acid stain concrete

How to acid stain concrete?

Who knew concrete could be used to create decorative flooring? Concrete is traditionally used as a base material on which different colored tiles are laid for a better finish. But now concrete that is laid can become a decorative choice of flooring structure. This process can be done by staining the laid concrete with acids that react with the concrete creating vivid patterns. The newly formed patterned flooring is then glossed with a protective coat that reduces damage possibilities. This entire process of achieving decorative concrete floorings is called stained concrete.

Decorative concrete has limitless design options that can’t be achieved with other floor finishes. Acid stain concrete flooring can be customized to fit any interior decor.

Every concrete surface reacts differently forming unique patterns and color options. The reaction depends on the application of these residential decorative concretes. The regular gray appearance of concrete is transformed into a beautiful creation, mimicking wood, slate, brick and different hues by using different materials along with a decorative coating. Here’s how you can acid stain concrete.

Surface Preparation

Whether you are staining new or old concrete, thorough surface preparation is essential. Unlike paints and coatings, which are opaque and can mask many evils, acid stains are translucent. Any residue remaining on the surface of the concrete is likely to be visible through the newly applied stain. When you prepare the surface properly, you will have an attractive finish.

Stain Application

Follow these steps for stain application.

  • Mask off areas to protect from staining like door frames, walls, etc.
  • Dilute stain with water to the desired ratio
  • Spray or brush on the first coat. Popular sprayers include airless sprayers, HVLP sprayers, production guns, pump sprayers or even a trigger spray bottle. A brush or sponge may be used for cases that require precise control of the stain application.
  • Let the newly applied stain dry. The dry time will vary based on temperature, humidity, and air flow. In optimum conditions, the concrete will be dried in 15-20 minutes; however, the total cure time is 24 hours.
  • Repeat if more color intensity is desired. Most stain manufacturers recommend waiting a few hours between applications.

Clean Up and Neutralize the Stain

Once the stain has been applied, cleanup is required. Here is a standard cleanup process:

  • Rinsing the concrete with clean water until the water runs clear.
  • Neutralizing the stain with trisodium phosphate (T.S.P.), baking soda or ammonia. This is only necessary if you are using an
  • acid stain, water-based stains do not require neutralization.
  • Using a soft bristled brush or broom to loosen any stubborn residue before the final rinsing.

Sealing the Concrete with Protective Coat

The sealer or protective coat is applied after the stained concrete is left to dry overnight or longer. It is recommended to apply two coats of sealer for optimum durability. In addition to the sealer, a floor finish or wax can be applied for extra protection against scuffs and scratches.

Residential decorative concrete is applicable to walkways, patios, family room floors, kitchen countertops, and even vertical surfaces like walls or fireplaces. Therefore, if you want acid stain concrete, get in touch with a professional company that provides residential decorative concrete services.

prevent potholes

How to prevent potholes

Potholes can be caused when water accumulates on the road surface and then seep into the road surface due to cracks. A road can also develop cracks when a road construction company makes mistakes in the process of constructing them. These mistakes include adding an incorrect proportion of the mixture, not providing sufficient time for the road to dry, and using low quality of raw materials. When your road has multiple potholes, it can lead to accidents, and unwanted damages to the vehicles passing by. Therefore, to prevent any unfortunate incidents, here’s how you can prevent potholes.

Seal coating cracks

If your road has developed cracks, you can opt to seal coat it to avoid potholes. When you seal coat a road, you prevent water or oil from seeping through road surfaces. There are three different types of seal coats that are available. They are made up of tar, asphalt, and petroleum.

Patching

If there are too many cracks appearing on road surface, then you may have to replace the entire patch of road. Patching or replacing can be a useful way to avoid massive potholes. In this process, a road construction company removes the damaged patch of the road and constructs a new road. This process of repairing a road or pavement can be extremely beneficial in preventing potholes and increasing the life of roads.

Regular maintenance

This is one of the best ways to avoid potholes. By regular maintenance, we mean that the road should be cleaned regularly. Cleaning helps to get rid of all the oil, water, and other elements that can damage roads. Regular maintenance of roads can increase the lifespan of roads.

