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4 Signs It’s Time to Resurface Your Pool Deck

The benefits of having your own back yard pool are many.

While you maintain the pool itself to keep the water sparkling and clear, when was the last time you took a really good look at the pool deck? The pool deck adds to the beauty and ambience of the pool area and should also be kept in tip-top condition. Resurfacing that deck gives a fresh, new look with little time or cost involved. Give the experts at Concrete Designs a call if you notice any of the following issues with your pool deck:

Cracks

While concrete is extremely sturdy and long lasting, cracks may eventually develop. Small, hairline cracks are one of the first signs your deck is in need of a makeover through the process of resurfacing. Remember, cracks will only grow larger if ignored and may lead to worse problems.

Erosion

One of the problems that may occur if cracks are allowed to grow and enlarge is erosion. Erosion can happen when water seeps down through the cracks and affects the soil underneath. If erosion is allowed to take place, this only leads to deeper, far more serious problems that will be quite costly to repair.

New Look

Small chips in the concrete deck are a part of daily usage. However, if erosion has begun it will quickly turn those smaller damaged areas into larger holes caused by the shifting and movement of the underlying soil. Repairing these holes before they have a chance to enlarge, then resurfacing the pool deck will give a completely new look along with the added safety factor of no holes or chipped areas to cause trips and falls.

Discoloration

While not damaging in itself, a dull, weathered appearance is letting you know the concrete is aging and requires attention. Chemicals used to keep the water clean and clear, along with the sun’s heavy UV rays, may cause discoloration and will, over time, weaken the integrity of the concrete which could then lead to more cracks appearing. Applying a sealer is a quick fix for the appearance but is not long-lasting if the concrete is beginning to weaken.

Take advantage of the knowledge and experience of Concrete Designs before these problems and issues arise with your pool deck. Their designers will happily show you how easy it is to completely change the appearance and wearability of your pool deck by resurfacing before the damage is too great. Colors, patterns, and designs can be blended to create exactly the appearance you want to achieve.

 

Tips on How to Maintain Your Synthetic Turf Looking New

Synthetic turf is becoming more and more popular.

This is the especially the case with busy homeowners who want a lush, beautiful lawn but simply don’t have the time to maintain that lawn. Raking, mowing, edging, and fertilizing can quickly consume what little spare time you may have. Replacing your grass by having synthetic turf professionally installed by the experts at Concrete Designs will have you enjoying your time instead. Once the turf is installed, there are a few things you need to know to keep the turf looking like new.

Brush regularly

A regular brushing removes leaves and other debris before they can become compacted into the turf, possibly creating a moldy or mildewed appearance. Brushes should only have synthetic fibers, never steel or other metallic bristles that could harm the turf. If a rake is used, it should have flexible plastic tines. A leaf blower, used on a regular basis, works well also.

Avoid heavy items from the turf

While heavy items such as a flower pot or child’s wading pool may temporarily crush the turf bristles, there is seldom actual damage done that brushing the turf won’t fix. Brushing against the natural pile of the turf will fluff it back to its original upright position, leaving no evidence anything was there and keeping your lawn looking smooth and even.

Keep fire and hot items away

Synthetic turf isn’t flammable but it may well melt if exposed to heat other than the sun’s rays. Barbecue pits, cigarettes, fireworks, or other heated materials should be kept well away from areas where synthetic turf has been placed. It is strongly recommended that running vehicles not be parked on turf. Damaged areas can be replaced, but why have that expense when following a few simple rules will prevent damage?

Rinse with water

Just as with regular grass, dust and dirt will build up on your synthetic turf. Rain is the best solution to keeping the turf clean and fresh but when that’s not an option, a quick spray with the water hose will do the job. Sprinklers are not a good idea as too much water may tend to build up calcium deposits on the turf. For any stains that may occur, a solution of mild household detergent mixed with water may be used. Never use caustic or high alkaline cleaners on your turf.

