Interior Concrete Usage vs. Exterior Concrete Usage
Few building materials are more sturdy or reliable than concrete. It’s no wonder, then, that concrete has been used for millions of years and is still commonly used for both indoor and outdoor purposes. Indeed, concrete holds up in many types of environments -- that said, getting the most out of your concrete surfaces depends on understanding the differences between interior and exterior concrete usage.
Let’s outline some of the many ways you can incorporate concrete inside or outside your property.
The Difference Between Interior and Exterior Concrete
Concrete’s Interior and Exterior Uses
Most of us are familiar with the most common instances of concrete usage, such as industrial flooring, commercial and residential garages, and parking lots. These are all key applications, but concrete can be used for much more as well. Many homes are outfitted with concrete basement floors, and some kitchens feature concrete countertops. As for additional exterior applications, concrete is a popular choice for patios, pool decks, and walkways, too. Simply put, concrete is a versatile construction material -- it works well in so many situations.
The Differences Between Interior and Exterior Concrete Maintenance
Despite concrete’s relative strength and durability, this material does have its weakness, which can be exploited by certain environmental conditions. Interior concrete and exterior concrete face unique challenges that must be protected against if you wish to get the longest life out of your surfaces. For instance, concrete surfaces that rest outside of a property are vulnerable to the weather and regional climate. Wind, rain, temperature fluctuations, pests, dirt -- these are all regular threats to your exterior concrete. Consider the additional threats a concrete pool deck must face in the form of splashing water and chemicals (i.e. chlorine).
This isn’t to say that interior concrete surfaces get off scot-free, however. A concrete garage floor, for instance, must undergo pressure from large, heavy vehicles, regular foot traffic which tracks in dirt, dust, oil, and other debris, moisture intrusion from below the substrate, temperature changes (if not properly climate-controlled), and more. Concrete countertops are bound to experience their share of moisture, impact, and scratches as well.
The Right Coatings for Your Concrete’s Location
No matter where your concrete surfaces are located, they require proper protection that takes all of the aforementioned threats into consideration. Fortunately, quality concrete coatings (i.e. an epoxy paint coating) help safeguard both interior and exterior concrete surfaces and enhance their appearance as an added bonus. These coatings and sealers penetrate the concrete’s pores, preventing moisture, debris, and other harmful contaminants from entering, expanding, and damaging the material.
There are various types of coating products available, and some are specifically designed for interior or exterior applications. These products differ in a number of ways, but the main distinction between indoor and outdoor coatings has to do with their resin, the ingredient that binds the pigment to the surface. Exterior coatings feature softer resins in order to endure a greater amount of moisture and severe temperature fluctuations, whereas interior coatings tend to have more rigid resins, which also happens to protect against scuffs and smears. Exterior coatings are also more likely to contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are toxic and yield strong odors.
So, when coating your patio, pool deck, or parking lot, you’ll want to use an outdoor concrete epoxy paint. Conversely, an indoor epoxy floor paint is meant for basements, garages, and other interior uses. Epoxy isn’t your only concrete floor paint option, either. Urethane and polyurea coatings are other viable options that offer their own benefits. At Anderson Painting, our team is equipped to install Penntek polyurea coatings to concrete surfaces. These coatings provide years of protection to indoor and outdoor surfaces alike while offering various aesthetic options to enhance your property’s appeal.
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