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WHAT PROBLEMS DOES MOISTURE CREATE?

On October 24, 2017, in Decorative Concrete, by admin
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All natural systems tend towards equilibrium. A hot cup of coffee transfers heat to the air in the room until they are both at the same temperature (this is related to entropy and the second law of thermodynamics). In chemistry, higher concentrations of a chemical move towards areas of lower concentration (known as Le Chatelier’s […]

All natural systems tend towards equilibrium. A hot cup of coffee transfers heat to the air in the room until they are both at the same temperature (this is related to entropy and the second law of thermodynamics). In chemistry, higher concentrations of a chemical move towards areas of lower concentration (known as Le Chatelier’s principle). The same is true for areas of higher or lower relative humidity (which is actually a measure of the vapor pressure of water vapor in air). This movement of vapor is called diffusion.

These principles mean that if the relative humidity in the concrete slab is different than the relative humidity of the air above the slab, then moisture is going to try to move in or out of the slab. Without a vapor barrier, the relative humidity in the slab just below the surface can often be 100%. Since the air is seldom that humid, moisture is going to move from the slab into the air and as the surface dries a bit it will draw moisture up from the bottom.

Site
QC Construction Products
Madera, CA
Whitening of sealers is often caused by applying it to a wet surface. QC Construction Products in Madera, CA

So why is that a problem? Water vapor from the floor can make rooms more humid, which can be a concern with new tighter home construction. In extreme cases, when you started with wet concrete or when the ground beneath the slab is very wet, the floor can actually be damp and slick and moisture will condense beneath objects placed on the slab. Wet floors can also promote mold growth.

For decorative concrete there are three potential problems with a lot of moisture coming out of slabs. First, if you stain a slab that has lots of moisture movement, especially stains that use copper salts, you can get blackening or discoloration. Second, as water vapor moves through the slab, it can condense into liquid water and leach calcium hydroxide which then ends up as efflorescence on the slab surface. This can also result in high pH levels at the slab surface.

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Vapor Barriers
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Moisture vapor transmission through polyacrylate terrazzo joints. Key Resin Company in Batavia, OH

But the biggest problem for decorative concrete with a lot of moisture moving through a slab is the pressure it exerts at the surface. If there is too much moisture in the concrete, and an impermeable layer is placed over it the moisture migration can delaminate the coating (sealer) or overlay. Sealers that allow some vapor passage can be used, but most topical membrane sealers require a moisture vapor emission rate (MVER) of 3 or 5 pounds/1000 square feet/24 hours.

In commercial applications, when carpet, wood, or vinyl flooring is installed over damp concrete, moisture creates real havoc, since the dampness and high alkalinity will lead to mold, emulsified adhesives, and warped flooring. This very expensive problem has led to a lot of research in recent years, and the simple answers that have emerged are to use a low water-cement ratio concrete (0.5 or less) and to install a vapor barrier under slabs on ground.

https://www.concretenetwork.com/vapor-barriers/moisture.html

 

Metallic Coating Transforms a Restaurant Floor

On October 24, 2017, in Decorative Concrete, by admin
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The owners of a high-end steakhouse in downtown Calgary go after the “wow” factor for their concrete floor by applying a two-tone metallic finish. A variegated look was achieved by applying the material in two coats containing different concentrations of silver and gray pigments. https://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/interiorfloors/metallic-concrete-floors.html

The owners of a high-end steakhouse in downtown Calgary go after the “wow” factor for their concrete floor by applying a two-tone metallic finish. A variegated look was achieved by applying the material in two coats containing different concentrations of silver and gray pigments.

https://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/interiorfloors/metallic-concrete-floors.html

 

Design Ideas for Small Backyard Patios

On August 21, 2017, in Decorative Concrete, by admin
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Design Ideas for Small Backyard Patios By Anne Balogh, ConcreteNetwork.com columnist If your backyard (or budget) allows for installation of only a small concrete patio, you can still make a big impact by taking advantage of concrete’s ability to be cast in nearly any shape, pattern, or color. Consider these decorative options to give your […]

Design Ideas for Small Backyard Patios
By Anne Balogh, ConcreteNetwork.com columnist
If your backyard (or budget) allows for installation of only a small concrete patio, you can still make a big impact by taking advantage of concrete’s ability to be cast in nearly any shape, pattern, or color. Consider these decorative options to give your small patio greater visual appeal and functionality.

Incorporate curves.
You don’t have to settle for boring square shapes with straight lines. “There’s a trend for curved patios that blend with the landscaping,” says Matt Zook of J&H Decorative Concrete. He likes to shape concrete patios so they flow with the landscaping. His patios typically only “square off” when they meet up with a walkway or doorway.

Add a pattern or stenciled design.
You can give your small patio the look of natural stone or brick by using a stamped pattern or stencils. With stencils, you can also create more elaborate custom designs, such as a faux outdoor area rug.

