Regardless of how well you maintain your parking lot, you are always going to have to deal with cracks in your concrete surface. This can be frustrating for shop owners that have to maintain their own parking lots and don't have the funds for constant patches, as well as for cities who have to block traffic in order to make sure that the roads are safe. There is a new type of concrete currently in production that will solve the problem of cracks.
What is it?
The new product that is being developed is called bio concrete. University professors in the Netherlands has developed a type of concrete that is able to utilize bacteria in order to make sure that the concrete heals itself.
How does it work?
A special type of bacteria, called Bacillus bacteria, is put into the concrete in a dormant form. It is able to remain there for up to two hundred years and isn't actually activated until it comes into contact with water. The only time that the Bacillus bacteria will come into contact with water is if a crack forms, allowing water to enter the concrete. This means that the bacteria will be triggered when it is needed to start the self-healing process.
When water touches the bacteria, it will cause small capsules to release the calcium lactate that's inside. The bacteria will start to consume the calcium lactate become bio concrete, effectively sealing the crack off from any further water intrusions.
Does it totally fix the problem?
If there's a crack in the pavement, there will still be an indentation after the bio concrete has formed from the Bacillus bacteria and the calcium lactate. However, water will not be able to enter the concrete and cause further damage. The only problem that remains is that there is still a slight crack that might cause people to trip or mar the aesthetic appeal of your parking lot. This smaller crack can be easily fixed within an hour or so by a home concrete-patching kit that you can buy at a hardware store. If the crack is small enough, you might not even have to worry about patching it at all.
Can I buy it yet?
Not yet. The concrete aggregate is due to be released in 2016 for purchase. Watch the news for the exact release date so that you can be the first to purchase it.