Concrete Acid Stain |Certain Color Changes

RAC Azure Sky Concrete Acid Stain

RAC Azure Sky

Four of our Concrete Resurrection Reactive Acid Chemical Stain colors (RAC) have an asterisk beside them in our catalog and on our website. We often get questions about that, and we’d like to share the answers.

 

 

 

RAC Summer Wheat Concrete Acid Stain

RAC Summer Wheat

Which RAC stains have the asterisk beside the color names?

Olive Mist, Azure Sky, Mossy Oak and Summer Wheat

 

RAC Mossy Oak Concrete Acid Stain

RAC Mossy Oak

 

What does the asterisk mean?

It means those four colors are for interior use only because they contain copper atoms. All of the other RAC colors are for indoor or outdoor use.

 

What happens if I use one of the four marked colors outdoors?

Maybe nothing out of the ordinary. On the other hand, the outdoor concrete may turn a SHADE OF BLACK that may or may not be ugly depending on your point of view. It’s probably NOT what your customer was looking for though, or you either since it’s a permanent condition. Don’t risk it.

RAC Olive Mist Concrete Acid Stain

RAC Olive Mist

What causes the color change?

Oxidization causes the lovely color you started with to turn black. Outdoor slabs usually don’t have a vapor barrier underneath them so moisture from the ground migrates up through the concrete. When the water molecules reach the concrete acid stain, they react with the copper atoms in It and oxidize.

Could this same reaction take place on an interior floor?

Yes, if there is excessive moisture present. Interior floors usually have a vapor barrier though, and that prevents the problem. Always test the concrete with a moisture meter before you take any job regardless of the stain color. Know what you’re dealing with before you begin.

Have more questions about RAC stain? We offer free customer support to those using Concrete Resurrection stains. We don’t, however, answer questions about other brands of stain since we don’t know those products or how they’ll react in any given situation.

You can reach us by email at info@engraveacrete.com, use the Live Chat feature on our website, or give us a call at 800-884-2114 where a real person answers the phone.

Concrete Transformed | Sell More, Protect Earth

decorative concrete remodelConcrete is a wonderful building material. Problem is, it’s a huge reservoir of energy. Engineers call it embodied energy. It’s the energy used to mine the limestone, grind it into a powder, mix it with water, bake it, grind it into a powder again all while transporting it numerous times.

According to a recent article in Concrete Construction magazine, “Concrete produces 5 percent of global CO2 emissions – as much as the entire country of Russia.” That’s huge!

Why are we telling you this? Each of us in the decorative concrete industry should understand our resources and their impact on the world. Sharing that info with your clients may convince them to remodel rather than replace their concrete. That’s…

  • Good news for you because you’ll earn a profit,
  • Good news for the client because they’ll soon have lovely, durable decorative concrete, and
  • Good for the environment because many potential CO² molecules will be eliminated by not requiring new concrete.

Concrete ready for decorative concrete makeover

 

That’s not even considering the fossil fuels used or the emissions from tear outs, bringing in new, and disposing of the old.

 

Decorative concrete flagstone

 

Engrave-A-Crete systems and processes are designed to make existing concrete look good. Beautiful even! Check out our gallery. You’ll find some great before & after pics that prove our point.

 

Of course you will encounter a few instances of unusable, unstable concrete that must be torn out. For most concrete surfaces, though, simply making them more attractive and livable is the goal.

So, when you’re staining and engraving that next job, know that you’re helping sustain a healthy world environment that generally gets far too much abuse.

Have questions about engraving and staining? Give us a call at 800-884-2114. Check out our training opportunities here.

Decorative Concrete Mosaic | Problem Solved!

mosaic turtle close upThe best decorative concrete ideas often evolve from a problem.

Here’s the problem one of our friends faced: How to install a mosaic-look turtle into existing concrete without disturbing the surrounding concrete or adding an overlay.

Join our journey as we use our tools, products and imaginations to come up with an attractive yet cost effective solution.

First we design and make a template of a turtle.

The template openings represent the tile/glass elements in the finished design. The template and/or the openings can be any size we want, but we opt for a 3’ x 3’ finished design.

Next we prep and then seal the concrete to prevent scratching the surface during the engraving process.

Engraving the decorative concrete mosaic turtle with the Barracuda

 

The template is placed into position and we use the KaleidoCrete Barracuda to cut the pattern into the surface. It’s cut pretty deeply – 1/8” or more.

 

 

Cleaning the edges of the decorative concrete mosaic turtle using the Wasp.

 

 

The Wasp works perfectly to clean the edges so they are as vertical as possible.

 

 

Decorative concrete mosaic turtle with template removed

 

Time to remove the template and see what we have! The design looks like a negative image right now, but that’s normal.

 

 

Sealing the engraved depressions of the mosaic turtle.

 

The next step, after vacuuming the debris from the area, is to heavily seal within the cut areas to prevent the colored epoxy from migrating through the pores of the concrete and causing raveled looking edges. We want crisp, clean edges like a piece of embedded glass would have.

 

When the sealer is dry, the cut depressions are ready to fill with epoxy.

