A compilation of articles and insights from our team.
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Creativity & Stamped Concrete
Creativity meets Stamped Concrete
Stamping concrete is a fantastic technique to get the look and feel of real stone, brick, or pavement without spending as much money. For this reason, there are rubber designs that give the impression of genuine stone. There are also pre-made patterns for materials like brick and cobblestone, however they can occasionally appear unnatural. One method to get around this is to make your own concrete stamping patterns. If you can do this, your inventory supply will soon be brimming with a variety of patterns that you may utilize for your numerous concrete stamping tasks.
1. Be creative
You can also utilize design inspiration from your own home. You may, for instance, utilize an Indonesian batik design block. It will suffice as long as it can leave an impression on wet cement and does not adhere to the finished product. The imagination has no bounds when it comes to good design. So take a peek around your neighborhood; you might even discover an intriguing pattern in your own home! Consider going through your garage, attic, and even your uncle's vacation gifts for stamp impressions.
2. Rubber stamping
Commercial stamping makes excellent replicas. Stampers, on the other hand, can be excessive at times. By being subtle with your stamping at times, you may bring out the beauty of concrete. Stamps from around the house, a batik woodblock, or even a piece of an auto transmission might all be used. To stamp the concrete, you can use anything as long as it doesn't stick and harm the completed surface. It must also be long-lasting. A business stamp is ideal for enhancing a simple concrete surface. If you want a professional, standard-looking concrete stamping, you might use this style of stamp.
3. Ingenious Stamping
Making your own stamp tool can be creative and enjoyable. You could even make a decorative stamp out of a salvaged portion of an old ceiling! If you're going to stomp on concrete, be sure you're aware of the dangers. Commercial concrete stamps are built to perform effectively and to be as simple to use as possible. They frequently make a good first impression. If you make your own stamps out of commonplace stamp-worthy materials, keep in mind that the concrete may become destroyed. Commercial stamps are meant to consistently lift away from the concrete; however, this is not always the case with homemade stamps.
– Even slabs with a deep-cut pattern must be jointed in order to prevent cracking. Sawed joints are used to divide the stamped concrete – Order slumped concrete that is properly slumped – Lay out stamps before the concrete comes – Reduce the amount of hand tooling as much as feasible – Get the right amount of concrete.
Concrete stamping is not for the faint of heart or the inexperienced. Learning concrete stamping is feasible for people who want to learn this do-it-yourself art. This will be a great effort for enthusiasts, masons, and even those who simply want to improve their homes.
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Patios Invite Opportunity
Patios are one of our favorite things. Patio construction is one of our favorite things to do. And we recommend doing so with concrete to increase longevity and ease maintenance. A patio is an outdoor space adjacent to a house that is usually used for recreational purposes. It usually does not have a roof and is paved with concrete or pavers. Sand and cement layers make up the patio's foundation. On top of this foundation, concrete and stone slabs are put.
When it rains or the weather is hot, it may be difficult to enjoy a patio because it is an open space with no roof. As a result, if you want to enjoy the outdoors in all weather, you'll need a patio awning. The patio awning protects you from the elements. With this shade, you may spend as much time as you want on the patio without getting wet or exposed to harmful UV rays.
Meals can be eaten outside in the shade thanks to the patio awning. You can eat meals with your family and friends under the shade of the awning canvas. A patio awning is less expensive than a pool or gazebo. The patio awning comes in a number of sizes, fabrics, and colors to match the design of your patio.
A patio gazebo is a great way to make your patio more attractive and inviting. They are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, materials, and quality levels. The optimal location for the patio gazebo on the patio must be determined. You should position it in the corner of a small or medium-sized patio. It will be out of place, but it will be noticeable in this way.
If your patio is large enough, you may easily place the patio gazebo wherever you want it, depending on the design. By placing the patio gazebo in the center of the patio and surrounding it with other patio furniture, the gazebo may be accentuated. A simple approach to get the patio gazebo up and running is to bolt it to the ground. You can also drill postholes, position the poles in them, and then cement them in place. The method for constructing a gazebo on a patio is fully dependent on the shape and weight of the gazebo.
