A concrete densifier is a water-based chemical applied to a cementitious surface in order to increase surface density by permanently filling the pores in the surface. Chemical densifiers are used on both polished and non-polished concrete to reduce dusting and surface wear. Typically, polished concrete surfaces that are densified offer a better polish and make the surface less susceptible to liquid permeability, thus reducing the need for a heavy sealer.
This is how they work: excess water in newly placed concrete rises to the surface and this bleed water carries with it the finest aggregates and impurities, making it much softer than the slab’s core. This also has the highest water to cement ratio, which further weakens the surface. Densifiers address this problem by binding to available unhydrated lime to create additional “cementitious” like material and strengthen the surface.
Concrete is, by nature, a porous material, with pores formed by water evaporation during the curing process. These pores interfere with surface uniformity, and make the slab more susceptible to staining from spilled liquids. The additional cementitious material formed by the densifier and lime tightens these pores for better surface hardness and durability. Most densifiers can react within 1-2 hours with concrete surface, however the chemical reaction with the calcium and free lime in the concrete will continue for up to 2 months after the application of it to the surface of the concrete.
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