Frequently Asked Questions

How long does concrete take to dry?

Concrete will cure out in 29 days in 80 degree weather. The warmer the temperature the faster the cure. Concrete sealers, overlay systems, and color stainings should not be applied until concrete is fully cured.Moisture test kits can be used to determine if the concrete is dried out enough to apply some type of top coat.

How long will it take until I can drive my vehicle on top of my concrete?

Opinions will vary, and mine is at least two weeks in good warm weather. I have seen cars drive on three day old concrete in 100 degree weather and every thing held up fine. I personaly will not recomend this time frame. In 29 days using a standard five sack cement mix with 1'' rock your concrete will be in the neighborhood of 2400 hundred pounds per square inch strong.That is equivalant of two cars stacked ontop and resting only on one square inch of your four inch thick concrete slab. Pretty strong stuff huh !!

How thick should my new concrete be?

The ASTM who is the overseeing authority on all standards, limitations, and laws pertaining to concrete construction has standardized three and a half to four inch minimum on residential driveways, patios,pool decks ect. If a person wanted to park an RV or diesel big rig on top I would recomend five and a half to six inch minimum. Rebar and wire mesh can be installed suspended in the concrete that will give added strength. Home foundations, wall footings, and areas were heavy equipment will be traveling are situations in which steel reinforcement is used.

Do I have to hire a professional or can I do it myself?

The learning curve on finishing concrete is very small and when it starts to flash their isn't to many second chances.Depending on the amount to be poured and the weather conditions it is usually a good idea to seek the help of a professional.Removal costs can be expensive and labor intense.

What is decorative concrete?

It is a chance to show ones style and creativity by choosing a unique finish or a differant color rather than standard grey cement with a broom finish.

Do I need to put a sealer on my concrete?

Sealers are usually used on colored concrete finishes, thou not mandatory it will help protect color pigments from fading due to sun exposure, bad weather, and heavy foot traffic. It can produce a matte or high gloss shine, water will bead off and clean up is a bit easier for dirt and spills will not penetrate. Just a reminder, that if sealer is going to be applied the concrete to be sealed needs to be fully cured.

What colors can I get my concrete?

Color charts are available from all color producing manufacturers. I usually say if you can pick it off a paint chart, you will probably find it on a concrete color chart. If a color is desired, but not achieved during the pour on your job, tinted sealers, water stains, and most aggressive approach, acid staining can unify and bring the color out in your concrete, possible giving you a more satisfying out look. It is my recommendation to always pour a sample piece on site to make sure of color satisfaction.

What is the best time of year to pour concrete?

Concrete tends to handle better in weather that's 65-85 degrees. It will dry at a slower rate which will allow for a full cure cycle. In weather upwards around the 100 degree mark, concrete will dry very fast. To slow this process down to extend workablity time add mixtures can be added to your concrete mix. If not prepared properly and finished with good technique the concrete could shrink and egg shell crack at the surface. This is were an experienced contractor is best suited for the job.

What kind of price can I expect to pay?

Depending on the area the job is located prices will vary due to concrete costs, permit fees, and availability of materials required to finish the job. Permit fees will vary from county to county, city to city, as well as taxes, and environmental disposal fees. In Tulare county you can expect to pay in the $4.00 per sq. ft. range for regular broom finished 4'' thick flat work. Colored stamped concrete can range respectfully from $5.00 - $10.00 per sq. ft. depending on color, stamp texture, and style chosen. Putting together a budget for the project at hand can really help put in perspective just how custom or how far the concrete will go. Discussing budget and pricing with your contractor is very important, for most contractors will provide cost effective ideas that will equal more bang for your dollar. I personally like to go the extra mile to keep cost down so that there is room for more extras that may be the difference between ordinary and extraordinary. Customer satisfaction is most important, and referrals are how contractors make their living.

How do I choose the right contractor for my job?

Make a contractor earn your confidence that he or she has the experience and equipment necessary, to deliver the quality of job that you want. References, testimonials, and pictures all help in this decision. Pricing is a huge factor, but in the end chose a contractor you genuinely feel comfortable with their plan to finish the project.