Add a border.
Zook likes to frame small patios with a border, especially if the patio has a pattern. “It looks cleaner,” he says. “I don’t like the look of a pattern running all the way off the edge.” Borders also are an effective, inexpensive way to dress up plain concrete, if economy is an issue. Other easy-on-the-budget finishes for small patios include exposed aggregate and a rock salt finish
Use color judiciously.
You can achieve a wide array of great decorative effects using integral or topically applied color. For a small patio, however, it’s best to keep it simple. “The price goes up with more choices of color,” says Zook. “It can be more economical to use the same color for patterned fields and borders.” He also recommends choosing colors that match or complement the house.

Allow enough space for outdoor furniture.
Zook recommends a minimum patio size of 20 to 25 square feet to accommodate furniture and space for walking. He tells customers that for a six-chair outdoor table, they will need at least 10 feet of circumference for the table, plus additional walk-around room.

 

How to Care for a Manufactured Stone Fireplace

On July 19, 2017, in Decorative Concrete, by admin
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How to Care for a Manufactured Stone Fireplace By Denise Schoonhoven, eHow Contributor Made of lightweight concrete and molded to replicate the look of natural stone, manufactured stone veneer is a modern building material for fireplaces. While the firebox itself is made of heavy-duty materials, the hearth, mantle, and chimney are clad with faux stone. […]

How to Care for a Manufactured Stone Fireplace
By Denise Schoonhoven, eHow Contributor

Made of lightweight concrete and molded to replicate the look of natural stone, manufactured stone veneer is a modern building material for fireplaces. While the firebox itself is made of heavy-duty materials, the hearth, mantle, and chimney are clad with faux stone. Manufactured stone is colored with pigments and stains to match the type of stone found in nature, then sealed to maintain the veneer’s integrity. Both indoor and outdoor fireplaces clad in manufactured stone are low maintenance.
Instructions
Things You’ll Need
• Vacuum cleaner with brush attachment
• Vacuum extender attachment
• Broom
• Towel
• Spray bottle glass cleaner
• Garden hose
• Exterior window cleaner
• Garden spray nozzle
• Manufactured stone cleaner
• Brush
• Pressure sprayer
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Vacuum the entire surface of an interior manufactured stone fireplace once a month or more frequently in regions where dust and debris accumulate quickly. Use the brush attachment on the hose of the vacuum cleaner to avoid scratching the seal on the faux stone. Add an extender attachment to the hose to reach higher surfaces. For an exterior fireplace, brush dust and debris from manufactured stone surfaces with a broom.
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Wipe the hearth, mantle, and any surfaces that can get fingerprints with a soft towel moistened with glass cleaner. Allow the cleaner to dry completely before starting a new fire. Outdoors, spray a manufactured stone fireplace with an exterior window cleaner attached to a garden hose. Rinse residue away thoroughly with clear water through a garden spray nozzle attachment on the hose.
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Use a manufactured stone cleaner to remove stains or built-up grime that can accumulate on outdoor fireplaces near cooking areas or during construction. Clear the area of furniture and cover the surrounding surfaces with plastic. Dilute the cleaner with water in proportions directed by the manufacturer’s label instructions. Moisten the faux stone with clear water, apply the cleaning solution with a brush or sprayer, then rinse repeatedly with a pressure sprayer.

Read more: How to Care for a Manufactured Stone Fireplace | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_6397409_care-manufactured-stone-fireplace.html#ixzz1f23BTgLm

 

BENEFITS OF A GARAGE FLOOR EPOXY COATING

On June 27, 2017, in Decorative Concrete, by admin
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BENEFITS OF A GARAGE FLOOR EPOXY COATING So what makes an epoxy coating one of the best finishes for your garage floor? Besides looking nice, the hardened and thick application that you get from epoxy creates a coating that is very durable and resilient to impacts, chipping, chemicals, stains, and surface abrasion. You don’t have […]

BENEFITS OF A GARAGE FLOOR EPOXY COATING

So what makes an epoxy coating one of the best finishes for your garage floor? Besides looking nice, the hardened and thick application that you get from epoxy creates a coating that is very durable and resilient to impacts, chipping, chemicals, stains, and surface abrasion. You don’t have to panic about damaging the floor if you drop a wrench or a bicycle falls over.

The thicker coating also does a great job of covering over minor imperfections such as small spider cracks and flaws in the concrete. Because epoxy is a topical sealer, it is also anti-dusting. Much of the dust in a garage is created from the powder that a cement floor can shed. Normal traffic on bare concrete can kick up this dusty powder that has a tendency of collecting on cars, tool benches, and storage items, as well as being tracked into the house.

As a topical coating it is also naturally moisture resistant. This is a great benefit for people who live in snowy climates. It makes for easy cleaning of icy brines and road salts that can collect on the floor during the winter. Just a little mild soap and water is all it takes. Dust and debris can be collected with a dust mop or soft broom when the floor is dry.

Depending on whether you added colored acrylic flakes to the floor and the type of topcoat used, some surfaces can be slippery when wet. For people who live in drier climates this usually isn’t an issue. If you want some extra grip however, you can add slip resistant aggregate to the final coat that will create a non-skid surface.

