The Counters Blog

Exposed Aggregate Sealers Concrete Sealing Ratings

Sealing aggregate stone is something any homeowner can do with great results. After cleaning, you need at least 2 days of dry weather before continuing. Using a 1/2″ roller, start applying the sealer at the far end making sure to not step in the sealer. Then it dried…and it looks so white and the stone just looks like spots with little color. Also, we are both concerned about how it will wear with a sealer. There are a few stains on both, candle wax, antifreeze and oil. You cannot use the same sealer for flagstone though. As the patio was drying the area with the problem stayed dark looking. Strip off the sealer and then pressure wash and neutralize the entire area. I checked the driveway and it was dry except where small cavity’s had formed. I would suggest calling the manufacturer of the sealer you used for some advice on this one. The weather forecast was wrong and 10% rain ended up being rain all day. I recently hired someone to put stone edging around the flowerbeds and he made a mess with the mortar. Now the walkway and driveway has horrible yellowed or rusty looking blotches all over. I believe that the contractor did not apply enough of the chemical on top of the cement to expose it. It has yellowed and flaked off for the most part, but there are some remaining patches. Yes you need to strip and remove the yellowed epoxy first before applying anything. The contractor said you do not have to seal exposed aggregate. Could someone recommend if and when it should be sealed and what would be the best product? Just did an entrance sidewalk with the roller (1/2 inch nap) and it worked fine. We have removed all the dirt and it is 4 x 4 x 6′ deep. How would this product react to regular concrete on my driveway or walk? The sealer should be applied at the manufacturers spread rate. If the sealer did not dry evenly, apply a second coat to even out the appearance. I want to seal it but my husband is concerned about it looking glossy and artificial. There were a few stains from fertilizer that happened accidently. We hired a concrete restoration company and he used some muractic acid and power washed the patio. I started the job and finished about 4 hours before rain hit. Now we have white spots that are kind of milky looking and the additive to make it non slip doesn’t look great either. Would xylene help to remove the granules that are grouped together an can we then put sealer over it if we could remove them. I doubt it would work but worth a shot as the alternative is to strip it all off. If you apply sealer to damp exposed aggregate then it will turn milky. The house is 21 years old, and the patio was only sealed once with an epoxy product. That does not seem correct after reading all of the posts below. Sealing does help the longevity while making it look better. I have an old concrete pit that was a septic tank many many years ago. You can always add a grip int to the sealer if needed.

