Hardeners & Densifiers
Why would I polish concrete instead of coating it with a high quality urethane or epoxy?
Polished concrete yields a highly durable low maintenance substrate without the possibility of peeling or delamination of a coating.
What makes polished concrete so durable?
Polished concrete gets its durability two ways, first a chemical reaction between the silica in the densifier/hardener and the Calcium Hydroxide in the concrete substrate. Secondly, the use of polishing equipment and high quality diamond imbedded resin pads create a smooth, hard non-porous surface.
Do I always have to use grinding and polishing equipment to use the densifier and protective finish?
No, densifiers can be used on any old or new porous concrete surfaces. Clear Liquid Hardener & Densifier is the most cost effective product on the market. It cost less per square foot to use than the least expensive densifier on the market. This is true because of our higher coverage rate, lower labor cost, and no disposal cost.
How do I know if my concrete is a good candidate for polish application?
The concrete has to be clean and free of any old coatings or sealers and porous. A dime size water drop should take 10-20 seconds to absorb into the surface. Polymer modified products such as self leveling floors do not benefit as much from the use of densifiers.
How do I know if the floor is polymer modified?
There are a couple of ways to determine if it is polymer modified. Polymer modified products dent fairly easily, they are also water soluble and dust.
What is the maintenance on a polished floor?
This really depends on the process and use of the floor. If Lithium Protective Finish is used in the process the maintenance would be scrubbing often with red pads on a scrubbing machine, using a neutral PH cleaner that does not contain butyls, ammonia, or citric acids. Burnishing with a high speed machine periodically. Re-apply the Lithium Protective Finish as needed based on wear.
What are the benefits of using silica’s vs. silicates and silicanates?
Silica’s and silicates cause permanent reactions inside the concrete to harden and close the pores of the concrete. The silicanates do the same thing but are much larger in size. The silica molecule is much smaller and the ability to penetrate is not hampered by the interfering ions of Na, K or Li. Most products on the market are a mixture of the 2-3 of the above chemistries. The Clear Liquid Hardener & Densifier has higher concentrations of silica molecules ready to react and penetrate than the other chemistries available from competitors.
Will there be a residue to remove and dispose of?
With the Clear Liquid Hardener & Densifier there may be some dust residue after the surface completely dries. This is just silica dust and can be vacuumed or scrubbed up and disposed of as prescribed in your area. It is not a hazardous material and the ph is not of a dangerous level.
Will densifying my floor create a water proof surface?
No. It can help reduce water penetration significantly but does not “water-proof.” In fact, it is a breathable surface that allows moisture to come through from below, so it won’t flake, peal, or delaminate over time.
Will a densified surface still be breathable?
If just densified, then yes it will still allow vapor to escape, while blocking most of the problem causing salts and minerals from forming on the surface and causing efflorescence.
I have a 10 year old concrete slab, will the densifier work on an old surface too?
With proper prep and cleaning you can see benefit from a Densifier even on old slabs being refurbished. Throughout the life of concrete, in most cases, there is enough free lime to react and see a benefit.
Do newly placed concrete slabs have to fully cure (28 days) before applying a Densifier?
This will depend on the process being done on the floor later in the construction or what the end use of the slab will be. Some densifiers can be applied at time of placement where others see problems and need to wait for at least the 3 days to cure. If polishing is planned for a new slab you will want to wait until during the polishing phase to use a densifier.
Is H&C Clear Liquid Hardener & Densifier a cure?
No. It is not a film forming membrane.
Do I have to strip the cure and seal prior to application of the H&C Clear Liquid Hardener & Densifier?
Yes. If water will penetrate into the slab then it can be hardened. If you are going to grind the floor aggressively then you may not need to strip the sealer prior to grinding.
My concrete floor often leaves a fine dust on the surface, will densifying eliminate this problem?
Densifiying will help solve this problem, but the floor will need to be examined to make sure that there isn’t a larger issue such as carbonation with the slab before knowing if just hardening the floor will fully treat the problem. Our products can eliminate some dusting by making the concrete harder and less prone to abrasion. Much of the dusting we see is actually environmental dirt that falls on the surface from tires, product, and air circulation. Sealers help make substrates easier to clean from this kind of dirt.
Does the densifier have a strong odor?
The densifier has a slight odor, but it should be minimal to the average user. The Lithium Protective Finish does have a stronger smell, but less so than a solvent.
Is the densifier harmful to plants and vegetation?
No, but contaminating vegetation or soils should be avoided.
How deep does the densifier penetrate?
This depends greatly on the surface preparation and type of concrete. It can be anywhere from 3mm-12mm.
