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Concrete Project Information

"Stamped Concrete has become more popular in the concrete industry, the concrete's ability to be molded, cast or stamped into almost any desired shape or texture. "

Concrete Projects


Authors Website: Concrete Secrets

Stamped Concrete has become more popular in the concrete industry, the concrete's ability to be molded, cast or stamped into almost any desired shape or texture. Belville Concrete incorporates the latest in 3 - Dimensional texture mat patterns, colored hardeners, release agents and curing compounds to provide the maximum color, durability and strength of the stamped concrete slab. Eliminating oil spots, dust proofing and sealing stamped concrete once it is finished is very important. Twenty eight days after finishing the slab, stamped concrete is sealed with a sealing compound to protect the piece from damage, bringing out the color and depth, giving the slab the wet look.

Concrete Stain reacts with the minerals in concrete chemically, to form a permanent color that is durable, chip resistant and does not flake. Stained concrete colors can be mixed to create a multitude of color shades and intensity with new or old concrete surfaces. Acid stain is applied by brushing, rolling or sprayed onto the surface. Colors available, but not limited too are, violet, black, lime, browns, off white, terra cotta, blue, tan, sea blue, green and rust. To prep the project prior to staining concrete, the surface is sanded to remove any impurities and should be free of grease, oil, dust, paint and other materials. New concrete should be at least 28 day old before staining, After achieving the desired look and color, the stain is allowed to dry then neutralized, prior to sealing or waxing.

Concrete Counter Tops can be stained, stamped, exposed or ground down and polished. Using combinations and or variations of these techniques, incorporated with design, the artist can bring to life an atmosphere that is as unique as you. Reinforcing the kitchen cabinets is similar to prepping for a granite counter top, the add support is needed to stabilize the structure for the added weight of the concrete. The added weight is similar to granite. Granite is cut to fit the counter top, concrete counter tops are molded in place. Concrete counter tops are formed, reinforced with steel, poured, vibrated then textured, stamped, stained, exposed, ground down or any combination there of.

Decorative Concrete can be almost anything with acrylic coatings. The advantages of using acrylics, almost any look can be achieved, stamped, stained or textured, the different possibilities only end at the end of your imagination. Another advantage of using acrylic decorative concrete coatings, most of the time not all concrete will not need to be removed, minor cracks can be filled with epoxy and later grinded down smooth and not seen. Concrete that has heaved can be grown down, or built up using a high strength cement, silica sand and glue. With all the different available colors, it's easy to closely match house colors, not only to look beautiful, but add on a certain value to your home. Your concrete surface will look new for many years to come.

Concrete Coating is applied after a good cleaning of the concrete surface. This is done by using muriatic acid to clean any dirt, paint, oil and all other foreign material from the pores in the top matrix of the concrete. Then the surface is washed by power washer or Hot water and squeegeed off. After drying, a thin coat of acrylic cement is applied using a trowel usually 1/8 or less is applied for the first coat. The second coat and third can be troweled on or sprayed on depending on pattern type used. One or two coats of sealer is then used to seal the concrete surface. This will keep the concrete coating from staining. Types of concrete coatings used are acrylic or epoxy.

Concrete Repair or Concrete Patching can be done in many ways. Identifying why the concrete failed can be done by eliminating the results of proven facts. Surface concrete loss in pieces of various sizes is called spalling and is caused when expansive forces inside and near the surface of concrete act along a weak plane or create a weakened plane. The expansive force can be caused by the stress of corrosion of reinforcing steel or imbedded metal items. Moisture may be trapped inside the matrix of the concrete by paints or sealants that do not allow moisture to migrate and escape at the surface. Spalling can occur due to a condition called latence where concrete, during placement, was mixed too wet and cement rich paste rises to the surface of the concrete thereby depriving other portions of the mix of cement-related cohesion and consolidation. Concrete Cracks are varied and include dormant and active cracking. Dormant cracking is caused by shrinkage during curing and is not a cause for concern except for potential moisture infiltration. Active cracking is more serious and can indicate severe problems. Active cracks show movement and are related to structural overloading, foundation settling, inherent design flaws, or other deleterious conditions. Active cracking can be temporary or continuous. Active cracking requires monitoring and may require corrective action. Inactive, or dormant, cracking usually requires observation and limited corrective action to prevent moisture infiltration. Random surface cracking, or crazing, may indicate an adverse reaction between cementitious alkalis and aggregates and requires surface correction.

