Convert Your Concrete Slab from a Maintenance Liability to an Asset

Convert Your Concrete Slab from a Maintenance Liability to an Asset

When you think of concrete, it’s likely not long before you’re thinking about its durability. It’s one of the more well-known advantages of the material. And it’s why many choose to use concrete in construction. After all, no one wants to build with a material that couldn’t withstand the outside elements. So we turn to that concrete durability, relying on it enough to make concrete one of the most consumed materials on the planet, second only to water.

But concrete isn’t invulnerable. Depending on its mix, you could have a maintenance liability on your hands. Luckily, there is a way to avoid that. All it takes is being aware of how you can convert your concrete slab from a maintenance liability to an asset.

An abrasion test has worn a groove in the concrete slab, showing the aggregate underneath the paste.

Keep in Mind That Slabs Can Be Prone to Wear and Tear

The first step in the right direction is to remind yourself that while durable, concrete slabs can still be prone to wear and tear.

It’s why you look for concrete hardening products. They’re meant to add an extra layer of protection to the concrete’s surface, sheltering it from abrasive and erosive forces that might otherwise degrade the concrete.

You can probably think of quite a few culprits responsible for this wear and tear. But as a refresher, let’s look into the specific types of abrasion and erosion you’re likely protecting your concrete from.

Number of Abrasive Forces Can Cause This

As noted in our latest e-book (which you can download and check out for yourself here), there are three specific types of abrasion-only wear:

Sliding abrasion — Also known as two-body abrasion, it’s what happens when a hard object slides across concrete. As it moves, the hard object will begin to gradually bore into the concrete, removing a bit of its surface each time. So if you have skids or some other item with a hard material moving back and forth over your concrete frequently, you’ll start to notice a rut in its surface.


Foreign particle abrasion — For any concrete projects that deal with vehicles, you’re sure to come across foreign particle abrasion. That’s because as the vehicles travel over the concrete, hard particles get trapped between the vehicle tires and concrete surface, and that wears down both materials simultaneously.


Rolling abrasion — A common sight in industrial spaces, rolling abrasion is what happens when wheels under a heavy load roll over a concrete surface. These wheels might come from carts, forklifts, or other wheeled equipment. But whichever one it is, over time, their movement over the concrete surface wears that surface out and creates noticeable dips in the concrete.

Erosive Forces Can Also Cause Similar Damage

One of the more common types of erosive wear is actually a combination of abrasion and erosion. And it’s often seen in hydraulic projects.


Well, these projects are typically ones that are surrounded by fast-moving water, such as dams and spillways. So they are more likely to encounter the abrasive effect of debris in the water grinding against their concrete surfaces. This debris might come in the form of silt, sand, gravel, rocks, or even ice. And while it’s roughing up the surface of the concrete, the surrounding water rushing by is gradually causing the concrete to erode.

A pale door shadowed in darkness stands ajar, showing an alarmingly red room past it.

That Can Open the Door to Various Costly Risks

If either abrasion or erosion starts to seriously affect your concrete to the point that you can see the damage, it can create a safety hazard, disrupt operations, and increase maintenance costs.

For Floor Slabs, That Can Involve an Increased Danger of Slipping, Tripping, and Falling

All those dips and ruts in concrete flooring caused by abrasive wear? They can pose a threat to your team’s personal safety.

While for a time, you might be able to work around the uneven flooring, you or someone else on your team is inevitably going to slip, trip, or fall. In fact, it’d be close to a statistical anomaly if you didn’t! Slips, trips, and falls make up a third of lost-workday injuries according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And as EHS Today notes, the primary cause for more than half of these injuries is due to an issue with a walking surface. So you can imagine the risk you take with keeping that uneven floor!

The cost of not implementing preventative measures for this kind of risk for businesses in the United States of America (USA) alone is about $70 billion a year overall in compensation and medical fees for workers.

For Road Slabs, That Means Traffic Accidents

Similar to how uneven flooring can pose a risk to people walking over it, uneven roads can be a risk to those driving.

Initially, that unevenness might be a slight difference in road surface from all that foreign particle abrasion. But eventually, that slight dip might lead to potholes or a fully uneven road. It also increases tire wear, making the vehicles on the road less efficient and safe to use.

All of which increases the risk for roadway accidents. Potholes on their own cause around $3 billion in vehicular repairs annually in the USA. And in Canada, each year, the cost for drivers as a whole is increasing by that same amount because of increased vehicular repairs and maintenance and general vehicular damage due to poorly maintained roads.

Hazards like potholes pose an even greater risk for those on motorcycles and bikes.

Those on motorcycles, according to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, may crash when encountering potholes. That can be a significant concern as motorcycle incidents have a 29% higher fatality risk than ones that occur with automobiles and light trucks.

For cyclists, they can end up with permanent nerve damage. But that’s not the worst-case scenario. Much like those on motorcycles, cyclists have a higher fatality rate when it comes to crashing. For instance, since 2007, in Britain, potholes alone have killed at least 22 cyclists and seriously injured another 368.

The Potential Damage Doesn’t Stop There Either

Of course, worker injuries and vehicular damage aren’t the only costs to consider when facing abrasion and erosion damage. You also have productivity, equipment, and structural loss to worry about.

For instance, workers operating forklifts on an uneven surface are likely to drive more slowly to avoid tipping over, reducing worksite productivity. And if they don’t? You’ll likely be paying to repair or replace that forklift and any items it happened to be carrying.

Using fully automated equipment won’t do much to overcome this obstacle on its own either as an uneven surface can prevent it from operating properly.

And what about structures? With enough abrasion and erosion, owners will have to close down for repairs and replace large sections of concrete structures, from floors all the way to hydro dams. All of which is extremely costly to any business and doesn’t endear owners to the concrete they used.

A construction worker is adding Hard-Cem into his concrete mix during batching.

But Your Concrete Slab Doesn’t Have to Be a Maintenance Liability

You just need an effective concrete hardening solution.

Your first thought might be to use conventional surface-applied concrete hardeners like dry shake hardeners or liquid hardeners. However, those come with a number of setbacks.

Dry shake hardeners, for one, come with a complex application process. It’s not a one-and-done deal. Instead, a worksite team has to prepare the worksite first. That means removing excess concrete and preparing the remaining concrete. Then, depending on your chosen hardener’s material, you may have to take an extra step and use a wood bull float and then a machine float. After that, the team can finally move on to actually applying the dry shake hardener, which will cover a couple millimeters of the concrete’s surface.

However, even that part isn’t without complications. Dry shake hardeners can only be applied during a specific time and type of weather. Pick the wrong time and you can end up with delaminated concrete or an inability to even apply the dry shake.

