10 reasons to change your thinking about concrete replacement.
By Rich Serignese
Let’s talk about why you still have damaged concrete on your property. (1) It’s too expensive to tear out and re-pour concrete. (2) You can’t afford the loss of revenue resulting from downtime needed to replace concrete. (3) What difference is it really going to make? Is a cosmetic fix worth the trouble? Do any of these reasons sound familiar?
Good news: Advancements in engineered epoxy-mortar alternatives provide a solid counter-argument to all these claims.
Using epoxy-based solutions, damaged concrete can often be restored instead of replaced. When restoring, the sub-base stays intact (when applicable), and is repaired and resurfaced with an engineered epoxy-mortar. This overlay serves as a new top layer and is an alternative to pouring new concrete.
Compared to a standard concrete replacement, using an epoxy mortar as an overlay gives you a solution that’s less expensive, has a faster turnaround, is aesthetically pleasing, is more durable and is even warrantable.
Here are 10 specific reasons why it might be time to change your thinking about concrete tear-out and replacement.
- First impressions
Walkways, curbs and entryways are the “shoes” to the “dress” of your building. Does your building’s exterior — the first part customers see before they enter — match the quality, design and attention to detail of its interior? Don’t discount the negative first impression your parking lot, curbing and walkways leave on a guest to your facility. Consciously or subconsciously, an undesirable appearance outside is going to shape consumers’ opinions of your business and your brand. (See "before" image at left.)
An ideal time to consider a concrete makeover is when a competitor moves into a shiny new building nearby. Everything is clean and fresh — even the parking lot and the sidewalks around the building. Where do your eyes draw you as a consumer? Your deficiencies are amplified by the freshness of the exterior of your competitor’s new building, but it can be easily remedied.
Untreated cracks and pitting can lead to a worsening of the concrete’s condition. It can be a less costly intervention if addressed proactively. Epoxy mortar overlays are two to three times stronger than concrete, giving your walkways and other surfaces a greater ability to handle the daily traffic they endure.
It only takes a quarter-inch surface differential from a crack in the concrete to register on OSHA’s radar as a trip hazard. Crumbling concrete or other types of damage can also easily become dangerous for pedestrian or vehicle traffic.
Piggybacking on safety, it doesn’t take much to go from a trip/fall incident to a lawsuit. Customers and employees alike can be quick to escalate an injury occurring on your property to an expensive legal battle.
If your damage is such that an epoxy mortar overlay can be used to remedy it, you can save hard costs in terms of labor and materials, as well as downtime costs. A resurfacing solution is often less disruptive and completed faster than a complete tear-out and replacement.
- Salt and Chemicals
Salt and other deicers used in the winter can be absorbed into the capillaries and pores of concrete, which then can get into the sub-base and affect its long term function. Epoxy-mortar based repairs and overlays can even be modified to greatly reduce salt and chemicals from penetrating the surface and doing further damage.
Engineered concrete overlay solutions bring new life to an existing strong concrete base, meaning you avoid tearing out the existing damaged concrete. This translates into faster turnaround projects that don’t require the entire operations to be shut down. Your business can stay open and stay operational throughout the job.
Some epoxy overlays can be custom-colored to complement a business’ brand, to address safety concerns or darkened to better mask dirt and everyday wear that occurs after it’s applied.
Good luck getting a warranty on a concrete job. There are so many variables at play that can affect how a concrete pour will perform over time that many contractors resist committing to a warranty. With epoxy overlays, however, it’s fair to expect the job to be warranted.
It’s important to note that not all types of damaged concrete can be addressed by resurfacing with epoxy-mortars, but many can. An evaluation of the existing concrete should be completed by a reputable professional.
The money you’ll save — and the attractive, durable finish that will result — can be well worth the time spent exploring it.
— Rich Serignese is the general manager of Simon Surfaces, a division of Simon Roofing. Simon Surfaces is a national concrete restoration and flooring provider. Email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit www.simonsurfaces.com.