Concrete is a standard construction material worldwide, and the widespread and iconic human-made structures, including houses, skyscrapers, bridges, and highways, are its creation.
Concrete’s versatility in use offers a flexible, functional capacity. That makes it the familiar durable and robust material when it hardens and otherwise transportable and applicable – or “pourable” – when newly mixed.
Smooth and Stylish: Concrete and Flatwork
The material is a mainstay for flatwork, one of the many notable concrete uses that people have discovered and developed uses for. As the name suggests, constructors pour it in a horizontal plane and flatten and smoothen it to create a flat roof.
Concrete flatwork is a sought-after installation since it offers various decorative options and unrivaled strength. Regardless, there’s more to what meets the eye in concrete flatwork installation, which isn’t any different from others. There’s always the proper curing, ideal aggregate mixtures, and thoughtful application techniques to not damage the concrete throughout the various finishing methods. Besides, viable structural integrity prompts using high-quality material as a standard requirement.
Decorative Flatwork Finishes
Finishing methods include brush-textured concrete works for exterior flatwork while smooth ones are ideal for the indoors. Smoother finishes make the concrete sort of slippery when wet. It’s therefore apparent that different finishing methods produce various finishing effects as per the purpose of the flatwork job.
Unlike asphalt, decorative flatwork techniques help with the necessary adornments, but the concrete’s durability is a perfect base for it. Constructors use various methods to apply color, stamping, and texture, among others, to mirror other extravagant surface materials. That, therefore, provides the essential cosmetics uplifts on the generic gray concrete.
Designers can easily curate standard concrete into brick, marble, cobblestone, hardwood, flagstone, and more due to its workability. These aesthetic options help complement interior designs and facades – to form patterns with stamped concrete or stained concrete styles for interior designs.
Concrete has a vast array of applications in commercial and residential uses. And some of the applications for the latter include walkways, driveways, patios, driveways, courtyards, pool decks, and garage floors. Builders have discovered these uses with an inventive visual appeal, which are only but a fraction of the residential applications of concrete flatwork.
Industrial and commercial property owners also savor the material’s sturdiness. They’ve installed concrete flatwork on sidewalks, access ramps, warehouse floors, parking lots, and loading docks.
Typical Flatwork Issues
Concrete isn’t indomitable despite its durability and versatility, and a few of the issues its issues include
Cracking – cracking is likely in concrete due to subgrade settlement, thermal contractions, and pressure from excess loads. Sometimes, each of these factors can work singlehandedly to infuse cracks on concrete.
Crazing – crazing is near surface-deep crevices that appear as web due to lackluster finishing work or the uneven shrinking and surfacing of cement paste. It’s typically an aesthetic issue than a structural one.
Discoloration/staining – delayed and premature finishing can be the genesis for concrete discoloration and staining. Besides, poor craft and inconsistent material incorporation can add to the weight. Purposed stains on concrete are aesthetic, but they can be an eyesore if they aren’t needed.
Scaling/palling – scaling can occur due to water seeping in the porous concrete zones. In addition, the freeze and thaw action or frail surface due to inadequate curing can be viable issues. These few cause peels of the upper concrete surfaces, falling as chips or flakes.
The concrete’s uncanny iconic strength can be its undoing since it creates a barrier to its repairs by making it more challenging. And one viable reason for this unusual strength is its slab-style installation, making profound maintenance more expensive. Regardless, proper care helps ease up repair budgets with unexpected costs.
Track the temperature changes – Instead of pouring cold water on hot concrete, try sweeping it. Remember, sudden concrete temperature variations can damage the concrete’s cohesiveness, attracting costly repairs.
Install efficient drainage – concrete flatwork slabs possibly float when flooded, and a sound drainage system comes in handy. To prevent floodwater from moving concrete slabs away, a proficient contractor can ease flooding by installing drainage systems on every flatwork area, including driveways, porches, and sidewalks.
Surface sealing – outdoor concrete flatwork gets exposed to acids, salts, and other corrosive substances. A solvent-based acrylic film-forming filler lets moisture find its way out without a hitch. That guarantees lasting protection of the concrete.
Seal cracks promptly – gaps and cracks usually ensue near expansive joints due to constant shrinkage. Therefore, it’s essential to seal them with gray silicone sealant present in any hardware store or contact an expert if your abilities don’t measure up.