Constructing roads from an expert

Getting a road constructed by an expert and experienced company can help you prevent potholes immediately after construction. An experienced firm understands the quality of raw materials that need to be used, the correct procedure to construct roads and other factors that can help you prevent potholes. Some firms even provide regular road maintenance services. Therefore, to have good quality roads, get in touch with a road construction company.

If you do not take precautions to prevent potholes, it can lead to expensive repairs in the future. Therefore, to avoid large expenditures, make sure you follow the above-mentioned tips to prevent potholes. For more information on how to prevent potholes for your asphalt or concrete roads, contact a professional and experienced road construction company.

paving companies

Things to consider before installing decorative concrete designs

What all do you would consider if you wished to install a decorative concrete pavement or driveway? Do you only consider the services provided and equipment used by various paving companies? If yes, you are making a mistake. To ensure that your decorative concrete surface looks appealing for decades and doesn’t require frequent repairs, you must consider the following things as well.

DIY or Take Professional Assistance

The process of installing stamped or decorative concrete is quite simple. You can, in most cases, manage to do it on your own. However, it is always better to hire professional assistance for accurate installation and design precision. Professionals know the right technique to install any type of concrete surfaces and they also have high-end tools to complete the process in less time. So, depending on the size of your lot and how intricate the detailing you wish to have on your concrete surface, you can decide whether you want to install it or hire one of the paving companies.

Designs Available

If you do your research, you will find that endless stamping options are available in the market. This means that you have a wide range of decorative concrete surface designs to choose from. Do your bit of research, compare various designs and patterns, narrow down your options, and then decide which design would enhance the aesthetics of your property. Accordingly, select a paving company if you opted for professional assistance. Some decorative concrete pavers are more creative than others. So, compare various paving companies and then select a company that can provide you with your desired concrete design.

Coloring Technique

While selecting the color of your pavement or driveway, you might only consider the right shade so that it matches with the theme of your house. But you must also consider the coloring technique so that you can suggest the paving companies. There are two methods of coloring concrete surfaces – integral coloring and broadcast method. In the integral method, the liquid or powder color is mixed into the cement mixture before pouring the paste in place. Whereas in the broadcast method, a dry-shake color hardener powder is directly applied to the freshly poured concrete surface. Color hardener then penetrates the top of the concrete slab 1/8″.

Type of Decorative Concrete

There are thousands of blends of concrete available to consumers for residential use. The most common type of mix used for driveways, walkways, patio, parking lots, etc. is known as ready-mix. For the concrete patio, porch, deck, walkways, and other external spaces, a mixture of 4 inches in thickness is the usual requirement. The 4-inch layer of the standard slab concrete is recommended for both garage floors and driveways. Stamping can be done over this layer of basic concrete.

When you hire one of the reliable paving companies, they will help you make the right choice. Therefore, do your research, ask your friends who got paving services done, consider online reviews, and only then select a reliable company.

Decorative concrete mistakes you must avoid

Decorative Concrete Mistakes You Must Avoid

The growing trend noticed these days is the rise in the use of decorative concrete services in Edmonton by many residents. Decorative concrete is used not only for home exteriors but also home interiors. The reason for this sudden increase in demand is the level of aesthetic appeal that decorative concrete gives to the floor. Decorative concrete comes in different colors and designs, which makes an appealing addition to your construction or homes. While decorative concrete is appealing, there are certain mistakes that can spoil its appeal. Some of them are listed below.

Water Errors

The base of a good decorative concrete depends on how well you make the mixture. If you add too much of water, the surface will become porous with the color having a bleached effect. Excess water in the mixture can also lead to cracks on the surface in cold weathers. Apart from that, even a light cleaning session might cause scratches and leave a mark of discoloration.

Stamping Errors

Stamping is a crucial process in decorative concrete. This process includes the use of rubber stamps to create patterns on the concrete. When stamping is done on the concrete, the contractor has to be really careful. If the correct amount of pressure is not applied on all sides, the pattern can form unevenly. Also, when scrubbing the roller across the stamp, do it evenly.

