Concrete is one of the most durable man-made building materials used around the world. Archeological evidence dates its use as far back as 1200-1400 B.C. Something that’s been around that long is pretty darn durable. But . . . concrete can deteriorate. Freezing of trapped water, the effects of sea water, even certain bacteria and fungi can damage it.
Particularly damaging to concrete are acids. The lower the pH of the acid and the longer the concrete is in contact with it, determines how quickly and how damaging the acid is to the concrete.
Acids attack concrete by dissolving the cement compounds. The chemical reaction forms water-soluble calcium compounds that are leached away leaving the aggregate.
Once the damaged concrete platform and floor was removed, the floor and platform was rebuilt using a vinyl ester grout.
Fortunately, the damage can be repaired but the source of the acid needs to be eliminated first. Neutralizing the damaged concrete is the next step and if the damage is extensive enough, the damaged concrete itself needs to be removed and the remaining concrete rebuilt to the original levels.
The final step in the repair was to apply an acid resistant coating of vinyl ester to help prevent damage from any future leakage.
As a final protection a chemical resistant coating, like epoxy floor coatings, creates an isolating barrier between the concrete and any exposure to the acid.
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