Frank Lewis Blog Banner.

Got Tire Marks?

From the most humble abode to mansions on the hill, Sundek Decorative Concrete Dealers throughout the United States have installed over a million square feet of Sundek decorative concrete coatings on driveways over the years.

These property owners primarily desire two things:
1) Increased Curb Appeal – In my forty years of Sundek history, I have always enjoyed receiving comments from happy customers of “how pleased they are with the awesome drive up appeal that Sundek provides” – after all the front of your property is a major announcement point for visitors!
2) Sundek Decorative Concrete Solutions – Each of our Sundek Decorative Concrete Solutions for driveways is durable enough to withstand vehicular traffic yet elegant in a variety of colors, patterns and designs.

From time to time, our customer care team receives phone calls inquiring if there is anything that can be done regarding the black tire marks that occur on their gorgeous Sundek driveway. The problem is not so much about the Sundek product performing but a situation that can occur on natural concrete  as well.

A recent article posted on ConcreteNetwork.com by Chris Sullivan provides a good summary of the chemical process behind tire marks.  He wrote,
Tire-marks2-150x150

“This is a phenomenon called “plastizer migration.” Plastizers are polymer compounds added to rubber, glue and plastic to make them flexible. The rubber used to make car tires contains plastizers to improve traction. But when the car is driven, the tires heat up, causing the plastizers to soften and leach out of the tire. When a hot tire is parked or driven on certain types of sealers, the plastizers migrate into and discolor the sealer. The better the tire quality, the higher the quantity of plastizer—and the greater the chance for hot tire marking. Lower-quality tires are harder and contain less plastizer, so they usually result in less hot tire marking on sealers.”

Now that we understand “why” tire marks occur, let’s chat a little about what we can we do about the problem? Here are some of the better solutions that seem to work the best and won’t harm the Sundek finish coat:

  • Concrete Degreaser – may be all that’s needed, depending on the level of discoloration. Can be purchased at any auto part or big box store. I have been told Wal-Mart has a great driveway cleaner that works better than anything else.
  • Simple Green – safe and easy to work with. Can be obtained just about anywhere.
  • Automotive brake cleaner – You can buy at any auto parts store, grocery store for a few bucks.  Spray it directly on the tire marks and they dissolve.
  • Citrus Cleaners – these work pretty well – especially when the tire mark is fresh and not embedded into the sealer. You can find it at any big box store and most grocery stores and it is safe to work with.

This is a good list of safe, easy to use and products that are readily available to help you tackle those pesky tire marks and won’t harm the Sundek surface.  Please follow the manufacturer’s directions and safety guidelines for each product. Also, I recommend these products for use on concrete that does not have a Sundek coating as well.

 

A word of caution: I have tried a couple of remedies such as “Goof Off,”  paint thinner and few other “miracle” products, however, they were too hard on the Sundek finish coat, too expensive, and didn’t work any better than the options described so stay away from these.

Pressure Washing Option – The recommended products listed above can also be used as a pre-soaking treatment for further mechanical action such as the use of a pressure washer.  Once you have applied the cleaning product, scrub with a stiff brush and rinse with a high power spray nozzle to rinse away the gunk.  Tire marks that are more stubborn may take more than one treatment.  Pressure washing on a timely basis is a good maintenance practice, but may not get the really stubborn tire marks off.

Not a do-it-yourselfer?  Not everyone has a pressure washer or willing to go rent one.

Some Sundek dealership locations offer pressure washing services on a seasonal basis.   

If you arePicture11 considering a Sundek decorative concrete coating for your driveway, I recommend you spend time with your local Sundek Representative and tap into their valuable bank of experience.  Get their recommendations for the best colors, textures and Sundek finishes to combat or blend with those inevitable tire marks.

 


Making Slippery Garage Floors Safer

Garage Floors

Slippery surfaces are a safety risk, and this is commonly an issue in garages, where rain, snow, and other liquids can be tracked onto your floor and increase the risk of sliding around. Whether you are a homeowner looking to make your slippery garage safer or you own an auto repair shop with a large garage area, there are some simple solutions to improve safety. There are numerous coatings and overlays you can add to the concrete surface of a garage floor, reducing the risk of people falling and injuring themselves.