Concrete Vapor Barriers: The Pros and Cons Of Getting The Vapors by

Adding more water may make concrete more workable but it also means the drying time can increase to unreasonable levels as the rate of evaporation is dependent on a number of variables. It often can’t escape the slab without remediating treatment. Something has to stop the migration of moisture into the slab. But what type and where it should be installed has been a subject of much debate. Others feel a vapor barrier is a critical element to protecting from flooring or adhesive failures, and even some environmental issues, as vapor barriers can prevent moisture-related mold and mildew growth or even block certain gasses that can pose a health risk if they accumulate in a home or business. But very few are true barriers as they still have a low level of permeance, or the ability to let water vapor pass through. Otherwise, the potential for a moisture imbalance can still cause flooring failures over time. Seams must be properly sealed, heavy grade materials must be used where traffic may cause penetration, and the lowest possible grade of permeance should be used. Prior to the 2000s, a “blotter” layer was recommended between the vapor barrier and the slab. With the vapor barrier directly under the slab, moisture then has to move to the surface of the slab and evaporate from there. Because there are pros and cons to both situations, accurate relative humidity testing is also necessary to be sure slab moisture conditions are ready for the flooring or finish application of choice. Relative humidity testing can give an accurate picture of what the final result of a sealed concrete slab will be when it is fully equilibrated. Even when a slab is dry enough for the recommended use, it is still possible for moisture to migrate from the slab into porous or absorbent flooring materials like wood. In these situations, a second vapor barrier is often recommended between the flooring and the concrete subfloor. For each concrete slab, it is imperative to understand the best vapor barrier choice based on local conditions, recommended guidelines and careful application. We put down the recommended barrier with the plastic backing before laying the floor. We had thought about the vinyl laminate flooring but we are afraid it will mold underneath. In your case, it would not surprise me if there wasn’t a vapor retarder below that slab because it was never intended to “live inside” or have a floor installed on top of it. I would refer to the laminate manufacture’s recommendations. There should be more than a 5 degree temperature variation between actual and calculated temperature to avoid condensation (sweating). My fear would be more about the floor being ruined than mold. The “planks” of plywood will use the width of a penny for spacers and using a combination of adhesive and concrete nails to secure. I would also look to see if potentially doing one of the planking systems that allows for a floating installation may not bring something positive to the table. I would always have to defer back to your local building code on this. Two shorter run areas have screws that we have discovered that are supposedly to keep the floor from buckling and the screws are in about 24 ft runs. We know we will need a moisture barrier, but because of the issues feel we need to use engineered hardwood vs. We were looking at a lumber liquidator barrier with pre-applied adhesive and would possibly glue the boards in the area where the runs are greater than 27 feet… and is natural hardwood not an option? The house is framed, but before we go any further would like to know how we can go about getting objective proof of having a barrier. You could be having issues with the moisture in the concrete or some type of dew point/condensation issues. The contractor removed the visqueen, poured the cement on the dirt in the crawl space, and then put the plastic back on top of the cement after it cured. The floor is not even and has lots of peaks and valleys and rough surfaces (since it’s a crawl space that no one walks on, we did not deem it necessary to even out). I would want to test in the concrete section (in situ relative humidity testing), not just the surface of the concrete. The footing will be created by cutting a 10 foot square section out of the existing slab, digging down 5 feet to make a 10x10x5′ deep hole. These surface meters are meant to be used to identify suspect areas on a floor, not to make installation decisions. Your best bet is to have the installer provide the installation guidelines for the polyurea that will be installed. Moisture in concrete can occur from a variety of sources: ground moisture that contacts the slab through either capillary action or as water vapor, high air humidity or drastic changes in relative humidity in its environment, leaking plumbing that passes through the slab, and more. Even an excess of moisture that was retained from the original concrete mixture will cause problems if the slab was sealed prematurely. While moisture can be added to the slab through a number of different sources, it can only evaporate away via the slab’s surface. Simply put, a concrete slab in contact with moisture cannot be brought to constant “dry” conditions. The preventative measure most often used to try to circumvent these contact moisture-related challenges is to install a vapor barrier. Some feel that vapor barriers contribute to curling in the slab and that simply casting on a granular slab should be sufficient. Technically, any material that resists moisture passage is a vapor barrier, a term often used interchangeably with a vapor retarder. This is often expressed as “perms” that allow for categories of permeability. What seems to be crucial is that the vapor barrier or retarder under the slab must have a lower degree of permeance than the flooring or floor covering above the slab. Of course, if the vapor retarder is penetrated, it will not be effective in preventing moisture migration. The concrete slab is then poured directly over the vapor barrier. Placing the vapor barrier under the granular layer let contractors float the concrete sooner and appeared to dry the concrete more quickly because the base accepted some of the water from the original concrete mixture (and, some argue, create more potential for water reserves that could then absorb back into the slab to create adverse conditions). Moisture-sensitive adhesives and applications can be just as adversely affected by a moisture level too high in the slab as they can by moisture-wicking problems due to an inadequate vapor barrier. There still may be situations where a vapor barrier is necessary over a concrete slab. The danger is that the wood will swell and crack as moisture moves in and out and that adhesives will also fail from the changing moisture levels. There is only one chance to make the best vapor barrier choice, and obviously, that is before the slab is poured. With the correct vapor barrier under the slab, and a knowledge of slab moisture conditions before sealing the slab, moisture conditions shouldn’t be anything to give you the vapors. I need a product that will allow me to put down tile, wood or laminate products. We haven’t had any leaks so we are assuming it is coming up from the concrete. My son has severe lung disease and cannot have any mold or mildew. Unfortunately, the re-purposing of areas, whether commercial or residential, can lead to problems like this. These usually aren’t inexpensive, but they are better that some alternatives like replacing flooring or replacing the concrete slab. Try to find a flooring product that is more “breathable” and/or less moisture sensitive. You can then measure the surface temperature of the concrete. Although this is not specific to them, they have a recommended installation process for hardwood flooring that utilizes installing plywood on the concrete, prior to the finished product. I have a client that owns older apartment communities ranging from 400-275 units each. Would vinyl planking be a better choice due to fact it would allow for vapor permeability. Oh and we use moisture/vapor kits, and a good sheet vinyl with a warranty against this type of problem…doesn’t seem to make a difference. They have stated that a pea gravel underlay is enough to take care of any possible moisture issues. They promise that once we get grass down on the ground and the ground is graded we should have no issues with moisture. Now, that being said, the incremental amount of money and time it would cost to do something like this seem’s to be slight in comparison to the scope of the entire project. We do not know if a moisture barrier was utilized or not. Several areas including the center of the 34 ft run have become separated and have quite a lot of play in them. As far as barriers, especially if you are using one to compensate for the possibility that you don’t have one below the slab, you get what you pay for, in my opinion. Usually performing a core test is the best way to confirm the presence of a vapor retarder. Could this be caused by moisture in the slab or no vapor barrier? What should my next move be, don’t know who to reach out to. Obviously, there could be other culprits, but these are the two that come to my head immediately. We had a slab poured in the crawl space below our house this summer. I believe we’re now getting condensation between the plastic and the cement. He then closed up the hole with concrete and she put down bamboo flooring thoughout thehouse. We had a moisture test done on the concrete with calcium chloride (72 hrs) and that showed no moisture in the concrete, it was just between the moisture barrier and wood. I have a hard time believing that the concrete was dry enough for flooring installation. Rebar framework and equipment mounting studs will be built into the hole and then the hole filled with cement. Unfortunately, a “5” means nothing in most of the finish world. That being said, there are some coatings companies that use these devices in their installation documents. In there, they should spell out “concrete moisture” maximums.