At the same time, this hardener makes use of a toxic material known as silica dust, which means a worksite team needs to meet the proper safety measures to keep workers safe and comply with legal restrictions.

On the other hand, while not as frustrating to apply or as hazardous as dry shake hardeners, liquid hardeners are often misrepresented. They were first sold as dust reducers to help with defective concrete slabs that had a dusty surface. But now, they’re expected to harden concrete, which they do very poorly.

(For more reasons and data on why these aren’t effective solutions and more, take a look at our e-book on the topic!)

So, what can you use instead?

pply Hard-Cem to Increase Your Concrete Slab’s Resistance to Wear and Tear

Unlike any other concrete hardener on the market, Hard-Cem is an integral hardener. That means it applies its hardening properties throughout a concrete mix to form one solid abrasion- and erosion-resistant material. Essentially, it’s an admixture that you add into the concrete mix during batching. At that time, the admixture will permeate the entirety of the mix, giving it a harder concrete paste and reducing fine and coarse aggregate exposure. It does all this to help the concrete effectively resist abrasion and erosion.

Your Concrete Slab Will Gain Many Other Benefits as Well

More specifically, when using Hard-Cem, you’ll double the wear life of your concrete.  Because it does last that long and can resist abrasion and erosion, Hard-Cem-treated concrete comes with fewer maintenance fees. So you won’t need to resurface or replace your concrete as often. And you won’t need to use as much cement. That can increase your savings on carbon emissions by as much as 40%!

In some cases, this has even helped construction teams earn LEED certifications.

All you need to do to get these advantages is to throw the admixture and its dissoluble bag into the concrete mix during batching. There are no extra application steps, toxic silica dust, or inefficiencies to worry about. So you don’t have to spend money or time on hiring extra labor or managing application errors. Hard-Cem does all the heavy lifting, giving your mix the thorough durability it needs as soon as it’s added.

Hard-Cem also offers incredible versatility. It can work for a variety of projects and help harden horizontal, vertical, and inclined concrete. And it is the only hardener capable of being used for air-entrained concrete.

In short, it increases your concrete’s durability, speeds up your construction, reduces application costs, provides universal compatibility for different concrete mixes, and makes it all more sustainable.

A construction worker is guiding concrete mix down into the area it needs to be poured in.

It Just Takes the Right Concrete Mix Ingredients

With Hard-Cem added into your concrete mix, your concrete slabs will be an asset to your project. They’ll need less maintenance over the years, help you reduce your carbon emissions, and most importantly, keep abrasion and erosion at bay to keep your concrete structures standing for as long as possible.

Download our e-book today to find out why the industry is moving away from surface-applied concrete hardeners.

The post Convert Your Concrete Slab from a Maintenance Liability to an Asset appeared first on Kryton.

Did you miss our previous article…

Silica Dust: The Dangers and How You Can Mitigate Them

Silica Dust: The Dangers and How You Can Mitigate Them

While it doesn’t look like silica dust is going away anytime soon, you may want to consider using an alternative material for your worksite when possible. After all, regulations in the United States of America (USA) are starting to get tighter. And it’s possible those restrictions will become the norm for other countries too.

In fact, just last year, the USA’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched a national emphasis program on the material. It’s an initiative that’s meant to restrict silica dust exposure due to the risk it can pose for workers in a number of industries. As a result, you can now expect more inspections on your management of the material. And if your management doesn’t follow the updated regulations, you could face monetary penalties from $5,000 up to $70,000.

Not long after these restrictions were implemented, the inspector general for the U.S. Department of Labor argued for stricter standards for silica dust management in mines. Those included making use of more frequent silica sampling protocols and issuing citations and fines for excess silica dust exposures.

Similar plans for stricter regulations were approved in 2019 in Australia. The hope was to limit the silica dust exposure that stonemasons in the country experience. While regulations were tightened to a degree, they weren’t tightened as much as planned as there was concern over giving businesses enough time to meet the new compliance requirements.

But why is there such resistance? What makes silica dust so appealing and concerning at the same time? Is there no way around this infamous construction material?

To get a better understanding of the situation, we’ll take a deep dive on the subject. Join us as we delve into why silica dust is popular, what makes it dangerous, and how you can minimize its usage.

An aerial view of a construction worksite shows two yellow cranes among a sea of buildings and materials.

Hard to Avoid, Silica Dust Comes from a Number of Helpful Construction Materials

Whether we like it or not, silica dust comes from a very common mineral. Known just as silica, this mineral is found throughout the earth’s crust. It can come in two different forms: crystalline and noncrystalline silica. That first form is the one we often call silica dust. And it comes in a form of its own known as quartz. It too is also easily found throughout the world as it’s a basic component in sand, gravel, clay, granite, and various rocks.

As you can probably already tell, that means silica dust can be pretty hard to avoid. It’s in a lot of basic construction materials:

ConcreteCementMortarTilesBricksRock- and stone-based asphaltBlasting abrasives

All of which are often the building blocks to a wide variety of construction projects. They help construction workers create buildings, warehouses, and many other structures.

In some cases, silica dust can even be found in products that are meant to help protect structures. That includes surface-applied concrete hardening products like dry shake hardeners.

It’s what makes it so difficult to avoid silica dust. It’s part of our essential building materials, helping to make it possible to construct projects in the first place.

A woman and a man in construction clothes are running upstairs through dust while coughing at a worksite.

But Its Help Can Come at a Serious Cost

So long as people don’t create dust with those materials, they’re fine. The crystalline silica just remains within the material, harmless to people nearby. In return, people can safely reside within durable concrete buildings, stand on nice cool tiles in their bathroom, and so on.

However, that’s not often the case during the construction of those structures.

It May Be Stable When Left Alone, but Once Agitated, It Becomes a Problem

Construction activities of all kinds can often kick up dust. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

ChippingSawingDrillingDemolitionAbrasive blastingTunnelingExcavating

Once those activities do start up and move some dust around, there’s a problem. That’s when it’s possible for crystalline silica to become dangerous and interact in ways it shouldn’t with our health.

That Makes It a Health Risk for Anyone Nearby

Essentially, as soon as silica dust is in the air, there’s a risk for people nearby to inhale it. Why a risk? Well, silica dust is a known carcinogen, meaning it can cause cancer in people. More specifically, silica dust is known to spur on the development of lung cancer. And that isn’t the only disease it can lead to. It can also cause people to develop kidney disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

After inhaling silica dust, people may even develop silicosis, which is particularly dangerous as there is no test for it. You can’t even easily define the signs of silicosis. Its symptoms match many other diseases after all. And you can’t recover from it either.

