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    Should I use a driveway sealer?

    New concrete looks great just after it has been installed, but this new look usually lasts just for a while before exposure to the elements causes it to degrade to a dirty and dull surface.

    A concrete sealer is essential for protecting surfaces from water damage, stains from dirt, oil and other contaminants and spillages. So, if you’ve just installed a new plain, aggregate, or decorative concrete surface, make sure it gets sealed.

    In general, when picking a sealer to use on a concrete driveway, it is a balance of aesthetics and performance, along with the cost to get that performance.

    Always keep in mind that choosing the right sealer for your environment and applying it properly will extend the life of your concrete and keep it looking great for years. If you can, spend the money, you should buy the best product you can afford.

    Here is an overview of the important information you should know about driveway sealers:

    Why you should use a driveway sealer

    If we think about it, concrete, in general, doesn’t have to be sealed to perform well, but the additional benefits of using a high-quality sealer on your driveway will be well worth the extra investment in a good concrete sealer.

    Here are the reasons why:

    • Sealing a driveway not only extends it service life, it will also improve the appearance of decorative concrete by enhancing the color and gloss.
    • Applying sealer to a driveway is not difficult, and in most cases, a standard residential driveway can be sealed in less than a day.
    • Applying a typical driveway sealer does not require expensive equipment or special skills, so a handy do-it-yourselfer can often tackle the project. Or you can hire a qualified installer to do the work for you.

    Barefoot Concrete provides concrete cleaning and sealing services for property owners who are looking at protecting their concrete surfaces.  Through an onsite consultation, we will inspect the concrete area you want to be sealed and propose the best solution for your property to help you to maintain and protect your investment.

    Contact us now for a free quote.

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    Cleaning concrete

    For something that is used so often in our everyday lives, the concrete we walk on is so seldom noticed or given the attention it deserves. It sits there day after day making our lives nicer and easier and we have the audacity to neglect it. Damn us. We park our dirty, oily, nasty cars on it. We mess oil and stuff on it. We even have our social gatherings on it and allow our grills to drip hot grease all over it. And do we ever even say “thank you” to our concrete? Of course not. Because that’s the kind of people we are. Well, I say it’s time for a change.

    That’s right. But don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re not actually a bad person. The thing is, concrete gets dirty so gradually that it’s near impossible to even notice the gradual decline to downright dirty.

    Usually, though, after you’ve put the effort into concrete cleaning, you will see the difference you’ve made, and it’ll be abundantly obvious just how dirty it was. Concrete is nothing more than water, aggregate (varying grades of rock, sand, and gravel), and Portland cement, which in the most basic of terms is what binds it all together. That being said, concrete is obviously porous, and those little pores like to collect dirt and grime, which is the main reason why concrete gets looking drab and dirty. So, how do you give your concrete the love and respect it deserves? The answer and the method are simple. You clean it, and you do it safely and naturally.

    Therefore, cleaning concrete periodically will extend its service life and enhance its beauty. It can be difficult to tell when concrete is in need of cleaning because the dirt and grime can build up so slowly. However, once the process is done, the results of freshly cleaned concrete are very noticeable.

    There are multiple ways to clean concrete depending on the type of surfaces, such as exterior slabs, floors or countertops. Each requires a different procedure to avoid damaging the surfaces.

    If you are not sure, call us, we love cleaning concrete!

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    Crack repair: Epoxy vs. Polyrethanes

    So which material is better for repairing concrete cracks: epoxy or polyurethane?

    The answer isn’t always clear-cut. In many cases, either material can accomplish the task, and applicators may simply choose the material they have the most experience with.

    But here are some general guidelines: If the crack needs to be structurally repaired and the area needs to be as strong or stronger than the concrete around it, use an epoxy. If the crack needs to be repaired only to prevent water leakage or the crack is actively leaking, a polyurethane is usually the best choice. Here’s a look at the advantages and limitations of each material.

    Epoxies: Epoxies for crack injection are available in a range of viscosities, from ultra-thin to paste-like, to accommodate cracks of different widths. Coles advice is to use whatever viscosity is needed to inject a given crack at pressures less than 40 psi. The wider the crack, the thicker the material required.

