Decorative Concrete – What you need to know about cracks and color variations.

Although I generally support the wonders and pleasures of decorative concrete applications, I think I should be aware of the other side of the coin as well: it doesn’t matter what the color or the design of the stamp is. Also shows, it’s still solid. Your new yard may look like a beautiful slate, but it is not. This is concrete. what is the meaning of this? Well, that means that although concrete has unlimited design options and what I can make in almost any design, imitating many other building materials; There are minor limitations. An experienced decorative concrete contractor knows this, and will install concrete according to industry standards to best prevent cracks or color defects.

“These problems arise on the spot,” he said. Let’s start with the cracks in your brand new stamped concrete pool deck. First, the extension joints are cut into the concrete to prevent cracks. However, everything from heavy loads traveling on stamped concrete to ground settlements under concrete can crack, regardless of the joint expansion. Properly trimming joints should eliminate this problem, and often does not. Secondly, when concrete is cured it shrinks. It can cause cracks and even the most experienced concrete contractor who cuts the best expansion joints in the world cannot always win this battle. Finally, a somewhat common “side effect” of stamped concrete is that once the surface begins to harden, hairline cracks form around the lines formed by the stamping tools. This is called “crusting” and is usually caused by sun and wind. Obviously, the sun and wind will accelerate the hardening of the concrete surface. Another reason for crusting is the color of the concrete. Darker colors, as we all know, attract the sun’s rays and absorb heat. Stamping tools often extend the crusting with deep grout lines to create designs such as random stone or slate patterns. Many people think that these cracks in the hair lines add to the shape of the stamped concrete design and give it the appearance of an “old world”. This aging appearance usually lends itself to the overall design. These flaws are generally considered attractive. Although cracks can be repaired, the final result of the repair is much clearer than an unrepaired crack.

Let’s move on to the coloring accidents. Actually, “accidents” is not the right word here. An “accident” will happen by accident. What I’m referring to here is customer acceptance of their new concrete-painted paint. Depending on the method of painting the concrete (and many more), different factors work for the concrete contractor to match the color chosen by the customer. However, as a customer you need a few things to make sure you are getting the color you want. A good idea would be to look for pictures of ready-made colored concrete pits etc. al which shows the color you are trying to get, and submit to your contractor. However, understanding that dyeing or staining concrete involves variables that can affect the color results. Sometimes, the stars align and the solid color comes out exactly as imagined. And then there are times when that doesn’t happen.

For example, here are some conditions that can cause color changes, and most often:

  • Customer not available during color mixing. This can be a problem because if the customer is not present for color approval prior to installation, they may end up in a very dark or very light shade with a beautiful new color concrete patio, or not at all. The customer must be present during color matching to ensure happiness with color.
  • Concrete work requires more than one concrete truck. The color will vary slightly from one batch to another. This should be expected and understood from the beginning.
  • The color of the finished concrete does not match the sample chip or color chart. Never expect the final result to be exactly the same as a sample chip or color chart. Samples are just this: Samples. Sample chips and color charts mean more color guidance. Painting concrete is not exactly a science and should not be thought of as such. After all, even the best decorative concrete contractor in the area is just human!
  • Laying concrete at different ages. Applying concrete at different ages will change the color slightly. This should be kept in mind during large concrete projects, although it should not be more than a minor change.

With all of the above in mind, as well as understanding that job site conditions and weather issues can affect the final results, one should ultimately be a happy customer. However, a homeowner is not familiar with such things, but having a definite idea of ​​what he wants in terms of color can be frustrating. The contractor doesn’t want that, and certainly not the homeowner. Understanding that color change is a common occurrence should keep the user happy until the end.

Obviously, no one wants to spend their hard earned money on something that they feel is incomplete. As with any major home improvement purchase, proper research on decorative concrete applications will tell you what to expect in terms of installation, appearance, design, maintenance and repair. The most important aspect of this article is to please the customer by keeping the lines of communication open between you, the homeowner, and your concrete contractor. As well as preparing you with important information to consider when designing your concrete project.

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