A dark, depressed-looking color has always been associated with stained concrete and unfortunately, this image stuck. Stained concrete is often used on driveways, walkways, and patios among other places. It’s not that the concrete has bad quality or has been abused; it’s that stained concrete surfaces have the potential to be neglected for long periods of time. This ‘bad side’ of stained concrete is called the Stain.
Once a concrete surface is stained, it will need to be covered and maintained for the life of the concrete itself. This is because time and weathering gradually eat away at the base material and leave behind an unsightly layer of dark material that will make the area look absolutely horrible. Over time, this dark layer can begin to eat away at the concrete causing small cracks and areas of uneven coloration. The longer this happens, the more pronounced the stain will be.
One of the easiest things to do is simply cover up the stained area with a new layer of sealer. It’s important to note that certain types of concrete can only be fixed so many times with exterior coatings before they need a total re-coating. When this occurs, it’s best to contact a good sealer company to get the job done right. The first coat is meant to protect from future staining, while the subsequent coats will give the concrete a fresh look that will be durable against stains. Once all the cracks, chips, blemishes, and dark marks have been removed, a fresh coat of sealer can be applied, which will further protect the surface.
If the damage is too extensive, the situation can be handled by calling in a contracting firm. While many stained concrete surfaces can be repaired, there may be some that will need to be replaced. Before calling a contractor, be sure to weigh up the costs versus the repair potential. Sometimes the cost of repair is more than making the needed repairs. It’s also important to remember that the appearance of the concrete is usually more important than its repair costs.
Painting a stained concrete floor isn’t something that should be attempted unless extreme caution is required. Spills should be cleaned up immediately, otherwise, they can seep into the underlying cracks and cause even more damage. Hiring a professional to paint over the stained concrete is an option, but it’s not for everyone. On the other hand, if an amateur tried painting over a stained concrete floor, the result might resemble shiny new paint.
Regardless of who is doing the repainting job, the process must be done in a careful and controlled manner. First, the surface must be absolutely dry. In order to maintain the correct color and consistency of the coating, the floor must be completely dry before beginning. In addition, the surface of the floor must be perfectly flat and clean. Stones, small bumps, and other imperfections can impede the smooth coat of paint.
Before actually painting, the surface must be painted with primer. This helps make sure that the color and texture of the floor adheres correctly to the surface of the concrete. The primer should also be used to fill any voids or minor imperfections in the concrete. Any type of concrete that requires repair work should have the surface primed before it goes on. Even if the repair work is covered by a warranty, a primer coat can prevent the repair work from caving in underneath the new paint.
If you have a really bad side of stained concrete, you may want to consider getting a floor finish to cover the area. A floor finish will darken the spot and cover up any of the “bad sides” of the floor. These finishes can be purchased in various textures and finishes to match your unique stained concrete floor. For example, you can choose from Concrete Matte, glossy or hand-scraped.