Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What can I protect with CreteDefender™?
You can use CreteDefender on any normal concrete surface (horizontal or vertical), indoors or out, including warehouse/factory floors, driveways, sidewalks, cast concrete pavers, garage and basement floors, concrete walls, roadways, bridges, concrete posts, livestock barns, stucco, and even airport runways! The surface to be treated needs to be a portland cement-based concrete with a minimum compression rating of 2,000 psi.
2. How often do I need to re-apply CreteDefender?
NEVER! Once it is applied according to instructions, CreteDefender is permanent and never needs to be re-applied.
3. Can I use CreteDefender on concrete block, CMU’s, or brick?
No, CreteDefender will not provide complete protection for block or brick…the pores are too large. For CreteDefender to work, the compression rating of the concrete must be at least 2,000 psi. Cinder-based concrete, and any large pore concrete, is simply too porous for CreteDefender to work. A good silane/siloxane waterproofing product will work on block or brick, but will need to be re-applied every 3 to 5 years.
4. Will CreteDefender work on natural stone?
No. But, you can use CreteDefender to treat cast concrete stonework — both blocks and pavers — as long as they meet the minimum 2,000 psi rating.
5. Is CreteDefender safe for the environment?
Yes! CreteDefender will not harm plants, and is non-toxic, non- hazardous, and will keep concrete from filling our landfills.
6. When can I apply CreteDefender?
CreteDefender can be applied to new or existing concrete. If you are applying it to new concrete, you may apply it as soon as it is safe to walk on without leaving a mark. Do not use any other curing agent. If you have used a curing agent, you will need to pressure wash the surface of the concrete to remove the curing agent before applying CreteDefender. (see question number 7.)
7. Can I use CreteDefender instead of a cure-and-seal product?
Yes and No. CreteDefender does not work like conventional cure-and -seal products, which form a temporary barrier on the surface of the concrete, preventing evaporation. If your project requires a cure-and-seal product that meets the ASTM C-309 or ASTM C-1315, CreteDefender will not qualify because it does not prevent surface evaporation. However, due to the way it encapsulates water during its reaction with the concrete, CreteDefender works very effectively as a cure-and-seal product, holding the water in the matrix of the concrete for up to 75 days, allowing the concrete to cure more effectively. Moisture is critical to the curing process, and CreteDefender keeps the moisture locked in the concrete for use during the curing process, giving you a superior cure.
8. Can I use CreteDefender on stamped and/or colored concrete?
Yes, as long as the coloring in the concrete has the dye in the concrete mix when it was poured. CreteDefender lessens the impact of chemical bleaching and may even make the colors richer and slightly more intense. It does not protect from UV bleaching. DO NOT use CreteDefender on acid-stained concrete.
9. Can I use CreteDefender with conventional concrete sealers?
Yes, if you apply the sealer AFTER treating the concrete with CreteDefender. Used in conjunction with CreteDefender, the sealer only serves as a cosmetic treatment, to give the concrete a shine. On machine troweled concrete, CreteDefender may leave a mild sheen, which will gradually get glossier over time.
10. Can I use CreteDefender with urethane, epoxy and acrylic coatings?
Yes, if you apply the urethane, epoxy or acrylic AFTER treating the concrete with CreteDefender. CreteDefender even improves the bonding characteristics of the concrete. In general, CreteDefender alone does not change the look or texture of the concrete surface.
11. Can I apply CreteDefender on sealed, painted or coated concrete?
You will need to remove any sealer, paint, or coating before application. CreteDefender is a chemical that must come in contact directly with the concrete in order to work. CreteDefender will not penetrate painted, sealed, or coated surfaces.
12. Can I paint or stripe over concrete treated with CreteDefender?
Yes. In fact, paints and coatings (like epoxy and urethanes) will adhere better to concrete treated with CreteDefender.
13. Is CreteDefender safe to use on concrete floors in food preparation areas?
Yes! CreteDefender is certified by the NSF International (formerly the National Sanitation Foundation) and the USDA for use in food preparation areas.
14. What can I do if my concrete is already crumbling?
You will need to replace the concrete and then treat the new concrete with CreteDefender.
15. Can I use CreteDefender to waterproof a basement?
Yes, but you will need to make sure that the concrete is dry before you apply CreteDefender. CreteDefender will not seal large cracks or prevent water from seeping through large cracks in the walls or floors.
16. Is application the same for smooth concrete (like a garage or basement floor) as it is for a broom finished surface (like a driveway or sidewalk)?
No. Smooth concrete (machine troweled) directions are slightly different. Please call for the application instructions for smooth concrete.
17. When I applied CreteDefender, my concrete got slick until it dried. Is that normal?
Yes. CreteDefender creates a gel when it comes in contact with concrete. This gel is slippery, but will go away as soon as the concrete dries.
18. When I applied CreteDefender, a white residue appeared when it dried. What happened and can I remove it?
The white residue is caused from either a puddle that didn’t get brushed away or from salts being forced out of the concrete. Pressure washing with a 3000psi pressure washer will usually remove the residue.
19. Does CreteDefender prevent oil stains?
CreteDefender makes oil, grease, and food easier to clean off the concrete, and resists staining, though it does not entirely prevent it.
20. Does CreteDefender prevent efflorescence?
Yes. CreteDefender eliminates the cause of efflorescence by reacting with and encapsulating the calcium components in the concrete. Calcium is the primary element in efflorescence. In addition, CreteDefender inhibits water penetration into the concrete which is what would normally carry the calcium components to the surface.
21. Can I apply CreteDefender to joints holding brickwork together?
Yes. The CreteDefender will not react with the brick. But, in order to minimize the amount of CreteDefender used, we recommend spraying it on with a targeted spray nozzle that can focus the flow of CreteDefender onto the cement-based joints.
22. Many new sealers use an acetone or xylene base. CreteDefender prevents absorption of those. What is the impact of Acetone and Xylene on concrete, and how does CreteDefender change that impact?
Xylene and Acetone are carriers that flash (evaporate) relatively quickly, leaving the pigments and sealer elements behind, thus creating a seal. They are not designed to penetrate or bond to the concrete, but to allow the sealer elements and pigments to be evenly distributed on the surface. Xylene and Acetone will evaporate quickly, and will not affect the CreteDefender treated concrete.
23. What about CreteDefender’s ability to protect against de-icers other than salt (sodium chloride), like magnesium and calcium chloride?
CreteDefender inhibits chloride ion penetration, so it does not matter which chloride is used.
24. Why do you recommend NOT applying CreteDefender to new residential driveways?
We have found that most residential driveways are simply not installed properly. Most are poured too wet and finished too soon, trapping air bubbles just beneath the surface. CreteDefender WILL NOT prevent the surface from popping off in applications where the concrete had too much water in it, or was finished too soon. Once the driveway has been through at least two wet freeze/thaw cycles, you will know if your driveway was poured and finished acceptably or not. If the surface starts to pop off, it was poorly done. If it is sound, then you are one of the lucky ones and you can apply CreteDefender in the spring or summer before the next winter. Salt damages the concrete slowly (usually 3-5 years before it starts to show on the surface unless you use copious amounts of salt). If you choose to apply CreteDefender on a residential driveway, sidewalk or porch before the concrete has been through at least 2 wet freeze/thaw cycles, CreteDefender will not warranty the product. However, your concrete contractor should warranty his work for at least a year or two. If you want to know how to tell your contractor how to specify and place your concrete, give us a call. We will happily provide you with that information. We want your concrete to last, and we want you to get the job done right!