For an industrial look, or for the look of polished terrazzo or granite, diamonds are concrete's best friend. The latest decorative concrete niche is diamond grinding and polishing. Using virtually dust-free diamond grinders, we can provide a variety of finishes on heavily flawed, stained and contaminated concrete. Our trained equipment operators can lightly grind and polish your existing concrete to a mirror finish. Add in a densifier and your concrete will require only minor maintenance. Or, we can forego the polishing and continue grinding. Depending on the concrete and the level of grinding, we can expose fine aggregates for a granite finish or large aggregate for a terrazzo finish. Staining these ground surfaces and following with proper sealers can provide you the look and durability of terrazzo or granite for a fraction of the cost! Add in decorative scoring to enhance it further and you have a work of art.
In any decorative concrete project, the choice of sealers is an essential decision affecting the longevity, durability and the ease with which your project can be resealed.
Dalcrete offers acrylics, epoxies, urethanes and polyureas, each designed to best perform for a specific purpose.
For exterior applications, we recommend the use of a solvent based acrylic laced with methyl methacrylate (MMA). It is a hybridized acrylic at its base but is far superior to other acrylics, including pure acrylics, siliconized acrylics, styrenated acrylics and acrylic-urethane blends. It is non-yellowing, color enhancing and, due to its solvent base, easily renewable. It requires only a clean dry surface before reapplying. New coats restore gloss and sheen but also will matte slightly over time. Suitable for high traffic surfaces, including driveways and walks, we incorporate them with skid resistant additives to provide the most durable, weather resistant and easily cleanable surface coat available.
For interior applications we use the same sealer and follow it with two to four thin coats of a specially formulated non buffing floor finish for residential or light commercial applications.
Some drawbacks exist. The fumes of the solvent are rather strong and will require ventilation and require areas to be clear of personnel or residents for 12-24 hours until the air cross ventilates.
For areas where solvents cannot be used, we offer a water based version of our sealer. It does not enhance color though it imparts shine, and is fully compatible with our floor finishes (non buffing waxes).
Additionally, where possible and when budgeted, we can install upgraded sealers such as a breathable Aliphatic Urethane (AUS) or the impermeable finishes of high build epoxies, extremely durable and abrasion resistant polyaspartic polyureas or a system of multiple compatible topcoats.
For budget-minded consumers who want a quick and economic way to get rid of gray and dress up their concrete, our line of designer acrylic sealers provides rich uniform colors when used singly or can provide an airbrushed effect with or without pattern if desired. Though any imperfections in surface texture will remain, the consistency of color and/or pattern tells everyone that no detail was left overlooked.
When choosing a sealer, we recommend only certain sealers for certain requirements. Some sealers may not work for your circumstances, but be sure to ask if you're interested in upgrading for longer life and durability.
Industrial and decorative finish options; when a deeper, mirror finish is desired, we install standard and light stabilized epoxies. Able to achieve higher builds, epoxies can create a smooth finish over textured surfaces, allowing for easy cleaning while maintaining the rich textures of the underlying finish.
Epoxies also exhibit extreme chemical resistances not capable with acrylics, making them perfect for harsh environments, which is why they are chosen for use in industrial applications, and also found heavily in the residential garage market.
They can be used as solid color coats, enhancement for diamond ground surfaces, or can be combined with decorative flake systems or quartz aggregates. Further, they are a great carrier for our metallic options using Reflector agents.
Urethanes are near the top of the line in sealers, particularly because of the increased abrasion resistance, hardness, and chemical resistances. They are generally applied very thin, and are often used as topcoats over epoxy primer coats. Two part versions are generally non-breathable and susceptible to excessive moisture transmission rates, like any two part sealer. The single component breathable versions sacrifice only a little in durability for minimizing the effects of excessive moisture transmission.
Urethanes require optimal weather and humidity conditions to be installed.
Polyureas is the premier finish coat available. With extreme hardness, excellent abrasion resistance and chemically resistant beyond most other sealers, they are an excellent choice, especially with fast cure times. Able to be applied in build thicknesses, they are generally ready for heavy traffic with 12-24 hours. They are, of course, the highest priced top coat available.
The new Polyaspartic Polyureas are still expensive, but comes in 70% solids versions which allows for a longer work time, greater capacity for decorative uses, and is still extremely fast curing and the most durable of our available sealers.