In the arid Southwestern United States, the use of Water Repellants in construction, in all likelihood is a rarity….in Seattle it should be a necessity. The Puget Sound Region has the perfect climatic conditions for Concrete, Stone, Faux Stone, Precast and Masonry surfaces to be negatively affected by water penetration. Water soaking into masonry surfaces increases the potentiality for numerous aesthetic and physical changes in Block and Brick construction. Untreated surfaces of Concrete, Faux Stone and Precast Concrete are similarly affected. Soft porous Faux Stone and natural Stone materials, Sandstone and Limestone for example, are affected much like porous masonry. Denser Stone generally is less affected; however, the porous mortar joints between the Stone can exhibit the same side affects due to moisture, as any of the other absorbent materials. In short; the single most damaging element to masonry is water. Over time, sometimes in less than a year, water can stain and begin to degrade beautiful masonry work. Lime runs, efflorescence, chemical or biological staining and atmospheric contamination are just a few of the aesthetic detractors to masonry surfaces. Absorbed rain water also increases the danger of internally weakening the structure of masonry units and the mortar which holds them together, during repetitive freeze/thaw cycles. The Pacific Northwest has among the highest number of freeze/thaw cycles of any major population area in North America. Cracking, spalling and delamination, resulting from repetitive freezing and thawing cycles, are problems also encountered in concrete, precast concrete and other exterior products having porous surfaces.

The proper method to avoid all these issues is to use the appropriate water repellant for the surface being treated. Today’s breathable water repellants are technically superior to the acrylic, paraffin and other film forming water repellants of years gone by. Those products trapped water vapor within the surface they were supposed to protect and nearly always lead to some type of aesthetic or other water related damage. Contemporary repellants let vapor out without letting water in and without changing the desired appearance of the concrete or masonry. They are an invisible shield, which preserve the integrity and the appearance of the surfaces they are protecting.

For below grade applications where hydrostatic pressures are greater, than can adequately be addressed by liquid products, Salmon Bay carries high solids cementitious coatings, as well as, admixtures which can be added to new concrete placements. Salmon Bay has been involved with these water related issues and products for decades. We can lead you in the right direction when it comes to protecting your home, commercial building or business.