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How to Protect our Concrete Bridges from Deterioration

The American Society of Civil Engineers' Report Card grades America's Infrastructure maintenance initiative a D+. The organization estimates that $3.6 trillion would be needed to invest into U.S. infrastructure by 2020 just to bring the country's support systems to an acceptable B grade. Faced with the problem that most county and state governments do not have the finances to repair all of their roads and bridges, some local governments are looking for alternative and less expensive solutions to protecting their existing concrete surfaces.

When our parent company formed in 1993, we like many manufacturer's, produced topical coatings. But as with any coating system, they eventually wear away and the consumer is forced to reapply, thus becoming caught in a costly maintenance cycle. So we decided to create a penetrating sealer that would become an integral part of the original surface. The result is our Trojan Masonry & Concrete Sealer.

The unique polyester component of the sealer, in turn, hardens the substrate to help prevent future surface degradation of the concrete or masonry. The product is so different from other sealers that the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) provided the Trojan Sealer is own category: 07 19 29 Penetrating Polyester Water Repellents. This recognition appeared in CSI's 2016 MasterFormat publication. 

In 2011, the Tippecanoe County Highway Department began looking for a product to help preserve its concrete bridges.

Sealing concrete bridge deck

Located in the freeze/thaw zone of the U.S., Indiana’s winter-month temperatures can fluctuate daily above and below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. If rain falls during the warmer part of the day, it gets absorbed into the concrete. Yet as the water freezes in the pores overnight, it expands about 9 percent and begins to produce pressure in the concrete. Once the pressure exceeds the tensile strength of the concrete, it will cause expansion, cracking and crumbling of the concrete over many freeze/thaw cycles. 

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Waterproofing Porous Stone Veneer

Stones such as limestone and sandstone are often included in the construction of homes and buildings. They are used for the exterior veneer of the house and even walkways. Yet because of their very porous nature, the soft stones are also subject to weathering (wind/rain/salt water) quicker than other substrates. Salts and deicing chemicals (used in winter areas) will further hasten the degradation of stone walkways. Our Trojan Masonry and Trojan Ultra Sealers will densify and increase the stones longevity as well as waterproof the surface permanently.

The below pictures were taken by Dunlap Construction of Duvall, WAwho used our Trojan Ultra Masonry Sealer. "These pictures are taken about four years after a single application. The home is situated about 100 feet off salt water where the wind blows salt onto the stone walls with virtually no sign of wear. The material is Wilkeson Sandstone cut to my specs and then tumbled. There is approximately 160 tons of stone veneer"- Steve Dunlap

Trojan Masonry Sealer on Sandstone Home
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Historic Preservation using Trojan Masonry Sealer

Using eco friendly products during the restoration and preservation of historic homes and buildings is paramount when dealing with older substrates. As masonry/stone ages it becomes softer and thus more brittle. Power washing with very high pressure and harsh chemical cleaners can only add to further degradation. 

The below pictures are provided by Robert Morgan & Company (Littleton, NH) who specialize in church steeple and building restoration. This particular project is of the Grace Methodist Church in Wilmington, DE and shows Robert Morgan & Co. using our Trojan Masonry Sealer to seal the exterior once they repaired it.

Grace Church and Trojan Masonry Sealer

This 1868 Church is on the National Register of Historic Places and is made with a soft green serpentine stone quarried from Pennsylvania. Trojan Masonry Sealer is often used for historic preservation projects for a few reasons:

Trojan Masonry Sealer

» Penetrating Sealer - As Trojan is a water based, penetrating sealer it does not change the look of the surface by making it shiny or darken the stone. This is very important for historic preservationists who require the building to look exactly as it did when originally built.

» Densifier - Trojans unique polyester polymer content will fill the pores and actually increase the strength of the stone/mortar, thus preserving the building and guarding against future deterioration caused by weather.

» Environmentally Safe - Unlike some sealers that are toxic and etch glass, Trojan Masonry Sealer is 7 pH (like water) and inert in that it will not harm or react with anything. Since it is low VOC (volatile organic compounds) it can also be safely used indoors without odor.
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Cleaning Black Mildew from a Pool Deck

Algae Mildew Cleaner and Trojan Masonry Sealer are the two components needed to clean and preserve your pool deck. Over time, concrete pool decks tend to blacken with dirt and mildew. The black mildew is even more prevalent in areas of high humidity and shaded regions.