However, silicosis only tends to occur after you’ve been exposed to silica dust for 10–20 years. That may seem like a more manageable risk level to you. But keep in mind that if your exposure is intense enough, you could develop silicosis after 5–10 years or even after just a few months of exposure. And that’s only for this one particular disease!

In fact, it doesn’t take much silica dust at all to be a threat, whether you’re exposed to it over the years or within a day. That’s why OSHA limits a person’s permissible exposure level to silica dust to 50 μg/m3 over an eight-hour day.

A dust suppression truck is traveling through a road surrounded by green trees while spraying water to suppress dust.

Many Try to Mitigate the Damage of Silica Dust

Despite its risk, silica dust is still necessary for certain areas in construction. That’s why construction sectors and work safety organizations around the world take silica dust safety seriously. As a result, they typically apply the following safety measures and more to manage the application of the material in a responsible way that’s designed to keep construction workers and the overall worksite as safe as possible.

Part of That Includes the Use of Engineering Controls

These measures are designed to eliminate hazards like silica dust before workers come into contact with them. It’s what makes them more favorable than other measures like administrative controls and personal protective equipment (PPE). However, that’s also what can make them a bit more costly at the start. In the end, though, these controls are always good to have in the long run. While initially costly, over time, they’ll reduce operating costs for construction teams and keep them safe and healthy at the same time.

So, how does this work for silica dust?

There are a number of engineering controls that can be used against silica dust. These include the following:

Dust suppression — To prevent as much dust as possible from stirring at all, workers might choose to use water sprays. These might be sprays that can be attached to a tool like a pneumatic, hydraulic, or gas-powered saw. Or they might be sprays that form a curtain of water to protect a specific area from airborne dust particles. In either case, the idea behind it is that once dust particles come into contact with water droplets, they become heavier and are less likely to float in the air and pose a threat to workers.

Ventilation — When workers are agitating silica dust, they can use local exhaust ventilation to suck the dust away before it reaches their breathing area. For instance, if they are using hand-held cut-off saws to cut concrete, they can connect an exhaust hood (also known as a shroud) to the tool first. The hood is connected to an industrial vacuum cleaner with a flexible hose, which allows it to produce enough suction to capture the silica dust.

Industrial vacuum cleaning — Much like with portable ventilation, workers can suck dust away from areas through high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtering vacuums. There are a variety of HEPA vacuums to choose from, including stationary, intermittent-filtering, and continuous-filtering models. So the efficiency of dust suppression with this method will depend. Though, workers should use one that has oversized filters. That allows the vacuum’s filtration system to collect a lot of dust and debris for a longer period than a vacuum with smaller filters.

dministrative Controls Also Come into Play

While not as favorable compared to engineering controls, administrative controls can be combined with them for extra protection. Under these particular controls, a construction team will determine the right work procedures that allow workers to do their job well and safely.

According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, that can include implementing the following practices:

Worksite education — Without proper knowledge of silica dust, workers could have an increased risk to getting hurt while working near the material. To prevent that, it’s important all workers know what silica dust is, why it’s a threat, and how they can reduce that threat to a manageable level.

An exposure control plan — On top of worksite education, a construction team should have an exposure control plan. That ensures they will have a handy reference at their disposal that outlines the proper directions and expectations for preventing silica dust exposure.

Proper washing facilities on-site — To keep silica dust from spreading too far from the worksite, workers need to make sure they aren’t heading home in a cloud of the material. That might sound a little tricky, but all this requires is proper washing facilities at the worksite. These should provide clean water, soap, and individual towels. That way, each worker has the opportunity to effectively remove any dust around them.

nd for Extra Good Measure, Workers Have PPE

Similar to administrative controls, PPE is more effective when combined with engineering and administrative controls.

But this all depends on the equipment used! Some may find it easier to whip out a disposable dust mask and wear it. As the National Precast Concrete Association notes, it’s likely to be less hot to wear and easier to talk through than respirators approved by official safety authorities like the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). And with the word dust in that name, it sounds like it might protect workers from silica dust, right?

Well, unfortunately, that’s just not the case. Disposable dust masks are not NIOSH-approved. And they aren’t meant to really protect people from toxic substances. They’re actually better used as a way to stay comfortable while mowing grass or sweeping or dusting an area.

That’s why you want to go with an officially recognized and approved respirator. It’s designed to protect the wearer from all sorts of airborne contaminants, such as hazardous dusts, fumes, vapors, and gases.

On top of that, workers should also wear overalls and gloves to protect the rest of their body from coming into contact with silica dust. It also makes it easier for them to leave the dust at the worksite as they can simply strip off that uniform, leave it for cleaning on-site, and go home in their non-dusty attire.

A construction worker is surrounded by Hard-Cem bags and is holding one while preparing to add it to the concrete mix during batching.

But There Are Also Substitutes for Silica Dust to Minimize or Eliminate Its Use

You don’t always need to deal with silica dust or with as much of it as you might think. In fact, there are some great silica dust-free alternatives that you can use to keep your worksite just that much safer.

For a Silica Dust-Free, Non-Toxic Concrete Hardener, Look to Hard-Cem

It may be more conventional to harden your concrete with products like dry shake hardeners. But those often come with silica dust.

Luckily, you can eliminate this concern entirely when you use Hard-Cem. It’s free of silica dust. And as the only integral hardening admixture on the market, Hard-Cem has the unique ability to enter a concrete mix directly. Because of that, you don’t need to hire extra labor to apply it or have to worry about it not covering your concrete completely. You just add its dissoluble bag into the concrete mix during batching and let it permeate throughout the concrete. That gives the concrete full-depth hardening and increases its resistance to abrasion and erosion.

In return, you get concrete with double the usual wear life and a much more durable surface. That allows you to minimize the number of repairs or replacements you otherwise might need, which also reduces how much carbon your project emits.

There Are Also Many Other Substitutes for Different Applications

Of course, silica dust doesn’t just help with concrete hardening at times. It also helps with many other construction activities. So what can you substitute silica dust with for those?

While that may not be possible for every activity, you can substitute silica dust in the following activities:

Abrasive blasting — OSHA lists a number of silica dust substitutes for abrasive blasting materials. These include aluminum oxide, baking soda, coal slag, copper slag, and corn cob granules.


Precision grinding — The Workers Health & Safety Centre in Ontario, Canada, notes that grinding (also known as abrasive cutting) in construction can be done without silica dust. Instead of using sandstone grinding wheels, workers can use aluminum oxide wheels.

Two construction workers are working on top of a partially constructed concrete structure.

Silica Dust Doesn’t Have to Be a Problem at Your Worksite

It may feel like it’s everywhere (and in some cases, it certainly can be!). But you don’t have to put up with silica dust all the time. There are ways to not only mitigate its potential for damage but to also remove it entirely. Whether you choose to harden your concrete through Hard-Cem or use other alternatives, you can minimize the silica dust at your worksite, keeping workers safer and your worksite just as, if not more, productive.

