Exproperti.com – When you’re considering the installation of a new driveway, patio, or pool deck, you’ll need to consider the thickness of the concrete. Most residential driveways can use a four-inch thickness, while garage floors need six to eight-inch slabs. Exterior concrete also needs a firm subsoil. Proper planning and proper timing are essential for an efficient concrete installation. Here are a few tips for successful exterior concrete installation.
Important to Get a Quality Concrete Mix
Before you begin any concrete project, it’s important to get the correct quality concrete mix. The slump of exterior residential concrete slabs should not exceed four inches. Anything more than that is too wet and will increase the amount of time needed to complete the project. For this reason, it’s important to use water-reducing admixtures and avoid excessively high slump. Air entrainment should be five to seven percent for exterior concrete.
When painting exterior concrete, you must use high-quality paint. Low-quality paint may break down easily with rain or snow. In addition, painting a concrete surface with interior paint increases the chance of unsightly cracks and chips. If you’re painting your home’s exterior, consider applying an exterior epoxy to reduce the number of touch-ups and repairs you need to make. However, you should keep in mind that an exterior epoxy doesn’t last forever.
For buildings, the provisions of this section apply to exterior concrete walls. These buildings must be 60 feet (1828 mm) in plan dimensions, 32 feet (9754 mm) in clear span, and 40 feet (12192 mm) in mean roof height. They must not be taller than two stories, and their ceiling/ceiling dead load shall be not more than 15 pounds per square foot (718 Pa).
Tips for Caring for Exterior Concrete
In addition to being sturdy, exterior concrete needs to be protected from the hot sun, high winds, and freezing temperatures. Proper sealing will help to ensure the long-term performance of the building. If you don’t have time to wait for a coating to be applied, it will likely deteriorate. If it does, it will require further repairs. However, this cost can be justified by the reduced risk of the repair. While it might be tempting to wait, you’re better off investing in a concrete repair that will last for years.
Glossy concrete paint will enhance the look of the concrete and hide scratches. It also tends to be slippery and may pose a tripping hazard. You can choose from interior and exterior versions of the paint. These finishes are available in many colors and textures. Unlike wood-framed construction, exterior concrete paint tends to be an indoor-outdoor option. The type of finish you choose should be appropriate for the climate where you live.
Before painting, make sure that the concrete is dry. Paint bubbles may occur if the concrete is still moist. It needs to dry for the paint to adhere. To check whether it is dry, place a piece of foil on the concrete. Seal it using tape. If no condensation occurs, the concrete is dry enough for painting. High alkaline levels may prevent the paint from sticking. The pH level should be between nine and ten.
The process of applying an overlay to concrete varies depending on the location. Indoor concrete is prepared with a grinder and a vacuum. The dust and residue from the grinder are removed, preparing the surface for the texture overlay. Outdoor concrete needs to be etched with acid to create a porous surface that is not slippery when wet. The process of finishing is similar to indoor concrete except that it’s exposed to wide temperature differences. Once the surface is properly prepared, the concrete can be painted, stained, or textured.
Various Types of Acid Stains
Various types of acid stains are available to enhance the look of exterior concrete. These stains contain chemical agents that react with the concrete surface and create a translucent color. However, they are not as durable as acid stains. Afterwards, they must be sealed to protect the stain. Unlike acid stains, water-based stains are safe to use on exterior concrete. They are also available in a wide variety of colors.
Professionals recommend hiring an expert for concrete repair. This can be a complex process. For instance, the process of repairing a concrete driveway is not something you can do in one day. You’ll need to wait for various stages of the concrete-painting process to dry. In addition, you’ll need to store outdoor furniture and find an alternative parking spot. This process may require several weeks to complete. So, hiring an experienced contractor to apply the coating will help you avoid problems.