by ROBIN BRUNET
Aging infrastructure and acts of God will always ensure that those in the restoration business, and especially those who manufacture restoration products, are kept busy in perpetuity – and 2017 was no exception. Canadian roads in greater need of repair than ever, heritage homes requiring the deft attention of renovation specialists, and calamities such as the B.C. wildfires caused restoration and rebuilding on a mass scale.
Given that so many of our physical structures are comprised of concrete, it’s not surprising that a significant portion of product development is focused in this area. For example, Mapei has two distinct branches: the first is one that is recognized as a leader in the manufacture of total systems for the installation of floor coverings in commercial and residential construction; the second branch is its Concrete Restoration Systems – products that help repair damaged concrete in commercial and industrial projects as well as infrastructure settings such as bridges and wastewater systems.
One of several new products from Mapei is the Mapefloor cementitious polyurethane flooring, designed for the food and beverage industry because it meets high standards of chemical resistance, resistance to temperatures and thermal shock, and its mechanical strength and resistance to abrasion. Mapefloor products (comprising six overlayments/screeds with a variety of depths, textures, and colours) are also quick to install thanks to the use of specific, latest technology resinous materials.
Shane Edwards, Mapei’s product line manager for industrial flooring says Canada is “the ideal market for the introduction of these protective coatings into the Americas, due to market size and demographics. Our approach is to educate contractors on the proper application methods that will allow them to rapidly adapt to our products and provide professional results for their customers in the food and beverage processing industry.”
Brian Salazar, national business development manager of Euclid Canada, continues to enjoy the growing acceptance of sacrificial anodes in concrete repair across Canada. “The technology isn’t new, but it took a long time to be adopted simply because engineers require proof that it works,” he says.
For parking facilities repair solutions, Euclid provides cathodic protection in the form of Sentinel Galvanic Anodes of a v-notch configuration that are easy to install and fit any size rebar. The anodes mitigate corrosion of reinforcing steel in concrete structures and promote the longevity of the concrete by minimizing the spalling and cracking that result from corrosion.
Salazar says, “We’ve revamped a few products due to the fact that coal plants are shutting down and making less fly ash available to us. Fortunately, we found substitute materials that are just as effective as the ash.”
Among the restoration products available from Euclid are EucoRepair V100 – a very low shrinkage repair mortar fortified with polymers and fibre reinforcement (used for vertical and overhead repairs requiring high performance).
Restoration products are part of a portfolio including architectural wall coatings and exterior insulation and finish systems from Durabond Products Limited, a leader in the manufacturing of specialized construction products since 1967.
In fact, the company’s Durex has become a brand indelibly associated with concrete restoration and includes Dur-A-Floor, a two component repair mortar (premixed cement and Durex Acrylic Resin Bond) especially suitable for filling in large holes and recesses in concrete as well as a trowel applied overlay. Also under the Durex brand is Dur-A-Patch 100, a two component polymer modified non-shrink structural repair mortar that can be used for vertical and overhead repair work in addition to repairing concrete floors.
Closed cell polyurethane foam is substance fundamental to restoration and valued for its ability to stay in place during high wind events. In fact, pull resistance on concrete has been measured at over 990 pounds of uplift pressure and over metal deck assemblies at over 220 pounds.
Andrew Cole, executive director of the Canadian Urethane Foam Contractors Association (CUFCA), is happy that the use of such foam insulation is not only growing in Canada, but that also ongoing advances in formulation are mitigating concerns over VOCs and other chemical emissions. “End users now understand the tremendous energy savings that our foam, when professionally applied, provides,” he says. “While we focus on new construction, the foam is also ideal for restoration or renovation in situations where, for example, walls have to be completely disassembled then rebuilt, due to the foam being impervious to mould and degradation, and its tolerance to rack and shear loads compared to conventional insulation.”
Cole adds that the Calgary flood several years ago saw widespread use of closed cell polyurethane foam in the rebuilding of basements, and more recently the wildfires that swept Fort McMurray and in 2017 destroyed 900,000 hectares of land and property in B.C. resulted in the foam being applied to new construction. “As unfortunate as these events were, they drew attention to the many benefits of foam over conventional insulation.”
