Properly Place Decorative Concrete Overlays in Extreme Weather Conditions

TRU PC Floor by National Concrete Polishing

Indoors and out, decorative concrete overlays permanently cover up surface imperfections in existing concrete, giving them any new look imaginable at a much lower cost than removal and replacement.

Today’s cement-based overlays combine polymer resins with cement, sand, acrylics or acrylic blends and other additives to improve performance, wear resistance, beauty and shine. They adhere well to existing concrete and resist damage from salt, chemicals, UV exposure, freeze-thaw conditions and abrasion.

The most popular types of decorative concrete overlays include stamped and stained concrete, and the popularity of other types varies in different areas of the country:

  • Exterior knock-down finishes are popular in the Sunbelt regions
  • Hard-troweled interior microtoppings are popular in metropolitan regions

With many options available, you’re sure to find at least one system that offers the most variety in color and finish while meeting your requirements for durability, appearance, maintenance and cost. Contractors must pay critical attention to adequate surface preparation, the most critical factor to long-term performance. For this reason, they prefer mechanical surface preparation, which does a more thorough job with the same grinding equipment and diamond tooling used for polishing concrete.

How to Concrete for Decorative Overlays in Extreme Weather Conditions

Concrete experts like the Portland Cement Association suggest contractors employ hot weather concreting procedures if the ambient temperature is forecast to exceed 77°F. Hot weather, high wind velocity and low relative humidity force higher concrete temperatures, which in turn increase the water-cementitious materials ratio, resulting in lower strength and reduced durability. Concrete will not only set quicker; the high rate of evaporation can cause early-age shrinkage and cracking before concrete sets. Thermal cracking can occur from rapid temperature changes such as those from a hot day to a cool night.

4 Key Temperatures to Check

  1. Air or Ambient Temperature
  2. Concrete Substrate Temperature
  3. Materials Temperature
  4. Water Temperature

Knowing these temperatures and employing the installation guidelines described below will help ensure the desired results are achieved.

10 Installation Guidelines for Hot Weather Concreting

  1. Store materials in a cool, dry place, rather than on-site underneath a tarp, which can get very warm.
  2. Plan the installation early in the day, when both air and substrate temperatures will be at their lowest.
  3. Substrate temperature is most important. Use a surface thermometer to determine the deployment of hot weather concreting procedures. Tenting or shading the installation area can help control substrate temperature.
  4. Work the materials more quickly and in smaller areas. It is critical to use the right tools, including heavy-duty drills for mixing, to maximize efficiency. Providing sufficient labor will minimize the amount of time required to place and finish the materials.
  5. Make modifications to concrete mixtures. Adding retarders, water reducers, extended set-control admixtures, slag cement or synthetic fibers can reduce slump loss, setting time and plastic shrinkage cracking.
  6. For exterior applications, erect temporary wind breaks to prevent rapid evaporation due to air movement over the surface. Use sunscreens, mist fogging or evaporation retardants.
  7. Chill mix water and store aggregate in a cool, dry place. Blocks or bags of ice in a 55-gallon drum of water will chill the water to increase working time. In the case of a pump installation of a self-leveling material, sections of copper tubing or coiled garden hose packed in a drum of ice will chill the water on its way to the pump, also allowing for a longer working time.
  8. The mixing bucket or barrel must be cleaned before mixing a fresh batch of material. Leftover material on the sides of the mixing bucket or barrel can accelerate the set times of the materials.
  9. Consider using accelerators to expedite finishing operations and avoid plastic shrinkage cracking.
  10. Where possible, halt concrete work until the temperature is more conducive to a successful installation.

Runyon Surface Prep is a full-service stocking distributor for all your concrete prep, polishing, decorative, repair, restoration and maintenance needs. We carry the following:

CTS RAPID SET 50 POUND TRU SELF-LEVELING CEMENT – Use CTS Rapid Set TRU Floor Self-Leveling Cement for high performance floor topping, underlayment and resurfacing projects. TRU Self-Leveling is ideal for projects that require long life and working time. It settles to a light off-white color ideal for stained, dyed or decorative aggregate flooring. Not only can TRU grind, but it can also be used to polish, making it ideal for those shiny decorative floors.

CTS RAPID SET 50 POUND TRU GRAY SELF-LEVELING – Use Rapid Set TRU Gray Self-Leveling when you need a high quality, fast, cement gray topping that can be polished. TRU Gray is a high performance, architectural topping and resurfacer that can be used indoors and outdoors, in wet or dry environments. It is ideal for projects that need long flow life and working time while achieving high early strength. A customized appearance can be achieved by adding decorative aggregate.

CTS RAPID SET 60 POUND TRU PC POLISHED CONCRETE TOPPING – Use Rapid Set TRU PC Polished Concrete Topping when you need your floor ready for foot traffic in 2 to 3 hours. It is a professional grade, hydraulic cement-based, self-leveling topping that can be ground and polished to expose the aggregate and simulate the appearance of polished concrete. TRU PC levels rapidly, maintains workability for up to 20 minutes, produces a dense surface, and has high bond strength. As an interior and exterior product, TRU PC is durable in wet or dry conditions.