Stone Sealer Cleaners Sealer and Enhancers by

Stone is a natural porous material which will allow harmful contaminants such as oil and water based stains to penetrate through the surface into the interior of the stone resulting in permanent staining on the stone surface. Household acidic and alkaline cleaners do clean stains on the surface of the countertop or bathroom surfaces, but they also penetrate into the interior of the stone surface and slowly destroy it’s infrastructure. We do have customers that have applied our concrete sealants as early as 7 days in warm weather as long as the concrete no longer appears green with no adverse effects. Protect glass, polished metal and aluminum surfaces during application of any concrete sealants to prevent possible etching and staining. Scaling means breaking off of surface concrete in small flakes because the concrete was not resistant to freezing and thawing while more than 91% saturated with water. As a general rule water based sealers do not perform as well as solvent based sealers particularly under abuse conditions. The best way to apply all of the above natural stone sealants is to put the sealer on to a white terry towel cloth and then rub it onto the stone surface. As a result stone enhancers will wear away faster than stone sealers particularly in high traffic areas. This warranty will be voided if (a) the products have not been stored, installed, or maintained or applied in accordance with accepted industrial practice. After inspection of the returned goods we will issue a full refund less a 20% restock fee. Application of our stone sealants to marble, granite, slate, limestone and all naturally occurring stone surfaces prevents this staining from occurring. The surface of the concrete just needs to be cleaned and any debris or dust must be swept or washed away before application. It is particularly effective on greases and oils and old dirt and grime. I need to seal my concrete pavers with your concrete sealants? Rinse immediately with soapy water if accidentally contacted. Both of these products leave a natural finish (no gloss) and after they are cured they do not affect the appearance of the natural stone surface. When it is not possible to use the above solvent based products due to environmental constraints, limited or enclosed working areas or personal choice then a water based sealer must be used. After curing place a small droplet of water on the marble, granite, slate or limestone surface to check that it beads up and this will indicate that the sealant has satisfactorily cured. This is one way that we keep the price of our products so low compared to some of our competitors because we do not have multiple levels of distribution with the associated mark up commissions etc. If we cannot resolve the problem to your satisfaction then we will provide more product to fix the problem or issue a full refund of the purchase price.