Click here to find out why the industry is moving away from surface-applied concrete hardeners.

The post Silica Dust: The Dangers and How You Can Mitigate Them appeared first on Kryton.

Pantone’s Colors for 2021 and What That Means for Architecture

Pantone’s Colors for 2021 and What That Means for Architecture

In December of last year, the world got to see Pantone’s colors for 2021 for the first time. Since 1999, Pantone has been choosing a color of the year, subsequently inspiring architects, advertisers, and designers across the globe. However, this year was a little different. Pantone, for the second time ever, chose to go with two colors instead of one. But what intrigued those of us at Kryton more was that their chosen colors represented Kryton’s own colors of yellow and gray.

When Kryton chose those colors for rebranding, it was not just to capture interest with the eye-catching highlight of yellow against gray. It was also to give people that feeling of reliability and strength that construction so often reflects through the safety of yellow hard hats and the durability of gray concrete foundation. (You can easily see this theme run throughout our website and our blog.)

Pantone clearly had a similar train of thought for the colors. On their website, they mentioned that people feel the need to know that better times will come. And that’s why they chose yellow and gray. Both colors provide a feeling of stability, with yellow bringing a sense of warmth and optimism and gray adding a practical, rock-solid side.

We’re not the only ones who recognized the appeal of these colors either. A number of architect publications have published articles on the colors for 2021, including the Architectural Digest.

Does that mean that Pantone’s colors have an impact on architecture? While color selection is not the first or only focus for an architect, we here at Kryton believe that there may be good reason to give it its 15 (or more!) minutes of fame.

An architect is drafting a new building design with a pencil in their right hand and a ruler nearby.

It’s True That Colors Aren’t Usually an Architect’s Main Concern

As an associate of Cambridge Architectural Research Ltd. points out, color, more specifically, exterior color, has always been a part of architecture, but its role has been particularly small. He goes on to mention that even empirical research on exterior color is limited with ambiguous results to show for it. An author from ArchDaily makes it even clearer that color in general is something that some architects tend to be wary of. And even the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards suggests that architects and architectural schools seem to avoid focusing on it as a topic.

But why is that?

Well, all three sources suggest a number of reasons.

For instance, the author from ArchDaily mentions that architectural instructors often teach architects to focus more on architectural elements like form, space, and materials. After all, as he suggests, it’s easier for the owner of a building to give the structure a new color than it is to fix anything structural like placement.

Not to mention, the choice of color can be a highly subjective one. As the architectural consultant and author Frank Mahnke puts it, it “is a sensory perception, and as any sensory perception, it has effects that are symbolic, associative, synesthetic, and emotional.” Each of those effects is going to be somewhat different based on the person viewing the color and what cultural associations they assign to it. That can make it difficult for an architect to defend their choice. So it might be easier to stick to the more popular exposed finishes.

And in the case of exterior colors, there is another practical reason to keep them less colorful. Outdoor environments can cause a lot of wear and tear, making exterior colors fade. Depending on the shade of color, that fading can be very obvious. In light of that, architects prefer to use durable materials like concrete blocks, bricks, or terracotta that can withstand the wear. These materials also happen to come in colors that don’t show any obvious fading, such as gray, beige, and other earthy shades.

A workperson is painting yellow over a white wall with ragged gray coloring at the top.

But Colors Can Significantly Impact a Building’s Design

Despite all the challenges of working with color, it can still be a highly effective design tool. In fact, with the right strategy, the use of color in architecture can help turn a building into an architectural icon, positively impacting the perception people have of the building and its design.

To See Why, Let’s Dive a Little into Color Psychology

According to a literature review conducted by the Cyprus International University and Zedrock and Herman Architecture, it’s true that a single color can be interpreted in a variety of ways. For instance, people in China might associate white with sadness due to its use during their mourning periods. At the same time, many Europeans will view it as a color for purity and cleanliness. In short, color will always have a subjective quality that may make some architects hesitant about the reception of their chosen color.

However, the literature review also notes that there is a more universal and psychological aspect to color. Known as color psychology, it is considered to be the result of how the electro-magnetic radiation of light affects the moods and behaviors of all people in a similar manner.

It does this by affecting a specific part of the brain in people known as the hypothalamus. To do that, light first enters a person’s eyes. The retinas within those eyes then convert the light into electric signals, which the hypothalamus goes on to interpret.

That can significantly affect how a person physically reacts to seeing certain colors as the hypothalamus is in charge of a number of important bodily functions. These functions include the ability to change body temperature, appetite, sleep, and behavior. As a result, color not only derives a personal response from someone. It also derives a physical response.

And it’s a response that is generally similar across all cultures, ages, and genders. So if architects take care to keep that in mind, they could design a building that is not only visually pleasing but also physically comforting.

With This Tool at Their Disposal, Architects Can Change How People React to a Building with Just Colors

Of course, architects first need to have an idea of what effects certain colors bring. Consider the impact of the following colors:

Red — As a color with the longest light wavelength, red tends to be seen as a strong, attention-grabbing color. And that intensity can generate a fair amount of stimulation. In fact, in some cases, the color can be so stimulating that it will activate a person’s fight or flight instinct or increase their blood pressure. As a result, many people consider it to be a color for strength, energy, warmth, and even aggression.


Yellow — Considered to be one of the most psychologically strong colors, yellow is often perceived as optimistic and positive no matter the shade. For instance, a light pastel yellow will give off a childlike feel. Canary yellow is seen as more delicate and soft. And ambered yellow radiates a calmer, warmer feel.


Green — A color with a lower light wavelength, green contrasts red by appearing more emotionally calming. One researcher suggests that shades like green are particularly relaxing because they reflect color found in nature. It is also useful in helping people become accustomed to new areas. However, depending on its use, green can also be seen as too bland or demoralizing.


Blue — Much like green, blue is a color with a low light wavelength and is also seen as relaxing. There has even been some evidence that it can lower blood pressure.

Depending on the intensity of a single color like those previously mentioned or a combination of multiple colors applied to the inside or outside of a building, visitors may find themselves feeling varying degrees of stimulation.

