has any silicon content in it, this will cause adhesion issues for other products (especially water based ones) as silicon repels water.  So there is potential for a 'non-bond'.

Your final issue is that paving paints normally peel off over time.  This would undo what you have tried to achieve.

The best solution to the problem (apart from not using paving paint in the first place) is to strip off the paving paint.  We know from our own experience that it's a rotten job to have to do. 

Once you are back to the bare concrete surface you can then apply a tinted coat of Concrete Guard.  It's a lot of work, but it's the correct way to achieve a satisfactory long term solution.
Our concrete is dusty. What can we do? Print E-mail
Chalking or powdering of the concrete slab is called dusting. These surfaces typically powder under any kind of traffic and can easily be scratched by a nail or even by sweeping.

The concrete floor will dust as the wearing surface is weak.  This can be caused by any of the following:

  • finishing applied when the bleed water was still on the surface (reworking water back in to the top 6mm of the slab produces a very high water to mortar ratio and therefore a low strength layer)

  • floating or trowelling in of condensation in to the concrete (per above)

  • inadequate ventilation of confined spaces where engines or other sources of carbion dioxide are present.  The presence of CO2 may cause a chemical reaction known as carbonation, greatly reducing the strength and hardness of the concrete.

  • insufficient or no curing, leading to a very soft surface skin which easily dusts

  • inadequate protection of the fresh concrete from wind, snow, etc which hinders proper curing

If you have dusting on your concrete, there are a few things that you can do to alleviate the symptoms.  Please note that this will not fix any strength issues in the concrete slab, only the surface dusting.

You can apply a chemical floor hardener such as zinc or magnesium flurosilicate per the instructions that will come with these materials.  If the dusting persists, use hardeners with cement properties.

In severe cases, you can wet-grind a concrete floor and then reapply a top layer of cement which should bond properly.
Will bubble gum stick to Concrete Guard? Print E-mail
One of the biggest issues to do with concrete areas in public is the incidence of used bubble gum being discarded on to concrete.  This gum then hardens and is very difficult to remove.

Part of how Concrete Guard works is that it changes the surface tension of the concrete.  This is what stops water and oils 'wetting' and penetrating the porous surface of the concrete.  This hydrophobic nature of the surface of Concrete Guard should make harder to attach bubble gum to the concrete.

Concrete Guard also takes up most of the space in the pores of the concrete, meaning that there should be less porous 'texture' for the gum to 'grip' with.

In theory, bubble gum should not grip to a surface sealed with Concrete Guard as well as it would grip to unsealed concrete.

We've set out to test this by purchasing some bubble gum / chewing gum and producing some deposits that were placed on a test area of concrete that had been previously sealed with Concrete Guard.  These were left for a few days before returning to see how easy it was to remove the hardened gum.

Number one bubble gum suspectThis is where our very scientific testing became 'unstuck'.  Upon return, the gum was no longer there. 

Upon further investigation it was discovered that the family dog apparently has a taste for bubble gum.  We will have to find another method of testing so that we can report the results in the future.

(Pictured right: our number one suspect for the bubble gum disappearance)
How can Concrete Guard be used to cure concrete? Print E-mail
As Concrete Guard can be applied to new concrete as soon as the concrete is no longer 'bleeding' water on the surface, the seal that it creates greatly reduces the rate of evaporation of water from the concrete. 

As the water then remains in the concrete for a greater period of time, the concrete goes through a much longer period of chemically curing.  This enables the concrete to achieve maximum strength and hardness with minimal dusting from its surface.

Click here for extensive information on using Concrete Guard to cure concrete.

How do you remove bubble gum from concrete? Print E-mail
There are a number of ways that you can remove bubble gum from various surfaces.  For example, you can freeze bubble gum on fabric with an ice cube and break it away.  In hair, you can rub in some peanut butter and remove the gum (no, we don't know why it works either).

The problem with bubble gum on concrete is that it has usually been there for a very long time yet still needs to be removed as part of the preparation of existing concrete for sealing with Concrete Guard.

The first step is to try and remove it with a metal scraper or blast it away with a high pressure water "power washer".  For more 'recent' gum deposits, this can be enough to dislodge them as they haven't fully hardened yet.

For the truly difficult examples of fully aged and hardened gum on concrete, we have found some success with chemical paint stripper (which just happened to be handy).  Cover the offending gum mound with the stripper gel and give it time to soften (much as you would for paint removal).

You may wish to use a metal object to scratch across the harder top surface of the gum so that the stripper can penetrate throughout the gum deposit.

Once the gum has softened, you may either scrape it from the concrete or use a high pressure jet of water to dislodge the gum. 

There are other stories out there of using WD40 (engine lubricant spray) or cigarette lighter fuel to break down the gum. 

In accordance with internet folk lore, you may also be able to use Coke to extract bubble gum from hair and this may also have an application in separating bubble gum from concrete.  If we get a chance to test it and it works, we'll update this page with the info.  (and to think that we actually drink the stuff!)

If you have a favourite technique which is not listed here, feel welcome to contact us and share it for the benefit of all others.
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