Installing exposed aggregate surfaces such as driveways, pavements and patios on your residential property will ensure good performance and prolonged service. This form of concrete is strong, stable and long-lasting. However, the appeal of the built feature will depend on the choices made during construction. If you are unfamiliar with exposed aggregate concrete, use these tips to create an attractive surface.
Choose Beautiful Aggregate
The visual characteristics of your new surface will depend on the aggregate chosen for the project. Keep in mind that concrete is a bland material without attractive properties. Good visual effects will only be achieved through the placement of interesting aggregate with unique textures and colours. The most common choice is natural gravel derived from crushed rocks. These materials will stand out against plain concrete. Alternatively, consider alternative products like glass chips for a distinctive reflective effect.
Spread the Aggregate Uniformly
The placement of the aggregate will influence the overall appearance of the concrete surface. Therefore, you must ensure that the pieces of material on the poured concrete are spread evenly. Poor distribution of the aggregate will result in some areas being packed with aggregate and others with minimal decorative elements. Therefore, ensure that the crushed rocks, gravel, glass chips or other materials are sufficient and spread uniformly.
Spray a Suitable Retarding Agent
The aggregate placed on the concrete surface must be exposed before the material cures completely. Usually, the decorative pieces are placed on the upper layer of the surface, but the concrete partially conceals their appeal. The exposure process is designed to remove the concrete paste and display the attractive particles. The procedure requires thorough scrubbing of the surface before the concrete dries completely.
If you are working on a small area, you can use a brush and water for the exposure. A stiff brush will scrub off the concrete, revealing the aggregate. However, timing is critical because early scrubbing will dislodge the particles completely while late washing will limit the level of exposure. You can minimise the complications of the process by using a retarding chemical to keep concrete soft enough for later exposure.
Avoid Abrasive Blasting Exposure
Finally, you must protect the exposed aggregate surface from damage due to abrasive blasting. This harsh mechanical method will compromise the appeal of the decorative aggregate and even degrade the concrete. Therefore, do not choose to sandblast as an exposure method, except as a last resort. If you are uncertain about finishing your concrete surface, consult a concrete contractor.
Hello, my name is Eric and this is my concrete blog. I am not a concrete contractor but I have recently learnt quite a lot about concrete and concrete pumping. I decided to lay a new concrete drive at my home. The drive is very long and very wide so I needed a lot of concrete. I didn't fancy carrying all this concrete so I opted for a concrete pump. I wasn't exactly sure how to operate this piece of equipment so I contacted a contractor who came out and assisted me. I learnt so much from this guy that I decided to start this blog.