Some metal or wrought iron gazebos can be installed without the need to excavate a foundation. They are self-contained and easily affixed to the terrace. It's better to acquire a robust, freestanding gazebo to avoid being blown away by severe winds.
Are you ready to start working on your patio with us? Give us a call right now — we're excited to get started with you!
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Concrete Driveway Repairs
Is Your Driveway Cracked? Everything revolves on resurfacing.
Concrete resurfacing is a technique for repairing broken or discolored parts of concrete. This is something that happens over time, and concrete resurfacing can help restore the area's appearance. Decorative concrete resurfacing improves the appearance of the concrete while also providing a decorative accent. This can come in a variety of colors and sophisticated patterns. Some refinishing jobs are works of art in themselves, and they're rather wonderful. The cost of concrete resurfacing varies depending on the job and how thorough you want your plans to be. However, it usually starts at around three dollars per square foot and can go up to over seven dollars.
The initial stage in the concrete resurfacing process is to clean the area. A pressure washer is frequently used to ensure that all built-up dirt and debris is removed. Following that, there are a few steps to repairing any concrete fractures. Cracks are filled with crack repair material after priming. They're then reinforced with cloth before being coated with a base coat. Once the polymer concrete has set, it is smoothed over the fissure and ground down to make it smooth and even. After the fractures have been repaired, any holes in the concrete will be filled with epoxy mortar. Now that the concrete has been properly repaired, it's time to begin resurfacing it.
The prime coat and granule broadcast will be applied after all of the cracks and holes have been filled. A texture coat will be applied after that. To begin, follow the package's instructions for mixing. The mixture will then be sprayed with a special spray cannon all over the region. When you're done, go over the surface with a trowel to make it even. Start at the top and work your way down the area for this. The color coat, which will be the precise color you chose for your region, will be applied after that. After that, a sealant is applied to complete the work.
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Pressure Washing Concrete
Pressure Washing Concrete
Concrete cleaning is challenging, and there are two methods. One thing to bear in mind when pressure washing concrete is that it cannot always be restored to appear brand new after it has been soiled. Stains can be lightened or bleached, but completely removing them is difficult. You might strike it rich, but if you're looking for perfection, you'll be let down. As a result, inform customers up front and explain this; otherwise, they will request a job that can only be done if the entire concrete slab is removed and re-poured.
Let's have a look at the tools that will be needed for this job. When utilizing a pressure washer, remember that safety comes first. Some stains may require the use of chemicals to remove. As a result, eye protection should be used at all times. In addition, you must wear pants when working with chemicals to protect your legs. Chemicals used in concrete are incredibly potent and should not be interfered with. Do you prefer to work on dry or wet feet? Rubber waders or equivalent rubber boots are recommended. They'll keep your feet dry and safe from the scorching heat of the 250°F water.
Orange cones are also required for this job. These can help make people aware that you're there if you're in a high-traffic location or if there are a lot of contract workers, such as at a newly constructed house that needs the concrete cleaned. This assures the safety of others around you, as well as helping to prevent mishaps. This will, of course, necessitate the use of a Hydro-Twister. You could technically do the job with a wand, but it would take a lot longer and use a lot more water, not to mention the possibility of streaking if you don't apply even strokes throughout the slab. A hydro twister type device is an option on most new hot water pressure washers, but if you don't have one and/or need a backup, we recommend acquiring one. Choose the larger of the two alternatives when purchasing a hydro twister. Despite the fact that the difference in surface covering is only 5 inches, it is definitely worth it when trying to save time without cutting corners. There's a lot of concrete to clean, especially if you're cleaning concrete at a construction site or a big box store, and the faster you clean it, the more money you'll make. Take a time to think about that.