Coloring Errors

When mixing color in the concrete mix, you need to be careful. Make sure you mix the color evenly or else the pigment will look uneven. Also, when you are applying the color coat make sure it is even. Spread the pigment in each section and keep a measure of how much pigment you have used in each section.

Sealant Errors

In every concrete job, sealing the concrete after completion is an essential process. The process of sealing the concrete is done using a special type of sealant. If you apply a very thick coat of sealant, it will cause a buildup on your decorative concrete and cause the concrete to look whitish. Sometimes it also makes the concrete slippery. On the other hand, if you apply less sealant, the concrete will not be well protected, and the pigment of the concrete will become dull eventually. Also, damages will appear sooner on the surface.

Avoiding these common mistakes will ensure that you get the best decorative concrete. Apart from these, the biggest mistake would be to create your own decorative concrete without the help of experts. Projects like these require expertise, so do not try it on your own and contact your nearest decorative concrete services in Edmonton.

Paving Services

5 Decorative Concrete Ideas For Your School Property

If you’re planning to renovate the paved surfaces of your commercial property or school, in addition to durability and safety, you also want your concrete pavings to be aesthetically pleasing. A visually appealing pavement on your driveway or lobbies will make a better impression on your visitors. When it comes to decorative ideas, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination, and the skill and experience of your paving services company. Following are five decorative concrete ideas to get you started:

Stamping

Stamped concrete patterns can give your paved surface a neat yet unique look by emulating the textures of different types of materials. Plain concrete surfaces are layered with stamped overlays in any pattern as per your preference. The pattern can be uniformly stamped all over your paved area to give it a consistent texture throughout your property. Stamped surfaces can also be textured to provide better grip and prevent sliding due to extreme smoothness. This can be especially useful in schools where there is a higher likelihood of kids slipping and injuring themselves.

Coloring

Concrete surfaces can be colored in more than one way.  A simple method is to paint the surface,  just like any other surface. This allows you to create as elaborate or as intricate designs on your paved concrete surfaces as you want. Another common coloring method is to dye it using a mixture of a solvent and color which penetrates the concrete surface, giving it the desired color. A painted texture or design may fade as the color only makes up the top layer of the paving. A dyed concrete surface which has absorbed the color beyond its surface holds the color even after the outermost surface has worn off with time.

Polishing

If you want a smooth and shiny finish on your paved surface, you should invest in a polished concrete pavement. The surface of a concrete pavement can be made smooth with the use of a grinder. You can polish surfaces to give a luxurious yet friendly look to your school’s entrance lobbies, reception areas, and other areas frequented by external visitors.

Engraving

You can get extremely unique and stunning patterns on your paved surfaces by engraving. Just like painting, there is virtually no limit to what you can engrave on your school pavings. Engraving is done using special tools by skilled paving services professionals to give you any pattern you desire. You can also engrave your school’s logo or name onto the paved surface to truly make the design unique.

Acid-staining

Acid-staining is another way of making your concrete pavements decorative and uniquely appealing. The process is similar to dying except that the color and solvent mixture is replaced by strong acids that penetrate the concrete to stain it and give a slightly glossy, marble-like texture.

These are just a few ideas to get you started on your pavement decoration. You can use different types of decorating for different areas on your school property. Irrespective of your plan, make sure you hire experienced paving services professionals who are skilled in making decorative concrete pavements.

Stamped Concrete

Stamped Concrete: Pros and Cons

With so many available options, deciding on a material for the interiors, driveways or patios can be a daunting task. You would want something that is aesthetically pleasing, yet cost-effective and durable. Decorative concrete has gained wide popularity because of its aesthetically appealing appearance. Stamped concrete, a type of decorative concrete, can be produced to mimic different material patterns and designs at an affordable rate. This makes stamped concrete a popular choice among home and business owners. However, everything comes with a set of pros and cons. So before you decide you must consider these points.

