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19 maart 2015

Facts and fables: impregnating industrial flooring

We are regularly asked whether it makes sense to impregnate a monolithically finished industrial floor. This question is not only put to us by suppliers and application experts, but also by end-users who have positive experiences. Our answer is that, in almost all cases, it is completely unnecessary to impregnate industrial floors. A high-quality monolithic floor does not need to be impregnated to be used in a wear-resistant, durable and functional manner.

And if the impregnation is applied in the wrong way, that is as a finishing layer, it may even have a negative effect. Many impregnating agents do not meet the requirements, preventing a proper hardening of the concrete surface. In addition, wet concrete cannot be impregnated soon after pouring, because this requires dry pores. Therefore, impregnation should not take place within one month after pouring, to allow thorough drying of the concrete.

In addition, impregnation is ascribed various results of which I would like to be convinced by way of independent studies and tests. Especially the claims regarding increased wear-resistance.

However, there are situations in which an impregnation layer could have added value.

  • A well-administered impregnation may substantially improve the cleaning characteristics of a floor. And an impregnated floor will also attract less dirt.
  • In addition, an impregnated floor will feature an attractive gloss, making it more appealing compared to a floor that was not impregnated.
  • Depending on the type of impregnating agent, crackle can be filled, this way providing added value to a floor renovation.
  • For monolithic floors with a top layer, which, due to circumstances is not finished in an optimum way, a high-quality impregnation is likely to improve the properties of the top layer.
  • Thanks to the impregnation, substances will not easily be absorbed into the concrete, raising the possibility of its resistance against chemicals and possibly even de-icing salts. Periodic retreatment may be necessary to achieve this.

Therefore, the application of an impregnation layer will require an extra investment, which, in some cases may pay off. However, a high-quality monolithic floor starts with care and attention for the finishing and the circumstances in which it is laid. It is very important to invest in this. When you decide to impregnate, make sure the top layer has sufficiently dried. And only do it for the right reasons.

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