Creating Nice Concrete Floors by

I am in the process of building a second home in which all three levels will have concrete floors. This material ends up in a mixture with sand and gravel, which forms a very strong, very inexpensive composite material. In flooring applications, concrete is almost always reinforced with either wire mesh or rebar, which theoretically provides tensile strength as well. It is sold in units of a cubic yard (usually just called a “yard”). This is the price for a truck to deliver several yards to the site. This includes getting the concrete from the truck to the floor, leveling it, and steel troweling it to form a smooth surface (done several hours after the initial “pour”). The pump truck literally pumps the concrete through a large hose to the floor location. This does not include placing any crushed stone under the slab, installing a vapor barrier, or installing insulation, as you will probably do for lower-level slabs. On a lower level which will have a slab poured anyway, a finished concrete floor is the cheapest floor you can do. My opinion is that either mesh or rebar can work as reinforcement, but that wire mesh is more easily installed incorrectly, and so rebar is the safer method. Generally, the structural engineer does not assume any strength or stiffness from the concrete floor…it’s basically just a layer of concrete sitting on the subfloor. Mine will be 5 inches thick just because that’s the minimum my “flat work” contractor recommends. In general, you pour the floor after the walls have been framed, but before the drywall has been installed. In most cases you need to add additional layers to the “plate” (the “2-by” lumber that supports your walls). The slab will cover the first two, and the top one will be the nailer for the baseboard and dry wall. It is plastic laminated to a thin hardboard and it comes on a roll. The reason you only need to insulate the edges is that once you have warmed up the earth under your house to a depth of about 12 feet or so you won’t lose any more heat to the ground in the straight down direction. This is a big deal, arguably the most important few hundred dollars you’ll spend on your project. Having said that, the stuff is a good vapor barrier, which you do need. Despite what you might imagine intuitively, concrete is a terrible vapor barrier. So, you absolutely must have a great vapor barrier under your lower-level slab (not an issue for upper levels). Many people argue that you should insulate the floor joists below your heated slab on an upper floor. They also argue that this allows you to maintain better temperature control between floors. Portland cement can also be white, which may be used in special applications like countertops. Most of the time your concrete will be light gray naturally. This is very common in industrial plants, and is a common approach to garage floors. It’s main disadvantage is that without expensive faux-painting techniques you’ll end up with a very uniform color, which is not very interesting visually. For example, the copper-based stains are greenish, the iron-based stains reddish, etc. The colors are mostly muted, the distribution of color is mottled, and the patterns are soft. They are easy to use and the colors are quite integral to the top surface of the concrete. Of course in most cases you are starting with a gray material and so getting a light pink or something is unlikely. This is an affordable way to get a nice dark gray that is integral to the material. Your goal is to get a nice uniform layer of the acrylic onto the surface. As a result, you may be able to apply them more uniformly and they may flow into the cracks and interstices more readily. On my first try, the coating literally disintegrated into granules after drying. I first sprayed the floor with diluted muriatic acid (resulting in fizzing) and then washed the floor with a mop. If you use a satin acrylic you are going to get a very similar look to an oil finish, but with much less fuss. I have not tried more conventional oil-based polyurethane floor finishes on concrete. Most true epoxies are thermosetting polymers, meaning they are mixtures of two compounds, which react to form a hard polymer. There are mysterious “tile and stone sealers” sold in jugs for application to tile. The silicates do not, however, impart any sheen to the surface. In principle concrete is (a) very inexpensive, (b) a wonderful means of installing hydronic heating, and (c) attractive. A chemical reaction occurs between the cement and the water that results in a rock-like material with very high compressive strength. There is something called “lightweight concrete” which entrains air in the mix. It also has risks of delamination of the top layer if steel troweled. Finally, you’ll pay for the rebar or wire mesh that reinforces the floor. It also does not include placing in the slab any plastic tubing for hydronic heating, which you’ll want to do if you live in a climate requiring heat. It is a nice neutral background for almost any decorating style. I also believe that in most upper-floor residential slab applications, it pretty much doesn’t even matter if the concrete is reinforced. In my opinion, cracks will form no matter what you do…so that isn’t the issue. When you use concrete in an upper level you have to support it with the floor structure. Probably the thickest you would make it is 3 inches thick due to weight considerations. My architects argue that 3 inches is the right thickness to minimize cracking. You also need to think about what happens at the edges of the floor. So the wall plate has to stick up above the concrete at least an inch or so. Note that the wall plate is super cheap…don’t worry about that. I spent a couple of days scraping and scrubbing with a scotchbrite pad on my first floor, and thus learned my lesson the hard way. Ramboard, which seems like a nice material for this purpose. You will continue to lose it out the edges and to the sides if you don’t insulate the edges. Do not believe a heating contractor who tells you that a reflective insulating blanket is all you need. Thus, there is absolutely no reason to embed a layer of reflective foil between the crushed stone and concrete on a lower-level slab. But, you can buy vapor barrier much less expensively than the reflective/quilted blanket product. I don’t think the specifics matter much as long as the barrier is continuous. They argue that this ensures the heat will go “up” not down. Of course if the lower space is unheated, you should definitely insulate. This is because most portland cement is very gray, and most gravel and sand is gray enough that the color of the cement dominates. In some parts of the world the sand is a distinctive color like red or black, in which case the concrete takes on the hue of the sand. Paint is a simple technology, is inexpensive, and can achieve pretty much any color you want. You’ll also need to repaint periodically when the paint wears through (which it will do). Metal salts in the stains react with the surface to leave a color on the surface. The nice thing about the acid stains is that they look fairly natural. The disadvantage is that the color palette is quite limited (greenish, brownish, yellowish). If you are interested in the brownish/yellowish colors, then by all means experiment with the acid stains. No matter how you color the concrete, you still need to seal it. Basically, you are painting the floor with a clear acrylic paint. The advantage of the lower-solids formulations is that they dry a bit more slowly (more water to evaporate) and are less viscous. I ended up sweeping and vacuuming the granules and starting over. The oil polymerizes in the presence of air, resulting in a layer of “plastic” just like with an acrylic finish. These can be applied in thick layers and are extremely tough. Finally, there are a whole class of penetrating concrete sealers called silicates. I do not know the extent to which they resist dusting, either. Conventional acrylic coatings adhere over silicates, so one approach might be to first apply a silicate and then apply an acrylic coating.


