Systems Series Part 3: Sundek Stamped Overlay System

SUNDEK Stamped Concrete Overlay

In our last blog I discussed Sundek Classic Texture, the signature overlay system Sundek created and developed way back in 1970. This system set off an explosion of other decorative concrete overlays that quickly followed. The growth of decorative concrete was also rapidly growing from another important market segment – stamped concrete.

 

Stamped concrete had always been the “go –to” look for hardscape designers and discriminating customers because it’s timeless look of natural stone and other masonry materials.

 

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System Limitations   Stamped concrete does however only provide a fairly narrow range of colors, textures and patterns. One of the limiting problems with stamped concrete was that the stamping tools were heavy cast metal, expensive and difficult to use even in the hands of a very capable crew. The coloring techniques and materials were and still are very unpredictable.

 

These limitations all changed with the innovation of flexible poly-urethane stamping tools and texturing mats. The concrete stamping process suddenly became a whole lot more user friendly. It also gave us the ability to design a project with a wide variety of realistic textures, intricate patterns and multiple color variety. The stamped concrete market exploded during the late 1980s and 1990s but the problem was that you still had to tear out your existing concrete and replace it with new concrete to be stamped and colored. This was a very expensive and many times resulted in unpredictable and unacceptable work.

 

logosundekLimitations Solved  A number of pioneers in the decorative concrete industry went at the problem by attempting to create the high end look of stamped concrete by applying a 2-4 inch cement topping layer to the existing concrete. Many of these projects resulted in failure. In time the cement polymer chemistry had advanced enough to where the overlays were as thin as 3/16”- down even from the ½ inch overlays from the early 1990’s. This technology gave the stamped overlay materials the necessary properties to expand and contract once it was bonded to the existing concrete and stay bonded. With polymer cements available decorative contractors were able to reinvent and adapt polyurethane stamps and texture tools to create the classic looks of full depth stamped concrete.

 

logosundekSundek’s Innovation  Sundek recognized the huge demand for Stampable overlays and understood what it would take to bring a premier stamped overlay material to the Sundek Dealer network as a new product offering to their customers across the country.

 

Because of our years of experience of installing the Classic Spray Texture overlays the Sundek Dealer knew all the necessary requirements for proper surface preparation, crack treatment, and joint detail to insure the stamped overlay is going to perform for many years to come.

 

As with all new Sundek materials proper training for a quality installation was another key element to insure the long term success of this new system. Every year Sundek provides several installation training sessions for Sundek Dealers across the nation. This training includes the stamped overlays systems even though they were introduced to the Sundek nation over twenty years ago.

 

GOLD ATD

Custom Scoreline Effect

logosundekDesigns  Sundek stamped overlay can be designed with a wide variety of natural stone textures, a host of masonry patterns -all combined with a rainbow of color techniques. Probably the most popular SSUNDEK, concrete coating, European flooring, Tuscan, custom slate pattern, porch, walkway, front entry, custom staining, residential, Sundek of Illinois, Chicago, IL. Awarded-Silver-Tuscanundek stamp overlay system I see being used today is the use of a low profile texture mat such a slate that is used in combination with a hand carved or taped pattern. The final color effect is often a soft blend of Sundek acrylic stains protected by the Sundek clear finish coat. This is a very clean look and will be a pleasure to enjoy for many years to come.The Sundek stamped overlay has also been adapted to the Custom Score line Effect, making it an excellent choice even for cracked concrete. Sundek stamped overlays can also be saw cut into any combination of patterns and designs – mostly in a tile or diamond pattern. This look is very cost effective and offers a high end look to any project.

 

logosundekExisting Customers  I see many of my previous Sundek customers calling to have us retrofit their Sundek Classic Texture jobs that were done years ago and installing the Sundek stamped overlay on the patio, walkways and driveway areas. I recommend the stamped overlays for pool deck areas with the use of a slip resistant material in the clear coat.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sundek stamped overlays can provide the elegant look of high dollar stamped concrete on most existing plain, ordinary, gray concrete. Check with you local Sundek Dealer and have them give you a bid on your next project.

 

 

In the next part of our Sundek overlays series on we will look at the very cool look of the Sundek Tuscan Texture Effect!

 

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Systems Series Part 2: Classic Texture Decorative Concrete Overlay

Sundek Classic Texture Effects

Probably the most versatile of all the Sundek decorative concrete overlays is the Classic Texture Effect which has a wide variety of decorative features that can be designed into the final product. These features include slip resistant textures, Masonry Effect patterns, Custom Score line Effects, Aggregate Effects and even custom graphic designs. All of which are completed in a myriad of quality Sundek acrylic color finishes.

 

While not only versatile in creative design, the Sundek Classic Texture Effect is a very durable performer under a variety of demanding conditions. Sundek Classic Texture has been installed around the world in nearly every climate fit for man or beast and has stood up to sizzling heat and frigid cold.