They Can Even Provoke Both Positive and Negative Physical Reactions

If visitors see an individual color that is overly saturated, a color combination with too many colors, or one with too few that don’t match well, they’ll likely feel overstimulated. In turn, that can cause a number of symptoms, including:

Changes in breathingAn increase in pulse rateHigher blood pressureMore muscle tensionA possible rise in susceptibility to infection

On the other hand, if visitors see a less saturated color or color contrast, monochromatic color combinations, achromatic colors, or a monotonous color contrast, they’ll probably feel understimulated. When that happens, visitors are more likely to feel the following:

RestlessIrritableExcessively emotionalDistracted

It takes a particular balance of saturation and color combination to evoke the desired reaction in a person. But it’s not an impossible task! In fact, back in 2007, the University of Texas already discovered that depending on how sensitive a person is to their environment, certain colors could help improve their work performance. For those moderately sensitive to their environment, a blue-green interior seemed to boost their performance the best. White and red interiors were less impactful. At the same time, those who were less sensitive to their environment were able to work in any of the colored interiors with little issue.

Three white question marks within a gray circle rest over a background that diagonally splits a yellow and gray color.

So, Where Do Pantone’s Colors for 2021 Fit into All of This?

Pantone doesn’t just arbitrarily choose their color for each year. There’s actually a fair amount of observation that goes into it. They know how color psychology plays an important role in a color’s reception. It’s also clear that they know how much meaning people assign to these colors. After all, there is never one color that they popularize each year. So they look to color psychology while observing industry color trends to explain the popularity of each year’s different color.

But how do they do they go about it?

They Lay Out Which Colors Are Attracting the Most Attention in a Given Year

According to Pantone’s executive director, Leatrice Eiseman, the fashion industry is often the first indicator of popularity for certain colors. However, Pantone doesn’t just observe that industry. They also look at the colors found in films, cars, art, and many other areas. Employees for the company also travel around the world to places like Milan, Paris, New York, and Dubai to see the most popular colors found there.

Eventually, they all meet up to discuss what they’ve observed. Then, they try to narrow down which color seems to attract the most attention overall.

Of course, this process isn’t perfectly accurate. After all, in 2013, their choice of emerald green was a love-hate one. Not everyone really agreed with it, but there was still an overall positive response surrounding the color. So Pantone still offers a way to get a good feel for an almost universally appealing shade of color.

That Can Give Architects Insight into How to Design with Colors

Pantone doesn’t just make a choice that reflects overall sentiment on color. As a company that holds some global authority on color, Pantone can affect how others see certain colors. So the company’s color of the year can influence how consumer products are designed for that year and many years later.

With that in mind, architects may see their own clients request or find interest in the use of Pantone’s chosen colors. For example, ArchDaily published an article in 2020 already showing a number of architectural projects reflecting Pantone’s colors for 2021.

So while color trends can be fickle, they can also lead the way to satisfied clients and increased recognition.

They’re an innovative tool that has much to offer to architects. And as ardent supporters of such innovation, we here at Kryton want to make sure architects can use that tool and more to the best of their ability. That’s why we work with architects and builders to determine what Smart Concrete solutions work for their design needs. So if you’re looking to add color to the mix and worry about maintaining the integrity of your concrete structure, our admixtures offer a great solution for either colored or painted concrete. See for yourself, and discover how we can help you add a little color and more to your project!

Click here to earn AIA credits online with Kryton's AIA-approved courses.

The post Pantone’s Colors for 2021 and What That Means for Architecture appeared first on Kryton.

How are Elevated Concrete Slabs Poured?

Elevated concrete slabs (also known as suspended concrete slabs) are most commonly found in commercial offices, parking garages, and other multistory heavy-use buildings. 

These pours require a bit more skill than your everyday residential concrete driveway and will need to be carried out by a professional contractor

Multiple factors are involved in pouring elevated concrete slabs, including the weight of the floor and the effect any additional loads will have on it. 

This is how it’s done.

1. The supporting walls are built according to the structural plans

The first step in pouring an elevated concrete slab involves building the supporting walls according to the structural plans. These walls can either be created out of reinforced concrete or concrete blockwork.

2. A crane is used to lower the metal into place

After the supporting walls have been constructed, a metal slab pan is lowered into place using a tower crane. This pan will be used as the framework for pouring and forming the elevated concrete slab. You can also use a system of connected preformed concrete panels instead.

3. Reinforced steel mesh is laid into the pan

Before the concrete is poured, reinforced steel mesh is laid into the pan and is lifted slightly off the floor using chairs (small metal supports) that are evenly spaced apart. This step is what gives the floor the strength necessary to support itself. 

In larger buildings, precast concrete floors that’ve been previously reinforced with tensile steel bars might be required for maximum strength. 

4. The concrete is poured and cured

Finally, after everything has been laid out and arranged according to plan, the concrete is mixed and poured in agreement with the structural engineers’ recommendations. 

The slab must then be left to cure for at least 48 hours before anyone can walk on it. The time it will take before anyone can park or drive on it will vary depending on several factors.

At Port Aggregates, our skilled contractors have over 40 years’ worth of experience built into our tried and trusted techniques. Whether you’re looking for a residential driveway, commercial suspended slabs, or precast concrete, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today to request a quote

The post How are Elevated Concrete Slabs Poured? appeared first on Port Aggregates.

Did you miss our previous article…

Rip Rap: The Original Rock Wall

Rip Rap: The Original Rock Wall

rip rap

If you’ve ever walked along a shoreline or under a bridge, chances are that you’ve seen what’s called rip rap

This rocky material is a form of crushed limestone that comes in a range of sizes. It can be anywhere from 4 inches to over 2 feet in width, depending on how fast the surrounding water moves and the steepness of the slope that it will be placed upon.

What Does Rip Rap Do?

The main purpose of rip rap is to prevent erosion on a pond bank, hill, or slope. Without this protection, roadways wash out, bridges become compromised, and property gets lost.

However, erosion prevention is not its only benefit. 

Contractors prefer rip rap because of its extreme durability and natural appearance. The reliability and affordability of this material make it the ideal choice for protecting bridges, pilings, shorelines, and streambeds from damage caused by water and ice.

Rip rap also buffers the impact of waves crashing against the shore and the force of water against the bank. In these cases, a larger grade (like our #1x4G) is installed over a textile for ultimate protection.

Where Can Rip Rap be Used?

Rip rap is most useful to structures or shorelines that are continuously exposed to rushing water. For example: near a bridge that’s located alongside an embankment, adjacent to waterway supports, and along a lake shoreline or the outer bank of a river bend.

It can also be used to build low-lying dividing walls or planting areas. In really steep slopes or high drainage areas, wire mesh or chain link is needed at the base of the decline to hold the rip rap in place.

At Port Aggregates, we offer three types of rip rap:

10lb rip rap (6-10”)30lb rip rap55lb rip rap

Regardless of whether you’re looking to prevent bridge erosion or simply trying to build a garden, we’ve got you covered. Our high-quality crushed limestone is available in a variety of shapes and sizes to meet your unique needs. Contact Port Aggregates today to request a quote

The post Rip Rap: The Original Rock Wall appeared first on Port Aggregates.