Advantages

Limitless Possibilities and Aesthetics

One of the major advantages of stamped concrete is that it offers a wide variety of possibilities to choose from for your landscape. Stamped concrete comes in a variety of colors, patterns, and textures. It can be produced to mimic nearly any surface including marble, stone, brick, wood plank, interlocked pavers, and more. You can also choose from a mix of colors to create an interesting combination for your landscape. Stamped concrete makes an excellent choice for those looking to add a decorative touch to their residence or workplace.

Ease of Installation

Another benefit offered by stamped concrete is the ease of installation. The installation procedure is less labor intensive as compared to other materials like pavers. Installing stamped concrete is a matter of mixing, pouring and stamping. If done using the right mix and technique, stamped concrete can last long.

Low-Maintenance

Stamped surface comes with the benefit of low-maintenance. Most patterns like the wooden plank, marble or tile would do without annual refinishing or sealing. This makes the material time saving and cost-effective. However, you must make sure to clean it regularly for retaining its appealing appearance.

Disadvantages

Durability

While the material is durable, this nature of stamped concrete may turn into a potential disadvantage in some situations. It is crucial to consider where you install stamped concrete. This material is prone to cracks and scratches below heavy load and extreme temperatures. It best works in mild, Mediterranean temperatures. The expansion and contraction cycle in harsh temperatures may cause the surface to crack. Moreover, it is a poor choice for areas with heavy traffic. While you cannot control cracking, scratches can be avoided by preventing the use of scratch causing materials and proper maintenance.

Problems with Installation

While the decorative material offers ease of installation, if not done right it can turn into a drawback. Concrete is a mix of water and cement powder. If the concentration of water is high, the risk of rough edges and poor finish prevails, which might lead to a weak pavement. However, if the mixture is too dry it might result in bulging and premature cracking.

Whether to install a stamped concrete or not is a matter of choice. Considering these pros and cons shall help you make the best choice that suits your budget and requirements. However, if you choose to go with a stamped concrete, it is best to leave the job to a paving professional for the best finish.

Concrete Pumping Companies in Edmonton

Concrete Pumping 101

Concrete pumping is an effective way of transporting concrete to areas which are not physically accessible by a standard concrete truck. Since prior to paving concrete acts as a liquid, large volumes of it can be pumped to certain locations such as high-rise buildings or extremely narrow roads through which trucks cannot pass easily. For a better understanding of the process, one of the most reliable concrete pumping companies in Edmonton presents a few FAQs:

1) What are the Types of Equipment used for Concrete Pumping?

     There are two types of pumps used by concrete pumping companies in Edmonton:

  • Direct acting piston pumps – It consists of semi-rotary valves which allow the passage of the largest aggregate particles. This type can cover a horizontal distance of 1000 meters and a vertical distance of about 120 meters. The valves open and close alternately with pauses so that the concrete moves in a series of impulses and reaches the destination.

  • Squeeze pumps –  Also called peristaltic pumps, they are the ones used for vacuum pumping. They have restricted range as compared to the first type. They can span a distance of 90m and 30m horizontally and vertically. They also have lesser pumping capacity than the direct acting pump.

2) What are the Prerequisites for Concrete Pumping?

One must ensure that the pipe diameter used for transferring concrete must be at least three times the largest aggregate size. The concrete mixture should not be too dry, wet or sticky. High cement content in concrete is recommended for efficient pumping. Aluminium pipes should be avoided as they react with the alkalies present in the cement, liberating hydrogen gas. This causes gas porosity, i.e., the creation of vacancies or voids which reduces the efficiency of pumping.

3) How does the Presence of Admixtures Affect Pumping?

Concrete contains certain ingredients other than cement and water that enhances the pumping process. Accelerators like calcium are added to increase the pumping rate and harden the concrete. Retarders may be used if the environment is warm as they delay the set time of concrete.

4) How does the Outside Weather Influence Pumping Rate?

Concrete is temperature sensitive, which means the surrounding weather plays a pivotal role in determining the rate of concrete pumping. Hot weather increases the demand for water in concrete and causes slump loss. Cold weather decreases the strength and durability of the finished concrete. Both hot and cold weather is detrimental to the finished concrete and hence a moderate temperature is required for operation.

