“Raise your Hands” – A Concrete Surfacing Project in Richardson, TX
Rain, rain, rain, it just won’t go away. This project was in a courtyard of the Greenville Avenue Church of Christ in Richardson, TX that had long been ignored by everyone because of its bland appearance and some serious water drainage problems. Water tended to pool in one area and the plain jane concrete just wasn’t appealing to anyone. We suggested going with a concrete surfacing process called a skim coat overlay to completely change the appearance of the area and help alleviate the drainage issue.
The skim coat is a thin layer of a concrete surfacing material that helps create a uniform appearance throughout an area to “tie in” all the different design elements. We can also vary its thickness, raising the level of a floor to help redirect water from low spots. Before applying our concrete surfacing material, we thoroughly cleaned the area and then filled in cracks to help prevent them from reappearing. We use a special epoxy that flows into the crack and helps to hold it closed. Now, keep in mind we can’t guarantee that the crack won’t come back, if the slab moves for whatever reason, the epoxy may not hold it together. However, if we don’t apply the epoxy you can pretty much guarantee that the crack will eventually come back and be visible through the layer of concrete surfacing material that we apply, it’ll just be a matter of time until it happens. One last step in the prep work was to cut a shallow trench into the concrete slab to install a drain cover to help redirect any remaining water away from the slab.
Once finished with the prep work we tinted the concrete surfacing material and applied it in two layers. The color we add depends on what our client is requesting. The plus is that we don’t have to start with a standard gray base color that you typically find with concrete floors. It would have been impossible to get these shades of soft browns and beiges had we started on a regular gray concrete floor. Next we scored (cut) a border all around the perimeter of the area. We use a diamond blade mounted on a grinder to do it. Normally we are trying for a light, decorative cut, usually no deeper than about 1/8″. Then to wrap it up we used a coffee stain to create a rich, variegated look throughout and a darker, walnut stain for the border. As always we applied a sealer to the floor with a slip resistant material in it to enhance and protect the color. It was a big hit; the courtyard was completely transformed and our clients very satisfied with the final result.