Anti-Slip Coatings

One of the easiest things to do to make a slippery garage floor safer is to add an anti-slip coating on top. There are several variations of these, but most will add some sort of texture to the flooring. It is also possible to create a coating of your own using anti-skid additives. Certain coloring systems will also reduce the risk of slipping, such as SunFlek, which is available as a surface that is aggressively slip resistant.

Epoxy Sealants

Epoxy sealants can also dramatically improve the safety of slippery garage floors by reducing the risk of slipping. That is because epoxy coatings have a small element of natural texture that works to help with this issue. You can further add to the texture with color chips or even quartz beads to improve slip resistance.

Add Textured Overlay

While adding coatings and sealants to concrete garage floors can reduce their slipperiness, so can adding another layer of concrete in the form of an overlay—provided that you select the appropriate overlay. When using this solution, your goal should be to add texture to the floor, as the texture will stop people and objects from sliding around. SUNDEK overlays with the right texture pattern can withstand the constant heavy traffic of a garage. It’s always a good idea to discuss options with a contractor before making a decision.

Other Options

SUNDEK can help with any of these affordable, long-lasting solutions for making your garage floor less slippery. In the meantime, if you need an immediate solution for slippery floors until the coating or overlay can be applied, consider adding mats or adhesives to strategic locations on the floor. Just keep in mind that adhesives may cause mild damage to the garage floor, but this can be easily remedied by applying one of the permanent solutions mentioned above.


Is Decorative Concrete Slippery?

Most decorative coatings are meant to be beautiful with rich colors- patterns and textures –all in one beautiful, “eye popping” package! What makes most of these decorative concrete systems really do it all are the high gloss clear coats.  An issue with that high gloss is that it can increase the probability of slip-fall accidents.  Don’t worry though, you can have both with a little compromising.  Sundek can engineer slip resistance material into our Sundek Overlays. We will help you keep the glossy, wet look and still have an acceptable element of safety and still have the ability to clean the flooring easily can be a challenge because:

 

 BEAUTIFUL HIGH GLOSS + SLIP RESISTENT + EASY TO CLEAN = TOUGH BUT DOABLE!

 

First of all let’s consider safety.  That is a bit complicated. Slip resistance – hum? What is considered safe when flat, dry and walked on by a rubber soled athletic shoe is dramatically different from a sloping wet sidewalk and a leather soled dress shoe. This is why the careful product selection process between the Sundek contractor and you, the property owner, is so critical.  Your Sundek Design Consultant will ask you:  What type of foot traffic is expected on this surface?  Leather soled shoes or bare feet?

 

[box type=”bio”] The two main elements involved in slip/fall scenarios are surface texture and clear finish choices- both of which directly dictate slip resistance and clean-ability. Let me explain. Trying to provide a slip resistant surface into the finished Sundek product can often be a two edged sword. If you make the walking surface extremely smooth with a high gloss clear finish, it is easier to clean and maintain. It, however, can be slippery as a hockey rink when the surface is wet! The other side of the spectrum is when you add slip resistant material creating more traction (better safety), it is more difficult to clean the surface. [/box]

The Sundek Classic Texture Effect is the most naturally slip resistant system in the Sundek product line up because of the “hi-lo” effect of the texture.  It is used primarily around swimming pools and other wet environments where slip resistance is a key issue. Rarely is there a need for added slip resistant material in the Sundek finish coat. However in today’s safety conscious world many Sundek Dealers provide slip resistant material to the Sundek finish coat as an added element of safety and peace of mind for their customers. The size and height of the texture can also affect the degree of slip resistance. Low and flat texture is less slip resistant than a taller texture.  Now that we have a grip (bad pun) on the texture aspect and the resulting slip resistance, it becomes apparent that the more aggressive the texture the more clean-ability becomes an issue.2008 Gold Lifestyle - Decorative Concrete

 

Without the help from added slip resistant materials, Sun Stamp overlay, Tuscan Texture effect and Sun Canvas and the other Sundek epoxy systems, all become more maintenance friendly. Because of the relatively smooth texture and the use of protective clear coats tend to lean toward the slippery side.