 

The most basic of these Classic Texture Effects SUNDEK, spray texture, Classic Texture- pool deck, Custom Stone Pool Runner, custom stained pool runner, pool deck, Sundek of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Awarded Silver is in mono-chromatic color with a texture only– nothing really over the top -yet clean and elegant. This Sundek Effect has been the signature look for Sundek Dealers for over 40 years. This is the perfect system for swimming pools decks-walks and patios – providing a cooler than concrete surface and a slip resistant texture. This allows the homeowner the full benefits of their backyard environment year after year.

 

Sundek Masonry Effects GOLD SSOIemulates the classic look of brick; tile or natural stone – combined with all of the built in benefits of the Sundek Classic Texture – coolness – slip resistance and affordability. Sundek Masonry Effects are a perfect complement to driveways, patio, walkways and entry areas. The combination of colors, patterns and design are limitless. Many of the patterns seen today are hand crafted- creating truly custom patterns that are totally unique to each customer.

 

Sundek Custom Scoreline Effects has been a “Game Changer” in the decorative concrete industry by enabling the customer and Sundek dealer to resurface old cracked concrete without the problem of crack re-occurrence in the new Sundek coating. Custom Scoreline

Basically being able to restore older, cracked concrete that was once considered unworkable for an overlay coating .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 “stone” pattern is indeed “Custom. Each crack is carefully opened with a grinder wheel and then an extended into a pattern is designed and developed by further grinding. The project is then completed with the Sundek acrylic color Finish Coat of the customer’s color choice. Now the moving cracks –Mother Nature’s expansion joints- can do their job without looking like a nasty old crack.

 

Sundek Aggregate Effects have been another one of those great Sundek innovations that allow the Sundek Classic Texture to take on an expanded “persona” with the additional application of a carefully crafted multi-colored combination of Sundek acrylic finish coat colors to mimic the look of granite. The benefit of this Effect- besides the added richness that it brings- is the ability to camouflage dirt and grim that gets tracked onto the surface. The Aggregate Effect also adds another dimension of color and a faux texture effect to the project. SUNDEK, spray texture overlay, classic texture, aggregate effects, gray, cobble stone patttern, walk way, front entry, sidewalk, Sundek of Illinois, Illinois Chicago, Silver AwardedSo there you have it – Sundek Classic Texture –from Sundeck Products -the leader in the decorative concrete overlay systems that not only look great and provide awesome performance but hide cracks with the Custom Scoreline Effect , make itself look like brick, tile or stone or nearly anything else the customer desires with Masonry Effects but can camouflage the dirt , grim and any other crud that wants to crawl on it using the Aggregate Effects.

 

That’s quite a package and it won’t break the bank to have it at your home or business for that matter.

 

Now is a great time to get with your local Sundek Dealer and consult which Sundek Classic Texture Effect is the best for your project. In our next blog we will discuss the timeless look of the Sundek Stamped Overlay Effect.

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Systems Series Part 1: The Right Sundek System

Choosing the Right Decorative Concrete System for Your Project

The evolution of applying cement overlays onto existing concrete has been an amazing phenomenon as the technology has continued to improve. I can remember when Sundek was just getting started back in 1970 and we announced to world that we could provide a decorative, slip resistant finish to existing older concrete. The thing that always stuck in my mind was the large group of naysayers telling us that it wouldn’t work. Well I guess after installing millions of square feet of quality Sundek overlays in every climate on nearly every continent in the world, we proved them wrong – it does work!!– Sundek is such an amazing product.

 

Sundek overlays come in a wide variety of systems and finished looks depending on the desired look and the intended use. When working with my customers I prefer to find out how the customer plans to use the area, what their expectations are for color-texture and patterns and finally how they intend to maintain the surface in the future. This important information helps me understand which Sundek system to recommend for the intended situation. I know that my customer is going to get the best use and full satisfaction from my knowledge and experience in the decorative concrete industry.

 

Today, Sundek offers over twenty different decorative concrete systems and materials ranging from Classic Texture for pool decks to metallic epoxies for restaurant floors. Each system has unique characteristics and performance properties. The ultimate challenge is for the Sundek customer and the Sundek estimator to decide on the correct system choice for the project.

 

A few years ago I was introduced to a fabulous decision making process that helps us work our way toward making the best choices when choosing a decorative overlay or just about any other process for that matter. This concept was developed by the International Concrete Repair Institute ICRI_logo_8to help process the correct decision making for making proper repairs to large concrete structures. I have found this concept works for just about any situation when it comes to decorative concrete selection. Here’s how it works:

 

Concrete Before Sundek

Concrete Before Sundek

1. Concrete Condition – We need to start our decision making with the concrete condition –what is the strength and condition of the concrete substrate, and are there any unsound or bond -inhibiting materials that would affect the bonding capabilities of the new coating or other performance issues.

