As a contractor in the coatings installation and maintenance industry,
we are asked many questions regarding what type of surface we recommend.
It is always a good idea to ask what surfaces will be appropriate for
the use of that area and what elements are present and how they will affect
the enhanced surface installed. In choosing a contractor to enhance your
concrete surfaces, it is important to ask questions about the life of
the surface, the cost of maintenance for that surface, and the process
used by their technicians in applying the recommended surface enhancement.
Learn great tips from the experts and start enjoying your newly enhanced
extra outdoor living space today.
Suggested questions to ask an installation company:
- How long has your company been in business?
- How long have the installers/applicators been working with your company?
- What is the life of the surface being installed?
- What is the warranty of the surface being installed?
- Discuss the use of the area and what elements are present... i.e. dogs,
children, amount of foot traffic, vehicle traffic, water (rain and irrigation
systems), sun light, trees, and surrounding landscaping.
- Can you explain the difference between stamped concrete and a stamped overlay?
- Do you cover surrounding areas and landscaping during the application process?
- What is your policy on cleanup when the project is completed?
- What is the product made of?
- How long will the work take to complete?
- What is your availability to complete the project?
- Do you have any complaints at the ROC or BBB?
- Do you have a website for your company?
- Can you provide references for me to contact about the services you recently provided?
1. The most common mistake that we see most people make:
They do nothing to an existing enhanced surface if it is stamped concrete,
stamped overlay, hand trowel finish or lace decking in a pool environment.
The perception that many people have is that the enhanced surface will
need to be completely replaced and that will be very expensive and unaffordable.
There are a percentage of installers that want to sell you a new surface
that can cost thousands instead of making repairs. We as concrete professionals
have found that in many cases repairs can be made to match the existing
surface and apply new sealer for protection thereby cutting the project
cost by half or more, in most situations. All enhanced surfaces/coatings
have to be sealed periodically. Enhanced surfaces that are maintained
properly can last decades.
Not being cautious:
If a pressure washer is used, not to use too much pressure otherwise you
can remove the protective sealer or even the enhanced surface being protected
by the sealer. Use a wide fan pressure washer tip away from the surface
to remove the dirt and leave the sealer intact. Over use or misuse of
a pressure washer can damage the area and reduce the life if the surface.
3. Choose a cleaner that is non-toxic:
Non-acidic, and no bleaches are allowed on typical enhanced surface coatings.
The use of citrus or orange cleaners is not recommended as well due to
the acidic content. When cleaning it is important to remove all cleaner
with water and also remove all standing water as well due to the hard
water issues in the valley and can leave mineral deposits on a newly cleaned surface.
4. Self-performed repairs by the homeowner are possible but not recommended:
Knowing what products to use and the process involved can be complicated
and takes experience to repair correctly. For the do-it-yourself person,
we highly recommend that you do not buy repair products from the major
retail outlets. The products on the shelf are not designed specifically
for the surface at your home or business. The professionals that are trained
and qualified know what products are best suited for the areas of repair
and work closely with the manufactures to understand how surfaces are
to be prepared and products applied for quality and longevity.
5. The key is knowing when and who to call for an honest repair quote: Unfortunately this industry has seen a lot of companies come and go due
to many reasons.
6. Do your homework when searching for a company for these types of repairs.
Ask to look at hard samples or pictures when possible.
This will help communicate the final look you would like to achieve.
8. Be cautious if a company just wants to install their "own" product.
In our experience, replacement has been necessary for surfaces that have
been installed but were not designed for that area. Manufactures design
various products for particular areas based on the conditions to minimize
maintenance and create a long lasting enhanced surface.
If you have additional questions or want more information about increasing
your outdoor living space call ToFixIt at (602) 863-4948 and will help
alleviate this stressful task.