Why are silicates and DRYCRETE Products used for waterproofing, and why should they not be considered equal?
Both are widely marketed as penetrating reactive sealers because they react with unbound, free alkalis in the concrete capillary and pore space to form Calcium Silicate Hydrate (CSH) – the “glue” that holds concrete together. However, the degree of surface penetration, completeness of the reactions, and long-term performance are very different.
Conventional silicates, in addition to being more viscous than DRYCRETE Products, react quickly with alkalis upon contacting the concrete surface. The poorly distributed and formed thixotropic crystalline gel at the surface hinders the penetration of the viscous solution, thus limiting its waterproofing effectiveness and longevity.
The thixotropic crystalline gel is also not of uniform composition and can contain variable-sized pores, ranging from very small to very large. This causes the thixotropic crystalline gel to be temporary, at best. As water migrates through the larger gel pores, the thixotropic gel can erode and eventually fail at a rate dependent on the volume of water and its driving force passing through the concrete.
“DRYCRETE Products allow for deeper penetration before the CSH-forming reactions take place.”
Therefore, the depth of penetration is greater and more consistent when compared to conventional silicates.
In addition, since the colloidal silica particles that form within the concrete capillaries and pores are of uniform size – not the product of uncontrolled precipitation like the silicates – the CSH gel formed in the capillaries and pores is much more uniform without the inconsistent voids found in silicate gels.