 

Concrete After Sundek

Concrete After Sundek

2. Preparation and Coating Compatibility – Understanding and identifying the concrete helps define the nature of and volume of preparation needed and the coating compatibility. The whole conversation should start here between contractor and customer.

 

Note: If your estimator for any decorative coating does not focus first one the two questions above, it might be a good idea to find out what their depth of knowledge and experience is. Color and pattern won’t matter if the concrete is not in good shape.

 

3. Owner Requirements – the owner’s needs and wants will usually dictate many of the final decisions that will need to be regarding which coating system is used and the final choice of color – texture and pattern. However, the owner’s needs for un-interrupted use of the area, concerns about the work environment or property damage potential will also limit the choices.

 

4. Cost and Property Value – Let’s not forget the big questions about final cost and the value added to the property.

 

5. Coating requirements– Both the Sundek contractor and customer need to be aware of the intended use of the area and what the expectations are from the coating both short and long term.I have seen non-skid, textured swimming pool coatings installed in kitchen areas that should have had a smooth non-porous epoxy coating and I have seen smooth epoxy coatings installed around a swimming pool deck that were hot and slippery. Both situations were disastrous and had to be removed and replaced with the correct system. With the variety of coating choices on the market today this section of the decision making process has become even more important.

 

6. Application conditions– this section will probably trump all other parts of the decision making process. We can have the best intentions when it comes to costs, colors and concrete conditions – these factors we some control over but when it comes to weather factors the ball game changes. Oddly enough this is the area that trips up both the customer and contractor alike. Factors such as wind and rain, moisture intrusion and other environmental considerations must be answered or considered Also, the generation of dust, slurries for water may require containment and safe disposal. Mechanical ventilation, available power sources, the size of door openings, and minimum clearance will affect coating selection decisions. This is the section in the decision making process where contractor experience comes into play because they have already dealt with most of these issues.

 

When you are going to consider a decorative concrete project write down these criteria points and use them as a starting point when interviewing the decorative concrete contractors that give you an estimate for your project.

 

In the next series of blogs I will discuss the various Sundek overlay systems and utilize the selection method process above as we go.

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How About Those Nasty Cracks!

There is an old saying in the concrete business that proclaims: Concrete comes with three rock solid guarantees

1) If you leave it alone in downtown Detroit City no one is going to steal it.
2) It won’t burn.
3) It WILL crack!

 

The iconic Will Rogers even mentioned concrete cracks in his epic quote: “All you need to grow fine, vigorous grass is a crack in your sidewalk.”

 

Even though well placed concrete has great hardness (compressive strength), it does not have good elasticity (tensile strength) which is the ability to stretch and bend very far. This results in cracks. Having cracks in a beautiful concrete patio or pool deck is like having ants at a picnic – they are not very welcome!

 

So what are your options as a homeowner or property owner to repair or fix this unsightly concrete? Hire Sundek! We take cracks very seriously. When we are getting ready to have a Sundek concrete coating installed and know you don’t want to see those nasty cracks again. We take do a mini-root cause analysis of each crack which includes identifying the source of each crack and what your expectations are for future crack re-occurrence.

 

Let me explain. Let’s try to chunk this dilemma down into small bites because it makes all the difference in the long term enjoyment and use of the area.

 

Option One – You can remove and replace the cracked concrete areas. The new concrete must be provided with proper soil compaction and expansion joints. This option can get a bit pricey but in some cases this is the must-do best option. We are good, but we cannot hurdle poorly placed concrete in some cases. Thus not every chunk of concrete can be restored with Sundek and we’ll advise you if the deck needs to be torn out and replaced – with no warranty against cracking –again. This option can run you anywhere from $8-$12 a square foot depending on your local market and the job conditions. (Yikes!)

 

Option Two– You can saw cut the concrete at the cracks and epoxy weld the structural cracks. This option is again pricey and not fool proof. You might call this the “Cut and Paste” option. It can be difficult to find someone who does this type of work and usually it has a very limited warranty. Pricing can run as high as $20-$30 a lineal foot.

2008 Gold - Sundek of Illinois

 

Option Three– Sundek Custom Scoreline Effects. This technique was invented and perfected by Sundek dealers over 40 years ago. The idea is to think of the concrete cracks as “Mother Nature’s Expansion Joints”- they are just doing their job in controlling the natural expansion and contraction movement of the concrete as it heats and cools. With the typical Sundek application when Custom Scoreline Effect is needed you add only 50- to 60 cents a square foot to the price of the job and you get a two-year warranty that if another crack returns, the local Sundek Dealer will come back and create a new scoreline with the new crack.

 

Compare that to the other two options – This is a Pretty Easy Choice!!