7 Benefits of Having a Brick Driveway Instead of an Asphalt Driveway

Let’s face it – driveways are usually not high on the priority list when it comes to your home and landscaping, when in reality the driveway should be a top priority as it can set the first impression of your property when guests arrive. While asphalt may have its benefits, take a look at the difference a brick driveway can make to the overall appearance of your property. Concrete Designs are experts in this area and will be happy to show you how a brick driveway can greatly enhance the look and feel of your home.

The benefits of brick versus asphalt are many, here are a few for you to consider:

1 – Easier installation is a big plus.

No noisy heavy equipment, no asphalt smell permeating your house, no waiting days on end for the bricks to cure. As soon as the brick is laid, it can be driven on without worry.

2 – Variety is key with brick.

The colors, shapes, and sizes of brick can create beautiful patterns to make your driveway a virtual work of art. Asphalt is black, period.

3 – Safety should always be kept in mind.

The rough texture of most brick used in paving makes them naturally slip-resistant when wet.

4 – Repairs are much faster and easier if a brick should become damaged.

Since they are individual units, it’s a simple matter of removing and replacing the damaged unit. Asphalt repair, on the other hand, is more complicated and time-consuming, and never quite looks the same.

5 – Withstanding the elements

This definitely gives brick the upper hand as opposed to asphalt. The heat of the summer sun in areas such as southern Florida can cause asphalt to thin, ripple, and crack, leading to expensive repairs. Heavy rains also have a negative effect on asphalt. Brick is not affected by most weather conditions.

6 – Longevity

The longevity of a brick is quoted by some experts as anywhere between 20 – 30 years when properly installed. With the expertise of those at Concrete Designs, you can be assured your brick driveway will last for many years.

7 – Lower maintenance

This alone is worth the cost of choosing brick over asphalt. Asphalt will last for years but needs constant maintenance and attention to do so; crack repairs need immediate attention, and a seal coating should be applied every 2 – 3 years, just to name a couple common asphalt issues. A quick squirt with the water hose, or a light scrub to any stain will keep your brick driveway looking new and fresh.

5 Tips to Maintain Your Marble Floor and Keep it Looking Like New

Marble is one of the most beautiful of all natural stones.

Adding marble flooring in your home increases the value of the home and lends a spectacular new look to your surroundings. Properly maintained, marble floors will last the lifetime of your home without losing their beauty and appeal. The experts at Concrete Designs offer these tips to help you keep those floors looking new:

1 – Don’t let spills sit!

Yes, marble presents a hard surface but it will stain if spills are not cleaned quickly. A soft cloth, sponge, or paper towel will usually do the trick. Once the spill is wiped up, go over the area with warm water, then dry with a cloth or paper towel.

2 – Don’t let dirt and debris sit

This will tend to scratch the marble surface. A dust mop is the preferred method of cleaning up dust and dirt as most brooms are hard and scratchy. A light spray of an anti-static spray on the dust mop will help pick up the dust and dirt. Pay special attention to entryways and other high traffic areas.

3 – Mop regularly

Mopping regularly with a sponge mop dampened with warm water will keep your marble floors sparkling. Keep the mop as clean as possible by regularly dipping into the warm water and squeezing out as much water as you can. Do not use an excess amount of water as this could cause water staining. When the mopping is finished, dry the floors quickly using a soft cloth.

4 – Don’t use acidic cleaning products

When cleaning your marble floors, do not use any acidic cleaning products! These will damage the marble, causing dulling and pitting. If you’re not sure, don’t use it. The friendly, knowledgeable group at Concrete Designs will be happy to recommend the best and easiest cleaner for your marble floors. Vinegar and lemon juice are popular cleaners but must never be used on marble. A pH-neutral cleaner is best – heavily diluted ammonia and warm water works well, or a few drops of dish soap diluted in water. When the floors have dried, go over them once more using only water.

5 – Don’t skip the sealing process

Many have the mistaken notion that since marble is a hard stone it doesn’t need to be sealed. Any natural stone used in or around the home should have a sealant applied; marble is no exception. The proper sealant helps protect your floors from becoming stained from spills, heavy usage, and scratches.