    The main advantage of epoxies is their amazing compressive strength, which at 12,000 psi or greater exceeds that of most concrete. That’s why epoxies are the only choice for cracks requiring structural repair.

    However, epoxies cure very slowly, generally taking hours to harden. This can be an advantage because it allows time for the epoxy to flow into even the smallest crevices. On the other hand, it’s also possible for the epoxy to flow out of the backside of the crack before it has hardened if the backfill outside the wall has separated from the foundation.

    Often there are voids behind cracks due to soil erosion or poor compaction, that’s why the crack is leaking in the first place; its easy for water to enter.

    Polyurethanes: If there is concern about material leaking out the back of a crack, polyurethane foams should be used.

    These elastomeric, fast-setting foams are effective alternatives for applications involving only crack sealing (waterproofing) and not structural repair. Because of their elastomeric nature, they are able to accommodate slight concrete movement so the seal stays intact.

    They also begin to harden and foam within minutes of injection. This reduces the chances of the material flowing out of an injected crack while still in liquid form, and even if some does leak out, the foam will fill the void.

    Urethanes are great for basic crack filling. They add practically zero compressive strength, but in most residential applications, you don’t need it.

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    Concrete crack repair

    While concrete cracks appear to be typical, it is not recommended that they remain ignored.

    Most homeowners best identify concrete cracks in their driveway, on the foundation wall, or on the floor. They may also recognize cracks on the garage floor, patio or pool.

    These cracks typically due to drying shrinkage, thermal movement or other causes usually are minor and result in few problems. More often than not, a foundation crack will widen over time and result in water seepage or possibly the loss of structural integrity. Foundation and slab cracks are not only an eyesore, but they may reduce the value of the home.

    Fortunately, there is an easy way to permanently repair such cracks without the need for costly and disruptive excavation or drain tile.

    Poured foundation cracks may be repaired by using a low-pressure injection of an epoxy or polyurethane foam material. For the repair of concrete floor cracks, certain epoxies and polyurea materials exist, suitable for such slab repairs.

    The application of such materials may be completed by a basement waterproofing contractor or a do-it-yourself homeowner. Either way, the repair of concrete cracks in either the foundation or the slab may efficiently and effectively be completed in as little as an hour or more.

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    What is decorative concrete?

    People everywhere are discovering a remodelling secret that uses a material found in almost every home, and business. It’s called decorative concrete or also known locally as “covercrete.”

    Decorative concrete is the use of concrete as not simply a utilitarian medium for construction but as an aesthetic enhancement to a structure, while still serving its function as an integral part of the building itself such as floors, walls, driveways and patios.

    The transformation of concrete into decorative concrete is achieved through the use of a variety of materials that may be applied during the pouring process or after the concrete is cured, these materials and/or systems include but are not limited to stamped concrete, acid staining, decorative overlays, polished concrete, concrete countertops, vertical overlays and more.

    Decorative Concrete contractors use various chemicals to make existing concrete look like wood floors, brick, marble, tile, granite, slate, and more for significantly less than the cost of these other materials. The best part is the process is non-destructive, safe, and environmentally friendly. Concrete can also be easily repaired, waterproofed, and made slip resistant through breakthroughs in this industry.

    Consumers can now spend larger parts of their budgets on other parts of their projects. The possibilities are endless imagine transforming your driveway, paths, patio or pool surrounds with a beautiful surface that feels good underfoot and is aesthetically pleasing.

    An estimated 90% of homes and businesses have concrete. With recent publicity, consumers are beginning to discover concrete as a viable decorating option. There has been an explosion of demand for these services worldwide, people really want the look of luxury without breaking the bank.

    One thing is clear from recent consumer demand is that people are looking for affordable, environmentally friendly ways to transform their home and increase it’s value and decorative concrete definitely meets that need.

    Barefoot Concrete has partnered with manufacturers that provide us with a full line of products to protect, repair, and design concrete. We have our own professional contractors to apply our product systems expertly. We have helped many satisfied customers transform their home, factory or business. Call or email us today for a consultant to discuss your project.

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