Thompson Sealer on Stamped Concrete

I am writing this article not to bash Thompsons sealer but it has its place and it is not to reseal stamped concrete. Getting more and more emails about problems associated with homeowners using it over there pure acrylic resin based sealers with plain pure acrylic or stironated acrylic. Will not work.

As a matter of fact once on will not come off with any stripper like Zep degreaser, Are you kidding. Home Depot and Lowe’s to name a couple of big chains sell it continually to customers. Trust me once used game over . You might get lucky once and I get homeowners want to save a buck since it’s hard to find people to reseal properly even those who in some cases install stamped concrete.

We have developed over 33 years of installing and repairing stamped concrete a method of resealing that is foolproof.

I don’t respond to inquiries here since I can not follow all the questions asked through word press and although I have used it for years have no clue how to use it fully since it’s above my pay grade. I digress. I can be contacted at Ted@split-rok.com where I can help if needed. This can be a costly mistake if you do not heed this warning.

Also beware not to use water based sealers over resin based sealers. Resealing it might sound odd but it’s not as easy as it might seem. Use the right product and you get the best results.

Ted@split-rok.com

http://www.split-rok.com/

Inexpensive Stamped Concrete, will cost you later

I am writing this article to make a case for paying a bit more for your Stamped Concrete or other Decorative Products.

We have recently been repairing many bad stamped concrete jobs done by others due to our 30 plus years of experience. Haven’t found many that I can’t repair unless so bad that removal and replacement is the only option.

Low price will generally guarantee poor quality do to cost cutting by the installer to get the job. The sad part is that low strength concrete, lack of proper reinforcing, poor crack prevention due to lack of control cuts, poor coloring process, poor base and poor sealing application

Sadly the problems don’t show up until the check has cleared or after the first winter freeze when cracks will appear, peeling surface or whitening of sealer. These are but a few issues.

We have recently resealed two of our projects one from 1992 the other from the year 2000 both with no cracks. The one from 1992 even blows me away.

If you were to breakdown the cost over the lifetime of the job and added in the resale appeal I think that even paying $1000 more would be a great investment since stamped concrete will outlast pavers consistently if maintained properly. Resealing in most cases is all that is needed.

Please be advised that after all these years in business that it still amazes me that some Stamped Concrete Contractors have no integrity. It’s not always about the money. You either love doing this or you don’t!

Ted Mechnick

Split-Rok Construction Co.

http://www.split-rok.com

 

 

Ultra-thin Pavers new solution to old concrete.

Split-Rok Construction would like to introduce the concept of ultra-thin pavers as a solution to making drab old concrete look amazingly attractive using ultra-thin pavers as a solution.
Like stamped concrete that we were instrumental in promoting over 25 years ago here in the Northeast we are presently as excited about installing ultra-thin pavers as a solution to improving the look of your concrete or asphalt at your home or business.
If you can spare an inch of height and in most cases that is an easily met requirement. We
can install ultra thin pavers
over what’s existing and due to what is being gone over being a stable base there is less risk of settlement and movement to compromise the installation.
Other factors that make this product a wise decision are:

1. No need for costly and messy removal.
2. Can be used in high traffic areas like malls etc. without impeding traffic.
3. Can be installed in winter months in reasonably cold temperatures.
4. No need to shut down a business while installation is in progress.
5. Cracked or damaged concrete can be gone over without costly repairs prior to installing.
6. Dramatic savings over other conventional solutions to bad concrete or asphalt.
7. Numerous color and pattern selections.
8. No previous or impervious considerations since base is already grandfathered in.
9. Considered a repair in most localities therefore no need for permits.
10. Raises value immediately to your property for less than complete removal and replacement would be.
I think you can see why we at Split-Rok Construction are so excited about promoting this product as part of the concrete solutions portfolio we presently provide.
Check back regularly to see new patterns and colors as we progress along with pictures of examples.
We have installed the finest Decorative Concrete for the past 28 years and will apply our rigid standard of quality to this endeavor moving forward.
Ted Mechnick
Ted@split-rok.com

Concrete consultant

Ted Mechnick owner of Split-Rok Construction is now available to consult on any concrete or Decorative concrete issues you might be having. Generally most consultations can easily be handled on the phone. There will be a charge for these consultations but it will be affordable.
I have had over 40 years experience in the concrete business and 30 of those years in the Decorative Concrete Business.
Whether its a Design issue or something that is in need of repair I can generally give you the correct approach to solve your problem.
I have learned many interesting solutions over the years to what might seem to be an impossible problem.

Many have consulted me over time and have started this blog with the goal of helping those either homeowners or contractors that need solutions to their concrete issues.I have helped many since the inception of this site and truly enjoy helping. This business has been rewarding to me over my career. This is my small way of giving back.

If you’re a homeowner and think the problem you have is a hopeless problem call me first. I might have a simple solution. Sometimes the Contractor you have hired although good at stamping might not be totally knowledgeable about all aspects of this profession due to not having run into certain issues that can occur with Stamped or Decorative Concrete. I have run into about anything imaginable with this process over the years. Some problems that occur are but not limited to sealers blushing or turning white, sealers peeling, color problems, crack repairs and many design issues. I am here to help. Don’t get frustrated or angry. It might not be worth it. Email me first. Pictures are a big help. I have a nationwide information base. To date I have not been stumped if given the correct information.

I have recently helped a gentleman in England repair cracks with a video I made to show him how to correct his cracking issue. I will go to whatever  length I necessary to get you a solution to your problem.