Provided is a glossary of most commonly used decorative concrete terms and definitions. An admixture used to shorten the set time of concrete and/or speed strength development. Used as an alternative to abrasive blasting for surface preparation. Gives concrete an attractive variegated or marbleized appearance. Adhesive-backed masking patterns made of vinyl or plastic used for creating stenciled concrete effects. The amount of entrained or entrapped air in concrete, usually expressed as a percentage of total volume. Helps to improve the freeze-thaw resistance and durability of hardened concrete. Usually caused by incompatibility of a newly applied coating with an existing surface coating or sealer. Water that rises to the surface of freshly placed concrete due to segregation . The formation of blisters in toppings or coatings and the loss of adhesion with the underlying substrate. The degree of adhesion or grip of a material (such as coatings, toppings, repair mortars, or sealers) to an existing surface. A material that prevents adhesion of materials to a concrete substrate. Surface texture obtained by pushing a broom over freshly placed concrete. A tool with a 3- to 4-foot rectangular blade made of wood, resin, aluminum, or magnesium. A material used in concrete as a partial replacement for portland cement. A material containing portland cement as one of its components or having cement-like properties. The maximum compressive stress concrete or cementitious overlay materials are capable of sustaining, expressed as pounds per square inch (psi). Applying layers of color to achieve variegated or faux finish effects, such as antiquing or marbleizing. Can be precast in a shop in molds built to the customers specifications or cast onsite, by setting a mold on top of the base kitchen cabinets and then filling with concrete. The degree of roughness of a concrete surface achievable with various surface preparation methods. Sawed or tooled groove in a concrete slab used to regulate the location of cracking. Routing out cracks in concrete with a saw or angle grinder before filling with a repair mate rial. Random, non-moving hairline cracks that only affect the concrete surface (also see craze cracks and plastic shrinkage cracks). A condition that occurs when the surface of freshly placed concrete dries too quickly, often due to exposure to direct sun, wind, or high temperatures. Helps to ensure adequate hydration and proper hardening. A longer version of a hand float, ranging in length from 2 to 4 feet. A chemical solution for removing grease, oils, and other contaminants from concrete surfaces. Or in the case of a concrete slab, a horizontal splitting or separation of the upper surface. Often recommended for polished concrete, because hard concrete produces a better polish. Contractors use a floor polisher equipped with diamond-segmented abrasives, progressing from coarser to finer grits until the desired level of sheen is achieved. A mixture of coloring pigments, cement, aggregates, and surface conditioning agents. A decrease in the volume of concrete as it dries, due to loss of moisture. Will not chemically react with concrete (like acid stains will). A crystalline deposit of salts (usually white in color) that forms on the concrete surface when soluble calcium hydroxides leach from the concrete and combine with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. A method for sealing or repairing cracks in concrete by low-pressure injection of an epoxy adhesive. A poured-in-place topping for concrete substrates that goes on at a thickness of 1/4 to 3/8 inch. A waterborne, spray-applied film that temporarily reduces moisture loss when applied to the surface of freshly placed concrete. A decorative surface formed by removing the surface mortar from a concrete slab (either by scrubbing, pressure washing, or abrasive blasting) to expose the underlying aggregates. Popular applications include waterscapes, zoo exhibits, landscaping, and theme parks. A type of sealer that blocks the penetration of water and contaminants by forming a barrier on the concrete surface. A technique for applying accent colors of dry-shake hardener to concrete surfaces before stamping. The ability of hardened concrete or an overlay to resist failure in bending. A walk-behind machine used in the production of polished concrete. A byproduct resulting from the combustion of ground or powdered coal; sometimes used as a cement replacement in concrete. A large trowel(about 2 to 4 feet in length) used for final finishing after bull floating. A glassy, granular material formed when molten blast furnace slag is rapidly chilled. May also slow setting and extend the working time of the concrete. Can be purchased preblended in a multitude of colors to define joints and sawcuts in decorative concrete slabs or walls, especially those with stone, brick, or tile patterns. Especially useful for floating along the perimeter of forms or to work in tight spots. A process for cleaning or roughening concrete surfaces using a stream of water delivered at high pressure. A gravity-fed system for spray application of coatings or toppings. A coloring agent premixed into fresh concrete or cementitious toppings before placement. Formed, sawed, or tooled groove in a concrete slab used to regulate the location of cracking ( control joint) or to allow expansion or movement of adjoining structures. A compressible material used to fill a joint to prevent the infiltration of debris. Boards used by concrete finishers to kneel on when hand floating or troweling concrete flatwork. A thin layer of fine, loosely bonded particles on the surface of fresh concrete, caused by the upward movement of water. To give concrete surfaces the look and gloss of marble, through a combination of color layering and finishing techniques. Typically clear plastic like acrylic, polyurethane or epoxy. Typically applied by trowel or squeegee, and given a texture or smooth finish. Specific proportions of ingredients (cement, aggregates, water, and admixtures) used to produce concrete suited for a particular set of job conditions. An architectural concrete sample made using the same materials and methods proposed for an actual project. The size should be sufficient to adequately demonstrate all decorative treatments. Can contribute to the failure of impermeable coatings or other floor toppings that do not permit moisture to escape. Used for smooth and consistent spreading of epoxy resin products or other low- viscosity coatings. The degree to which a membrane or coating will allow the passage or penetration of a liquid or gas. A defect in a coating characterized by pinhead-sized holes that expose the underlying substrate. Irregular cracks that occur in the surface of fresh concrete soon after it is placed and while it is still plastic. Rigid stamps made of plastic or metal that leave deep grooves in freshly stamped concrete, which can later be grouted or left open. The resulting surface is very low-maintenance and can be stained to replicate the look of polished stone. Seamless polyaspartic floors