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Is your concrete floor showing signs of its age? Perhaps your driveway is looking a little worse for the wear or your pool deck needs a facelift. Regardless of where your concrete surface is located, there are several options available to help you improve its look and add more longevity. What concrete resurfacing options are available for your concrete surfaces? Let’s take a look at a few of your choices.
Before you start looking at resurfacing options, you need to make sure that your concrete can be resurfaced. While virtually any concrete surface can be resurfaced, you have to make sure that your application is structurally sound. Resurfacing usually requires adding an overlay to the top of your concrete, or modifying the existing concrete. While it will freshen it up and add new life, it cannot help crumbling concrete that needs to be replaced.
Perhaps the most flexible way to resurface your concrete is with a concrete overlay. These overlays are made from a special polymerized material and are applied directly to the top of your old concrete. You can stamp overlays, color them, stain them and shape them in myriad ways. Overlays can be used indoors or out, which makes them ideal solutions for pretty much any situation from finishing out your basement to revitalizing your pool deck and everything in between. Overlays are fast, efficient and cost effective as well, particularly in comparison with new pours.
If you just want to breathe a little more life into your concrete while not worrying about any cracks or chips in your existing application, then staining is a great option. Acid staining uses hydrochloric acid and mineral salts to penetrate the concrete and create unique colors and patterns. You’ll find that you can achieve virtually any color you might want, from red to blue and even black. Because the stain is translucent, rather than opaque, you’ll also benefit from unique patterning effects within the concrete.
Stenciling is a bit like staining, and can help you add new life to your existing concrete application. These are usually done when concrete is first poured, but can be done at any point afterward with the right steps. Stenciling is ideal for indoor areas, but you can use them outside as well. Finally, you can achieve virtually any look, from abstract geometric designs to intricate oriental or Arabian patterns with the right steps, though it’s highly recommended that you use a licensed contractor for this type of work.
Engraving is yet another option for resurfacing your existing concrete. Engraving can be used to create beautiful patterns and colors on indoor or outdoor concrete, and requires that the concrete be acid etched before the engraving starts. You’ll need to hire a specialized contractor for the engraving process, as unique tools are required to create the effect.
As you can see, there are quite a few ways that you can resurface your existing concrete, from overlays to engraving and more.
Many people choose a concrete driveway because it does not require much maintenance. It can last and be in a good condition for several years even if you do not maintain it regularly. However, maintenance is the key to keeping it in its finest condition. Aside from regular cleaning, there are three things to keep in mind.
Cracks and Sealers
Reapplying sealer will make your driveway look good all the time. Make sure that you have a sealer for concrete structures. You can get one from a hardware store or a supplier of concrete materials and accessories. You will need it at least every other year. You will need to apply sealer more often if it gets high traffic. Harsh weather can also damage the old seals of your driveway. Additionally, Repair a crack as soon as you see it to avoid further damage.
Some de-icers have ammonium sulphates and ammonium nitrates. You may be tempted to use such in winter. However, these chemical compounds can damage the chemical substances of a concrete driveway especially if it is new. You can use sand if your only problem is the tires’ grip on a snowy driveway. You may also choose de-icers with calcium chloride instead of ammonium compounds if there are no metals nearby.
Oils Spills and Stains
Avoid using your driveway if you need to change your vehicle’s oil. There is always the risk of spilling some oil that may cause stain. If your driveway already has stain (that makes it look awful), use an absorbent product and clean with water and soap. Once a year, have the driveway pressure washed to get rid of stains that soap cannot remove. Pressure washing also helps discoloration of driveways.
A concrete driveway is a wise choice if you hate big maintenance tasks. Just make sure you reapply sealers every other year, avoid using ammonia-based de-icers and dodge the use of driveway for changing oils as spills may cause stains that are hard to remove.
While concrete dyes are becoming popular nowadays, it is always right to weigh their advantages and disadvantages before deciding to stain your concrete floor. What really are the pros and cons of concrete dye?
One of the advantages of using concrete dyes is the wide variety of color you can choose from. There are many hues and shades available so you can create nearly any look you want for your space. Concrete dying will also give you the opportunity to create unique and intricate designs with the right stain and patterns.
Another thing is its lasting power. Since concrete stains penetrate the particles of the concrete, they do not chip and fade quickly. Proper care and regularly applying sealant, however, can help you make it last for a longer period of time. Stains or dyes also make the concrete stain resistant and durable.
If you are going to scour the Internet about the pros and cons of concrete dye, you will be surprised that there are also a lot of drawbacks in using it. For one, it requires a lot of time and effort to stain your concrete. It must also be cleaned and resealed regularly so that it maintains its shine and vibrancy.
Staining your own concrete floor also requires skill. You should be creative enough to create unique stone patterns or designs. It is always best to seek the help of a professional who is an expert when it comes to concrete staining. Be prepared to shell out money, though.
Also, stained concrete floor also adjusts to the weather. The floor can become cold during winter so you may have to use rags during this time of the year. You may also have to consider under-floor heating if money is not an issue.
Remember, before having your concrete stained, it is always best to research about the pros and cons of concrete dye so you will not have regrets in the future.
The differences between epoxy and Polyurea Polyaspartic floors are quite clear. For one thing epoxy, is cheaper than Polyurea Polyaspartic coating. It is because of this price difference that epoxy flooring is the most popular choice of homeowners. This is not to suggest epoxy is not an excellent coating – it is, in fact, an excellent floor coating. According to some of the Epoxy Floors Philadelphia businesses, epoxy is easier to apply however, doesn’t have the longevity of its near cousin the combination of Polyurea and Polyaspartic.
Quite often factory owners prefer to use epoxy coating on the floors of their places of business. The reason for this is an obvious, an attempt to show frugality. Polyurea Polyaspartic Philadelphia dealers will tell you that this combination of compounds is far stronger and able to withstand the attack of various chemicals that may be spilled on it.
Polyurea Polyaspartic compounds, because of its strength, are ideal for outdoor use. Pool concrete decks, etc should ideally, be coated with Polyurea Polyaspartic. Epoxy Philadelphia businesses are able to recommend which of these two products should be use. More often than not, for indoor coatings, epoxy coating is fine. However, if someone wants coating on concrete outdoors, then using Polyurea Polyaspartic will probably be best. Concrete Overlays Philadelphia reports that epoxy coating is often used in stores; fashion stores – the smooth, glossy reflection from the floor apparently aids sales. Polyurea Polyaspartic has one other advantage and that is it rapid curing or drying properties.
Concrete Coatings Philadelphia businesses are therefore able to apply more than one coat in a single day making for, not only a hard durable surface, but also construction time is a lot shorter.