Take advantage of my years of experience in the concrete business. Protect your reputation if you are a contractor, as I have over the years. It’s your greatest asset.

Ted Mechnick

Certified ACI( American Concrete Institute)  Concrete Finisher and Member of ASCC ( American Society of Concrete Contractors)

Ted@split-rok.com
732-915-6391

Concrete Raising, Slab Jacking or Mud Jacking

There are many times that removal and replacement of Concrete or Decorative Stamped Concrete is not the only solution to settled or uneven concrete slabs. Settling  generally occurs over time when the initial installation was improperly performed. The main cause for this is poor compaction of the sub-base or by  leaving materials that can decay over time such as stumps or construction debris. As the materials decompose and rot they leave a void under the concrete that in time can cause settlement issues since the concrete has not support and settles unevenly.

The cost of removal and replacement can be costly and in many cases where there is active pedestrian traffic, that cannot be turned off, it can create a hazardous condition during the removal and replacement process.

Uneven concrete that has no cracks or few cracks can be returned to its proper elevation with a process called mud-jacking, slab-jacking or concrete raising. Where there are greater problems like excessive cracking this can also be done by filling the cracks after jacking.  Sometimes cracks that are shrinkage related can be repaired more easily but many times will likely reappear. Movement cracks greater than 3/16″ wide usually can be filled but will return. If removing a hazardous condition is your main concern to reduce liability issues then just raising the settled slabs and filling the access holes will suffice.

The Law in most states views a difference from slab to slab greater than 1/2″ as a hazardous condition and requires businesses and homeowners to maintain their concrete to meet  this specification. Reference ACI 318.  If there should be someone that falls you can almost be guaranteed that this Specification will be posed as part of a lawsuit.

NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS:

There is a little known or little used process that can be done using High-Pressure grout to raise the slabs back to their original elevations. The process involves drilling a series of 2″ holes in the slabs to be raised in such a way that the pumping of the grout under high pressure raises the slab or slabs uniformly. This grouting creates a new base by filling the voids under the slab. This will last provided there is no more rotting material under the slab. If there is a limited amount it usually is not enough to negate what has been done.

Sounds easy but it takes a lot of experience since if you raise the slab or slabs to high you don’t get a do over. Removal then becomes your only option. Once the slabs are raised the holes are then filled with concrete and finished flush to the surface.VOILA ! Like new at sometimes half the cost of removal and replacement.

YOU ASK?

What about the holes? I don’t like looking at them since the color doesn’t match the surrounding slab. There is a solution to this also, called Micro-Topping. There are many manufacturers of these products and the cost varies from one manufacturer to the other. We have found that we get the best results using Legacy Micro-Toppings and Stampable Overlays. The reason that we use this product over others is due to it providing consistent results. If you want further information on this or other products like this you can Contact me at Ted@split-rok.com

We are in the process of completing an 8,000 square foot job at Liberty Lake Day Camp in Bordentown, New Jersey. The Owner Andy Pritikin had been getting quotes last year for removal and replacement of the concrete around the pool at Liberty Lake Day Camp. We were called to quote the job but  after meeting with Andy we decided that since his issues were related mainly due to  settlement that the use of slab-jacking with a Micro-Topping would be the best Expedient and  Cost-Effective Solution  for his problem.

The reasons for using this method as a solution were many  cost not being the only consideration.The pool interior walls were going to be redone at the same time that we were to raise and micro-top the concrete. The time frame was also critical since the pool had to be opened in time for the season and nothing but it being useable would do.

This job was in pretty bad shape. We called All Gentillini from Concrete Raising and he got all the slabs  back in place in three days.  8,000 square feet in three days. Never would be possible with removal and replacement.

If we got caught with meeting an opening schedule at this point it would have been OK since the Liability issue was rectified. We then used a rolled on material called Rollcoat in a color that was selected by us to be light enough so as not to make the surface too hot from constant sunlight. This will be gone over with a Colored Sealer by Sherwin-Williams  Company with Shark Grip added as another precaution against slipping.

The savings were approximately $40,000-$50,000. Nice savings in this economic environment. Not to mention the elimination of aggravation and messy removal to be endured with bad weather that time of year making the time element daunting.

Decorative Stamped or Colored Concrete can also be raised and the color of the hole, can in most cases be modified to make the holes less noticeable. It takes a bit longer to get the color of the holes to match, as close as possible but at Split-Rok Construction our motto is “The Difficult we do Right Away the Impossible takes a Bit Longer.

Think of a Stamped Concrete slab that has settled around your pool for example. No matter whether the concrete was colored in the truck (Integrally Colored) or installed using Color Hardeners the odds of getting a good match of the color is remote. Using color combinations and many years of diligent experience, we can usually get a color match that is so close that even the most discerning eye will have to work harder to see the difference. Not an exact match but in most cases more than acceptable.

DON’T REMOVE IT RAISE IT!

The cost associated with this procedure can save a company, business or homeowner a lot  of money. It is also a winner where downtime in high-Traffic locations can cost money and unneeded aggravation.

Downtime is critical to any business.

There you have it. A Cost-Effective solution to either large concrete locations or small jobs where matching color is an issue.

I can always be reached at Ted@split-rok.com or visit our website at http://www.splitrok.com  if you need further information about whether this an approach you would like to explore and a professional honest appraisal whether this will work in your situation.

Ted Mechnick (The Concrete Professor)

Ted@split-Rok.com