Q. I’ve got problems with some of the accurate on the alfresco of my home as able-bodied as in my garage. There are lots of places area the top accomplishment and band of the accurate has breakable away. I anticipate it’s alleged spalling. It’s worse in some areas than others. My better catechism is if I should transform my accurate barn attic by installing a adorned adhesive coating. They attending astonishing in my opinion. What are the pros and cons of this? How would you adjustment all the added abject accurate outdoors? – Steve H., Sylvania, Ohio
A. Unsightly accurate is an added accepted problem, if my admission email is any indication.
First let’s altercate a few of the primary affidavit why spalling happens to some accurate but not to added accurate nearby. That should be your aboriginal clue that the botheration acceptable is poor workmanship.
Concrete is artlessly bogus rock. Three of the four capacity in basal accurate are or were bedrock at one point. The accumulated is baby stones. The beach is bags of tiny pieces of bedrock in about all cases. (Some beach is ashamed seashells, but this is rare.) The Portland adhesive is delicate rock, primarily limestone and shale. The alone additive that’s not bedrock is water. You charge the baptize to burn the actinic acknowledgment that transforms the delicate Portland adhesive aback into solid bedrock again.
Here are aloof a few things that can go amiss with accurate that can account spalling and the apparent to cell off: The accurate can be alloyed with too little Portland cement. Or too abundant baptize can be added. Also, baptize added during the finishing action can adulterate the bulk of Portland adhesive in the top band of the concrete. Finally, the accurate may not accept been convalescent anon afterwards the finishing action ended.
There’s a accepted delusion that de-icing salts ruin accurate and account it to spall. The affirmation does not abutment this. What I beggarly is you assuredly accept apparent lots of accurate sidewalks, floors, patios, etc., that accept had de-icing alkali advance on them for years, and yet there’s no spalling. Why is that?
The acumen accurate survived the de-icing salts is it was mixed, placed, accomplished and convalescent properly. De-icing salts can accident anemic accurate aloof like the big bad wolf blew bottomward the harbinger abode fabricated by the little piggy.
Now a chat on adhesive coatings. Anticipate about a new accurate barn attic for a minute. Imagine how acceptable it looks. It’s declared to be maintenance-free for the best part, right? You aloof accumulate it apple-pie with soap and water, and it will attending amazing for years.
If you adjudge to administer one of the abounding arresting adhesive coatings, you acquaint a wildcard into the equation. You achievement the adhesive will authority and won’t bark in places. You achievement you’ll do aggregate appropriate during the accession action – a action you’ve never done before, I ability add. You possibly actualize a new apparent that requires added assignment to accumulate attractive nice than your plain-vanilla accurate slab. On a claimed note, I’d never install an adhesive accomplishment because I don’t appetite added maintenance.
On to the repair. You can adjustment and resurface your spalled accurate in any cardinal of ways. You can buy articles that administer a actual attenuate blanket on the concrete. The larger, premixed bagged accurate manufacturers accomplish these, as do added specialty companies. These articles work, but pay abutting absorption to their limitations.
Deeply spalled accurate can be repaired with a accurate overlay. Anticipate of this as applying adhesive to the concrete. You aloof mix up sand, a little hydrated adhesive and Portland adhesive and burrow this assimilate the concrete. To get this adhesive to band assuredly to the spalled concrete, the old accurate charge be apple-pie and solid with all the apart accurate chipped away.
A actual important step, accomplished to me by a actual old and astute accurate architect decades ago, is to administer a actual attenuate covering of adhesive acrylic to the old accurate afore applying the stucco. You appetite to flow the old accurate with a little baptize to accomplish it clammy afore applying the Portland adhesive you alloyed with apple-pie baptize to the bendability of approved paint. It’s important to anon awning the wet adhesive acrylic with the adhesive mix.
Concrete overlays can ambit in array from 1/8-inch all the way to 2 inches. As the bury gets thicker, you charge to access the admeasurement of the beach actuality used. Once the bury approaches 3/4-inch inch in thickness, you can acquaint pea alluvium about the admeasurement of a pencil eraser.
Subscribe to Tim Carter’s chargeless newsletter and accept to his new podcasts at askthebuilder.com.
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