Lately California Custom Coatings has discussed various substances that cause damage to concrete with consistent exposure. For this article, we focus on chlorides. The Portland Concrete Association writes: “No other contaminant is documented as extensively in the literature as a cause of corrosion of metals in concrete than chloride ions.” (PCA) The primary risk is not to the concrete itself, but to the steel reinforcement that gives the concrete its strength.
Sources of Chlorides in Everyday Life
Chlorides are the ionic form of the element chlorine. Elemental chlorine is a highly reactive gas that the majority of people have absolutely no experience with. Found in its natural form deep within the Earth, it combines readily with other elements. Thus, chlorine is present as a component of many other common substances. The best example is salt, found all over the world. In its solid form, chloride is of little concern, but when it is in an aqueous solution “chlorides dissolved in water can permeate through sound concrete or reach the steel through cracks.” (PCA)
Saltwater, bleach and pool chlorine are some of the most common sources of chlorides that might pose a risk to residential and commercial concrete. Warehouses that store liquid chlorides can expect fairly regular spills and therefore should take protective measures to seal their concrete from corrosion. Without an epoxy sealant, the aforementioned corrosion eventually takes place.
Although the amount of chlorine in swimming pools is intentionally kept low, that’s not the case in the bottles and barrels of chlorine used to service swimming pools. The floors of rooms and buildings where pool chlorine is stored are best protected with epoxy coatings, as well as pump rooms. Rooms that are cleaned with liquid bleach for disinfecting purposes also experience chloride exposure and benefit from epoxy coatings.
Saltwater aquariums are another location where concrete consistently faces chloride exposure. Whether the location is a full-scale commercial aquarium, pet shop or the home of an ardent hobbyist, exposed concrete surfaces should be protected from liquid chlorides with epoxy coatings.
For help protecting your concrete from exposure and damage to chlorides, contact California Custom Coatings. We work with anyone that has a need for epoxy protection, from large-scale storage and manufacturing facilities to community buildings and private residences. For service in Northern California, contact our Sacramento team online or by calling 916-612-2399.
- On October 11, 2018