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

 

 

Best Color Hardener to use Stamping Concrete

I generally do not promote products that I use to do my Stamped Concrete but in this case I am making an exception.

We have used L.M. Scofield Company’s color hardener since we have been stamping concrete for the past 30 years. I recently tried other color hardeners to see if we could save some money in purchasing color hardener. BIG MISTAKE.; I will not disclose which ones I used that seriously disappointed me but I can tell you this. Although Scofield is a bit more money there is no comparison to other color hardeners. Coverage is better. No need to double and triple apply like others.

Like the old saying goes. You get what you pay for. Scofield has been in business for 100 years and I guess that stands for something. If your a Contractor or a homeowner insist on Scofield they can’t be matched in my opinion.

Ted Mechnick

www.split-rok.com

InstallingStamped Concrete properly

IOn this blog I have written manyArticles about stamped concrete and the related components of the process but it was suggested to me to write an article about what I feel is the best way to install stamped concrete that would insure that you get the best possible installation that would insure you that you will get long life out of your stamped concrete with few problems if any. First and foremost naturally is the type concrete being used that is designated by strength. We at Split-Rok Construction use 4,000 psi exclusively. Higher strengths can be used but cut down on time to stamp concrete. The next item is type of color to be used. We only use what I feel is the best on the market here in the US. L.M.Scofield Color Hardener. Costs a bit more than others but regarding color and fade resistance no other can compare. Thirty years of using it without any complaints. If you skimp on this one item all alone you risk it all. Please note that they make release agents and integral colors also as well as sealers. They have been in business for 100 years. That says allot. Regarding integral colors for stamped concrete we do not recommend them since shoould a repair become necessary the color will likely not match. Please see how to repair stamped concrete on this blog. Quite nice if I do say so myself. You should also vet out your installer thoroughly. Pictures are great but if I’m spending thousands of dollars in some cases to have a job done I’m going to speak to past customers. See both old and new installations and ask how was he to do business with? Many things can go wrong if your installer lacks some knowledge he should have. He will likely show you his best projects. Ask him how many projects he has had to remove over his career due to him not liking the finished product. If he says none find another contractor. If he is truly quality centered as I am he would have removed a few. I have at my expense. That’s a whole other article.

http://www.split-rok.com

Repairing Stamped Concrete

I have written a few articles about repairing stamped concrete and how the use of color hardener as opposed to integral color makes repairs possible to the degree that you can not tell that there was any damage in the first place. The pictures accompanying this article are of my driveway in New Jersey where County and State road departments insist on using road brine to melt snow. Unfortunately it works fine for them but is creating a nightmare for people with concrete driveways and Decorative concrete driveways. Even sealers that are generally used to protect the concrete are of no use. Brine goes through the sealer and attacks the concrete surface and deteriorates it. I first started noticing this on a driveway in Spring Lake, New Jersey at a house that the driveway was stamped in 2005. Never in my 28 years in the business at that time had anyone called me to say their driveway was peeling, especially after 6-7 years.

Upon a visit to his home I noticed that his SUV was parked in the area of the damage. My assumption was that it was salt damage. Inspecting my driveway closely where I parked my truck I also noticed peeling and popping occurring. I had to find a way to repair these issues but make the repairs totally perfect.

I have built a reputation in the industry of being capable of solving about any problem. Both in the U.S. and abroad.

Together with our in house colorist we began to work on our driveway stone by stone identifying what colors were used and on each stone that was damaged and using color hardener with a modified concrete that we

Together with our in house colorist we began to work on our driveway stone by stone identifying what colors were used and on each stone that was damaged and using color hardener with a modified concrete that we created were able to get and EXACT match.2014-04-26 06.21.21 IMAG0570

Please notice how dull the before picture colors were. This was due to removal of the sealer. Once new sealer was applied the colors popped.