Did you miss our previous article…

What can Precast Concrete be Used For?

Known for its immense strength, durability, and endurance, concrete is the number one building material in the world. It’s been used for centuries and can last for thousands of years.

There are several different types of concrete, but today we’re going to take a look at precast and its many uses. 

What is precast concrete?

Precast concrete is formed using a mold and is often used to create columns, beams, or parking curbs. It can be produced in mass quantities due to specifications and codes that are already established. This building process is extremely efficient, allowing for hundreds of large structures to be built in just a few weeks.

The purpose of precast and its many uses

Precast concrete is built above the ground and can be used to stabilize large pieces of earth or hold back dirt. This makes it a great choice for building large retaining walls or smaller retention ponds. 

Three-sided bridges and box culverts for marshland and stream crossings also call for precast concrete. A strong material is particularly essential for structures like these. Otherwise, traveling over this type of land would be impossible without damaging the environment. 

In certain cases, custom pieces can even be made to meet your unique needs; for example, creating a vault using more than one piece when preexisting blockages are in the way. In these circumstances, individual precast panels are constructed and the vaults are then pieced together in place. Other custom examples may include railroad crossings or boat ramps.

Precast concrete is also used to construct buried infrastructure like catch basins, manholes, and vaults. These structures can be used to house telecommunication or electrical junction boxes, move storm water or sewage, and retain water.

Understanding the benefits

One of the biggest perks of precast concrete is that it’s ready to install when you are. This is one of the main shortcomings of site-casted concrete, because weather can delay the pour. Because precast concrete is created within a controlled environment, this is not an issue.

Another major benefit is the fact that strength-testing has already occurred before delivery day. Site-casted concrete, however, requires extra time and effort on the day of the pour to add rebar, set forms, and monitor the product.

When it comes to the production of precast concrete, the process alone is extremely sustainable. At Port Aggregates, all of our concrete products are made with the highest quality materials. It’s why we’ve been trusted for over 40 years! Contact us today to request a quote

The post What can Precast Concrete be Used For? appeared first on Port Aggregates.

4 Steps to Prepare Your Stamped Concrete for Summer

When it comes to taking care of stamped concrete, summer is the best season to do so.

With temperatures rising in Louisiana, now is the time to start preparing your concrete for the warmer weather to come.

To increase the longevity of your decorative concrete, you must follow the following 4 steps when preparing your slab for summer.

1. Make sure you don’t need to strip your concrete

After a particularly harsh winter (like the record-breaking freeze of 2020), you may want to consider resealing your concrete. 

Before you do so, however, you may wonder whether or not it’s necessary to strip off the old sealer first.

Fortunately, as long as your slab has been around longer than the early 2000s and has been stripped once before, it will not need stripping prior to resealing.

2. Power wash your slab

Once you’ve concluded whether or not you need to strip your stamped concrete, you’ll want to power wash it before you proceed with anything else.

Pollen, leaf, and tire stains can create such an eyesore. Power washing your slab is ideal for clearing away all the dirt, grime, and stains that have built up over the past year.

If you’ve got tough stains from oil and tar, you should use neutral soap, a solvent cleaner, or a degreaser first. This will loosen the stain which can then be sprayed off with the power washer.

3. Check for cracks

After your stamped concrete has been fully cleaned, scan it with your eyes for cracks. Most hairline fractures can be fixed on your own, but long and deep cracks may require you to replace the slab altogether.

4. Seal your concrete

If you haven’t resealed your concrete in the past three years, now is the best time to do so. Sealer is most effectively applied during warm weather on dry concrete. If you’re planning on sealing your concrete this spring, be sure to check the weather ahead of time, as the sealer will need a couple of days with no rain in order to dry properly.

Looking for more concrete tips and tricks? Check out the Port Aggregates blog

The post 4 Steps to Prepare Your Stamped Concrete for Summer appeared first on Port Aggregates.

Your Guide to Colored Concrete

When you think of concrete, you probably visualize a boring, grey slab.

Not many people associate concrete with color, but with the help of aesthetic treatments, it can really become a true work of art.

Before you start your next colored concrete project, it’s important to understand the advantages and ingredients involved.

Key benefits

1. Enhancing the appearance of your yard

The first and most obvious benefit of colored concrete is its aesthetic appeal. Whether you’re incorporating it into your new driveway or backyard patio, you’d be surprised at the difference a simple pop of color can make to your yard. 

But beauty isn’t its only benefit. 

2. Extra protection

The aesthetic treatments used to give colored concrete its pigment also provide a practical, wear-resistant coating and a beautiful finish. This will help your gorgeous slab maintain its fresh look over time, protecting it from weather and the damage of day-to-day use.

Understanding the two techniques

When it comes to concrete coloring, there are two main techniques: 

1. Stirring the colorant into the concrete mix itself 

This mixing technique is most commonly used in projects that desire one solid color. It works by mixing in a powdered pigment made up of inorganic minerals into the ready mix. This pigment is oftentimes made of chromium oxides and iron. 

2. Stamping the concrete

Concrete stamping, on the other hand, is used for projects that require special patterns or designs. This method involves layering colorant on top of fresh concrete then stamping it with texturing molds. This colorant is either made up of synthetic or natural pigments.

Synthetic pigments

Synthetic pigments are made up of metallic oxides and are created through industrial processes. During these processes, minerals (the raw material) are refined to change their physio-chemical properties.

These physio-chemical properties are what link each metallic oxide to their specific color. Cobalt oxide, for example, is a metallic oxide used to create blue concrete.

Natural pigments

Natural pigments are derived from mineral deposits, and like synthetic pigments, they’re made up of metallic oxides and hydroxides. Iron is most commonly used to apply this pigmentation.

Get prettier, longer-lasting concrete by coloring it. At Port Aggregates, our professional concrete contractors are highly skilled in creating beautiful, precise pours every time. Contact us today to request a quote for your next project!

The post Your Guide to Colored Concrete appeared first on Port Aggregates.

What Can External Waterproofing Membrane Failure Teach Architects about Sustainable Construction?

What Can External Waterproofing Membrane Failure Teach Architects about Sustainable Construction?

No matter your experience with waterproofing membrane failure, waterproofing breaches are not so easy to spot. In fact, according to one article in The Construction Specifier, the most minor-looking of leaks could be a sign. Depending on where and how the waterproofing was installed, that can lead to costly excavation work for basements, vaults, tunnels, and water features. It can also lead to full removal or replacement of fixtures and finishes in certain spaces, such as commercial kitchens and lobbies.

Still, that’s why envelope engineers or other professionals conduct site visits before construction is completed, right? They make sure the external waterproofing membrane is placed properly and effectively to mitigate the risk and damage of a breach as much as possible.

