Concrete FAQ's

  1. Is concrete maintenance free?
    1. No, concrete is susceptible to water traveling through it. It is porous. So any water on top will soak through and any water underneath it can evaporate through to surface. This often leaves rust and calcium staining behind. This is why we recommend using a sealer to slow or prevent water intrusion from the top down. During the inspection process, we often find free flowing down spouts with no extensions in place. Thus the water finds its way under the concrete and causes a washing out of sediment to occur. This can result in cracking and spalling. Drainage inspections can often identify and suggest options for re-routing the water. 
  2. Whats causes those little chips to come off the driveway surface?
    1. This is generally caused by exposure to salts, ice melting chemicals, oil and grease, gas and weathering. The exposure causes the binder to break down allowing the aggregate to spall. This can be slowed with a clean and sealant application. Sealers do not stop things from getting on your surfaces, they do however slow down the penetration so that the exposure doesn't take place as quickly as untreated surfaces.​
  3. ​What is concrete polishing?
    1. ​The polishing process works much like using sand paper on wood. We start with a low grit diamond grinding head. Generally like, 100 grit blades. Much like an 80 grit sand paper, it grinds a profile into the concrete surface. It generally takes in excess of 8 or more passes to achieve the desired result. As with wood, 80 grit is just the start. We generally will go up to 120 grit, then 220 before completion. With the diamond heads we then move to a 200 grit, a 400 grit, 1000, and 2000. This process hones the surface down using increasingly smaller diamonds to produce a shiny, hard surface.
    2. We recommend doing a densifier during the process to harden the surface for polishing. We generally do this at the 200 grit step. You can also add stains to the process to produce a one of a kind look. 
  4. How do you restore Terrazzo?
    1. ​There are 3 options with terrazzo.
      1. The first is to completely tear out and replace. This can be very expensive. Terrazzo is not as common place anymore and thus is harder to find matching materials.
      2. The second option is to rough grind it to remove the coatings and dirt, then just like with polishing concrete, you work through the polishing grits to bring back the desired shine. However this is not always possible, if you have a seamless floor. This means that the material used to do the terrazzo floor is also used to create a terrazzo cove base. This is a nice feature in kitchens and bathrooms. But the cove makes it very difficult to polish the cove. Generally not recommended.
      3. The last and best option is to rough grind the surface using a 100 grit diamond head to remove the dirt and coating. Then we use hand tools to strip the cove base as well. Then we clean the surface and allow it to dry. Then we apply 2 coats of epoxy and 2 coats of a top seal to protect it. 
  5. ​​What is joint capping? and Why is it needed?
    1. ​Joint capping is the process of adding a flexible sealer to "cap" relief joints to prevent penetration through the joint. 
      1. ​Generally our driveway will last for 8 to 10 years before damage really starts to occur. This damage is prevented by cleaning and applying a sealer to the surface. However over time, our concrete pads tend to shift and thus allowing the relief joints to break. When this occurs, water begins to penetrate. Over time this washes out the ground underneath of the concrete pads. This excelerates the movement process if not addressed. Capping them consists of cleaning the surface and the cracking of any dirt, grass, etc... We then add sand to fill any voids under the cracks. This allows us to use less material to cap the lines. Once the sand is in place we apply a polyurea sealer to cap the lines. 

 

 

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