Concrete Floors can be stamped, stained, coated with acrylic or grounded down to expose the aggregate and polished. Concrete Floors are usually poured using 2500 or 3000 lb. concrete mix. Depending on the type of decorative concrete for the interior of your home, stained concrete interiors should be at a 4000 lb psi. using a higher strength of cement will enhance the color and depth of the stain while adding durability with minimal added cost. Blocking out sections in the floor (interior rooms) to be poured, stained or stamped at a later date, is a recommended proses. Using key way throughout the perimeter of the slab will insure the slab from heaving from adjacent concrete.

Concrete Driveway is usually placed with minimal difficulty by backing the Ready-mix truck from the street to the desired location to start placement in the driveway. A 3000 lb psi. concrete mix at a 5.50 depth is recommended with 3/8" steel rebar tied on 4 ft. centers to assure a strong slab. After forming the driveway the sub grade is compacted using a mechanical device, Jumping Jack, Plate compactor or Roller, if not compacted prior to forming. Concrete slabs are only as strong as the ground that is poured on, using steel in conjunction with compacting will greatly enhance the strength and life of the driveway. A Concrete Driveway can be stamped, stained, regular gray, exposed aggregate or textured. Once the driveway is finished, a curing compound is applied to seal the slab for superior moisture retention, producing a harder concrete driveway.

Concrete Patio installation is usually placed using wheel borrows or a concrete pump, the added cost is slightly higher then a driveway. Patio installation practices, compaction, steel reinforcement and curing of the patio apply. In Arizona, patios, garage, entry ways and floors need to be termite protected using a licensed contractor within 24hrs of the concrete being poured. A concrete patio can be stamped, stained, regular gray, exposed aggregate or a textured slab.

Epoxy Coatings, garage floor, driveway is a new trend coming more and more popular as the prices of such coatings have been reduced due to its durability, not having the cost of removing all of the concrete. With the new styles of patterns and colors, almost any look can be achieved closely matching existing colors of your home or business. We only use the highest quality products available to ensure a great look and durability.

Concrete Tools are the finisher's best friend, the right tools are a must in this business. Walking tools have increased efficiency by reducing the amount of time and energy refining the finish. The speed in which concrete can be tooled, lowers labor costs, in turn passing the saving on to the consumer. Old school books found at your public library published in the 1950's, are the preferred practice of concrete placement and refining of concrete. This day and age, refining the finish is more then just a Bullfloat, edger, jointing tool and broom, the innovation of walking tools allow the finisher the ability to stand upright. Using extension handles, control joints and edging can be Installed with minimal effort and speed.

Concrete Finishing of the surface is done in stages. On a large slab, concrete is consolidated, Rodded off or (Screed), then it is Tamped. After Bleed water has minimized, the surface is then floated using a Bull float overlapping 50% each pass, then perpendicular or (right angle) 50% each pass, if possible, until covered. This will insure a level surface. Once the Bull floating is completed the slab will need time to set or may not need time. A chemical reaction between the cement paste and water is called hydration. These compounds in cement form chemical bonds with water molecules and become hydrates or hydration products. The cement needs moisture to hydrate and cure or (harden). The set time or hydration, is influenced by atmospheric conditions, wind, temperature, humidity, soil moisture content, all play a factor with aspect to hydration. When the surface is slightly firm to the touch, a Fresno is used to refine the finish using the 50% overlap each pass and perpendicular. A steel edger is used to refine the edges of the slab and magnesium float is used to refine the perimeter. When the surface is firm to the touch and still moist, 5 lbs. of weight is added to the Fresno with 50% overlap each pass and perpendicular. The Edger and Steel Trowel is also used around perimeter. Once the surface holds your weight with a slight imprint of your shoe, a total of 10 lbs is added to the Fresno for the last pass with 50% overlap. Edger and Steel Trowel are also used around perimeter to refine the finish. After finishing the slab to a refined finish the hydration reaction continues, moisture needs to be retained in the slab to achieve maximum strength. A curing compound such as Slow Con is used to seal the surface with a non-wax clear water base coating. Concrete can also be cured by submerging the slab in water or watering the slab with a sprinkler.

Cool Deck Coatings are most commonly used around pools and other areas where heat is an issue. Particles that make up the cool deck coating reduce heat transfer at the surface. Cool deck can be applied directly on top of existing concrete with minimal prep work. Existing dormant cracks in concrete, prior to coating, are cut out to receive epoxy injection or patching compound.



2007 James Belville – Concrete Secrets

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