Water Absorption in Concrete

Posted on February 19, 2021 by Spencer Kubat

This is an interesting topic for sure. First off, we need to define what is meant by water. Is it in the form of vapor, which could condensate on the concrete surface? Or is it in liquid form, as in a swimming pool? Then there is the type of water/vapor to consider. Is it chloride (chlorine combined with water), or just plain water?


What materials can be used when these elements are present? Of course, concrete is one of the first that comes to mind, but concrete is porous or permeable. Overall, concrete is probably the most durable and can be manipulated or formulated to be less permeable. Curing methods, mix design using special additives and low water-to-concrete ratio all help in attaining a low permeable concrete. Coatings can be applied to any surface to stave off water penetration, but in some cases these are not friendly to the processes happening within the building. Coatings also tend to be a maintenance issue.

Water absorption is a concern for everyone on any project. There has been many studies on the subject which would take a long time sharing, but for me; I intend to discuss with our R&D team within Wells Concrete to come up with mix designs and treatments for our use. Stay tuned.

Spencer Kubat
Vice President - Sales