Advertisements

The Importance of Surface Prep for Decorative Epoxy Flooring

One of our customers in Florida, Artistic Surfaces, is a prime example for how important it is properly prep your concrete before putting down a coating – whether it be an epoxy, overlay, etc. Below are four different epoxy jobs that their crew completed recently, courtesy of Sam Godbey, the Director of Operations at Artistic. The pictures don’t do them complete justice, but it is very evident surface preparation played a major role, and we were happy to have a part in that.

Charcoal Metallic Floor

This 3,600 square foot charcoal floor is owned by a high profile client. It’s a private residence, used to store the owner’s cars, sports memorabilia, and other appropriately coined “toys”.

Artistic prepped the surface with an HTC 800, Ermator T8600 and 25 grit HTC diamonds. This is a grey epoxy with a combo of Sterling, Onyx and Quick Silver metallic pigments.

Harley Quinn-esque Floor

This blue and pink metallic floor looks like cotton candy. It is located in a residential dressing room. Artistic partnered with Coastal Construction for this job.

They prepped the surface with an HTC 500 and 25 grit HTC diamonds. It’s an epoxy with black pigment base and metallic pigment colors Surfs Up and Merlot.

Black & Aluminum Striped Bar

This black and aluminum striped floor is located in a 5,500 square foot bar called the Escape Lounge. The epoxy was poured with a black base and then the aisles were taped out in a curved design and colored with Aluminum metallic.

An HTC 800 and 25 grit diamonds were used to prep the surface. Artistic also used CTS Rapid Set TRU self-leveling overlay in the back of the bar. The black portion of the epoxy floor was pigmented with Jet Black metallic and the stripes were pigmented with Aluminum metallic.

Intricately Designed Office Floor

Artistic recently re-did their 1,300 square foot office floor. They cut off the old white overlay and transitioned it to an epoxy metallic floor. They kept the same detailed saw-cut design work.

To prep the surface, Artistic used a 60 grit screen and floor buffer. This epoxy floor required a myriad of metallic pigment colors for all the intricate designs: Copper, Butterscotch, Merlot, Mother-of-Pearl, Surfs Up, Rose, Maui and Jet Black.

After putting down the metallics, they used a regular blade and v-blade to re-cut the saw-cut designs. Then they filled the cuts with black grout. And finally, they re-sanded the floor and put down 2 clear coats of epoxy.

About Artistic Surfaces

Artistic Surfaces was founded in 1989 by Harvey Namm after 25 years’ experience in flooring. The Company soon became an award winning flooring contractor in the Florida market installing flooring in stores like; Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Burdines, and Saks 5th Avenue. Luxury hotels, Art Galleries, Airport Terminals, Performing Arts Centers, Sporting Arenas and other venues were added as the years passed.

In the winter of 2009, Artistic Surfaces launched a new division for decorative concrete. This new division will capitalize on the emerging demand for interior and exterior decorative concrete flooring. This new division marked the company’s entry as the area’s most experienced design applicators for decorative concrete concepts.

*All photos and information courtesy of Sam Godbey – Director of Operations at Artistic Surfaces. Reach him at SamG@artisticsurfaces.com.

Spartacote Applicator Inter Tech Offers Texas Motor Speedway High Performance Flooring Built to Last

The Texas Motor Speedway.

There’s a reason they call it the Great American Speedway.
Fastest mile and a half NASCAR track.
24-degree banks on the turns.
1500 acres for you and 190,000 of your closest friends.
Four Cowboy Stadiums fit inside the infield.
Home of Big Hoss TV – the world’s biggest high-def video board.

Everything about the place says “high performance.”

And just in time for NASCAR’s Triple-A Texas 500 Tripleheader Weekend, Texas Motor Speedway partnered with Austin-based Inter Tech Flooring, Laticrete Supercap and SPARTACOTE concrete coatings to bring a whole new, high-performance floor to the garage areas and technical inspection bays.

Inter Tech Flooring’s crew applied SPARTACOTE Resinous Coatings and moisture mitigation to give Texas Speedway participants over 22,000 square feet of Texas pride right inside the commercial garage bays.

It’s the commercial bay garage first floor of its kind at any NASCAR track. Beautiful. Tough. Durable. Professional-grade. Ready for action.

They’ve got a saying out there – No Limits. And with LATICRETE and SPARTACOTE, there’s no limit to flooring design possibilities, nor to what you can accomplish.

With over 40 high-performance cars being worked on, this vast, NASCAR garage will be chock-full of power tools, floor jacks, hot tires and hotter torches that leave abrasive dirt and debris everywhere. Add to that – grinders, solvents, engine fluids and cleaners, and your concrete floor better be ready for some serious punishment.