That can certainly lead to a relatively long-lasting waterproof structure. But it’s neither the most risk-free nor the most sustainable solution. But what does that mean for your architectural work? What does the risk and reality of external waterproofing membrane failure mean for you?

It’s Not Always Better to Stick with Technology You’re Comfortable With

Many architects like yourself are very familiar with external membranes. You know how to inspect and install them. You can physically see and touch them to sort them out before they’re covered. In short, there’s a sort of reassurance that comes with external membranes. You know they are actually there, and you know exactly what to do if any issues come up.

That comfort can be a detriment at times, however.

No Matter Your Comfort with Them, Membranes Are Still High-Risk

Sure, you can see the external membrane and know the ins and outs of it. But that doesn’t mitigate the risk of the membrane failing. If anything, too much confidence in it can stop you from trying out a less liable waterproofing system.

And even if you are able to physically check a membrane that’s been applied to the positive side of a structure and felt comfortable with that inspection, that doesn’t mean the membrane will stay that way. For instance, the backfilling process can easily tear the membrane. That can fail the whole waterproofing system right there as there is often no opportunity to excavate the membrane to repair it. As a result, builders often turn to epoxy injections to attempt to fix cracks and leaks that show up in accessible areas of a concrete’s surface. That still leaves water outside of those areas to continue passing through the concrete, threatening its structural integrity.

Too Much Confidence in Membranes Can Lead to Poor Concrete Construction

While we have talked about the risk that comes with membranes so far, that doesn’t mean they don’t have a place in construction. They certainly can be used effectively. But when they’re relied on to function perfectly by themselves and project stakeholders haven’t weighed the risks of their application realistically, it can negatively impact the quality of concrete construction.

Take the crack-bridging ability that some membranes have, for instance. Often, stakeholders in a project have full trust in this ability to cover cracks in concrete and prevent water from reaching those cracks. They make the assumption that this ability won’t fail. As a result, they feel less worried about having to face the consequences if concrete does crack. That leads them to care less about how concrete placement, curing, and control joints are handled.

Compounding this fact, stakeholders also highly regard the diversity of membranes available on the market. There are enough choices available that membranes seemingly come with an infinite number of different accessories to mitigate risks. But even with those accessories, membrane failure is still a possibility. Once that happens, those accessories aren’t going to stop a construction team from a long, costly repair process.

A membrane’s accessories might make that last situation seem highly unlikely. But unfortunately, that’s just not the case.

Patches of a waterproofing membrane have come away from the structure they were protecting.

In Fact, External Waterproofing Membrane Failure Is Incredibly Common

As the Australian Institute of Waterproofing member Wet-seal notes, waterproofing makes up 80% of complaints during construction. It’s an impressive statistic considering waterproofing does not take up a huge chunk of the cost to construct a structure. Waterproofing typically only takes up 1% to 2% of that cost. So why are complaints so high?

A big reason for that is likely how easy it is for external waterproofing membranes to fail. It’s a pervasive enough issue that water intrusion is the cause for around 70% of construction lawsuits.

So, how does external waterproofing membrane failure get to be that big of a concern? Let’s look at the three most common reasons why.

One of the Main Culprits for This Is Simply Poor Preparation and Installation

At least 90% of waterproofing failures come from poor handiwork.

It’s not hard to see why either. Despite not being as costly as other parts of construction, waterproofing is no less complex. There are lots of factors to consider for it, and if one aspect isn’t considered carefully enough, a failure could be waiting around the corner.

A clock rests on top of a blueprint at a worksite next to other blueprint tools.

Poor Preparation Is Often Due to a Lack of Time

Builders need to make sure the surface of the substrate they want to apply a membrane to has the following qualities:

A smooth and clean exteriorFalls for drainageA space absent of formwork distortions, voids, and protrusions

To achieve these qualities, they need to spend time and attention on looking to see if the substrate surface has been spoiled by debris and residue and whether they need to scrape and vacuum it. Otherwise, without a pristine substrate surface, it is likely that a waterproofing application will not be successful.

An external membrane has fallen away from the concrete foundation it was applied to.

Poor Installation Is No Different

Builders have multiple items to install to ensure that a structure has an effective and thorough waterproofing system. Depending on the structure, that might mean knowing the correct installation procedure and executing it for the following products:

Waterstop anglesPerimeter flashingsVertical flashing anglesPressure strip flashingsChased drop flashingsControl jointsDrainage flangesCavity flashing downturnsReinforcing at junctionsOverflow devicesLinear strip drainsSlip joints

Not having the time to properly install even just one of these items can weaken the overall waterproofing system they’re a part of, making it more vulnerable to leaks.

In short, standing in the way of both proper waterproofing preparation and installation is time. Construction projects tend to run on tight schedules, so it can be tempting to skimp on the smaller details. Whether that’s quickly getting through backfilling and tearing a membrane unintentionally in the process or limiting quality assurance processes for faster work, it’s all done to help save what little time a project has. And while it might speed up a project in the short-term, the following repairs that result from this work will add up in the long-term to the project’s expenses.

The Second Culprit Is a Failure to Prime Areas Effectively

Waterproofing membranes, even self-adhering ones, require a primer during their application process. After all, builders want to ensure that their membranes remain bonded to a substrate for the life of the structure they’re waterproofing. And using a primer to prepare the surface of a substrate helps to enhance the adhesiveness of a membrane. It does so by reducing the porosity, dusting, air entrapment, and high-residual moisture of a substrate.

But it will only impart those qualities if builders prime the substrate surface effectively.

This is also an area that runs into issues with timing. When constructing homes, for example, a builder may not always accurately estimate how long it will take to prime the surface. As a result, they might schedule in tiling to be done in a bathroom and expect that the priming will only take a day or so. However, priming could take longer depending on the membrane, temperature, and weather conditions.

If the schedule is too tight, that could lead to a substrate surface with no priming, insufficient priming, or the wrong primer entirely. All of which can cause the membrane to debond. That creates gaps in the membrane system, leaving room for moisture to penetrate the substrate and weaken its structural integrity.

The Last Is a Lack of Insight into the Substrate’s Residual Moisture

Unsurprisingly, out of the top three common causes of external waterproofing membrane failure, moisture remains one of the bigger obstacles. All it takes is poor preparation, installation, or priming for moisture to enter the structure and wreak havoc.

But what if moisture was already surrounding the structure but had gone unnoticed? As you might have guessed by now, that’s a pretty common situation. And it likely stems from a lack of awareness at how much moisture content a substrate has.