The personnel at Concrete Designs stand ready to assist with any marble floor issues you may have.

Say “Goodbye” to Mud and Puddles and “Hello” to Synthetic Grass!

You have a lovely home and want a gorgeous lawn to showcase that home.

The time and expense, however, of maintaining that lawn can be staggering, plus the weather doesn’t always cooperate when mowing time comes around. Take heart, there is a perfect solution to your lawn issues – synthetic turf. The experts at Concrete Designs can show you how quickly and easily you’ll never have to worry about your lawn again with the professional installation of synthetic turf.

Mud creation

Well maintained natural grass lawns are beautiful, no doubt, but over time the underlying dirt will shift or wash away. Many soils do not absorb or drain well, creating dips and swales in the landscaping that turn into puddles during a rain shower, or even from watering that grass. Bare spots from heavy traffic areas or simply from kids and pets playing will also turn into puddles. Where there are puddles, there will be mud. And where there is mud, it will find its way into the house.

Natural vs. Synthetic

Yes, natural grass is good for the environment. Or is it? Think of the chemicals being absorbed into the ground from fertilizers and weed killers. Think of the toxins being sent into the atmosphere from lawn mower and weed eater exhaust. Think of the oil and gas being used, think of the water being wasted trying to keep that grass looking lush.
Synthetic turf looks just as lush and beautiful without any of those toxins or chemicals, making it truly environmentally friendly.

Benefits of Synthetic Turf

Synthetic turf is non-toxic, making it safe for kids and pets. The installation process uses a base that not only keeps the turf in place in the toughest conditions, but also gives the soft look and feel of natural grass. The turf, along with the base, is designed to allow for full drainage, thereby eliminating those nasty mud puddles. Grass stains will become a thing of the past.

Keeping your synthetic turf looking like new is easy. Like natural grass, synthetic turf can be raked to remove leaves and other debris. With turf, there will be no more bare spots, smells, or stains from pets.

The expense of maintaining a natural grass lawn is virtually eliminated by the installation of synthetic turf – no more mowing, weed eating, edging, trimming, fertilizing, and reseeding! Not to mention the time and effort required to accomplish those tasks!

Concrete Designs does much more than concrete. Let them show you how to have a beautiful lawn that enhances your home instead of a lawn filled with puddles and mud.

 

Why Restore My Driveway And Not Replace it?

Everyone knows a dull, damaged driveway detracts from the overall appearance of their property.

When you start noticing your driveway isn’t looking so great anymore and are thinking of having it replaced, consider having it restored instead. The professionals at Concrete Designs are expert at driveway restoration and have many reasons to make restoration a more appealing option for you. Among these reasons are:

More economical

Having an old driveway demolished, removed, and replaced is quite expensive as opposed to restoring that same driveway. As long as the base is in fairly good condition, the concrete can be overlaid or polished at a fraction of the cost of replacement. Who doesn’t like to save money? The time factor involved in restoration is much less also; generally a few days as compared to possibly a few weeks or longer.

Less mess

No one enjoys waking up to the sound of jackhammers and dealing with the dust and dirt that accompanies those jackhammers. That’s what you get with replacement, along with piles of crumbled concrete that has to be hauled away in noisy dump trucks. The restoration process eliminates the stress and mess with a minimum of noise and dust. The job is done quickly, quietly, and efficiently.

More attractive options

With restoration, the options for a more complementary finish are practically endless. Colors, patterns, and textures can be added along with stamping or stenciling to create a driveway that adds to, rather than detracts from, the ambiance of your home and property. The designers at Concrete Designs will work with you to come up with the perfect solution to your driveway issues and concerns, giving you a driveway that adds curb appeal and value to your property.

Long-lasting

The knowledge and expertise in all things concrete at Concrete Designs will assure you that a restoration project will be just as long-lasting, if not more so, as replacing your concrete. A proper sealant added once the project is completed ensures any colors that have been chosen will stay bright and new looking, and the general appearance of the driveway will show very little age over time.