5) Does the Pump Require Maintenance?

Yes. To be able to preserve pumps for long periods careful maintenance is required. It depends on several factors such as the simplicity of the valve design, the number of components in the pump and its wear parts. The pump lasts longer if it is made of durable materials like hard-chrome plated or forged steel pistons. Use lubrication for greasing rusted parts and to ensure optimal life.

6) What are the Safety Precautionary Measures to Follow?

Being careless during the concrete pumping process can lead to fatal accidents. To avoid any mishaps, it is advised to keep these precautions in mind:

  • Do not open a joining that is under pressure

  • Do not stand in the face of an open-end discharge

  • Avoid climbing on hydraulic systems to clean a choked pump line.

Due to the complexity involved in the pumping process and the risks associated with it, it is recommended to approach reputable concrete companies in Edmonton to get the job done. If you feel the need for paving your commercial or residential space with concrete, do get in touch with our pavement experts at Blacktop Paving Inc. With our trustworthy professionals and affordable prices, we offer the most sought-after concrete solutions.

Concrete Companies in Edmonton

Five Advantages of Decorative Concrete in Commercial Settings

Concrete is a composite material that has been used for infrastructural and commercial purposes, since a very long time. Second only to naturally occurring water in terms of usage, concrete is widely used for making architectural structures, brick walls, pavements, dams, and bridges. Most concrete companies in Edmonton favor the use of decorative concrete in commercial settings as well. Here are a few advantages of decorative concrete that explain its popular usage in commercial settings:

1. Ease of Design

Design options available with decorative concrete are highly varied. Modern advances in concrete mixing and related technology have also opened options for variations in color and texture of this pavement material. Dyes, staining agents and other enhancing pigments may be added to the concrete and consequently, a smooth and fine or a rough and coarse installation may be obtained. With the right stain and pattern, concrete can be made to resemble a highly polished natural stone.

2. Durability and Longevity

Concrete is a strong and durable pavement material. Not only is it resistant to corrosion and fire, but can also withstand large amounts of pressure without fracturing. This also makes the surface resistant to cracks and potholes. Thus, if you want a material that is unaffected by harsh weather, dust, and the outside environment, decorative concrete is a perfect choice.

3. Installation and Maintenance Costs

With the help of an experienced contractor, the logistics of handling concrete pavements are relatively easy to manage. The need for regular polishing, coating or etching required is quite low. Even the spills and the debris can be easily cleaned with soap and water. Thus, the low maintenance costs and installation costs due to economical raw materials give concrete an edge over other materials used for pavement in commercial settings.

4. Environment-friendliness

The pavement of decorative concrete does not leave behind a carbon residue like other materials. Nor does it cause the depletion of resources. Also, the production of concrete does not require the cutting down of trees, thus substantially reducing the amount of Volatile Organic Compounds produced. Moreover, concrete is one of the rare composite materials that are recyclable, which means, even after its use, it can be fragmented down to tinier pieces which find some or the other use in residential construction products.

5. Versatility

All structures that come in close contact with water on a regular basis (such as dams, waterfalls, and pipes), concrete is the right material of choice. The many variations in the constituent materials of concrete make it adaptable to numerous purposes. Concrete is used extensively in the following industries :

  • Retail

  • Hospitality

  • Infrastructure

These are just a handful of reasons why concrete companies in Edmonton prefer decorative concrete for their clients. If you feel the need for paving your commercial space with concrete, do get in touch with our pavement experts at Blacktop Paving Inc. With our trustworthy professionals and affordable prices, we offer the best and most sought-after concrete solutions.

Why Choose Decorative Concrete For Your Home?

In today’s world, acid staining, stamped concrete and exposed aggregate are commonly used techniques to decorate concrete. Stamped decorative concrete in Edmonton, especially in the greater Edmonton area has become very popular. But what’s so great about using decorative concrete? Why should you choose decorative concrete for your home? Well, the benefits of using decorative concrete are many. Some of them are listed as follows.

