Are Outdoor Concrete Sealers Really Necessary?

Outdoor Concrete Sealer on DeckIf you have done any research on concrete, you have probably noticed that experts recommend using outdoor concrete sealers. Now, you want to know if a sealer is really worthwhile or just something that professional pool builders and installers push to customers as a way of making more money.

Outdoor concrete sealers are not only worthwhile but necessary. Experts who recommend having a concrete surface sealed are doing their customers a big favor. Without this extra layer of protection, concrete will absorb moisture and may begin to crack, spall, flake, and discolor, among other things. In fact, there is a good chance that an unsealed concrete surface will fail prematurely.

Remember, outdoor concrete gets subjected to harsh elements, including wind, rain, snow, dirt, pool chlorine, saltwater (if you live near the ocean), and more. Regardless if you have decorative concrete installed on a pool deck, patio floor, outside patio countertops, walkway, driveway, or some other surface, a high-quality sealer, like SunClear EcoProtect or SunClear UltraProtect, is essential. After having a sealer applied initially, an expert will need to reapply it every few years for continued protection.

Technologically advanced sealers preserve the efficacy and strength of concrete installed outdoors. When properly sealed, outdoor concrete has the potential of being one of the longest lasting materials associated with your home. Especially when applied to pool decks, outdoor concrete sealers dramatically reduce the risk of damage caused by water and chemicals.

There are several types of outdoor concrete sealers to consider. For instance, chemically reactive sealers penetrate concrete, and for that reason, they are almost invisible. However, a solvent-based acrylic resin sealer formulated with a color enhancer produces a high-gloss look.

You might also be interested in a water-based acrylic resin. With a moderate color enhancer added, the surface has a beautiful satin finish. Urethane is another option that comes in many different finishes based on your personal preference.

How to Properly Take Care of a Pool Deck Coating

Well maintained pool deck coating

Well maintained pool deck coating

When deciding on a pool deck coating, you need to factor in several things, including the type, product, color, texture, pattern, and overall care. While some coatings require a lot of maintenance, others like the Classic Texture splatter knockdown finish do not.

Not only is this one of the easiest pool deck coatings to maintain, it also offers numerous benefits not found with other finishes. For example, Classic Texture has a nonslip surface, which significantly reduces the risk of injury. This coating is also comfortable to walk on with bare feet, is available in many different textures, is resistant to UV damage, and comes in beautiful colors to enhance your entire backyard space.

As for maintenance, you will not spend much time or effort to keep the pool deck in pristine condition. About once or twice a week, you would use an ordinary broom or dry mop to remove any dust, debris, or grass clippings. If you notice dirty areas, wet spraying with a hose is the only requirement.

Although this is one of several top pool deck coatings that are chemical and moisture resistant, the experts recommend that you clean up any chemical spills as quickly as you can. For stubborn spots, you can use a commercial cleaner, but make sure it is nonabrasive and formulated for this surface.

SunSplash is another exceptional product that offers the same benefits. What makes this choice so great is that it is virtually maintenance-free. Just as before, all you need to do is sweep and hose off as needed. However, this product offers similar benefits to Classic Texture, for instance, a professional installer can modify its look using score line cuts, and aggregate effects. Also, because of its properties, this is one of the best skid-resistant pool deck coatings as well.

Any pool deck coating may require re-coating after a few years of use to maintain it’s original splendor.  For more information visit Pool deck coating maintenance.  

How Are Surfaces Prepared for the Application of Concrete Overlays?

Preparing for a Concrete Overlay

Preparing for a Concrete Overlay

If you are interested in having a concrete overlay applied to an indoor or outdoor surface at your home, there are two critical factors. First, you need to choose a top product, something like SunStone, Tuscan, or SunSamp. Second, to enjoy the beauty and functionality of the overlay, surface preparation is imperative. Otherwise, even the best concrete overlays will not adhere properly.

When looking at the different steps involved with laying concrete overlays, proper surface preparation is by far the most critical. In the past, installers relied on power washing, acid etching, or chemical cleaners to grind the surface down. Today, reputable professionals also can use diamond pads or diamond cup wheels. What it comes down to is that the surface must be thoroughly prepared, which still involves power washing in some cases.