Go to http://www.split-rok.com to see other examples of our work. This job is L.M. Scofield color hardeners

 

Resealing Stamped or Colored Concrete

I know that many articles have been written regarding this topic but I feel it necessary to write this to promote what I feel needs to be more clearly addressed regarding the proper preparation and application of sealers.
Some of this may sound redundant but I can assure you that this post is being written to make more clear what is an extremely costly risk you are taking with a cavalier approach to resealing your concrete.
Years ago we at Split-Rok Construction could and did instruct our clients who were handy around the house on how to apply new sealer. Very easy to do and effective whether done by us or them provided they followed simple rules of application. Today that is not the case due to Government intervention into the sealer industry trying to prevent Volatile Organic Compounds from going into the atmosphere. Their mandate was to replace one type of solvent with another in HOPE that this would produce the desired result. Yes I am a fan of protecting the Earth at a reasonable cost but this was not well researched and therefore has done more to hurt my industry than would have hurt the environment if better thought out. The result of this poorly planned and unnecessary restriction has caused problems that have resulted in making beautifully installed stamped concrete turn white and hazy after application as a result of changing solvents.
The main mistake being made is assuming that we can, Apply new sealer over old thinking that Sealer is Sealer. This is longer the case since VOC sealers do not commingle well with Non-VOC sealers.
Unfortunately and fortunately there is a solution but it can be costly to perform but absolutely necessary to assure a good result. Removal of ALL old sealer by use of Water Sandblasting and thorough rinsing prior to new sealer being applied in thin coats. Thin coats seem to insure a good application result.
Very important to have ALL sealer removed and area be clean and dry and only apply sparingly. If applied to thick you risk to thick a coat and the same problem you had at the start comes back.
Sounds more tricky than it is but its very doable. Preparation is the key.

Should anyone reading this need more clarity about this process I can be reached by going to our site http://www.split-rok.com and drop me an email.

Thank you for your interest.
Ted Mechnick
Split-Rok Construction Company

USE COLOR HARDENER FOR THE BEST REPAIRS ON STAMPED CONCRETE

Damaged Stamped Concrete Driveway
This was damaged by a Township Snow Plow
Repaired Stamped Concrete Driveway
Repaired Stamped Concrete Driveway

We have been promoting the use of Color Hardener as opposed to Integral Color for years. The attached pictures show why we feel that it is the best method of coloring Decorative Stamped Concrete.

This corner of the driveway of a client of ours was damaged as a result of a Township snow plow. Naturally our client was more than upset. She had spent a lot of money on her Stamped Concrete driveway and expected to get many years of use out of it along with having it look great for years.

If this job had been installed using Integral Color (Liquid Color in the Concrete Truck) the repair could not be done in a way that would match. The reason is that Integral Color from one load of concrete to the next is hard enough to match and if a job is years old, as this one is, it would likely be next to impossible to match although with our years of experience we have done it but it can be costly. Working with color is hard enough but matching colors is an Art Form.

Those using Integral Color claim that if you get a chip in your concrete that since the color goes all the way through, if chipped it will not be noticeable.  I for one would not be sold on that idea for the following reasons.

Even if the color goes all the way through who wants to look at a chip and especially a large one like that shown here. Furthermore those using Integral Color never tell you that although the color goes all the way through there are dark grey stone that show once the surface is compromised.

All the Stamped Concrete that Split-Rok Construction Company installs is done using Color Hardeners. Look at this repair and you can see why we use it and can Warrantee our work for life. No questions asked. Cracks or chips no matter since we document all jobs as to how they were installed and what colors we used to ensure that should damage occur that we can fix it.

Over the 27 years in this business, if memory serves me a have had to repair about  8 jobs. Even though in those cases the fault was not ours like this one, we repair damage like this free of charge. WHY! because at Split-Rok Construction we have always subscribed to the Old Fashioned way of doing business. We always GO THE EXTRA MILE and give people more than they ask for and want our work to always be the best that we are capable of delivering.

This is why we have been recognized as an Industry Leader since 1985.

Look at the Crack Repair on the other page on this blog. Gone

If you are going to invest to money in a beautiful Stamped Concrete Driveway, Patio or walk insist that Color Hardener be used and get a Warantee.

The cost of using Color Hardener might run a bit morebut this can easily be justified. It will last much longer with limited fading and if damaged it can easily be repaired to it’s original look. Don’t forget reseal when needed. Usually every 3-4 years. DO NOT overseal. It will cause problems.

Visit us on www.split-rok.com or www.resealconcrete.com. And please come back regularly to our blog for other interesting concrete related information.

Please be aware that we at Split-Rok Construction will always assist anyone who has a concrete related issue whether the job was installed by us or not. No matter where in this World that you live we would like to be helpful. I recently helped a person in the Mideast with a driveway that he was installing. Our reach has no boundries and niether does our knowledge base. If I don’t have an answer to you question I am sure that I can find one. for you.

Thank you for visiting The Concrete Professor

Ted Mechnick