Decorative Concrete & Resurfacing Options
-Integral Colored Concrete
Stenciling Patterns Into Concrete:
-Stenciling On Fresh Poured Concrete
Walls - Stone-Crete
Cleaning is the
cornerstone of maintenance. It's a critical and necessary step, because
concrete is so porous. A simple pressure wash with warm water and low
pressure, from 400 to 800 psi is acceptable in most decorative applications
as will dislodge the debris from the porous concrete, without chipping
the surface. For driveways, patios and sidewalks, a good pressure wash
once or twice a year will do the job. The use of a scrub brush also
work well to clean joints and other hard-to-touch areas. Light detergents
at low concentration should be used, not acid mixtures, which can attack
floors need only be cleaned with a bucket of soap and water and
topped with a polish or wax. Floor scrubbing equipment should
use long soft bristles that won't scratch the concrete sealers.
the dirtiest industrial floors, where pressure washing isn't
enough, a process called extraction cleaning is used. It involves
pretreating the surface with specially formulated chemicals,
and the cleaning equipment uses heat and pressure to remove the
contaminants and vacuums away most of the water, leaving the
surface mostly dry.
washing, or extraction cleaning will reveal the color of your
concrete, but a sealer can make it shine.
Sealing Concrete Surfaces
surface is cleaned and dry, it must be protected from the elements
and from wear and tear with a high quality sealer that repels
water, limits damage from UV sunlight and resists abrasion.
Resealing can make the color look fresh again, but it's important
that the surface be maintained properly from the start. The
use of a top quality sealer makes cleanup easier, improves
the looks of the project and extends the life of the decorative
should be done every two years or so, depending on the local
environmental conditions and wear and tear of the decorative
are specially formulated so that gas won't seep through and
oil stains can be wiped off with a rag. Look for a sealer that
is specially designed for UV protection, or it may turn yellow
over time. Hydrophobic sealers keep water out of hairline cracks,
preventing them from expanding during the freeze/thaw cycle.
intrusion is another enemy of concrete. Apply a waterproof
product that can penetrate concrete to form a permanent barrier
against moisture, internally and externally. It usually needs
to be applied only once.
the Regional Conditions:
concrete must withstand some pretty harsh conditions. Understanding
the environment helps you to select a proper maintenance program
and products that will extend the life of your decorative concrete
surface. Read the selected product label to verify if the product
properties apply to the local environmental conditions. Be
sure to follow manufacture instructions for product application,
and ask for the product warranty.
Wind - Wind carries dirt, and rains break it down into tiny
particles that can seep into the surface and stain it. A strong,
steady wind in desert areas can sandblast concrete. Acid rain
in polluted areas can erode it.
Ice - Salt and chemicals used to melt ice in northern climates
can allow moisture and chemicals to soak into the surface.
When the temperature drops, the water freezes and expands,
which can crack the concrete. Sand and salt from people's feet
will scratch concrete.
Sun - The sun's UV rays can degrade sealers, fade integral colors and bake stains
into the concrete.
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