A decorative or protective concrete stain or coating is an excellent way to enhance and protect the appearance of concrete patios, pool decks, driveways and walkways. And like all maintenance projects, the right preparation will deliver excellent results.
If the concrete has been poured recently, it must cure for at least 28 days to ensure a good adhesion of the new coating and not suffer alkali burn. That’s because new concrete typically has a PH level of 10 or higher. That indicates an alkaline level may be too high for the coating to achieve maximum durability.
For best results, the surface should be neutral with a reading between 6 and 10. When tested with PH paper or a digital meter. The surface must also be clean, dull dry and sound prior to coating.
H&C concrete ready cleaner degreaser is a heavy duty cleaner with the strength to dissolve and reduce oil and grease stains that may contaminate concrete and mason resurfaces. Before applying the appropriate concrete paint, you need to prep the surface correctly.
How to prepare Concrete for Painting
Before applying the degreaser, scrape off any excess grease or contaminants and sweep or blow off the surface. If the surface is only moderately soiled, dilute H&C concrete ready cleaner degreaser with water, 50/50.
Apply the degreaser to the surface and let it sit for five to six minutes. Then, use a broom or pressure washer to clean the surface in ten by ten sections. Do not let the degrees or dry to the surface.
When you’re done, rinse the surface thoroughly. Let it dry then sweep or blow off any remaining dust or residue. The substrate should have the texture of 120 grit sandpaper, giving the coating or stains something to grab on to.
Use ICRI concrete surface profile chips to give you a visual of the concrete surface profile needed for optimal coating adhesion. If the surface profile is inadequate, H&C concrete ready etching solution can help this user friendly phosphorus acid-based solution helps create a surface profile for better bonding as well as cleans tough stains, opens the pores of the concrete to promote adhesion and removes efflorescence.
If the surface is textured or has a broom finish, mix the etching solution one part solution to two parts water in a plastic sprinkling can. Always add the etching solution to the water to avoid the potential for splashing.
If the surface is smooth, use H&C etching solution full strength. Dampen the surface and sprinkle the solution evenly across the area to be coated. One mixed gallon should cover 75 to 200 square feet.
Scrub the surface with a stiff broom until the bubbling Stops about 10 minutes. Rinse off the etching solution very thoroughly. If you have a pressure washer, use it. If not use the pressure nozzle on a hose and rinse with clean water at least two or three times.
How to Test for etching solution removal
To be sure you’ve removed all the etching solution, rub a small area with a dark cloth or glove. If you see any sign of residue remaining, keep rinsing until the cloth is clean. Let the surface dry for at least 24 hours and sweep the surface free of any dust or loose particles.
If H&C concrete ready etching solution doesn’t produce the necessary profile, then mechanical abrasion is recommended. High pressure water or surface grinding may be required to achieve the proper texture.
It’s equally important that the substrate is porous enough to absorb the new coating. You can confirm that with a water test. Simply drop a dime sized drop of water on the surface. If it’s absorbed within 10 to 15 seconds, you’re good to go. If the water does not penetrate the surface, the coating won’t penetrate either.
Additional cleaning or etching must be done to remove any old coating or contaminant. If you plan to apply any protective or decorative concrete coating, the moisture content of the concrete should not exceed 15%.
How to Test Moisture
There are three easy ways to test the moisture content of your concrete. You can use the standard plastic and tape testing method, a digital moisture meter or take a calcium moisture reading. When the prep work is complete, you’re ready to apply your coat system.
There’s just one more thing to keep in mind. Temperature is critical not just the ambient temperature but also the surface temperature and the temperature of the coating itself. All three of these temperatures should be between 50 and 90 degrees.
The time you spend preparing your concrete surface is time well spent giving you confidence that the decorative or protective coating you apply will perform reliably and look beautiful for years to come.
And apart from making the paint stick, the right preparation will make the concrete paint come out beautifully and smooth. In the long run, it will save you tons of money that can be spent on purchasing new paint and the costs of removing the damaged coating.
It is also good to note that this is only one of the many methods that has been tested and actually works. There are other several methods including using muriatic acid or even professionals doing it. Leave a comment below and let us know what method worked out for you.
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