Without an accurate estimate of moisture content using a tool like a moisture meter, there is a high chance that the substrate still has residual moisture. When left alone, that moisture can interfere with a membrane’s ability to bond to a substrate, causing structural weakness to occur.

A construction worker is waterproofing a flat roof with a bitumen-sealing membrane.

That Puts Membranes in an Awkward Spot When It Comes to Sustainability

Because it is so easy to damage membranes through application alone and because that damage can have severe consequences for a structure, membranes should not be considered the ideal sustainable solution. After all, you can’t call something sustainable if it can’t be upheld safely in an environment for a long time.

Though, it is true that not all membranes are going to fail immediately during application or afterwards. What about those then? Would we call the ones that can last without wear and don’t hurt their environment sustainable?  It’s debatable, but in this instance, the answer would still likely be no. And that’s because many membranes come with a short life span of around one to 10 years before they deteriorate.

After that, they need to be replaced. If they aren’t, then water damage is a more likely possibility. And if they are, then the building’s maintenance team needs to use up monetary and construction resources to get the same waterproofing protection.

All in all, it’s a very short-term version of sustainability that is draining resources at regular periods unnecessarily as there are long-term forms of waterproofing out there.

A tanker truck is driving through a foggy road.

Even Worse, Acquiring External Membranes Is Also Not That Sustainable

Even if you still want to stick with specifying and using external membranes, you may find it increasingly difficult to do so.

For One, There Is a Global Materials Shortage That May Hinder That

Between the ongoing pandemic, the past Suez Canal blockage, delayed and pricier shipping, and the mass blackouts in Texas that led to chemical plant shutdowns, there is a significant materials shortage going on.

And waterproofing membranes have not gone unscathed. Often made with plastics and other materials that typically require crude oil, membranes have been hit in both areas. Plastics are hard enough to get that companies like Acer and Dell are starting to create products with recycled plastic instead. Meanwhile, crude oil is in a different sticky situation. Instead of a shortage of the product itself, there’s a shortage of tanker truck drivers in the United States of America. At least 50,000 more drivers are needed. With the two materials harder to supply, that is going to make waterproofing membranes also harder to supply and will likely increase their costs as demand goes up for that shorter supply.

The general perception is that this might get better sometime in 2022 or a little later. But does that mean you should wait it out?

Even Without a Shortage, Membranes Will Still Be Non-Eco-Friendly

While only some membranes use plastic, almost all require crude oil in their manufacturing. And that doesn’t bode well for the environment. According to the University of Calgary’s energy education team, whether drilling for oil, transporting it, refining it, or using it otherwise, there is always an environmental impact. Extracting it, for example, destroys the land around it. And other oil industry activities can end up producing chemicals that contribute to smog or creating greenhouse gases that increase the effects of global warming. Moreover, if during any part of that process, the oil spills, it can impact the plants, soil, and well-being of animals, making the environment wholly toxic.

All of which is definitely not a way to maintain human well-being either, making membranes even less ideal for sustainability.

A construction worker is throwing a pulpable bag of KIM into ready-mix concrete.

Nowadays, There Are Better Alternatives Out There

And they come in the form of crystalline waterproofing admixtures.

To apply these products, builders have one step and that’s it. There’s no detailed handiwork or long time period required. All builders have to do is add your specified admixture into the concrete mix. From there, the mix will have the waterproofing properties it needs. It’s a short and sweet process that should permanently waterproof a concrete structure without the risk of application error.

The only real challenge you’ll come across is finding which crystalline admixture is right for you.

Just Look Up Your Options for Concrete Waterproofing Admixtures

The American Concrete Institute has classified these products under two categories: permeability-reducing admixtures for non-hydrostatic conditions (PRAN) and permeability-reducing admixtures for hydrostatic conditions (PRAH).

The first of the two we recommend for low-risk use. PRANs, as their name implies, are not meant to handle heavy water pressure. Instead, they are more designed to repel water. To that end, they often use water-repellant chemicals. These might involve soaps, vegetable oils, or even petroleum. Such materials work to leave a layer alongside concrete pores that repels water while still leaving the pores themselves open. However, PRANs can also make use of chemically active or inert fillers, which act as densifiers to limit how much water gets into concrete pores. In either case, you don’t get watertight waterproofing with them.

What you do get is a solid dampproofing solution. So you could use PRANs for projects that will encounter a little moisture ingress. That might involve using them to repel rain off a structure or  to minimize the structure’s dampness.

So, what about PRAHs?

Now, these are what you should really keep an eye out for. These are recommended for long-term waterproofing against heavy water pressure. They tend to use a hydrophilic polymer plug or crystal technology. And that creates waterproofing that is impervious to damage or deterioration and capable of bridging cracks in concrete.

It makes PRAHs a perfect option for watertight waterproofing in any concrete structure.

(For even more details on these waterproofing admixtures and more, get our free e-book on the topic!)

We Recommend Krystol Internal Membrane
(KIM) for Thorough, Sustainable PRAH Waterproofing

If you want a specific PRAH recommendation, we suggest KIM.

When you specify it, KIM gets added to the concrete mix where it disperses Krystol technology throughout the entire mix. That way, once the concrete cures, the technology will rest dormant throughout the slab until it encounters water. Once that happens, the technology will activate and react to the water and nearby unhydrated cement particles to create interlocking crystals (which you can visibly see react in a sample via time-lapse here!). These crystals go on to fill up capillary pores and micro-cracks in the concrete. That blocks the water from passing through.

And it does that for the entire life of the concrete as KIM remains within concrete permanently.

So you get lifetime waterproofing for the simple act of adding KIM to a mix. There’s less labor involved and no installation risks, which will save your construction team time and money, expediting their work in the process. There are no shortage issues. And even better, KIM comes with several sustainable advantages:

Reducing site disturbance by eliminating the need for excavationEliminating any possible waste it has by coming in custom-size pulpable bagsContaining no volatile organic compoundsHaving NSF certification for safe use with potable waterEnsuring KIM-treated concrete can be recycled post-demolition

So when you use KIM, you can earn LEED points while also benefitting from less labor-intensive and time-consuming permanent, tear-free waterproofing.

Las Vegas' CityCenter

Waterproofing Membrane Failure Is a Sign to Revolutionize Your Design

When you think about external waterproofing membrane failure and how common it is, consider what the alternatives are. There are many concrete waterproofing admixtures out there that could better solve the issues that come with membranes. And if you want one that gives you an edge in the LEED sustainability framework, you don’t have to look farther than KIM. It will revolutionize your architectural design and help it become the green watertight structure you’re looking for.

Free e-book! Download it today to learn about the four aspects to consider when specifying crystalline waterproofing admixtures.

The post What Can External Waterproofing Membrane Failure Teach Architects about Sustainable Construction? appeared first on Kryton.