To recap a few of the benefits of restoring rather than replacing that worn, damaged driveway:

1 – Money savings are greatly enhanced
2 – Timely project completion with much less mess
3 – Unique, custom designs available
4 – Lasts for many, many years

How to Prepare Your Concrete Before Resurfacing

Although concrete is a tough, durable material, it will eventually begin to show signs of deterioration and wear.

This is especially true of driveways and other concreted areas that are constantly exposed to the elements. But take heart – most concrete, even somewhat damaged concrete, can be resurfaced instead of having to tear it all out and replacing it, a time-consuming and expensive proposition.

Resurfacing is a job best left to the professionals.

The prep work alone is time-consuming and must be done properly for the resurfacing to be effective. There are several steps that must be taken in preparing the concrete before the resurfacing can begin. Concrete Designs has the experts, along with the proper tools and equipment, to get the job done quickly and efficiently, leaving you with a like-new finish that will last for years.

The first, and very important, step is thoroughly cleaning the concrete.

All dirt, debris, paint or sealant, must be completely removed down to bare concrete. You wouldn’t paint a dirty wall and expect it to look flawless, you can’t resurface dirty concrete and expect perfect results. The resurfacing material actually bonds to the concrete and strengthens it. This won’t happen if the concrete isn’t completely clean, leaving you with a less than ideal finish that will have weak spots.

Once the concrete has been cleaned, any flaws in the concrete will be exposed and will need to be addressed.

If there are any bad areas, these need to be removed and replaced. Small hairline cracks should be filled; larger cracks or dents can be patched to match the surrounding surface. The filled and patched areas need time to cure, usually a few hours under the proper conditions, before the next step is taken.

After the concrete has been cleaned, all patches and cracks taken care of and cured.

The surface must now be roughened to achieve the proper bonding of the resurfacing material to the concrete. Roughing the concrete surface requires equipment most people don’t have just laying around their garage. As the resurfacing is applied, a smooth or distressed, slip resistant finish is easily achieved.

As you can see, preparing your concrete can be a complicated process if attempted as a do-it-yourself project. The knowledge and expertise of the personnel at Concrete Designs makes the job affordable and painless, giving a fresh new look to your tired, worn concrete with no effort on your part.

3 Benefits of Installing Pavers in your Driveway

Your home is one of the largest investments you will ever make and you want it to appear appealing.

Landscaping and paint schemes blend to make the area aesthetically pleasing, but what to do with that plain, boring driveway?One option to add both beauty and value to your home is having pavers installed. Yes, this option may be somewhat more expensive than other hard surface choices due mainly to the labor-intensive process of installation, but the long term benefits outweigh the initial cost factor.

Design Versatility

Pavers come in all sizes, shapes, and colors so the design options of your driveway are practically limitless. The experts at Concrete Designs can take a picture of your current driveway and, via a computerized program, show you exactly what your finished drive will look like with the pavers you choose. Straight lines, curves, and turns can be easily achieved through the use of pavers. Various sizes and shapes used together can create an interesting effect.

Easy Maintenance

In most cases, a simple garden hose is the only ‘equipment’ needed to keep your new driveway looking fresh. A good sealant application every few years helps resist staining from gas or oil leaks and tire marks. A mild detergent may be used for more stubborn stains. The sand used to fill between the pavers is specially formulated to help prevent the growth of weeds and grass, and stabilize the pavers.

Durability

Concrete has long been known for its strength and durability. However, a single slab of concrete may eventually show signs of wear, crack, or chip. These flaws can be patched but the patched areas may not match the surrounding concrete very well. Removing and replacing the slab can be costly. Driveway pavers are manufactured to handle the weight of vehicles and, in the rare case damage occurs, it is much easier to replace a few pavers rather than the entire driveway. As a rule, properly installed pavers will last for many, many years with little to no effort on your part.

When considering updating your driveway, contact the knowledgeable designers at Concrete Designs and let them show you what a big difference installing pavers in your driveway can make to the overall appearance and value of your home. They have the equipment and manpower to quickly and efficiently give you a beautiful new driveway with professionally installed pavers.

