Managing the Short Pot Life of Concrete Coatings

Once you’ve completed that concrete job of yours you’ve been working so long and hard on, you like to top it off with a flashy concrete coating that gives it a fresh, shiny, and finished look.  You might use a polyaspartic or polyurea coating, like many other people in the industry. But, one concern you and many other people might have is these two finishes, and several others, simply don’t have a long pot life – especially if they cure quickly.  You would like to keep a nice finished look on your concrete job for many years, and you may want to use those coatings again in the near future. What are some tips and tricks you can use to make sure what you purchase (such as the BASF sealant) is not wasted?

  1. Only buy what you need.  Ask the store clerk how much product you should have in order to complete your job.  Buy slightly more than what you need in order to account for spills and other work inefficiencies.  But, don’t buy any more than that.  That way, if you mess up and don’t apply your product quickly enough, you haven’t wasted much.  In addition, concrete coatings don’t typically keep well, even if you store them at recommended temperatures.
  2. Mix the minimum amount you need every time.  This idea is similar to the first point.  However, you can’t always buy slightly more than you need.  So, when you do need to use a concrete coating, mix the minimum amount each time.  What  you aren’t using will remain usable for the next several hours, so you at least have a way of keeping a little extra around, just in case.
  3. Know your solids.  You can purchase polyaspartic and polyurea coatings in a great variety of solids – anywhere from 70% to 100%.  In general, the lower the solids, the longer the coatings will last in the pot.
  4. Moisture helps coatings dry quicker.  The higher the humidity, the quicker your coatings will dry.  Be sure to measure the relative humidity before you get to work.  A difference of 30% in relative humidity is large enough to provide a substantially different environment for applying coatings.
  5. Mix and apply quickly.  You know you’ll have to do this no matter what you are applying.  However, to be sure you are in fact going to be able to apply everything you mix, mix only what you can apply in 10 minutes.  By rolling out the mixture quickly, you avoid creating roller lines.  If you are planning on broadcasting quartz, you must do the rolling immediately in order to avoid roller lines.

Follow These Tips and Everything Will be All Right! When you follow these tips, you will waste a bare minimum of your mixture.  After you’ve spent a fair amount of time and money on your project, you deserve to make the most efficient use of every resource possible. In any event, be sure to enjoy your new-found ability to be more efficient with the concrete sealant you now own.

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