are typically applied in two or three coats with embedded vinyl or quartz chips to form a highly stain- and abrasion-resistant coating. Overlay manufacturers use different types of polymer resins, often blending them to produce proprietary products with unique characteristics. How well a concrete surface or decorative coating resists being worn away by friction or rubbing. Methods include sandblasting, shotblasting, bead blasting, and sand brushing. Accelerators are also used to the speed the chemical reaction and shorten the curing time of resin-based coatings. A stain containing inorganic salts dissolved in an acidic, water-based solution that reacts chemically with the minerals in hardened concrete to produce permanent, transparent color that will not peel or flake. May be added to concrete at the batch plant or on the job site. Adding an air-entraining admixture to fresh concrete to cause the development of microscopic air bubbles. Surface imperfections in a coating resulting in a wrinkled appearance. Color change caused by the diffusion of color from an underlying surface. If a dry-shake color hardener is being applied to the concrete surface, some bleed water is needed to wet out the hardener sufficiently so it can be floated into the surface. On concrete surfaces, this is often caused by moisture or moisture vapor transmission problems. An adhesive agent used to increase the adherence of coatings or toppings to the existing surface. Loose, powdery substance caused by deterioration of a concrete surface or degradation of a coating or overlay. A handcrafted alternative to manufactured countertop surfaces. The area that a specified volume of coating will cover to a specified thickness upon drying. Often they are structural in nature and continue through the entire depth of the concrete. A series of fine, random cracks caused by shrinkage of the surface mortar. A liquid that, when applied to the surface of newly placed concrete, forms a membrane on the concrete or penetrates the concrete to retard the evaporation of water. Concrete that has been enhanced by color, pattern, texture, or a combination of ornamental treatments. A separation of a coating or topping from a substrate or the layers of a coating from each other due to poor adhesion. A penetrating liquid chemical hardener applied to concrete to help solidify and densify the surface and provide extra protection from water penetration and staining. The method most commonly used for polished concrete. Applied as a dry shake to stamped concrete or stamped overlays to produce a colorful, wear-resistant surface. A tool used on the edges of fresh concrete to provide a clean, finished edge. Usually the concrete is stained first to give it color, so the routed areas look like grout lines. On colored concrete, especially darker tones, these white deposits can be particularly unsightly. Organic chemical bonding systems used in the preparation of protective and decorative coatings for concrete, adhesives for injection of cracked concrete, or as binders in epoxy mortars. The epoxy resin matrix can be pigmented to achieve an unlimited spectrum of colors and is often seeded while still wet with decorative aggregates or color chips. The material is thick enough to be applied by brush, permitting controlled application. A sturdy but flexible diamond mesh often used as a framework or support system for concrete sculptures, faux rock, and vertical stamped concrete. An artificial rock formation sculpted or molded from concrete and then textured and colored to replicate the look and feel of natural rock. To smoothly, seamlessly blend the edge of a topping or repair material into the existing concrete. Leveling, smoothing, compacting, and otherwise treating the surface of newly placed concrete or concrete overlays to produce the desired appearance and service properties. May also impart a gloss or sheen, which enhances colored or exposed aggregate concrete. The depth of the film when wet (wet film thickness) and the final depth when dry (dry film thickness). When the machine is operating, the satellite heads rotate in the opposite direction of the primary head to eliminate linear grinding marks in the floor. Long handles (like those used for bull floats) either clip on or screw into the blade. Substantially lower in weight than plain concrete, with higher flexural and compressive strengths. Ground granulated slags are sometimes used in concrete mixtures as a cement replacement to help reduce permeability and improve durability. A mechanical surface preparation method using rotating abrasive stones or discs to remove thin coatings and mastics or slight flaws and protrusions. A mixture of cementitious materials and water, with or without aggregate, proportioned to produce a creamy consistency. A smaller handheld version of the bull float, ranging in length from 12 to 18 inches. Surface finish obtained by using a trowel with a steel blade for final finishing of concrete. A protective or decorative coating that produces a thick film (usually greater than 10 mils) in a single coat. A spraying device that applies high-solids paints and coatings at low pressure and low velocity, to reduce overspray. The chemical reaction between cement and water that causes concrete or other cement-based materials to harden. An inorganic pigment often used to color decorative coatings and toppings. Achieved by applying a decorative topping with a hopper gun and then using a trowel to knock-down the material to produce a smooth or lightly textured surface. Laitance must be removed before application of a decorative coating or topping. A steel trowel with a small, rectangular flat blade about 5 to 8 inches in length and a short handle. Covering select areas of a concrete surface with an adhesive stencil, tape, or other medium before applying a decorative treatment that will affect only the exposed areas. Formed over a concrete surface to provide protection and enhance color. Often required for quality assurance on large projects, to ensure that architectural requirements and industry tolerances are met. A rubber squeegee with notches or serrations on one or both edges. The ability of a coating to hide the color of the underlying surface . Often used on decorative concrete to provide invisible protection without changing the surface appearance. A finely ground natural or synthetic particle adding color and opacity to a coating or topping. A condition of freshly mixed concrete indicating that it is workable and readily moldable. Property of freshly mixed concrete, cement paste, or mortar which determines its ease of molding or resistance to deformation. A high-gloss finish attained by using special floor polishers fitted with diamond-impregnated abrasive disks (similar to sandpaper) to grind down surfaces to the desired degree of shine and smoothness. An aliphatic polyurea coating that is very fast-curing and that can be applied to concrete over a wide range of temperatures. A cement-based overlay with polymer resins added to improve performance, wear resistance, and aesthetic qualities.