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Concrete Pond Considerations
When it comes to concrete pond construction, there are no short cuts. Improper practices can result in more money being spent on maintenance, repairs, and replacement than on the original building cost. Because good concrete pond construction means a pond that will last a lifetime or longer, follow these guidelines to get it right the first time!
Keep in mind that you'll need to pour the concrete to a thickness of four to six inches for a proper concrete pond. All soil (and rocks!) should be dug out after settling on the measurements and delineating the area. Then, coupled with the proper positioning of cut-to-fit reinforcement bars, forms must be made and installed where concrete will be poured (rebar).
Shovels, picks, a crowbar, and, of course, a wheelbarrow are required for digging up the area for concrete pond building. A carpenters level, string, stakes, sheets of plastic, and a long two-by-four are among the other goods required.
Unless the pond is exceptionally large, pouring the cement in concrete pond building should be done in portions, which should be done in one day. Pour the cement into the pool's bottom first, then the sides. If shelves have been excavated out, the next step is to pour cement there. Finally, pour cement for the pond's top as well as any coping that may be necessary.
After you've finished the first few steps of your concrete pond construction project, you'll need to let the cement cure under plastic for a few days. Muriatic acid treatment at this stage helps to prevent high pH levels in the water later on, which is good for fish and plants. Apply multiple layers of pool paint or masonry sealant after the acid treatment, allowing each coat to cure completely between coats.
Constructing a concrete pond can be a great learning experience. It's advisable to start with a smaller pond and work your way up to a larger endeavor if you're successful. However, if you've mastered the art of building concrete ponds, there's no telling where you may go from there. So go ahead and study, construct, and build some more!
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Many homeowners complain that their concrete no longer looks as wonderful as it once did, and some concrete does lose its luster and develop cracks, dimples, and rust stains. This appearance degrades the house's appearance, and many people find it plain ugly. People usually solve this problem by covering the entire concrete surface with various items, such as mattresses and clothing made of various materials. However, covering the concrete does not solve the problem; it only provides a temporary solution that must be removed once it begins to rain.
Concrete paint is the genuine solution to this problem. You may use concrete paint to cover the entire surface and transform it; the paint will help you change the look, and you can also add sand to the paint to help prevent problems such as slipping or falling on the concrete due to wetness or cracks; the paint will eliminate these issues.
When we talk about changing or replacing concrete, we're talking about an expensive job that will almost certainly take some time and effort and may cause some disruption to the family living in the house. That's why concrete problems should first be addressed with a faster and simpler solution, such as concrete paint, which is much quicker and easier than redoing the entire concrete area. All you have to do now is go to a store and choose a color, get the other items you'll need for this project, set aside some time, and paint your concrete.
When painting your concrete, you may use your imagination and buy a few different colors, figure out how you want it to look, and then paint geometric shapes, different patterns, words and letters, colors that match the house, swirls and circular shapes, and check board shapes. You can also utilize templates to create these forms; you'll need to construct or purchase durable templates to use in order to give your concrete a unique appearance.
The only thing to remember is that before painting the concrete, you should inspect the entire surface to ensure that it is clean and dry. In any case, you should clean the entire surface to ensure that there are no oil stains or water on the surface, as concrete may hold a lot of water. You can clean the surface with a broom on a dry surface, followed by a broom and a strong cleaning product, washing as you would at home, and then washing away the soap with water. Painting can begin once the concrete is clean and dried.
Once you've finished painting, you'll see how easy it is to change the look of your concrete surface, as well as how, if you get bored with the colors, you can change them again and again. Best of luck with your new concrete paint and new concrete surface.
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Landscaping with Concrete
You might not think of concrete as something you'd want in your yard when you hear the phrase, but concrete landscaping has gone a long way in the last decade or two. Concrete landscaping is really fashionable right now, and it looks great.
Concrete landscaping can be used in many different parts of your yard. Most homeowners choose concrete landscaping ideas and designs for the walkways and paths that wind through their gardens. This is primarily for people with larger yards, but even if you have a small yard, concrete landscaping can be beneficial. You may build a lively patio where you and your guests can relax and sip tea or drinks. Nothing beats a modest patio party on a beautiful day.
