Does creosote have any adverse effect on concrete, and, if so, how can surfaces be protected?
Concrete will disintegrate slowly if it is attacked by creosote. As with any corrosive material, creosote will have the greatest effect when it can penetrate the surface of the concrete. The first line of defense, therefore, is to produce a dense impermeable surface. The best way to do this is to apply the techniques of good concrete practice-sound materials correctly proportioned, low water/cement ratio, and thorough compacting and curing. The effect of the creosote, or any corrosive substance, will then be confined to the outermost layer of concrete. Regular cleansing of the surface is also recommended. Rinsing off a corrosive material after it has penetrated the pores of a permeable concrete surface will be of little benefit. A dense impermeable concrete will resist attack better than a permeable surface but, with continued exposure to corrosive substances, it too may disintegrate in time. For complete protection, the surface should be treated. Where creosote is the corrosive element, treatment with sodium silicate or metallic silicofluorides should prove satisfactory for good quality concrete. Application can be done with brush or mop, initially in concentrated form. As many as four or more coatings may be necessary; application should continue until no further material is absorbed into the concrete. On floors subject to abrasion, periodic treatment may be necessary. The frequency of recoating will depend on circumstances, but each application should be effective for at least a year, and, under reasonable conditions, for several years.