How To Clean Mold Off Stone Terraces by

Try natural remedies, such as borax, and a little scrubbing instead. Spray the terrace, using tap water and a garden hose, until the entire area is slightly wet. While borax contains boron, a natural plant nutrient, too much is toxic to vegetation. Work in small areas, constantly applying more borax solution. Between the broom bristles and the abrasive nature of borax, the solution should work down into the small crevices and pores in the stone. Rinse with tap water afterwards, brushing over the area as you spray to get the rinse water down into the pores of the stone. Add just enough water to create a peanut butter-textured paste. Test a small area with your chosen mixture to ensure it doesn’t damage the rock before using it on larger, more obvious areas. Cover the poulticed areas with plastic wrap or plastic sheeting, allowing the plastic to extend past the poultice. As the poultice slowly dries, it sucks the stain up from the rock. Depending on the ingredients and weather conditions, this may take up to 2 or 3 days. Reapply if needed; some stains may not completely disappear. Otherwise, you may actually encourage further mold growth with sitting water and damp stone. Always spot test your stone before applying any product, even natural ones. Microscopic fungal spores drift on the wind, free to invade your home or terrace. From the moment the spore finds a home, it only takes 48 hours to flourish. For some people, who are allergic to mold, it can cause health problems. While mold won’t actually damage the stone on your terrace, it is unsightly. Harsh chemicals or bleach, so often used for mold cleanup inside the home, is toxic to the environment. Treat these items separately, if they also have mold growth. Add 2 or 3 gallons of very warm to hot water, stirring slightly to encourage the borax to dissolve. Increase or decrease the recipe amounts for larger or smaller areas, or consider mixing it i n batches to ensure fresh solution partway through the cleaning. This dampens the mold spores, preventing them from breaking free and flying during treatment. A solid, deep watering helps hydrate the plants, preventing them from absorbing too much of the borax. Dip a stiff-bristled broom in the borax solution and scrub the terrace surface. Allow the water to coat the terrace as you proceed from one section to the next. Let the borax solution that remains sit on the terrace for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Substitute with either flour and water or whiting and hydrogen peroxide instead to create stronger solutions. These are basic poultice recipes, which help draw out stains remaining after mold removal. Leave about a 1/4-inch-thick layer that extends slightly past the obvious stain. Scrape the poultice off and rinse the area with a hose and tap water. Do not use power washers or wire-bristled brushes on your stone, as they are harsh to stone surfaces. If the surrounding grass turns yellow, flush with water to help dissolve excess borax in the soil.

Calcium and Efflorescence Removal From Stone Brick Concrete: Houston Austin Dallas Fort Worth TX by

If you’re a property owner whose surfaces are suffering from mold, mildew, and other bacterial and fungal growth, you need to call a professional service for mold and mildew removal today. Mold and mildew isn’t just unpleasant to look at—it can be dangerous for your health and the health of your family, too. The sooner that you remove mold and mildew from your home, the sooner you can guarantee that your family is safe from exposure, and you’re your surfaces aren’t at risk for early decay. Some chemicals can be used on certain stone to remove and kill mildew, while others can cause permanent damage to the same type of stone. Methods to remove mildew and mold spores include a variety of different procedures, ranging from chemical treatments to soda blasting (provided at an additional cost). After mold and mildew have been removed, though, taking preventative measures to ensure that additional mold and mildew don’t make a home on your surfaces is key. Once moisture penetrates the stone’s surface and the first few mold spores begin to grow, it is very difficult to stop the process. Every type of stone is different, requiring a wide range of specific care and maintenance. What’s more, this long-lasting formula will keep your surfaces mold and mildew free for years to come – once it’s been applied, it’s permanent. The longer mold and mildew have to grow, the less of a guarantee that they can be removed entirely. We’ll provide you with a free quote and answers to all of your questions to get started.

How To Get Rid Of and Prevent Mold Growth On Concrete by

Mold growth on concrete due to humidity is typically diffuse and spread across a large area. On it’s own, concrete does not provide a sufficient food source for fungal growth. Of course, even if the concrete is covered in dust, mold will not grow without sufficient moisture. The fungicide will deactivate and kill the mold spores, but staining and discoloration will likely remain. Virtually every surface (wood paneled walls, ceiling, subfloor joists, concrete etc…) was covered with mold growth. Mold growth was observed behind all ceiling panels on car-decking subfloor and ceiling joists. My concrete mold is located on the front corner of step outside. Picture of hard deposits (or growth?) on inside of concrete blocks. Looks a bit like potential masonry cement spill but this doesn’t feel plausible. Insulation in block and drywall had little or no mold evidence. Unfortunately this is not especially helpful, because like almost anywhere in a building, dust quickly accumulates on the surface. The removal process typically requires the use of both a fungicide and physical removal of the mold. No ventilation to basement has trapped humidity and has allowed mold growth to occur on all surfaces. My basement leaked during heavy rain and a towel was left on the floor. Drywall just removed had black mold on the inside of the house surface.