It’s unsurprising then that Icynene, whose open cell and closed cell spray foam insulates and air seals in one step, is currently enjoying double digit growth, according to Paul Duffy, the company’s VP engineering. “We’ve worked diligently to reduce VOC compound emissions, and as a result installers can now re-enter a work area in as little as one hour after application to tear down the tarps, and residents can move back in within two hours – which is enormous in terms of time savings,” he says.
Icynene’s influence in the construction/restoration sectors is about to become a lot bigger. In October it announced a merger with Lapolla Industries, Inc. that will position both companies for long-term sustained growth and make Icynene-Lapolla the largest spray foam provider in the world. “And we continue to improve our performance with products such as Icynene ProSeal LE,” says Duffy. “This foam helps achieve R-31 in minutes, and an initial pass results in a five-inch thickness, without the heat and steam issues that previously required installers to spray in 50-millimetre layers, thus again saving a lot of time.”
Strengthening is the focus of Fibrwrap Construction’s restoration work, whose projects include many notable transportation and water-front jobs. For example, after the City of Edmonton decided to widen Quesnell Bridge from a four lane to a six lane highway, consulting engineers concluded that the existing girders were insufficient in flexural and shear capacities and did not meet loading conditions. The solution was provided by the Tyfo SCH-41 system, which was installed longitudinally along the bottom side of the girders to increase their flexural capacity, and installed transversely along the sides to increase their overall shear capacity.
Fibrwrap has also used unidirectional Tyfo SCH-41 fabric to strengthen concrete floor slabs in the Hotel Georgia in Vancouver: this supplemented the required flexural enhancement designed by Glotman Simpson Consulting Engineers and resulted in vast time savings, reduced remedial costs, and reduced shut down time.
Pressurized cleaning is a key element in cosmetic restoration, and Edward Humphries, project manager for Colonial Building Restoration, points out that his firm (which is respected as Canada’s restoration and preservation expert) made extensive use of the Rotec Vortex cleaning system in 2017.
The Rotec Vortex is a low-pressure micro-abrasive cleaning technology designed for the sensitive restoration of facades and monuments. The nozzle projects a low pressure swirl of air, water and an inert, micro-abrasive media powder to clean surfaces gently and effectively without damage to the sub-strate. “It’s very effective, yet it doesn’t remove the patina from material,” says Humphries.
Projects of note for Colonial in 2017 included the cleaning of the Metropolitan United Church in Toronto. “It took us five months to remove 100 years’ worth of dirt and pollution from the brickwork, and to many peoples’ surprise the real colour of the edi-fice proved to be yellow,” says Humphries. “In fact, it was such a surprise that a few people were convinced we’d ruined the building!”
Colonial, whose high-profile projects include the Library of Parliament, Toronto City Hall, and the award-winning 51 Division police station, will likely be equally busy this year. “We expect things to really heat up in the spring,” says Humphries. “Many projects are currently in the negotiation stages across Toronto.”
In terms of waterproofing, Kryton International Inc. is the inventor of smart hydrophilic crystalline technology. When added as an admixture or applied to concrete, Krystol chemicals create a reaction that causes long, narrow crystals to form, filling the pores, capillaries and hairline cracks of the concrete mass. As long as moisture remains present, crystals continue to grow throughout the concrete, reaching lengths of many inches over time. “One of the benefits of our system is that it can be reactivated over time,” says Alireza Biparva, research and development manager – concrete specialist for Kryton. “Even if there is a crack in your structure 50 years down the road, as long as you have water available, the crystals will grow. This is assuming of course that our products have been applied correctly, and to that end we thoroughly train our distributors about correct usage.”
This technology has been a boon to innumerable restoration projects, and one that the company likes to highlight is the repair of the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, in which the Krystol T1, Krystol Plug, and Krystol Repair Grout were used to remedy groundwater infiltration in the facility’s underground train tunnel. Krystol Plug halted leaks immediately; Krystol Repair Grout was applied over the plug to permanently stop the water, and then repair teams applied Krystol T1 over the leak repair and to the concrete walls to protect against future water intrusion.
Lastly, Arriscraft’s specialty in the restoration field is matching old historic stone, and as such it continues to be sought by universities across North America. One of its more notable projects in this regard was supplying the historic Miami University with Arriscraft stone instead of quarried stone (for time and labour savings), and ensuring that it was a realistic match to the quarried option for the early 19th-century stone already in place. Arriscraft building stone has also been used on a number of recent restoration projects in the Ottawa-Gatineau region, in lieu of quarried stone.
Source: Award Magazine