Why Epoxy is a Premier Garage Floor Coating

 

How to Kick Back, Relax, and Vacation at Home

On June 5, 2017, in Decorative Concrete, by admin
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Put the World On Hold Take time out—literally. Eliminating reminders of time helps wipe away the stress of the daily grind, says Amy McDonald, spa director of El Monte Sagrado, in Taos, New Mexico. Gather up all the clocks in your house and stash them in a dresser drawer. Throw your watch in next to […]

Put the World On Hold
Take time out—literally. Eliminating reminders of time helps wipe away the stress of the daily grind, says Amy McDonald, spa director of El Monte Sagrado, in Taos, New Mexico. Gather up all the clocks in your house and stash them in a dresser drawer. Throw your watch in next to them. Leave them there for the whole day (or two, or five).

Turn off the ringers on your phones and mute the answering machine. Check messages only when you want to, keeping in mind that “not at all” is always an option.

Do an “out of the office” message for your e-mail (even if your office is a corner of the playroom). Say you won’t be checking your e-mail till you’re back from vacation. Then power down the computer and throw a towel over it.

Skip the news—and maybe even stop the mail—for a week. When you banish the source of stress, the stress itself may follow. The earth will continue to turn even if you’re not reading all about it every morning at 7:30 sharp, and sadly, the bills will still be there when your vacation is over.

https://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/staycation/put-world-on-hold

 

25 Genius Ways to Throw a Better Backyard Barbecue…

On January 5, 2017, in Decorative Concrete, by admin
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It’s summertime and — as the saying goes — the living is easy. Or at least it will be when you steal these fast, fresh tips for your next backyard BBQ. BY KATHLEEN HACKETT AND MARIA CARTER http://www.countryliving.com/entertaining/g801/summer-party-ideas-0609/

It’s summertime and — as the saying goes — the living is easy. Or at least it will be when you steal these fast, fresh tips for your next backyard BBQ.

http://www.countryliving.com/entertaining/g801/summer-party-ideas-0609/

 

Summer Fun

On June 27, 2016, in Decorative Concrete, by admin
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For some great summer fun ideas with the kids and family, the following link will get you started making summer a great  http://www.listotic.com/32-best-diy-backyard-games/    

For some great summer fun ideas with the kids and family, the following link will get you started making summer a great  http://www.listotic.com/32-best-diy-backyard-games/

 

 

 

Outdoor Kitchens and Concrete Countertops

On July 30, 2015, in Decorative Concrete, by admin
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Backyard kitchens with cooking surfaces, sinks, bars and storage areas are all the rage in the growing outdoor living trend. Concrete countertops are being noticed as the number one material that is both highly functional as well as decorative for taking cooking and entertaining activities outdoors. Designing with concrete countertops outdoors is also attractive because […]

Backyard kitchens with cooking surfaces, sinks, bars and storage areas are all the rage in the growing outdoor living trend. Concrete countertops are being noticed as the number one material that is both highly functional as well as decorative for taking cooking and entertaining activities outdoors. Designing with concrete countertops outdoors is also attractive because of their easy maintenance and vast design flexibility. Here are some tips from HGTV’s favorite garden artisan, Scott Cohen, on how to build with today’s most popular cast concrete countertop finishes.

 

 

 

SMALL PATIO IDEAS

On July 14, 2015, in Decorative Concrete, by admin
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Even if you only have a small space, you can still entertain some small patio ideas. A patio doesn’t have to be large to be enjoyed! We all need a little outdoor space to get fresh air, relax and do other activities like grilling. First you need to decide the shape of your patio. This […]

Even if you only have a small space, you can still entertain some small patio ideas. A patio doesn’t have to be large to be enjoyed! We all need a little outdoor space to get fresh air, relax and do other activities like grilling.

First you need to decide the shape of your patio. This may be very easy if your space is limited. If you have a larger yard, you can play a little more with the shape of your patio. Maybe you want to incorporate built-in planters or add a curved edge.

Best Patio Colors

As with any small space, lighter colors and patterns should always be used rather than dark colors and large patterns. The light colors or neutral colors will help make your space seem bigger. Carry the use of light colors when you are choosing your patio furniture. Light colored wood furniture or white wickers are excellent for a small patio.

To add some color to your patio, think of accent pieces such as planter, vases or decorative objects.

Patio Floor

Once you know how you want your patio to look, it is time to decide on which material you want to use to build it. There are lots of choices to fit every budget and artistic temperament. Bricks will give you a traditional feel, while pavers take that feeling and give it a little tweak.

Concrete was once the most boring of choices, but not anymore! Today, concrete can be dyed, stamped, stenciled, textured and decorated. Natural stone is a bit more pricy, but it makes an impressive patio. Another alternative is to combine materials.

Maybe mix brick with sections of concrete or stone tiles, for example. Be sure to choose an option that not only fits your budget, but complements your home. Alternatively, if you have an existing concrete patio that you’d like to fix up, decorative concrete overlays can be done to make it look like a brand new patio.

http://www.backyard-landscape-ideas.com/small-patio-ideas.html

 

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