Topic: Blog

What You Need to Know About Concrete Repair

concrete overlays PhiladelphiaConcrete was and will always be the material of choice in most construction or remodeling projects. Why? Because it is durable, versatile, and a great base material. Although it can last for several years, if properly installed, several factors could cause some issues like cracks, scaling, spalling, and more. Before you call for help, it is important to be guided when it comes to concrete repair Philadelphia services.

Is it necessary?

It is important to assess all concrete surfaces regularly to catch damage at the earliest possible. It can be difficult to determine the extent of damage on your own which is why it is highly recommended to consult an expert. A professional concrete contractor in Philadelphia would be able to determine if any damage on the surface is just topical or a symptom of something more serious underneath.

What type of fix is needed?

There are many different solutions for various concrete issues. The contractor should be able to recommend some repairs but it is important for you to know what they are. Just to make sure that it is something you want and something you can afford. For surface issues, concrete coatings in Philadelphia are recommended solutions. It covers up surface repairs and enhances the appeal and function of the existing concrete slab as well. For deeper and more serious issues, a complete re-pour may be needed.

How long would it take?

The period of time needed to complete a repair may depend on the type of repair to be done. Decorative concrete overlays in Philadelphia may take 3 days to a week to complete since it may involve some stamping, stenciling, engraving, or staining. Some coatings, like polyurea polyaspartic, takes only a day to install and dry, making it an ideal coating material for urgent resurfacing projects.

How much would it cost?

Costs may vary depending on the type of repair, the material and labor cost, and any additional accents or customization. Professional contractors estimate costs per square foot of the area that needs repairing. Most are willing to give a free price quote for your project. For a more accurate estimate, ask several contractors for a quote and go for the one that is most comfortable to you.

Why is it necessary to hire a pro?

DIY projects are highly popular nowadays. There is nothing wrong with trying to cut on expenses by doing repairs yourself. However, it is important to understand that the more complex a project would be, the more time it is going to require from you. Hiring professionals to do concrete repairs are actually more efficient because it comes with a warranty. You can also guarantee that it will be done properly using the right tools and equipment. A DIY is often a trial-and-error process. If it doesn’t work out, you might have to do it all over again. That means double the time and double the costs.


Stamped Concrete Pros & Cons: Weighing Your Options

Decorative concrete has become a national sensation because of the many options it presents despite being an economical alternative to other flooring materials. But just like any story, there is a good and bad side to it. It is important for homeowners and commercial establishments to know these two sides to give them the proper expectation and to help them decide whether concrete stamping is the thing for their home or commercial space.

stamped concrete driveway Philadelphia

Pros of Stamping Concrete:

  • Better Aesthetics – It is a known fact that stamped concrete offers a large selection of patterns and designs to choose from. You can make it look like natural stone, brick, pavers, cobblestone, wood, and more. You can even have a custom design made especially for you. You can even choose the colors that would go on it and make it complement the exterior theme of your home.
  • Easy Installation – Compared to the material it is being substituted for, concrete overlays are a lot easier to install because you just pour and spread the overlay mixture and stamping can begin. Other flooring materials, on the other, need to be installed piece by piece. Some may even require a complete concrete overhaul.
  • Economical – In a nutshell,  concrete stamped overlay is a lot more affordable than natural stone, brick, and even pavers. Although it does look expensive, it costs less and lasts long enough to make the investment worthwhile.
  • Low Maintenance – If you ever had real stone or bricks installed before, you know how weeds can grow in between units and how they can become uneven as time goes by. This will never be an issue with a stamped surface because it is one continuous piece of concrete overlay. Not even joints or scorelines could make it high maintenance.

Cons of Stamped Concrete:

  • Simulates Aesthetics Only – Concrete stamp patterns may make an overlay resemble an expensive flooring material but it can only mimic its visual features, not its durability or any other good features. Natural stone is known to be very durable and a stamped version can not replicate that.
  • Cracks – Just like most concrete, it is prone to cracking. However, the cracking often depends on the old concrete slab it is applied on. If there is an existing movement or crack under the overlay, then it is most likely for the top layer to crack at one point. But if the old concrete is in good condition and the subgrade has been properly prepared and compacted, cracks could be minimized.
  • Color Retouching – There may come a time that the custom stains or colors on a stamped concrete surface would fade away, chip off, or peel. It can be retouched but do not expect the contractor to get it exactly as it was. There may be quite a difference but then it isn’t a total disadvantage if it still looks decorative.

5 Kid-Friendly Pool Deck Ideas

Most homes nowadays have swimming pools. There are so many concrete pool deck designs nowadays that feature stunning aesthetics and innovative concepts. However, if you have kids in the house, not just any design is enough. It is important to make the pool deck as safe and kid-friendly as it could possibly be. If you already have an existing pool deck, here some things you could do to make the pool area more enjoyable for kids:

stamped concrete pool deck philadelphiaSlip-resistant Pool Deck

Kids love to run around the pool deck in between swimming and taking dips. With wet and bare feet, it could be very dangerous. Stamped Concrete or spray-down concrete resurfacing are some of the most efficient solutions to improving slip-resistance on a pool deck. A stamped overlay or knockdown texture on concrete provides just the right texture without making the surface difficult to walk on especially with bare feet. The great thing about stamped overlays is that it comes in a variety of patterns and designs to choose from. A spray texture, on the other hand, features a stucco-like look but with a more subtle texture.

knockdown texture phialdelphiaCool Deck Surface

Concrete and most pool deck materials have the tendency to turn into really hot surfaces when exposed to sunlight for long hours. Asking kids to wear flip flops every time they need to walk around the deck can be quite challenging for parents and inconvenient for kids. Instead, hire a contractor to install a spray knockdown finish on the existing pool deck. This resurfacing material is known for its heat reflectivity. Instead of absorbing heat, a knockdown finish reflects it back, keeping the surface 30% cooler.
 

wading are for kidsWide Wading Area

Extend the pool deck a bit into the pool but make it about 6 or more inches deeper. This area is not only great for sunbathing, but also great for smaller kids to enjoy the pool at a safe distance from the deeper areas.

