Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost?
GENERAL PRICE RANGE $2 - $5 per square foot. (Actual price may fall outside of $2 - $5, depending on total square footage and job intricacy.)
What if my job is small?
Small jobs require the same equipment, process sequences, dry times, color reaction times, and client meetings. Therefore, we have found that jobs under 400 square feet (smaller than the size of a two car driveway) are often not cost effective for the client.
Should I tear out and replace my concrete?
Usually no. When considering tear out and replacement you should also consider the major disadvantages such as cost and construction mess. New concrete is likely to develop cracks or show significant blotchy discoloration and pavers may sink settle or have weed growth problems.
If your concrete has structural issues like breaking up or raised cracks (over 1 inch) we often recommend first having those problematic sections replaced. By the time we are finished with the decorative portion of the job, the new and old concrete sections will look the same.
What can you do with existing cracks?
Cracks are almost always a part of concrete. There is no way to remove a crack without replacing the whole concrete section and in doing so will end up with a possibility of new cracks.
Covering a crack with a coating will almost always result in that crack resurfacing in very little time. This is because concrete moves on a daily basis expanding as it warms up during the day and contracting when it cools at night.
The decorative finish of stained concrete subdues cracks significantly. Cracks are most noticeable when they are meandering through a light colored, uniform surface that is intended to look clean and perfect like standard concrete. Because cracks broadcast a shade within them, they always look darker. Therefore, when the concrete surface is finished with a blend of darker varied colors, the crack becomes less noticeable. The surface will also look more like a slab of stone rather than concrete which makes it easier to change ones mindset from looking at a crack in concrete to seeing a vein in a slab of stone.
What if I don't have any existing concrete?
Typically we are most beneficial for those who already have concrete. There are many cost effective decorative finishing options for concrete when it is first installed. This is why most will choose an alternative other than us for a new concrete project.
With that being said, sometimes new concrete projects do specify to use our unique process for the decorative finish in order to attain a more natural look.
Can you re-stain stamped concrete?
Yes, as long as the stamp pattern is part of the concrete slab and not a coating or overlay that was applied over the top.
Can you repair or re-stain a coating?
Unfortunately no. We do not repair stain or refinish concrete coatings or overlays because the material can vary so greatly and they are inherently problematic.
Can you remove paint, sealer or a coating?
Yes to paint, sealers, and thin coatings.
We do not remove thick textured coatings and in that case recommend either completely replacing the concrete or installing something substantial like stone or tile over the top.
How thick is the finished surface?
Unlike other alternatives, there is no additional thickness. The stain soaks into the concrete. You won't have to worry about doors rubbing, landings not meeting, or new drainage problems. (Common with thick coatings around garage doors) There is no coating to flake up or peel around the edges.
How durable is the finished product?
Our stain process is extremely durable and guaranteed not to fail.
Diamond grinding, Sandblasting, and Acid Etching are some procedures we use for obtaining optimal prep.
The surface holds up to outdoor exposure and high vehicular traffic. The color is UV stable with minimal fading even in extreme exterior applications.
Will the surface be slippery after it is sealed?
Sealing concrete can add some slip potential. This is why we take the time to initially rough up the concrete by acid etching and mechanically profiling. We avoid high gloss and recommend a lower sheen sealer resulting in a slip resistant surface suitable even for around pools.
What about maintenance?
The finished surface requires little to no routine maintenance. To many, the surface will actually look more appealing over time as the elements allow it to age and patina in a natural way. Some desire the surface to always look fresh like the first day it was completed. Either way the earliest to consider cleaning and resealing is 3 to 5 years but is most often left to patina naturally well beyond that.
We provide maintenance and seal service for minimal cost and usually can be completed within a day.
Do I need approval from my Homeowners Association?
Many properties do have an association that regulates aesthetic improvements. The areas that are most likely in need of approval are where they can easily be viewed from other property owners, like a driveway or front walk.
We recommend that you look to see if other property owners have changed the color or overall look of their concrete. If so, then approval should not be a problem.
How long does it take to complete the job?
It varies depending on the scope of work. A typical 600 square foot driveway will take approximately four days while a 10,000 square foot area may take around two weeks to complete.
How long before I can walk or drive on the concrete surface?
The surface can be walked on for almost the entire time, driven on during the beginning stages of the process and a day after the job is done.
Do I need to let any workers inside the home or office?
No. We have everything we need outside.
Will there be any mess left on the job site?
No. There will be no dumpsters, portapotties, or trash piles left on the job.
Is this process environmentally friendly?
Yes. We utilize existing concrete. The energy used to break up, load, transport, and dispose of material is avoided. Our process is so non-invasive that it doesn't even harm the nearby grass or plants.