 

Silver 2012 -Sundek of San AntonioSUNDEK, spray texture overlay, stamped overlay, Classic Texture, SunStamp custom runners, custom scoreline, slate design runners, pool deck, Sundek of Washington,  Silver Award

 

Gold - Sundek of Austin

The creation of a beautiful – eye catching Custom Scoreline Effect is a real skill that the Sundek installers have perfected to an art-form. Each “stone” pattern is indeed “Custom”.  Here is what to expect if you choose the custom scoreline option:

  1. Each crack is carefully opened with a grinder wheel and then an extended Custom Scoreline pattern is designed and developed by further grinding.
  2. The existing scored crack is then filled with a urethane sealant to prevent water and debris intrusion. This also helps blend in the original crack with the new custom score lines.
  3. The project is then completed with the Sundek acrylic color Finish Coat of the customer’s color choice. Now the moving cracks –Mother Nature’s expansion joints- can do their job without looking like a nasty old crack.

The Custom Score line Effect can be incorporated into most any other Sundek Effect but it is most often used with the Classic Sundek Texture Effect. #418 Custom Scoreline Cut Sheet

 

If you already have a Sundek installation that has developed cracks in the concrete and it was not originally crafted with a Custom Scoreline Effect, now would be a great time to give your local Sundek Dealer a call and get an estimate on making those nasty cracks turn into a thing of beauty!

 

Maybe you are considering a decorative concrete coating but weren’t sure about the cracking issues and nobody else has a good solution – your answer in just a phone call away to your local Sundek Dealer.

 

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A Veteran Success Story

The July/August 2014 issue of Search & Employ Magazine, the publication by RecruitMilitary.com, highlighted one one of our own – veteran, Mike Foreman; Owner of Sundek of PA.  Army Veteran

 

SUNDEK manufactures, markets, distributes, and installs decorative concrete overlay materials. Each year, the company installs more than 18 million square feet of commercial and residential coatings. Sundek was founded in 1970 by three brothers in Southern California. As a privately held company, it has a large dealership network, and operates in across the United States as well as Central and South America. Company headquarters are in Arlington, Texas. The company offers entrepreneurial opportunities – dealerships with exclusive territories – as well as opportunities working for dealers, and jobs at company headquarters. The company is veteran-owned and veteran led. Sundek welcomes veterans’ experience, discipline, and strength of character to the organization.

 

The company offers three career tracks: sales, production (installation), and admin. The tracks are flexible. People can move up or across tracks as they gain skills. Sundek_Decorative_Concrete_Career_Paths

 

● The sales track offers exposure to residential and commercial customers in a specific territory. Individuals starting on this track can grow into sales managers, national account managers, and potentially run their own Sundek dealerships.

● The production track begins hands-on with the product – or, as Sundek calls it, “in the bucket.”The employee learns how to install each type of overlay in the product portfolio. This experience is critical to growing into a crew leader, a field service manager, and a production manager.

● The admin track is the backbone of the company. Roles include customer care, finance, marketing, and operations, providing the support infrastructure for Sundek dealers. Often, individuals working for dealers will rotate through a support role within the admin track as they round out their skills.

 

Veteran: Mike Foreman – Sundek of PA

Mike Foreman served as an Army Airborne medic, than went to work selling Caterpillar heavy equipment for Ransome CAT , a dealer serving parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. He worked there for six years. Then, in 2002, he took a leap of faith into an entrepreneurial venture, starting a Sundek dealership. His business, Sundeck of Pennsylvania, now has two locations in Pennsylvania and one in New Jersey. Qualities that Foreman developed before joining the military served him well both in the Army and at Sundek. “Even before joining the military, I was a highly regimented and competitive person,” he said. “Serving in the military further honed my perseverance and work ethic. Together, all of these critical characteristics keep sales flowing in my dealership. Being highly disciplined and putting in the time and effort to grow your business is critical to dealer success.”

 

He is quick to note, however, that he was like many other service members. “Keep one thing in mind here,” he said, “I was no superhero soldier. Just a regular soldier that did a good job.”Foreman came to Sundek in an unusual way. He found out about the company when his father-in law had a Sundek decorative concrete coating installed at his home. Foreman was amazed at the transformation of the space simply by adding a coating to the top of existing concrete. He wanted to know more, so contacted the dealership in Washington, D.C., that had done the work. “Watch for opportunities that may be around you,” he said. “What draws your attention may attract attention from others and could lead to a business opportunity. Sundek caught my attention 12 years ago, and now my Sundek business is booming.” Things are going so well for Foreman that he won the Sundek 2104 Dealer of the Year Award, presented at the International Sundek Convention in February. His daughter, Riley Foreman, is continuing the family’s service to the military. She is attending college at West Virginia University, and is a ROTC student and a member of the West Virginia National Guard. After college, she will enter Officer Candidate School.