Black Mildew Stains on a Concrete Pool Deck (before)

Cleaned and Sealed from the Inside (after)

Concrete is very porous and therefore holds in moisture longer, providing a perfect petri dish for mold and mildew to grow. Spray on our Algae Mildew Cleaner with a hand-pump garden sprayer, agitate with a broom brush and power wash the surface to bring back the original look of your pool deck.

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Use a Penetrating Sealer on an Acid Stained Concrete Floor

Although the Trojan Color Sealer is an all in one stain and sealer system, we do have many Acid Stain Professionals that use the clear Trojan Masonry Sealer after applying their acid stain (once pH neutralized) to the concrete floor.

The below photo of Trojan Masonry Sealer applied to acid stained concrete was provided by Mark Bighley Construction from Silver City, NM. 

Trojan Masonry Sealer over acid stained concete

Note: This project photo using our sealer was part of a passive solar homes article from (3rd picture in gallery). 

Why do acid stain professionals use Trojan Masonry Sealer?

  • Unlike topical sealers (silicone, acrylic, polyurethane etc), Trojan is a water based, penetrating polyester concrete sealer that does not leave a surface residue. It instead fills the pores of the substrate leaving a matte to very low gloss (only on indoor, hard trowelled concrete) finish. Although topical sealants provide a nice shine they also are a maintenance issue in themselves as they easily wear away, especially on outdoor projects where weather, UV and walking/driving takes its toll. Topicals can also be slippery when wet, unlike Trojan, which will not change the friction coefficient of the surface. Our sealer will also not wear away as it hardens and binds the surface into one solid mass.
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Sealing Concrete Countertops

Concrete countertops are becoming a larger part of the green building/restoration business because it is a sustainable building material, using locally produced and often recycled components. Manufacturers also have a greater ability to create various colors and shapes to fit the needs of clients wishing for more personalized designs.

The Trojan Masonry Sealer  is often used on these colored concrete countertops to fill the pores and increase the strength of the substrate. Our concrete sealer's non toxic aspect is especially important for kitchen concrete countertops where food preparation occurs. 

The below photo of Trojan Masonry Sealer applied to this colored concrete countertop was provided by Mark Bighley Construction from Silver City, NM.

Trojan Masonry Sealer on Concrete Countertop

Note:  Our concrete sealer provides a matte finish for the organic look. Yet if the client desires a shine, a non toxic acrylic, urethane or wax can be applied over the Trojan Masonry Sealer. Our concrete sealer will allow a superior chemical bond to these topical sealers with the added value if the topical sealant wears away, Trojan is still protecting the concrete. 

Another alternative for concrete countertops is to use the Trojan Ultra Masonry Sealer which includes the same penetrating polyester as the Trojan Masonry Sealer yet also has acrylic added for a low gloss, satin finish topcoat. (cont'd)
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A Penetrating Sealer for your Driveway will Protect it from Erosion

Bradly Lewis Home Maintenance Inc. of Portland, OR is an applicator that uses our Trojan Masonry Sealer with his services. Below is an excerpt from his website, which provides an excellent description of why sealing your driveway with a penetrating concrete sealer is important. 

How sealing your concrete driveway helps you
  1. Sealing minimize pebbles popping out from aggregate concrete by hardening surrounding cement
  2. It minimizes erosion of cement from pressure washing and rain
  3. Reduced cracking by strengthening concrete and encouraging water to flow off the surface
  4. It slows weathering and breaking up of existing crack edges by hardening the concrete
  5. The sealer reduces potential for staining (oil stains) because fewer air pores are available to be filled
  6. Sealer seals driveway by providing a harder surface with fewer pores which makes cleanings easier.
  7. It helps concrete look more uniform by increasing hardness and minimizing wear
  8. Concrete sealer slows subconcrete soil erosion by keeping the surface water on top
  9. Sealer hardens the concrete and makes it more resistant to wear
  10. Sealer fills air pores, slows water absorption and minimizes seepage of water to feed algae after the rains
  11. Sealer slows growth of mildew in same way
  12. It is safer to walk on because of reduced slipperiness from mildew and algae
  13. Save money and time by going longer between concrete cleanings

Drip lines on driveway by garage door from gutter water eroding the concrete. 
Hardening the concrete with a sealer and keeping the gutters clean helps keep the concrete keep a more uniform appearance for longer.

What Type of Sealer Should be Used

There are several types of concrete or masonry sealers: Acrylic (topcoat), Silica / Silicate (surface, and slightly penetrating) and long-lasting polyester (Eco-Wares Staff Note: This is the Trojan Masonry Sealer )

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