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Water glass: application tips, advantages and disadvantages
Water glass: application tips, advantages and disadvantages

Video: Water glass: application tips, advantages and disadvantages

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Water glass is particularly versatile. It closes the voids in porous surfaces, reduces dust formation and prevents water absorption. But not every water glass is suitable for everything. And there are disadvantages here too.

Table of contents Table of contents water glass: application tips, advantages and disadvantages

  • What is water glass?
  • What are the properties of water glass?
  • The comparison: lithium water glass, potassium water glass and sodium water glass
  • Sealing with water glass
  • Prime with water glass
  • Water glass and fire protection
  • What you should know about water glass
  • Can you remove water glass again?

Table of contents Table of contents water glass: application tips, advantages and disadvantages

  • What is water glass?
  • What are the properties of water glass?
  • The comparison: lithium water glass, potassium water glass and sodium water glass
  • Sealing with water glass
  • Prime with water glass
  • Water glass and fire protection
  • What you should know about water glass
  • Can you remove water glass again?

Water glass is somewhere between the miracle cure and the great unknown. Some swear by it and use it everywhere: to preserve eggs, to stick tiles, to seal vases - and of course to prime the garage floor. Others have never heard of water glass.

What is water glass?

Basically, water glass is nothing more than powdered glass containing chemicals, which is dissolved in water. This creates a solution that is used in many different areas. For example, it occurs in detergents and colors. It is used as an adhesive, binder and stabilizer - for sealing, impregnating, priming and even in fire protection. Water glass is applied pure or diluted and leaves a glass-like surface after drying. However, water glass is not just water glass. Different ingredients also mean slightly different properties.

What are the properties of water glass?

Depending on the type, water glass is binding, stabilizing, impregnating and waterproof. Porous surfaces such as concrete or wood can absorb moisture. When water glass dries, a kind of gel is created with which these pores are closed. Moisture can no longer penetrate. Another advantage of water glass is that dust and other small particles are also bound inside the material. The development of dust is reduced and the interior of the material is stabilized. Sometimes the surface adhesion can be improved. Water glass penetrates the material up to 10 millimeters deep. However, experts point out that it can take up to a month for it to take full effect.

The comparison: lithium water glass, potassium water glass and sodium water glass

Anyone looking for high-quality, all-round water glass relies on lithium water glass. This penetrates deeper into surfaces and is distributed more evenly in cavities. It is more crack-resistant and the water solubility is worse. Therefore, lithium water glass is a lot more expensive than potassium water glass, which can be used for the same purposes, but does not have the same effect. Soda water glass, on the other hand, is rather cheap. The big disadvantage here: it dissolves over time and therefore does not offer long-term protection against moisture.

Wand verputzen
Wand verputzen

Water glass can be used to seal walls.

Photo: iStock / cyano66

Sealing with water glass

Not only in industry, but also in private house construction, water glass is often used to seal masonry and plaster. Concrete surfaces can also be protected against moisture with water glass. If water glass is applied to porous surfaces, the water evaporates during drying. During the "silicification", the water glass settles in cavities and thus increases the resistance to moisture. Use potassium water glass or lithium water glass for this. Soda water glass is not suitable for sealing against moisture.

Prime with water glass

When renovating a house or renovating, you often have to get to the masonry. And maybe only now crumbly joints, small cracks and stains will be noticed. In order to give the walls more stability in the future after any repairs and to make them more resistant in the long term, the use of water glass is also suitable. Potash water glass or lithium water glass is also recommended here.

Water glass and fire protection

We know water glass as an intermediate layer in fire protection glass. It used to be used more often as a fire protection measure to make wood fireproof. However, water glass is not optimal for fire protection. It makes the wood heavier and sometimes more brittle. Nevertheless, many hobbyists like to use it. Because water glass not only makes wood more flame resistant. It should also give grained wood a particularly intense color. Soda water glass, for example, is suitable for this.

What you should know about water glass

1. Water glass is a strong lye

Always ensure adequate protection. Always wear gloves when working with water glass. And think of safety glasses. Should you nevertheless come into direct contact with water glass, you should immediately rinse the affected parts of the body with water. In case of eye contact, you should immediately consult an ophthalmologist.

2. Water glass is not a remedy for moisture

If you already have moisture damage, it must first be professionally removed before you use water glass for sealing and sealing. Because water glass can also have negative effects if it is applied to a damp wall. This may trap the moisture, which can ultimately damage the surface. Thinking about sealing a leaky area with water glass should first find out the cause of it, so as not to make things worse and more expensive. You can usually tackle smaller holes, cracks or a basic impregnation yourself.

Nässeschäden
Nässeschäden

Before working with water glass, water damage must be eliminated.

Photo: iStock / Cunaplus_M.Faba

3. Water glass and plaster are not compatible

When water glass meets plaster containing paint or plaster walls, a chemical reaction occurs and the water glass breaks off later. Do not use water glass here.

Water glass: application at a glance

You can get water glasses in various concentrations in hardware stores and online shops. Depending on the product and the manufacturer's instructions, you can dilute the water. First clean the surface to be treated. You can use a brush or a pressure washer for this. Do not use the water glass too sparingly and soak the surface well. As with wallpapering, a puff is recommended for this. But you can also use a coating roller or a sprayer. Multiple coats of water glass require drying phases lasting several hours. In addition, you should wait at least a day until you stroke water glass.

Gips
Gips

If water glass gets on a plaster-containing surface, a chemical reaction occurs.

Photo: iStock / welcomia

Can you remove water glass again?

When water glass dries, silica is formed and this “silicification” cannot be reversed. Therefore, you can no longer remove water glass in the proper sense. If you have smaller drip stains, you may be able to remove them if you heat them up. If you have spilled water glass, you must act immediately and bind it with a highly absorbent material, such as paper or sand. This is no longer possible later.

Anja Schmidt

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