Here’s How Concrete’s Carbon Footprint Is Changing—and What It Means for You

Here’s How Concrete’s Carbon Footprint Is Changing—and What It Means for You

Workers lay concrete at a new facility.

Across all industries, the push to make things greener and more sustainable is here to stay. The concrete and densification world is no different. In fact, our industry just quietly went through a major manufacturing change. The experts at KEVCO, Inc. are here to break down what happened and how it affects you. Take a closer look below and call us right away with questions.

How Was Concrete Previously Manufactured?

Several elements are combined to create cement. These elements, when heated at extremely high temperatures, form a rock-like substance that is ground into a fine powder, which is what we commonly think of as cement. However, that heating process requires using fossil fuels. And that’s where the carbon footprint comes in—burning those fossil fuels contributes to global carbon emissions.

What Changed?

In short, the manufacturing process changed. To reduce those carbon emissions, the industry removed 10 to 15 percent of Ordinary Portland Lime (OPL) from typical mix designs and replaced it with ground limestone (PLC). This new blend is known as Type 1L Cement, and it is designed to reduce fossil fuel consumption.

How Does This Affect Your Concrete Floors?

Some recent experience with Type 1L Cement has shown that staining can occur from topically applied curing aids, curing agents, and densifiers. The good news? As Wisconsin’s leader in concrete floor treatments, KEVCO has spent a lot of time researching this new cement.

“We are working diligently with other industry experts to determine why this staining occurs,” says KEVCO owner Kevin Powalisz. “In most cases, the staining appears to dissipate over time and is not objectionable. However, there have been a couple of cases where staining has been unsightly.”

It also appears that Type 1L Cement is less resistant to abrasions and more porous. However, our experts already know how to deal with that: a second application of our ASHFORD FORMULA densifier. Curecrete, ASHFORD FORMULA’s manufacturer, has approved of that recommendation.

The Bottom Line

KEVCO has long been your go-to team for innovative and durable concrete floor treatments—and we continue to be.

“Extensive testing by industry experts is ongoing,” Kevin says, “but we think we’re ahead of the curve on this. The more we learn about this change, the more we’re adapting our processes to it. That means adjusting the time of concrete placement, the humidity level of the area, and working with cure times. As of right now, in order to provide the best possible outcome for you, our customers, the timing of ASHFORD applications will be decided on a case-by-case basis. Pre-pour meetings that discuss application timing will also be critical to providing the best results.”

Rest assured, we’re here to help customers adapt every step of the way. So if you have questions or want to learn more, don’t hesitate to call or contact us anytime.