We create custom colors of epoxy to fill the cuts, being sure to make enough of each one to complete the project. Combining the epoxy resin (Part A) with the color tint(s) until it’s blended and and reaches the desired color works best, and then we add the cure (Part B) and mix according to directions.

Adding epoxy to the engraved decorative concrete mosaic turtle.

We pour small streams of epoxy into the cuts. It’s important to under fill each one because the epoxy tends to creep out.

Two or more colors are swirled in some of the cuts to resemble the pattern found on turtle shells.

 

Once the epoxy has completely cured, we add sealer and floor finish.

Finished decorative concrete mosaic turtle.

 

 

Voilá! A mosaic (looking) turtle is born! No overlay necessary and the surrounding concrete is undisturbed. Problem solved!

 

 

 

You can adapt this project to any design you want, and it’s easy to install. Give us a call to order your custom template (they’re surprisingly inexpensive) and put your KaleidoCrete Barracuda and Wasp to work as you offer your customers a new look in engraved concrete.

Caution: If you plan to do a project like this, be sure you’re working on a level surface so the epoxy remains inside the cuts and dries flat. A sloped working surface can cause big problems!

We’d love to see the projects you have going. Simply email us pictures at vicki@engraveacrete.com and we’ll be happy to share them on our social media sites.

Questions? Call 800-884-2114. A real person answers the phone!

4 Ways to Care for Decorative Concrete | Be a Teacher

blog teacher cartoonEducating your customers on how to care for their interior engraved decorative concrete once you’ve finished the job is important in two ways.

First, it’s important for the customer to have a floor that remains attractive. They’ve paid you well, and they deserve a beautiful surface that lasts a lifetime.

Second, it’s important to you. Your reputation as a decorative concrete installer is at stake. Your customer, and everyone else who sees it, will blame you if the concrete becomes scratched, stained, or fades. Word of mouth advertising – whether it’s good or bad news – travels quickly and carries a lot of weight.

Educate your customer about the proper care and maintenance of the surface using these simple steps.

1. Entry Mats

A good scraper mat outside each entrance removes debris such as sand, pebbles and mud that can scratch or mar the concrete surface. Interior mats help stop dust and moisture before it can be deposited on the floor. Just be certain that interior mats do not have a rubber backing that may cause an unsightly and difficult to remove hard mineral deposit on the floor.

2. Furniture Pads

Avoid nasty scratches from chairs, tables and other furniture by using felt pads and tap-in protectors. Urge your customers to use them.

3. Regular Cleaning

Dust mopping and damp mopping are essential. Just as tiny particles of sand on sandpaper wear away a surface, grit carried in from outdoors will wear away the finish on the floor as it’s repeatedly walked on. Also, caution your customer to clean up spills as quickly as possible.

Use plain water or a neutral cleaner when mopping. NEVER use bleach, vinegar, ammonia, pine oils or high phosphate cleaners since they can be corrosive to the finish.

4. Reapply Floor Finish

Explain to your customer that floor finish is the maintenance top coat applied to protect the sealer and add shine. It will usually need to be reapplied once or twice a year, depending on the amount of traffic on the floor.

Make a note to check with your customer when it’s time to reapply Concrete Resurrection  Floor Finish. It can mean some extra income for you.

If you have questions about any of our tools, products or processes, give us a call at 1-800-884-2114.

Four Reasons to Like Us on Facebook

 

Facebook heading

Promote the Trade on Facebook1.  Lots of people don’t know they want stained and engraved concrete because they’ve never SEEN it! Our Facebook page is chock full of outstanding project pictures. When you share our posts, your Facebook friends (and maybe their friends, and their friends) will see ugly concrete transformed into beautiful surfaces. Some of those photos may even be yours! And the others are a great way to show prospective customers designs that you can replicate. As an Engrave-A-Crete installer, that’s FREE advertising for you!

 

Real-time News Updates on Facebook2.  News, special offers, sales…be among the first to know! Get how-to’s and tips of the trade when you connect to our blog through Facebook. See and read the latest in the industry. For example: Did you know that a $100 deposit will hold your spot in one of our upcoming seminars? Find out here. Or, do you know how to remove mineral deposits caused by a sprinkler system? Click here to find out. Maybe you need some suggestions for getting better photos of your completed jobs. Check out this info.

 

You Create the Conversation on Facebook3.  Ask a question or share project advice. With every post, you’ll find yourself in a community of decorative concrete installers ready and willing to give support and share expertise, whether you’re a consumer or a contractor. In a recent post two installers had a conversation that we all learned from as they discussed a before-and-after job we featured on our Facebook page.

 

Awesome Decorative Concrete Photos on Facebook4.  Showcasing the work of installers who use Engrave-A-Crete tools and supplies is a main focus for our page. And of course we always include your business name, location and contact info so prospects know how to contact you. Before and after job pictures are an impressive way to show the transformation from blah to beautiful.

We’d love to share pictures of your decorative concrete projects, too. Just email them to us at info@engraveacrete.com along with a list of products and tools used, and a short description of the project.

So what are you waiting for? Click on this icon right now to become a part of the Engrave-A-Crete Facebook family.blog facebook icon