 

In summary, here are the factors to consider when deciding on texture coat, clear coat and if slip resistance properties are needed:

  1. Type of foot traffic expected on this surface
  2. Type of Finish Coat & rate of application – the more the buildup , the more traction goes away
  3. Size and type texture- very flat and shallow texture provides less traction.
  4. Degree of slope on the walking surface.

Based on your answers to the above questions, your Sundek Design Consultant will use these basic guidelines to help you, our Sundek customer, navigate the slip resistance vs. cleaning dilemma.

  • Let’s start with selecting the right slip resistant aggregate for the job. Synthetic materials such as (Option 1) polypropylene beads or “Shark Grip” type materials are light weight and can easily mixed into the clear or Finish Coat, however these materials are softer compared to hard mineral materials and wear quickly in high traffic areas where there is shoe traffic. These materials are best suited for residential and light commercial applications.  Heavy traffic areas or steep slope situations will require materials such as (Option 2) aluminum oxide or (Option 3) silica sand.
  • The next step is to choose the right size and rate of distribution of aggregate for the job.  Typically larger particle size can be spaced further apart and demonstrate acceptable traction while providing better cleaning properties between particles. On the other hand the Sundek contractor can use a smaller aggregate size and space them much closer to achieve an almost sandpaper finish. This is very effective to achieve great traction, but can become a chore to clean because of the aggressive texture.
  • The trick is to find the right balance. If you are still unsure, your Sundek Dealer can provide a sample based upon your discussion.

When you are designing your next decorative concrete project please take the time to consult with your local Sundek Dealer about the importance of slip resistance and future maintenance. You will be glad you did and will enjoy your new Sundek with peace of mind that you have made the right decision on materials for the purpose of your new beautiful space. [button link=”https://www.sundek.com/dealers/quote” type=”big” color=”orange” newwindow=”yes”] CLICK HERE to have a Sundek expert contact you about your next decorative concrete project![/button]


System Series Part 4: Concrete Micro-Toppings SunCanvas

The Decorative Concrete industry has exploded over the past 15-20 years! The evolution of new and exciting decorative concrete products and application methods grows each year. At Sundek, we have more than kept pace over the past 20 plus years, but rather served as an industry leader in the decorative concrete industry for the past 40 years!   Adapting to new markets and improving existing products is what we do best.   One of our more recent innovations is our new product line of Sundek SunCanvas which is generically classified in the industry as a micro-topping.

Sundek SunCanvas

Sundek SunCanvas

The beauty of the amazing SunCanvas material is its ability to transform an ordinary interior concrete floor into a dazzling traffic-friendly surface that is complimented by a variety color stains, metallic, custom graphics and finished with a durable clear finish. SunCanvas is a perfect renovation tool

for older floors that are in good condition – that is crack free and structurally sound. It is also a great solution for new floors in good condition looking for a consistent and beautiful finish.

You are probably asking yourself, then why apply a coating? Why not just stain or color the existing concrete, if it is in good condition? The truth is that the majority of older concrete floors are not in a stain ready condition that will exhibit the satisfactory results you are looking for your property!

 

What is a Good “Use Case” for SunCanvas?

 

Ghosting Effect

Ghosting Effect

Glad you asked! SunCanvas is perfect for a floor where tile or carpeting was removed. SunCanvas will cover over the ghosting effect left behind from the previous flooring material. If a contractor would have tried to stain the floor in the photo shown here, the tile lines would “ghost” through on the floor if it were simply stained or dyed.

