The most common textured surfaces on older concrete patios and driveways is the smooth or broom finish type. These types of finish can be slippery when wet, are prone to chip and flake over time, and are outdated by some standards. By using Wet Abrasive Blasting, you can update and modify the appearance of your concrete and provide a textured surface that suits the aesthetic look and desired finish of your choice. These finishes range anywhere from a light etching to a deeply penetrated surface that exposes the aggregate.
If you are searching for a new decorative concrete idea, or wish to rejuvenate your old driveway or patio, then there are a few options to choose from.
To make concrete slip resistant, a slightly etched finish can be applied to the surface. Concrete surfaces without an etched or broom finish tend to be slippery and dangerous when liquids are present on the surface. Etching is an excellent way to blend away any evidence of flaking concrete, and to provide traction to driveways, patios, and swimming pools.
On new concrete, an exposed aggregate finish is created by washing the top layer of concrete away to expose the edges of the aggregates that are present in the concrete. This provides an attractive and slip resistant finish. However, if you have a smooth or broom finish on your concrete or if the concrete is deeply pitted and flaking you can expose the aggregate using Wet Abrasive Blasting. When comparing the cost of replacing your concrete, exposing the aggregate is the most cost-effective way to update or remedy the appearance of your concrete.
Stamped concrete is commonly referred to as textured or imprinted concrete. It is a concrete that is designed to resemble brick, slate, flagstone, stone, tile and even wood.
Although to achieve the appearance of stamped concrete you must imprint a shape into the concrete when it is first poured, there are alternatives available to existing hardened concrete finishes.
Stenciled Concrete is a great alternative to decorative stamping while permitting similar design flexibility. By laying patterns and creating borders using stencils in some areas while exposing the aggregate in others you can achieve many different finishes and designs.
No matter what the finish you decide on it is important to provide a high-quality sealant to the concrete after to protect the surface and bring out the natural colors of the exposed aggregate.
Although the process is not overly complicated, precautions should be taken to insure an even and attractive surface. If the surface is to receive a light etched finish, almost any sandblasting equipment will suffice. When the blasting operation requires a deeper penetration into the surface, the capacity of the air compressor is extremely important. Air compressors should have a minimum capacity of at least 300 cfm and pressure at the nozzle should be between 90-100 psi to be cost effective. An experienced operator will choose the best nozzle size, angles, distance, air pressure, and abrasive blast media necessary to achieve the desired surface.
Traditional Sandblasting is the original media blasting method and if used in residential or occupied areas can be quite dusty and require secondary containment.
Unlike traditional Sandblasting, Wet Abrasive Blasting introduces small amounts of water therefore reducing dust up to 92%, saving you time and money on cleanup. The water allows lower pressures to be used, therefore enhancing the level of surface finish that can be achieved. The benefit is a much smoother and consistent concrete finish.