SPARTACOTE concrete coatings offer commercial-grade garage areas customizable colors and textures, excellent protection against abrasion and chemicals, and fast return to service. This concrete coating system is up to the NASCAR challenge. No Limits.

SPARTACOTE coatings also offer flexibility in line striping for safety areas. Designers required black and yellow zebra stripes for the NASCAR inspection bays, deep cherry red SPARTACOTE metallic coatings in the walkways, and over 90 feet of Texas-size Speedway logos embedded in those cherry-red spaces.

This floor design needs exacting measurements and precision equipment to make sure every line and stripe ends up straight and even.

On the walkways, a base coat of SPARTACOTE black goes down first over the concrete to guarantee an extra-rich, deep cherry metallic top coat.

The stripe design in the NASCAR inspection bay starts with the same solid black Spartacote base coat. A rich yellow mid-coat covers the black base. The end result captivates—right through the door and into the hall.

And to lock-in every stripe, sparkle and letter in place, the SPARTACOTE resinous flooring system is finished with a clear top coat, giving it a spectacular, rock-hard, slip-resistant finish that’s ready for anything the world’s top race car drivers and mechanics can throw at it.

Inter Tech Flooring, LATICRETE SuperCap and SPARTACOTE concrete coatings systems: teaming up to give you the “Official Garage Flooring System of Texas Motor Speedway.”

**This post was originally published on HP Spartacote’s blog**

Inter Tech Flooring
1106 Smith Rd # 100, Austin, TX 78721
Phone: 512-385-4574
info@intertechflooring.com

TRU PC Polish Job by National Concrete Polishing & Grinding

National Concrete Polishing & Grinding out of Richfield, OH just completed a polish job in Madison, WI at the new Under Armour store. The National Polishing crew put down 8,000 square feet of TRU PC, a polishable overlay material from CTS Rapid Set. Check out the results. They polished this floor up to a 1,500 grit.

Rapid Set TRU PC Polished Concrete is a professional grade, hydraulic cement-based, self-leveling topping. It can be ground and polished to expose the aggregate and simulate the appearance of polished concrete. TRU PC levels rapidly, maintains workability for up to 20 minutes, produces a dense surface, and has high bond strength. TRU PC is ready for foot traffic in 2 to 3 hours. As an interior product, TRU PC is durable in wet and dry conditions.

National Concrete Polishing & Grinding Inc. uses the latest technology in polishing equipment and dust control systems, coupled with the highest quality diamond tooling to ensure they are meeting and exceeding their clients’ expectations. Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty are the life blood to National’s success, working closely with world class companies who entrust them to help improve their image. National also takes great pride in their image and reputation for running a clean, crisp operation, with uniformed employees, and logoed trucks.

Exposed Aggregate, Polished Garage by Paul Rogers Group

Paul Rogers out of Michigan just did a gorgeous exposed aggregate polish on this garage floor. See how well it turned out and the machines, tooling and chemicals he used below…

Machines Used:
The Process:
  1. 40 grit HTC metal bond (with adapter plates)
  2. 80 grit HTC metal bond
  3. 150 grit HTC metal bond (for applying GM3000)
  4. 100 grit Husqvarna transitional copper bond
  5. Ameripolish 3DHS densifier
  6. 200 grit Husqvarna transitional copper bond
  7. 400 grit resin
  8. 800 grit resin
  9. 1500 grit resin

For more information on how to properly polish with Husqvarna tooling, check out this infographic. If you have any additional questions about these products or the process, please let us know. You can contact us here.

Successful H.I.S. Concrete Polishing Job by Kent Companies

Kent Companies out of Michigan just completed a polish job at an H.I.S. facility. To prep the surface, the first step was removing mastic from the floor. The Kent crew used HTC metal bond diamonds to do this. Then they used Metzger/McGuire Rapid Refloor and L&M Durafloor TGA for patching and repair work. During this construction process, Duracover protected the substrate. The crew ran Ermator vacuums and HTC tooling under HTC grinders.

 

About Kent Companies

Kent Companies, Inc. is a full-service concrete construction firm with 55 years of experience in all aspects of commercial concrete applications.  As a 3rd generation family-owned business, they are deeply invested in the communities in which they operate.

Gorgeous Middle School Polish Job by Applied Flooring

Applied Flooring just completed a gorgeous polished concrete flooring job in Dearborn, MI at Woodworth Middle School. See the finished floor below…

 

The Applied Flooring crew wet cut with HTC metals and STI terrazzo pads. Then they polished the floor with STI FL-07 pads, densified, stained the floor with Ameripolish classic dye, guarded the floor with Prosoco LSGuard and burnished with STI Spin-1 pads.

About Applied Flooring

Applied Flooring, Inc. has been repairing concrete floors since the early 1970s. The company thrives on developing long-term relationships with repeat customers. The epoxy flooring profession has seen tremendous advancements over the last 50 years and Applied Flooring has always been at the leading edge of the industry. Applied Flooring’s knowledge in concrete resurfacing is extensive with qualified technicians and well-trained applicators.