Aside from the obvious stuff contractors have gotten a bad rep for (dishonesty, lack of punctuality, etc.), many contractors get the two most important components of resurfacing concrete wrong. Usually, getting those two things wrong leads to a problem with your floor (deterioration, peeling or chipping away, fading of the colors, etc) shortly after it’s been resurfaced. That’s a no-no.
So, in this post, we’ll tell you about those two things decorative concrete contractors can’t seem to get right. That way, you can hire a contractor who won’t screw it up.
1. Half-Assing The Surface Preparation
Surface preparation is the common term for the first, and most important, phase in the process of resurfacing concrete. In this phase, your concrete needs to be thoroughly cleaned. If any type of coating is covering your floor (paint, tiles, old stamps or overlays), that coating likely needs to be stripped off. There can’t be any dirt, dust, oil, or any other type of contaminating particles, or else the decorative coatings won’t bond to your concrete to their fullest potential. You can’t have that.
Honestly, the surface prep is a huge pain in the you-know-what. Pressure washing is no fun, especially when there are lots of oil stains on your concrete, but grinding is the real thorn in your side. That’s probably the reason why so many contractors ignore it. But if they don’t want any callbacks, and if you don’t want to have to deal with calling them back, they take this step very seriously.
2. Skimping on The Sealer (or Using The Wrong Kind)
Sealing is the last phase of the concrete resurfacing process. The sealer does two things – makes your newly decorated floor shinier, but more importantly – it serves as a shield to your concrete. It protects from UV rays, foot and vehicle traffic, and from getting dirty. Yet, somehow, many people skimp on the sealer or even skip it altogether. That’s just crazy.
Therefore, you must ask your contractor about how they plan to seal your concrete surface. Solvent-based sealers usually provide greater protection, so ask for such sealer. Solvent-based sealer is a must for exterior surfaces exposed to tons of sunlight. Ask for at least two coats of sealer.
3. Failing to Instruct you about Maintenance (bonus)
That sealer we were just talking about – that’s not a one-and-done type deal. Every decorative concrete contractor should tell you that your new floor needs to be re-sealed every 12-24 months, based on the amount of traffic and exposure to sunlight your concrete is undergoing. The contractor should instruct you on how to do it (as it’s relatively simple), and should offer to do it for you for a reasonable price. I wish I could tell you what that price is, but it’s different at every place. Here, in LA, re-sealing costs about $1 – $2 per sq. ft. But who does it is not important. It’s important it gets done.