 

 

swimming pool shade for kidsAdd Some Shade

Kids can stay out in the pool area the whole day if they want to but parents fear that they would acquire terrible sunburn. Adding some shaded area gives children a place to lounge and play without getting burned under tremendous heat. You can use a big umbrella or some fabric hanging somewhere near the pool.

 

swimming pool towel and toy areTowel and Toy Area

Make towels and pool toys accessible for kids. When kids get out of the pool, it would be nice to have towels they can use immediately right on the pool deck. It would be a lot easier also for parents to fix pool toys because they just put it in one spot near the pool instead of into the garage or back in the house.


Popular Stamped Concrete Patterns for a Driveway

Planning a driveway renovation should not be taken lightly. It is a major element in enhancing curb appeal. Because it often involves a wide area, a concrete driveway is the most practical option. But who says you have to endure a boring concrete surface just to keep costs at bay? Decorative stamped concrete overlay is the best option if you are after aesthetics and affordability. Plus, it’s such a bonus that it is durable and easy to maintain as well. Here are some of the most popular stamped concrete patterns for driveways:

cobblestone stamped pattern driveway PhillyCobblestone

Originally used in the European part of the globe, cobblestone roads consisted of smooth rocks placed together like pavers. The pattern it creates is interesting and impressive to look at. It also provides enough traction to make it an ideal design for dirt roads. It is one of the most popular concrete resurfacing patterns for these reasons. It looks good on any driveway, regardless of the theme and concept of its architectural design.

brick stamped pattern PhillyBrick

Nothing is as timeless as brick itself. It can be used on walls and pavements. On a concrete overlay, a stamped brick pattern come in several variations. You can choose for a simple running brick pattern or a herringbone pattern for a more interesting and decorative look. There is also the option of a basketweave or a fan pattern. The possibilities are endless.

ashlar stamped pattern driveway PhillyAshlar

The great thing about an ashlar pattern is that it can be designed to look like a traditional paving material or a modern geometric surface. Incorporating an ashlar pattern with natural stone is great for homes with a more classical or traditional aesthetic. If your home is more on the contemporary side, you might want to incorporate ashlar with shades of gray, black, and white and with a smoother surface like that of bricks.

stamped concrete drivewaySlate

Slate can be used with a wide range of stamped patterns, such as ashlar and tile. You may also stamp a fractured slate pattern seamlessly or just some minimal scoring or engraving. One popular use for a slate pattern is to use it on the whole driveway and then choose another pattern, like a brick pattern, to line the edges or to break the monotony for every few meters or so. This can be made more customized and a lot more realistic with manual concrete staining.


3 Pool Deck Options Perfect for Autumn Weather

pool decking PhiladelphiaThe Fall season is one of the preferable seasons of all because of the rich Autumn colors on the trees and the cooler climate. Unfortunately, it is not really the best season for using the pool, unless you have a hot tub, then it is the perfect time of the year for a soak. So, what else can be done to make the pool decking an equally enjoyable space even during Fall? Here are some ideas:

Integrate Fall Colors

If you have trees around the pool deck that feature the colors of Fall, then you are lucky. However, you can further enhance it with flowers in similar colors or other autumn hues like pink, magenta, purple, and blue. You may also want to opt for resurfacing pool deck area with concrete overlays in Fall-like colors. It could be a red brick surface or a travertine patterned overlay hand-stained with the colors of the season. If you have deck chairs or beds, add some orange or yellow pillows or throws. Not only will these create a trending look, it also provides the necessary stuff to keep warm while outdoors.

Heat Up the Deck

The deck may seem like a colder area, thanks to the drop in temperature as the season slowly shifts to a winter. So, why not add heat to the cool decking? Adding fire pits or outdoor fireplaces provide a means for warmth and illumination in this time of the year. You can hang out all you want at night time, watching the stars, and not freeze to death. A working fire not only provides heat and light, it also allows you to roast some barbecue or some plain marshmallows. That and the throws and pillows you have prepared will definitely guarantee a warm and cozy outdoor experience.

Enhance Outdoor Lighting

Lights are always essential, regardless of the season. However, during these cool months, it would be nice to have enhanced lighting to make the surroundings look warmer and brighter. Lighting fixtures can also be a decorative solution to make the pool deck area more Autumn-like. Hanging a string of Christmas lights or small lanterns around and across the trees will bring a bohemian vibe to the pool deck. It provides subtle lights that seem to twinkle like stars where they are. Intricately designed lamps can be hung on posts or branches or simply placed on the deck beside some chairs or by the pool. Using tea lights is also a great way of adding drama while keeping the area warm and cozy.