Stone walls are another style of concrete landscaping that has taken off like wildfire. The entire house will be framed by the walls. They provide a beautiful and sturdy backdrop for the gorgeous painting that is your front and back yard. Concrete landscape can also be used for a variety of other purposes, such as walls. These barriers are great for containing your pet in the yard. Consider this style of concrete landscaping if you have a dog who is prone to running away. Intruders are kept out quite well by these walls. Criminals will be less likely to try to break into your home if it is tough. So take a look at concrete landscaping immediately and talk to a professional about it.
It's also possible to employ concrete landscaping to keep dirt in place. You can build a retention wall expressly for this reason if a section of your yard is prone to slipping. Concrete landscaping's best feature is that, while it can be functional, it can also look to be entirely aesthetic. Because concrete landscaping is so easy to work with, you can do a lot with it. It's possible to utilize concrete landscaping blocks or whole solid slabs. Concrete landscaping stones in unique and imaginative shapes and designs can also be custom made. Take some time to research into what concrete landscape options are available; you might be surprised.
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Building Concrete Molds
Concrete molds are an excellent way to create your own concrete designs. You may be inspired to try them based on successes you've seen in the past, or after inspiration from neighbors or the internet. But how is it done?
Molds for Concrete
To begin, you'll need high-quality concrete molds (although some people call them cement molds or plaster molds). Concrete stone molds, patio molds, concrete paver molds, stone veneer molds, and brick veneer molds are all made by different businesses. The mold may cover an area ranging from four to seven square feet, depending on the type of stone or tile used. For example, a ledge stone mold may make 16 ledge stones, whereas a river rock mold may produce 12 river rocks. Ideally, you should get numerous molds so that you may create a range of rocks or stones. However, keep in mind that you can use different hues or spin stones in different directions to avoid the appearance of identical stone or rock forms.
Getting Concrete Molds Ready
Once you've had your concrete molds and are ready to start working on your project, use a mold release agent to make it easier to remove the stones, tiles, or bricks once they're finished. While some companies advocate for the use of motor oil, the runoff is harmful to the environment. Some newer mold release agents can be sprayed into concrete molds with a spray bottle, which is a much more convenient way.
Finding and blending the colors you like is the skill of building your own concrete pebbles, tiles, and bricks. To begin, a base color is mixed into a concrete and sand mixture. Once you've got this foundation color, you can add other colors in different amounts and combinations to get the variation you want. Indeed, by altering the color densities, you may produce an unlimited variety of colors. Although some people have had success with natural oxides, ceramic stains, and even latex paint, the best colors are derived from synthetic iron oxides.
Pouring and Curing Concrete
Your concrete mixture should be firm rather than soupy. Pour the concrete mixture into the concrete paver molds with a scoop and fill to the top. You can partially fill the mold if you only want a veneer stone or tile.
If you've ever dealt with concrete, you know how critical it is to remove any air bubbles following a pour. This can be done by bouncing the concrete stone molds up and down or by investing in and using a vibrating table. After that, wrap the mold in plastic and keep it out of direct sunlight.
Allowing the concrete to cure for a longer period of time will make it stronger. After 24 hours, the concrete molds can be removed, but it's recommended to wait longer. After releasing the stones, tiles, or bricks, rewrap them in plastic to keep the moisture in and allow them to cure for another two weeks. After that, all you have to do is apply sealer to your creations and they'll be ready to use.
It's been really fulfilling for me to be able to design a gorgeous stone pathway, tile entryway, or river rock fireplace. And to think it all began when I came across an article about concrete paver molds in a magazine.
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Consider Concrete Stain
Why You Should Consider Staining Concrete
Acid staining can transform a plain concrete floor into a high-end natural stone floor. It's not just a fraction of the cost, but it's also a blessing for folks who are sensitive to carpeting components. Houses with radiant floor heating are another excellent application. When insulating floor coverings like tile or carpet are minimized, radiant heating is most efficient.
