Tom Bagsarian
Tom Bagsarian

My able colleague Kari Moosmann did something very worthy and virtuous for the concrete industry earlier this year. She gave birth to a magazine—Concrete Surfaces.

Since its inaugural issue, Kari accepted another important assignment, managing editor of Concrete Construction, our sister publication. That leaves it to me to (keeping with the childbearing theme) help raise this magazine. Or maybe I should say, your magazine. After all, Concrete Surfaces is becoming the industry's voice in discussing how to help guide you in protecting, enhancing, and maintaining all types of concrete surfaces.

I and the other editors at Hanley Wood believe an important role of any trade publication is to become a clearing-house of information. We are truly the only independent source of vital information for this emerging segment of concrete construction.

This is a great time for this magazine. Interest in properly applied surface techniques has never been greater. But don't take my word for it. Howard M. Kanare, senior principal scientist at CTLGroup in Skokie, Ill., and author of Concrete Floors and Moisture, agrees. Kanare points to two concrete surface issues that need more contractor review and discussion.

First, the moisture measurement issue in hardened concrete is “huge,” says Kanare. He predicts that specifiers will initiate movement toward measuring concrete moisture, or relative humidity, within the slab, not just on the surface. This already is being done in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. There have been just a few such projects in the United States.

Another important issue is curing. For several decades, the industry found curing compounds very popular and effective in protecting concrete surfaces from minor surface defects. But this standard practice is under review. Today, most concrete floors receive some type of after-placement finish. Regardless of whether it's a coating or a covering, there have been numerous adherence issues to surfaces treated with curing compounds.

Many of these adherence problems would be minimized if specifiers used a new ASTM standard in their contract language. ASTM C-1315, “Standard Specification for Liquid Membrane Forming Compounds Having Special Properties for Curing and Sealing Concrete,” is not being practiced much and is not widely known.

“Architects, floor covering manufacturers, and coatings contractors are saying, don't use a curing compound on a floor that's going to receive a finish, leaving the general or sub-contractor wondering what to do. This is a particular problem for elevated slabs,” says Kanare.

These are just two important issues we will work on in future editions. “It would be great for the floor coverings and coatings industries to become aware of this magazine,” says Kanare.

I couldn't have put it better myself.

World of Concrete

As fall turns to winter, contractors often begin to think about travel plans for the trade show season. Keep the fourth week of January open. In our Winter 2006 issue, we'll fill you in on an exiting new concrete surfaces event we and a national trade association have planned for World of Concrete, Jan. 23-26, in Las Vegas.