Are multiple coats of the densifier required?
If applied correctly, one application is actually more beneficial than multiple applications of thinner coverage. If you allow the densifier to dry out you have caused the reaction and subsequent coats will no longer penetrate as deeply or evenly as the initial application has the opportunity to do. You should keep the surface wet with product for 20-30 minutes, applying more products to areas as needed or using a broom or mop to keep the product evenly distributed.
Can I incorporate color into the concrete when I am using H&C Clear Liquid Hardener & Densifier?
You can use an Acetone Dye Stain, Infusion Acid Stain or Semi-Transparent Stain when using the Hardener. Unlike other materials it does not have the tendency to lift the dyes out of the concrete. It also does not change the color of the concrete so it does not change the color of the stained floor. H&C Acetone Dye Stain is recommended when adding color for polished concrete applications.
At what point do I add color to the polishing process with H&C Acetone Dye Stain?
Typically color is added in the middle of the polishing process and is always added prior to the application of H&C Clear Liquid Hardener and Densifier. The best time to add color and densifier is before your last 3 polish resin diamond passes.
Will Clear Liquid Hardener & Densifier inhibit the ability of a coating to adhere to a floor?
No. H&C’s Clear Liquid Hardener & Densifier does not build a film or affect the surface of the slab. Unlike other concrete hardeners, H&C Clear Concrete Hardener does not produce sodium hydroxide so it will not cause coating failures.
Will the Clear Liquid Hardener & Densifier stop ASR?
No, but it will not contribute to ASR.
Does Clear Liquid Hardener & Densifier contribute to craze cracking and ASR?
No. Clear Liquid Hardener & Densifier does not contain sodium or potassium and does not increase the alkalinity of the slab or contribute to ASR. It will not contribute to surface sweating syndrome.
Do I have to rinse the product off the floor?
No. You can cut some time off of the clock by grinding your next step while the Concrete Hardener is still wet on the floor. You may want to check to make sure that your diamonds can be run wet. The additional heat will accelerate the chemical reaction and helps to seal the floor.
How long do I have to wait after I have applied the Concrete Hardener before I can start grinding again?
Keep the product wet for 30 minutes. Then start grinding.
Can I wait too long before I grind?
Yes. Do not allow the floor to react more than 24 hours before you grind it again. It can become too hard to cut.
When do I apply the H&C Lithium Protective Finish for polished concrete?
H&C Lithium Protective Finish is used as the final step for protection in a polished concrete system. While the floor after densifying is moisture resistant, it is not chemical resistant and requires the use of a protective sealer. By applying at least two coats of finish and burnishing each coat, it will fill the voids to chemically protect the floor from oil, grease, dirt, etc.
Do I have to use the Lithium Protective Finish?
If polishing, without the Lithium Protective Finish on the floor you are leaving the concrete open. Spills will most likely stain or etch the concrete instantly, where with the Lithium Protective Finish there is a window of time to clean most spills or contaminants up. The Lithium Protective Finish also conditions and hardens the floor to help protect the wear layer and extend the life.
Dry-Shake Color Hardener
Can Dry Shake-Color Release be used when stamping an overlay?
No, H&C Liquid Release is the recommended release agent for H&C Stampable Overlay.
When do you broadcast the Dry-Shake Color Hardener?
After the concrete has been bull floated and the bleed water has come to the surface.
What gives Dry-Shake Color Hardener the hardening capabilities?
Portland cement & aggregate size mainly increases the surface strength.
Can two different colors of Dry-Shake be used on the same slab?
Yes, there is no limit to the amount of colors that can be combined.
Can Dry-Shake Color Hardener be used as integral color for freshly poured slab?
Dry-Shake Color Release
Can Dry Shake-Color Release be used when stamping an overlay?
I’d answer this as no and only suggest the liquid release. Powder Release can be used with Stampable Overlay, but because of the density of the Stampable Overlay the Powder Release may be difficult to rinse off. We do not recommend this.
How do you know when it is time to broadcast Dry-Shake Release?
When the concrete is firm enough to stamp.
Can Dry-Shake Color Release be used in conjunction with a liquid release?
Should Dry-Shake Color Release be applied to the stamp and/or the slab?
It should be applied to both. Apply directly on the stamps and directly on the fresh concrete slab. Dry-Shake Color Release should be reapplied directly to the stamps periodically.
How long do I have to wait before the Dry-Shake Color Release can be cleaned from the surface?
Typically the following day.
Can Dry-Shake Color Release be power washed from the surface? What is the maximum PSI that should be used?
Yes with a mild power washer. Most experienced contractors mildly power wash with a fan tip not over 1500 PSI.