 

Instead, Sundek’s SunCanvas comes into play for this solution. The floor is completely surface prepared by machine grinding and then followed by multiple coats of SunCanvas applied with squeegees and trowels. Each coat of SunCanvas is lightly sanded after it dries to remove any trowel lines and then the floor is then recoated until the final surface texture is achieved. Now we have a floor finish that is smooth and consistent!   The surface is now ready for any number of color choices which are typically a stain of some type. Many Sundek Dealers will use the SunH2O which is a water-based acrylic stain or an acid-based stain like Sun Acid.  Both materials have their advantages

  • Sun Acid provides a very organic – mottled look
  • Sun H2O offers a more consistent look and a wider selection of colors

Another popular look today is the use of metallic color which provides a real WOW factor to a floor. With the use a micro-topping like SunCanvas, an old floor can be rejuvenated into an amazing show piece. I am seeing more of the metallic looks now being used in garage floors and high-end commercial real estate.

Sundek SunCanvas

Sundek SunCanvas

As with any stain floor the surface must be protected with a clear finish coat to protect it from the wear and tear of everyday foot traffic. The clear coat will also make the stain colors “pop” adding depth and richness to the final look. Clear coating your surface also makes it elegant and an easy to maintain finish.

The selection of clears can be a tricky proposition and will all depend on three factors:

  1. Intended use of the floor
  2. Overall look you are trying to achieve
  3. Long term maintenance

My preferred choice of clears has been a high-solids urethane applied in two coats. I like the urethane because it is more resilient than an epoxy clear or polyaspartic clear. By resilient I mean,

  1. It is more scratch resistant
  2. It provides some degree of slip resistance
  3. It will not amber or turn yellow in direct sunlight over time

The Bottom Line: Keep in mind when you are considering staining your decorative concrete floor that using your existing concrete floor as your starting “canvas” may not give you the expected results that you’re looking for from that magazine picture or a friend’s house. Sundek’s SunCanvas gives reliable and predictable results! If you are considering a new look on a floor area that currently has carpet or tile, check with your local Sundek Decorative Concrete Coatings Dealer and discuss SunCanvas as a great option for your floor!!!

[button link=”https://www.sundek.com/dealers/quote” type=”big” color=”orange” newwindow=”yes”] CLICK HERE to have a Sundek expert contact you about your next decorative concrete project![/button]


Classic Texture Decorative Concrete Overlay

Probably the most versatile of all the Sundek decorative concrete overlays is Classic Texture. SUNDEK’s Classic Texture is durable under a variety of conditions. It has been installed around the world in nearly every climate, ranging from sizzling heat to frigid cold. It provides customers with a surface that can be made slip resistant, and it can be customized in many ways, outlined below.

Basic Design The most basic way to customize the Classic Texture overlay is to give it mono-chromatic color with a texture only. This will give you a clean and elegant look. Many people choose this option for their swimming pool decks, walkways, and patios. It provides a cooler-than-concrete surface with a slip resistant texture. See the variety of colors you have to choose from.

Masonry Effects GOLD SSOIMasonry Effects give you the ability to emulate the classic look of brick; tile or natural stone—and you still get all the benefits of the SUNDEK Classic Texture: coolness, slip resistance, and affordability. SUNDEK’s Masonry Effects are a perfect complement to driveways, patios, walkways, and entry areas. The combination of colors, patterns, and design are limitless. Many of the patterns we’ve done are hand crafted, creating truly custom patterns that are unique to our customers.

Custom Scoreline Effects This has been a game changer in the decorative concrete industry, allowing clients to resurface old, cracked concrete without the problem of crack re-occurrence in the new coating. Custom Scoreline Concrete that was once considered unworkable can be salvaged. The idea is to think of the existing cracks as “Mother Nature’s expansion joints”—cracks that are just doing their job in controlling the natural expansion and contraction movement of the concrete. Each crack is carefully opened with a grinder wheel and then extended into a pattern that is designed and developed by further grinding. The project is completed with a SUNDEK Finish Coat in a color of the customer’s choice.

Aggregate Effects By creating a multi-colored combination of acrylic finish coat colors, SUNDEK can create a coating that mimics the look of granite. Aside from adding richness, the coating also camouflages dirt and grime that gets tracked onto the surface and adds another dimension of color and faux texture to the surface.

Now is a great time to contact your local SUNDEK Dealer and consult which SUNDEK Classic Texture Effect is the best for your project.