Decorative Concrete in Edmonton

Variety of Surface Texture

One of the benefits of using decorative concrete is because of the unlimited variety of surface texture for your homes. You can choose from troweled, smooth or polished surfaces. Moreover, the concrete can be stamped to create a tiled pattern. Since the stamped concrete is a textured surface, it prevents you from slipping as well.

Eco-friendly

Decorative concrete is eco-friendly in nature. It does not result in depletion of natural and requires less energy to produce them. Additionally, decorative concrete restraints mold, odors or mildew and therefore, keeps the indoor air quality in good condition. Also, it is able to absorb both warm and cool air and hence, you do not require any heating or cooling for your homes. Lastly, if you want to replace your decorative concrete, you can recycle it as well.

Decorative Concrete Edmonton

Durability

Another advantage of using decorative concrete for your house is because it is durable in nature. It does not develop any crack easily and is stain resistant. Also, they are not prone to any scratches. Thus, your home flooring remains in good condition. Even if there is a small crack that develops, it is difficult to see as these cracks blend with the pattern. So you do not have to worry if the crack is going to affect the artistic view of your home floorings or paving.

Affordable

The cost of installing decorative concrete is on the low side. Moreover, it does not require a high maintenance to keep it in good condition. As decorative concrete is durable in nature, you do not have to worry about maintaining it as it will last for a good number of years. When it comes to cleaning them, you do not require expensive cleaning materials. As they are resistant to stains, you can easily remove any stain by water.

Customized Design

Since there are multiple colors, designs, and patterns to choose from, you can customize the decorative concrete as per your preference that suits your home. You can choose your own acid etch, stamped pattern, the plethora of colors or any polished look. This is not possible when it comes to floor covering.

Decorative concrete is not only limited to your homes. It can also be used for driveway, sidewalk, patio or even on pads. Decorative concrete indeed has many benefits and they also make your homes look attractive as well. They help in adding to the overall beauty of the house and all of this at an affordable price. So, if you want decorative concrete in Edmonton for commercial or residential purposes, then get in touch with a professional paver.

Decorative Concrete Edmonton

Busting The Myths Regarding The Use Of Decorative Concrete

Myths are practices and beliefs which have gained wide acceptance because a large number of people believe in them. Most of us have been victim to these kinds of false practices at some point or another. Today, we are going to explore some common misbeliefs associated with the use of decorative concrete. Our aim is to address a few select myths regarding the pavement of decorative concrete Edmonton and debunk them to give you a fresh perspective for this material. Here are a few misconceptions that most people have about decorative concrete:

Myth 1: Decorative Overlays are Primarily used to hide Cracks and other Imperfections

Decorative overlays are extremely thin. They are only as good as the surface they are covering. With a mere thickness of ¼ inches, decorative overlays are no substitute for proper repair products, crack-suppression systems, crack fillers and primers. Decorative overlays are not designed with the aim of hiding cracks and blemishes on the surface.

Myth 2: Acid is a Good Cleaning Agent for your Decorative Concrete

Many people consider hydrochloric or muriatic acid as a good cleaning agent for decorative concrete. And even though concrete surfaces can survive harsh external conditions, using hydrochloric acid on your pavement does more harm than good. Using acid to clean your driveway will not only damage its surface but can also lead to expensive repairs. The best way to clean your concrete pavement is with the traditional use of soap and water. In the case of difficult stains which cannot be removed manually, it is recommended to contact a skilled pavement contractor for the same.

Myth 3: Sealers can be Applied Like Paint

Many people mistake sealers as paint. The primary function of a sealer is to secure the cracks on your concrete surface and provide an extra layer of protection. This substance is paper thin and hence needs to be used judiciously as and when required. When substituted for paint, the use of sealant damages your surface. The best way to understand how to use sealers is by consulting a professional. They can advise you regarding the method and frequency of use of the sealant.

If you are on the lookout for a reputed paving company to repair or repave your decorative concrete in Edmonton, get in touch with our experts today.