Renew the Look of Your Garage With Epoxy Coating

Tired of that dirty looking gray slab of concrete known as the garage floor?

Let the folks at Concrete Designs show you how easily that boring garage can be transformed into a more inviting space through the use of epoxy coating. Todays garages are being used for more than simply parking the car and should reflect the same pride of ownership as the rest of your home and grounds.

Paint vs Epoxy Coating

While there are many floor paints on the market, these paints simply dry on the surface of the concrete and are prone to dulling, chipping, and flaking, as well as quickly showing wear. Epoxy coatings, on the other hand, are much thicker than paint and actually bonds to the prepared surface, creating a tough, durable flooring that can withstand the roughest of use and still maintain its good look.

What is Epoxy?

What exactly is an epoxy coating? Epoxy is a resin into which a hardener is added. The hardener is a catalyst that starts a chemical reaction, resulting in the curing process beginning. This curing process may last up to several days, depending on conditions and thickness of the coating applied, but once fully cured will result in a floor that can withstand abrasions, chipping, impacts, and resist stains from oil, gas, and chemicals. Be aware, though, that welding may leave burn marks from the hot slag. You will also find your garage will stay much cleaner and less dusty when an epoxy coating is applied.

Appearance of Epoxy

Not only will an epoxy coating give your floor a great long-lasting shine, you also have a choice of colors so the garage blends seamlessly with the rest of your décor. For a truly unique look, flakes and sparkles can also be added to the epoxy along with your color choice. A nice glossy floor doesn’t have to be slick and slippery – aggregates and other materials can be added to the epoxy to give a slip-resistant finish.

 

Epoxy Maintenance

Maintaining the bright new look of the epoxy coating is simple. A quick damp mop with a mild detergent will keep the light reflective shine of your garage floor looking like new. A water hose works well for quickly removing spills or road debris that arrives with your vehicle.

There are epoxy coating kits on the market for do-it-yourselfers. However, they have been found not to be of as high a quality as having this job done professionally and many who have tried these kits were not happy with the results. Let the experts at Concrete Designs do the job the right way for a garage you will be proud to show.

Benefits of Polishing Your Existing Concrete Overlay

Concrete flooring has long been the option of choice for commercial ventures and has become more and more popular for residential use.

Over time, however, the concrete may begin to show signs of wear, staining, or damage. Concrete overlays can cover a multitude of flooring issues, giving your floors a fresh new look. Polishing that overlay has many added benefits, making it well worth looking into. The experts at Concrete Designs can show you how to have beautiful, long lasting floors that are easily maintained, all while saving you time and money through the process of polishing rather than replacing your existing concrete overlay.

Polishing concrete is much like polishing or sanding wood.

Various grits, from coarse to fine, are used in sequence on the polishing wheel to achieve the final finish. While polishing works on bare concrete, it doesn’t cover a lot of issues such as holes or cracks. Polishing an overlay, however, works wonderfully and gives the appearance of a brand new floor, thus making this method much more cost effective than replacing the old concrete. Finishes can range from a soft matte up to high gloss, whichever you choose.

Polishing your concrete overlay extends the life of your floor.

This increases the molecular strength of the concrete. The added density of polishing makes the floor less permeable and eliminates efflorescence and reduces wear patterns. Stains and damage from spills or dropped items are a thing of the past after polishing the overlay.

The ease of maintenance alone of a polished concrete overlay makes it worth the minimal cost; no waxing or stripping, just an occasional damp mopping is all that’s required to keep your floors looking like new. The polished overlay is environmentally friendly and mold and mildew resistant, all a ‘plus’ when considering refurbishing your floors.

When thinking of concrete, most people think of a dull and gray surface.

News flash! The exciting range of colors that can be added by dyes or stains during the polishing process will add pop and sparkle to your floors. A wide variety of designs can also be etched into the concrete, becoming a permanent part of the floors and making them uniquely yours. Even the look of the ever-popular terrazzo can be achieved at about half the cost of using actual terrazzo. Designers at Concrete Designs are standing by to help you create the perfect floor for you.