While the procedure of staining a concrete floor is not unduly complicated, it might be difficult to achieve the desired effects. The majority of people would be better off employing a professional contractor. For the do-it-yourselfer, it's a risky project.
Concrete stain isn't a paint or a finish coat, in case you didn't know. It is a chemical process that takes place on cement materials. The stain reacts with minerals and lime in the concrete aggregate, resulting in coloration. It is often a water-based solution of hydrochloric acid and inorganic salts. It works on both fresh and old concrete, and it's fairly long-lasting if you keep it sealed or waxed because it won't discolor or chip. It can also be used on both inside and outside floors. All areas such as walkways, bathrooms, entrances, driveways, living rooms, and patios are fair game.
Staining concrete resembles marble when finished, although it's more mottled and less consistent. Earthy brown tones with accents of red and green will dominate the concrete. You may make your own tint stain by combining colors or applying them at different rates. However, don't expect the stain to be uniform or even toned when staining a concrete floor. Because you'll get varied reactions from different regions of the concrete, even a seasoned pro will have a hard time predicting what the end result will be, plan your room dcor and color scheme accordingly.
The surface preparation for acid staining concrete is determined by the state of the slab. All that is required of freshly poured concrete is for it to cure for three weeks before rinsing and scouring. It's a different story with older concrete. Because any dirt, grease, paint, sealer, or even curing agent will prevent the stain from entering and reacting as it should, thorough cleaning is essential. Make a small test area to ensure it's ready.
Although newer poured concrete floors will require less stain than older floors, a gallon of water mixed with one gallon of stain will cover approximately 400 square feet. Working in the cooler morning or evening hours, rather than in the heat of the day, apply the stain with a non-metallic brush or broom. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations and protect yourself from spills, drips, and fumes from the acid stain.
After you've applied the stain, use a broom to sweep away any residual stain and residue. It's a good idea to apply a sealer agent and then wax the floor once it's completely dry.
If you're seeking for natural stone flooring, a fresh look for your basement or patio, or just new remodeling ideas, stained concrete is a good option to consider.
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Asphalt vs Concrete Driveways
Concrete vs. Asphalt Driveways
The most popular materials used to pave driveways are asphalt and concrete. Asphalt and concrete driveways each have their own set of advantages. If you live in a cold climate and want to put in a concrete driveway, make sure the base is covered in gravel and compacted first. Otherwise, frost heaves may cause the driveway to fracture and shatter. Furthermore, salt corrosion is a problem for concrete, which is often used on roadways in cold weather areas of the country. However, if you live in a warm or hot climate and are considering asphalt paving, keep in mind that asphalt can soften in the sun and become rut-prone.
Concrete driveways are more expensive to install than asphalt driveways. Asphalt paved driveways, on the other hand, necessitate a lot more upkeep over time in order to remain safe. Asphalt driveways should be sealed at least once every 3-5 years. Although a do-it-yourself homeowner may complete each sealing on their own, it will cost them money and effort. Furthermore, before a car may be parked on the sealer, it must dry for at least two days. A newly asphalted driveway should also not be sealed for at least 6-9 months, since the light oils associated with the asphalt must first evaporate. An asphalt driveway that is sealed too soon will remain soft eternally.
Asphalt driveways do not always have to be black, and concrete driveways do not always have to be off-white. Asphalt and concrete driveways can be painted in a variety of colors. First, inquire about the color possibilities for your driveway project with any potential paving companies.
If properly maintained, asphalt driveways can last for 25 to 30 years. Driveways made of concrete have the potential to last even longer. Both, however, require the building of a solid foundation. If not laid on a solid foundation, both will crack with time, especially in colder climates. Asphalt cracks are easier to repair than concrete driveway fractures.
The slope of the driveway should also be considered when contemplating concrete driveways. Over time, concrete driveways can separate from the base they are laid on, resulting in unattractive cracks.