Before placing concrete overlays, an installer will look for any obvious grease spots, paint stains, oil slicks, or anything else that would prevent firm overlay adhesion. Known as “bond breakers,” these substances are removed using a chemical or mechanical solution. While chemicals strip these elements off without profiling the surface, mechanical methods involve things like bead blasting and grinding.

In addition to visible bond breakers, installers perform a quick and easy water test to identify anything not seen by the naked eye. This test involves pouring a small amount of water on the surface and then watching for the formation of beads or standing water. Both of these indicate the existence of invisible bond breakers. Again, a chemical or mechanical process is used to eliminate the substances.

As part of preparing the surface for concrete overlays, the best installers also pay close attention to moisture control. If moisture is emitting through the surface, the concrete may ultimately fail. Also, any imperfections are corrected, including pits, cracks, spalling, and so on. The goal is to end up with a surface that is level, clean, and void of imperfections so that the overlay adheres perfectly.

If you are interested in having a decorative overlay applied to an indoor or outdoor surface as part of new construction, it is common for installers to place a rough base slab of concrete so that they do not have to worry about protecting the surface during build-out. After the general construction phase is complete, the installer can then start on the detail work by applying concrete overlays to create the finished decorative surface as requested by the homeowner.

How to Give Your Concrete Pool Deck a Much-Needed Facelift in Time for Summer

Concrete Pool Deck

Concrete Pool Deck

Although summer has arrived, it is not too late to upgrade the appearance and functionality of your concrete pool deck. If your pool area has started to show signs of wear and tear or if it is outdated and needs to be brought into the 21st century, you have multiple options. Most of the solutions cure and dry fast, which means that you and your guests can be outside having fun in the sun in no time.

An excellent way to give your concrete pool deck a facelift is by using a product called Classic Texture. This Splatter Knockdown finish is formulated to enhance the beauty of the deck while making it more comfortable and safer. Innovatively formulated, this product is easy to clean and maintain, and it comes in a broad selection of colors and textures. It also has a slip-resistant surface, and it is comfortable to walk on so that the surface feels cool to the touch even on the hottest summer days.

SunStone is another exceptional product. A professional installer can apply this on your concrete pool deck and other surfaces in your backyard for a cohesive aesthetic, whether brick, stucco, cinder block, or something else. This product transforms every surface, making it look and feel like quarried stone. With this architectural limestone coating, your new pool deck will look beautiful, as will any other backyard surfaces, including a walkway and patio.

Another option is SunH20, which is a combination of liquid pigments and soluble polymers with an adhesive promoter added. If your goal is to make your concrete pool deck look unique and exciting, this is an outstanding option. You can choose from a host of colors or, for something extraordinary, have the product layered or mixed with different colors. Regardless of your decision, the facelift of your pool deck will exceed your expectations.

The Versatility of Acrylic Coatings

Sealed with an acrylic coating

Acrylic coatings will protect the finish.

Acrylic coatings are not only beautiful but also versatile. Available in water- and solvent-based formulations, acrylics serve as a sealer that protects both horizontal and vertical concrete surfaces.

Compared to epoxy coatings and polyurethane sealers, coatings formulated with acrylic resin are much thinner. That means when used outdoors or indoors on floors, regular maintenance is required. However, most reputable installers apply several coats, which helps remedy that. Acrylic coatings prevent wear and tear, and waxing is not required.

Many people prefer using acrylic coatings due to their benefits. In addition to serving as a thin protective film on concrete surfaces, these coatings are non-yellowing and UV resistant. Also, acrylics offer excellent protection against chlorine and water. For that reason, it is common to find these coatings applied on pool decks. However, because acrylics come in several levels of sheen, they are also outstanding for indoor applications, such as enhancing stamped, exposed aggregate, and colored concrete floors and other surfaces.

Acrylic coatings are ideal for quick-turnaround projects. As an example, if you have a dinner party planned or an upcoming pool party, acrylics dry in about an hour. As a result, you can have a coating applied and be ready for your special occasion in no time.

Although numerous products exist, SunColor is one of the best on the market today. This water-based acrylic is easy to clean and abrasion resistant. This product is also available in several beautiful colors, including Coral, Mojave Sand, Brick Red, Peking Blue, Brandy Wine, Indian Wheat, Slate Blue, and a host of others. With so many options, you can give personality and character to any interior or exterior concrete surface. For something extraordinary, acrylic colors are customizable. Give your home’s interior a boost or get ready for summer by protecting your outdoor decorative concrete.