Any existing concrete surface may be transformed into beautifully colored, textured and patterned works of art. The techniques used vary slightly to achieve the desired look. However, the processes are similar in that they use a highly modified polymer-based overlay material. They are typically applied at a thickness of 1/8 of an inch, but can be applied up to several inches.
These products have been tested and proven for decades, even in the harsh freeze-thaw climates of the northeastern United States and Canada. They require a sealer to maintain their color and to remain stain-resistant, but do not have to be "high gloss". Naturally, outdoor surfaces get dirty quickly. Cleaning with a mild, neutral-ph cleaner and water, is all that is needed to keep your decorative concrete beautiful for years between reapplying a sealer.
Around pools where chlorine is present, and driveways where salt may be encountered, we recommend resealing every year. On the other hand a backyard patio may only need to be resealed every three or four years.
Cracks which are present in the concrete usually are of two types. "Expansion joint" cracking is where the slab was laid with no regard to alleviating the slab's contraction and expansion tendencies due to thermal conditions. "Shrinkage" or "crazing" cracking is where excessive amounts of water were used to make the concrete more fluid for placing or finishing when the slab was originally poured. It is possible to repair both types of cracks. However, there is no guarantee they will not return.
In the case of the random expansion crack, if possible, we work the crack into the design. These are later filled with an elastomeric sealant to allow the movement in the slab. If not possible, we repair the crack and cut a new expansion joint through the slab through the median of the crack to alleviate tensions, therefore, greatly improving the success of the repair. With the shrinkage cracks, they are repaired and usually no additional joint cutting is necessary.
There are three processes for resurfacing we provide. They are spray knockdown, hand troweled and thin stamped. Spray knockdown surfaces are used where slip-resistance is the most important factor. Hand troweled finishes are used in many Services, achieving limitless textures and patterns for may desired looks. Thin stamp is typical where elevation isn't an issue, as it is applied thicker than the normal overlay. Very realistic stamped or hand-crafted designs can be created. Stencils and engraving can be added to any of these processes to give an added design element.
There is no limit to the coloring choices available. And, with the use of samples, we can show you exactly how the final product will look. Acid stains create unique mottled "old world" effects when used as the coloring choice. Water-based stains are interesting in the depth of color ranges achievable. Integral coloring gives a more monochromatic appearance, but when layered through different shades of similar colors provide the astonishing realism of stone.
Any or all of the options can be used to create beautiful patterned and textured works of art.