Archive for October, 2012


PROSOCO is coming up on 75 years, and is going stronger than ever.

Seventy-five years says “sustainability” to me. The diamond is the stone for the 75th year anniversary. As we all know, “Diamonds are forever” — Can’t get more sustainable than that.

When the calendar flips over to that first page of 2013, PROSOCO, since 1939, will have 74 years behind it. We’ll embark on our 75th year of solving problems.

And the years have been solution-packed. Here are just a few highlights:

1956: Jerry Boyer, son of PROSOCO founder Al Boyer, develops Sure Klean 600 for cleaning excess mortar safely from clay brick — works a lot better than muriatic acid.

An apartment building gets cleaned with newly invented Sure Klean 600. Still in use today, 600 lets you clean more area, faster than muriatic acid, without risk of those nasty yellow stains from the impurities muriatic acid contains.

1959: The 14-story terra cotta Mountain States Telephone Building needs cleaning. But the only available technologies, sandblasting or muriatic acid are too destructive. Jerry invents a custom formula, pioneering restoration cleaning in the process.

Jerry Boyer pioneered a restoration cleaner for the terra cotta Mountain States Telephone Building in Denver, 1959, when the cleaning methods of the day, muriatic acid or sandblasting, proved too destructive.

1964: Water soaking into bricks and mortar joints causes cracking, spalling, biological staining and decreased masonry service life. Jerry introduces penetrating, breathable water-repellents for concrete, brick and stone. Now in widespread use.

1976: Paramount Pictures gets fake blood all over the porous travertine terraces at the World Trade Center while filming a remake of “King Kong.” Then they can’t get it out. Jerry, can you help? Yes he can, and does, with another custom solution.

See all that red stuff Jessica Lange is standing in? It’s King Kong’s blood. Turns out the big guy bled Karo syrup and red food-coloring onto the travertine concourse, which was tough to get out. Jerry Boyer did it, though.

1980s: Remember acid rain? It’s dissolving historic architecture. Jerry seeks advice from preservationists in Europe who have some experience with building conservation — like centuries. He brings stone-strengthening technology to this country to help stop the weathering away of American landmarks.

If stone ladies could talk, this one might be asking for help. Jerry Boyer brought stone consolidation technology back from Europe to help precious stonework like this sandstone sculpture reist the ravages or weathering and acid rain.

1990s: Colored architectural concrete masonry — very sensitive to acidic cleaners — shows up in ever-increasing quantities. PROSOCO develops cleaners that safely dissolve excess mortar — even on burnished block — while contributing to color uniformity, another new issue.

2003:Concrete masonry products continue to proliferate. Concrete brick, cast stone and other materials look like clay brick and sandstone. But if you clean them like clay brick and sandstone, you’ll cause damage. More than one contractor did, and paid the price. PROSOCO develops Concrete Brick Cleaner and Manufactured Stone Cleaner to fix that.

2005: PROSOCO introduces PROSOCO R-GUARD, a fluid-applied air and water-resistive barrier replacement for inefficient sheet wraps. R-GUARD dramatically increases the energy efficiency of buildings by cutting off air leaks through the building envelope permitted by torn, wind-ravaged sheet wraps.

R-GUARD Spray Wrap goes on concrete block at the under-construction H & R Block Building in Kansas City.

2006: Hardening and densifying finished concrete flooring has always been time-consuming and difficult. There’s lots of scrubbing, rinsing, collecting and proper disposal of hazardous wastewater. Consolideck products for finished concrete flooring end all that, making hardening/densifying concrete flatwork a snap. Spray, spread, done.

2006 – 2011: Consolideck product-offerings grow exponentially, as PROSOCO takes the difficulty out of one flooring issue after another — prep cleaning, restoration cleaning, coloring, protecting and more. As always, all products are backed with the industry’s best customer and end-user support.

Consolideck products for finished concrete flooring helped create this “wood floor made of concrete” in a Tilted Kilt restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky. photo courtesy Rob Greenrose, M R Decorative Concrete

2010: The incredible FastFlash air and waterproof barrier products join the PROSOCO line-up. The products are simplicity itself to apply. They’re instantly waterproof, yet vapor-permeable. Unlike any other air barrier products, the FastFlash products can go on wet surfaces, eliminating many weather-related work delays.

Matt Travis, Design Verification Testing Specialist, demonstrates the instantly waterproof quality of the FastFlash system’s Joint & Seam Filler, immediately after sealing this rough opening mock-up.

2010 – 2012: Passive House builders discover the amazing energy-saving properties of FastFlash air and waterproof barrier products and use the system in certified Passive Houses in Washington, Oregon and elsewhere.

2012: After being reformulated to be “phthalate-free,” the FastFlash system goes on Seattle’s net-zero energy Bullitt Center, arguably one of the world’s greenest buildings.

2013: Stay tuned!

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Believe it or not, this floor suffered a muriatic acid spill and other indignities from being unprotected during the building’s construction. The floor had to be ground, polished, colored and protected all over again.

This is a true story. Happened about four years ago in Canada.

Finished concrete flooring applicator Clint Buswell, of Concrete by Design, Red Deer, Alberta, installed a beautiful, multi-colored polished concrete floor in the under-construction headquarters of an Alberta trucking company.

The floor gleamed in colors of deep walnut, cream, coffee and old leather.

A few months later, Clint got a call to come back in and give the floor a cleaning.

His jaw dropped, he told me, when he arrived back at the site and saw the floor. The contractor had left the finished floor completely unprotected and exposed to construction traffic. The beautiful floor was covered with ground-in grime. A constant parade of dirty workboots had scratched away much of the shine.

Peering closer, Clint saw that it got worse.

A serious etch hid beneath the filth. Clint soon got the story. Someone had spilled muriatic acid on the floor. This was not a cleaning job, Clint told the contractor and owners.

It was a rescue.

Fortunately, Clint had the equipment, the skills and the products (PROSOCO, natch) to save the day. I never did find out who paid — the contractor is my best guess. Whoever footed the bill, the floor looks as good now as it did before.

The moral of the story, as I’m sure that contractor has figured out — Protect that slab!

Seems like common sense to me. On the other hand, if it’s not your floor or your work — and it IS concrete, for gosh sakes — shouldn’t you be able to walk and drive and drag heavy things all over it?


Sadly, Clint’s story is all too common. So our finished concrete flooring experts here at PROSOCO developed 10 nifty rules for protecting the floor in the construction environment — before or after it’s been polished.

Those 10 rules are highlighted on this poster for display at the job site.

Hanging this poster at the jobsite can help protect concrete floors, but in the end, it takes buy-in from everyone on the site.

If you want one of these posters, give me a holler. I’ll send you one FREE, just for saying you read the blog post.

The truth is, protecting that floor will take more than just hanging up this poster, great as it is. It’ll take buy-in from the top, watchfulness from the supervisors, and care from every person on that job site.

That’s a small price to pay and a reasonable one to expect, compared to the unneccesary expense of repairs and do-overs.

Even the best of plans, precautions and intentions can go awry, however. Should the unexpected happen – an inadvertant oil spill, or rust stains from a pile of pipes – PROSOCO has products and expertise that can help with almost any concrete flooring problem.

But that’s another post.

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