Installing a decorative concrete finish is not quite as simple as just applying cool finishes to the surface. Before you apply any type of decorative concrete finish, it’s important to make sure that the concrete slab is properly prepared and then protected – this is the only way to avoid possible problems that may arise later.
Tips for Protecting Concrete Slabs
The steps taken to prepare and protect a concrete slab prior to decorative concrete finishing are referred to as “surface preparation” steps. The first step in surface preparation is to clean the existing slab. If there is a buildup of dirt, grease, or paint on the concrete slab, then the decorative concrete finish might not adhere properly. If the finish doesn’t adhere, you could end up with a variety of problems, including delamination, and unsightly markings or stains showing through the finish.
After applying the decorative finish, you then need to think about what kind of sealer you are going to use. Water-based acrylic sealers are very easy to apply, and they offer UV protection – this makes them popular for outdoor concrete surfaces. Epoxy sealers are a little more heavy-duty, although the application methods are a little trickier. Urethane sealers are the most durable, but usually require an epoxy base coat or primer.
No matter which kind of sealer you choose, making sure that the concrete and decorative finish are properly dried and cured before you seal is important. Different thicknesses of concrete require different drying times, and some products can help ensure an even cure. Physical barriers can also be used to protect a concrete slab as it dries before applying the finish.
Because the work to protect a concrete slab for decorative concrete finishes is a tricky task, you should count on the professionals at Specialty Concrete Services. We guarantee that your project will be completed to your satisfaction. Call today or visit our website for more information.