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Water Damage to Vegas Driveways

Concrete is a heterogeneous composition of coarse and fine aggregate particles held together with a cement paste. The paste is the “glue” made from cement and water that hardens due to a chemical reaction called hydration. Cement paste normally constitutes 25-40% of the concrete’s total volume. The paste is porous and is prone to water movement through pores and micro cracks present in the paste. The quality of the concrete depends on the quality of the paste and aggregate, as well as the bond between the two. In properly made concrete, every aggregate particle should be covered with paste and the spaces between the aggregate particles completely filled with paste. Our Las Vegas ground has an abundance of salt which forms Subflorescence, when too much water and salt is wicked up and absorbed into the concrete, it will collect underneath the "creamed", finished layer of concrete. This salt will crystallize, creating pressure on the top layer of concrete and leading to spalling, and the degradation of the face and expulsion of stucco from it’s surface.

When the internal rebar becomes moist, it will begin to rust and corrode. As it does so, it will also create off gassing which puts pressure on the concrete, leading to spalling and cracking.

The Thermodynamics and moisture must be curtailed to stop efflorescence, spalling and concrete surface degradation. Capillary Action transports liquids through porous solid by way of surface tension acting in the capillary pores. Concrete bricks can wick over three pounds of water per square foot per day. No stucco or paint can stick to any surface with that much moisture. Closing those capillaries is the first step to arresting the destruction of your concrete. Hydrophilic densifyers (Green Tech P1007) which is absorbed and utilize water to catalyze and react with cement particles to produce elongated crystalline structures. These structures physically block pores, cracks, and ITZ to sufficiently resist the penetration of water under pressure. The ability of crystalline products to self heal is one of their most unique and dramatic benefits. P1007 seals cracks on average of 0.4-0.5mm. Real world experience often produce results of cracks up to a millimeter being sealed.

Incorporating crystalline technology into concrete ensures that minor cracking that occurs even years later can self heal without any outside intervention. This dramatically reduces long-term maintenance and repair costs.

According to the second law of Thermodynamics:  Water moves from hot to cold and from wet to dry.  The water moves from the wet area to the dry area, inward, from our wonderful Las Vegas grass into our concrete and sound walls. When the sun comes out, the water moves inward away from the warm area and wicks into the cold areas.  With miles of landscaping on the backsides of our sound walls the amount of moisture is abundant. The moisture gets trapped in the inner sound wall cavity which has no ventilation. The water vapor is driven inward, toward the cool insides of the sound walls, as well as into our air conditioned dry homes and buildings. The moisture then condenses on the interior sides of the walls. This trapped moisture now facilitates spalling, efflorescence, off gassing, and degradation to the insides of the sound walls.  In our homes and buildings the moisture breads a serious health issue. Black mold thrives in our Las Vegas climate, hot outside and cool walls almost invite the fungus to infest the insides of our walls. The solution is to eliminate moisture and minimize the heat absorption by the concrete and brick surfaces. We have found the application of the GTS Thermal Paint solves two problems. The elastomeric coating provides a waterproof membrane and minimizes thermal heat absorption by CMU, concrete, bricks and stucco. Green Tech Thermal Paint has some unique characteristics. This thermal paint formula is infused with custom made proprietary hollow ceramic micro-beads. It is these specially designed beads which give this paint it’s un-matched attributes. This thermal paint has Solar Reflectance Index Value of 105, Solar Reflectance Value - 84.04 and Thermal Emittance Value - 86% respectively. It is through the reduction of heat that we are able to minimize the wicking of moisture into the sound walls and our homes.

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About the Author

Jimmy Lembcke, Seamingly Straight Inc
161 Kennet Court
Las Vegas, NV 89144

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