Cleaning Mold Safely by

This simple microscopic organism is mold in the early stage and thrives anywhere there is a moist environment. The spores are then transported by humans, pets and air flow. Dampness and inadequate ventilation are the biggest factors contributing to excessive mold growth. Some areas of your home are always susceptible to mildew & mold growth. If you notice condensation on surfaces (windows, pipes, etc.) or have had previous water damage, watch for mold. Places that are often damp can be hard to keep completely free of mold. Cleaning mold & mildew on natural stone is safe with this product. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. It’s impossible to get rid of all mold but mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Use this mildew stain remover for cleaning mold & mildew and to keep the moisture under control. There are between 50, 000 and 250, 000 different types of fungi. If you clean up the mold, but don’t fix the water problem, the mold problem will probably come back. Increase air flow through your home with fans or by opening doors & windows. Keep an eye and nose on problem spots such as your bathroom or laundry room for moldy odors.

How To Remove Mold + Algae From Pavers Bricks Concrete by

If you have mold growing on concrete driveways, brick walkways or paving stone patios around your home, the first thing to do is to make sure your children and pets do not have access to the area until you can remove the mold. Of course, there is a difference between common molds (like we see on food and sometimes on structures) and the toxic black mold that we hear about on the news. If you have a bit of mold or algae on your exterior surfaces and would like to take care of it yourself, here are some basic algae and mold removal tips to help you get the job done. You want to limit mold spore movement as much as possible so, if possible, expose the area to sunlight to dry out the mold and surface. If you do not have a pressure washer, you can purchase one relatively inexpensiv ely to have on hand for this and future projects. If you are pressure washing paving stone patios, walkways or driveways, you may need to replenish the joint sand between the pavers after cleaning them. Vinegar is a great way to get rid of weeds, so you do not have to worry about overspray getting on weeds, but you do need to make sure you do not spray vinegar on wanted plants and that the vinegar does not run off into a natural grass lawn or flower bed. You will then want to rinse the area well with water. Bleach can have a greater environmental impact and can even change the color on some bricks and pavers, so you will need to test this option in an inconspicuous area before spraying a large space. If you opt for a bleach solution to remove mold or algae, you will need to rinse the area after application. If your hardscape has been stained from the mold or algae, you may need to opt for a mold stain remover. To receive landscaping tips and outdoor entertaining ideas, join our mailing list today. If you think you have toxic black mold growing on your paving stones, concrete or bricks, it is best to bring in mold remediation experts who can safely remove this potential health hazard. When mold is in a damp area and has plenty of moisture, it can more easily send its spores into the air when you start to remove it. It is also possible to dry the area with a fan or heater that is safe for outdoor use. You may also need to use a plastic scraper to address particularly stubborn areas. If this is not the case, pressure washing is often quite effective in removing mold and algae from pavers, bricks or concrete. You can also rent one or hire someone to power wash your surfaces for you. Pressure washing is often all you need to remove mold or algae from hardscapes, but if this does not work, there are other options. If you are going to try this approach to remove mold or algae, first try a mixture of white vinegar and water to spray down the area and kill the mold. After you have sprayed the vinegar solution on the area and allowed it to work its magic for a few minutes, you may need to use a deck brush or scrub brush to address stubborn areas. You will also need to protect nearby plants and grass, and make sure there is no runoff going into a storm drain. If the mold or algae has stained your hardscape, you may need to repeat this process a second or third time to remove the stain. You can opt for a simple patio or deck wash-type of product that is used for general cleaning if your mold or algae problem is mild.

How To Clean Mold and Mildew From Granite and Marble by

If the natural stone surface that you need to remove mold and mildew from is in the bathroom, run the shower at a hot temperature with the door closed to create a steam to loosen the mold/mildew residue. Diluting the borax helps ensure that it is not too strongly alkaline and will help prevent damage to the natural stone surface. Work a section at a time, rinsing with plain water as you go. Apply the solution to the stone surface with a clean, soft sponge. It is basic/alkaline, which makes is a good option for application to natural stone surfaces which tend to be more sensitive to acids. In a clean bucket or large basin, mix 1/2 cup of borax well with water. Use a clean soft sponge to apply the borax mixture to the stained areas using a rubbing motion. Rinse well with water and use a squeegee to wick away extra moisture and avoid over-wetting and pooling that may damage your natural stone surfaces and encourage buildup.


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