Frequently Asked Questions
As professional concrete contractors in Colorado Springs and having been in the business for over three decades, we have been asked a number of questions concerning concrete construction. Here are answers to a few that are asked more than others:
Can I use de-icers on my new concrete? The bag says it is safe for use on all concrete. Is that true?
Does all concrete crack?
Can cracks be prevented?
What is stamped concrete?
Why is stamped concrete becoming so popular?
What is acid stained concrete?
How long does a project take from start to finish?
As professional concrete pavers in Colorado Springs, we are happy to give some advice to people seeking guidance with their concrete needs. Here are a few helpful tips:It's not a question of "set it and forget it"A little tender, loving care will make your concrete last a long, long time. Even concrete needs a little love!
It's not a question of "set it and forget it"
When you're talking concrete! Weather, chemicals, tempature changes and just plain neglect can damage concrete surfaces, sometimes beyond repair. Yet, just a very little TLC can prevent this damage and keep your walks, driveways and other surfaces as good as new. So watch for the Concrete Culprits and take the necessary precautions...you'll be glad you did!
The Chemical Culprit:
De-icers help old C.C. do his dirty work. They often contain salt or calcium chloride. These shouldn't be used under any circumstances the first winter after your concrete has been in place. Never apply de-icers containing ammonium sulfate or ammonium nitrate.
The Lawn Lizard:
Those marvelous chemicals that are so effective against weeds and insects which ravage your lawn, can wreak havoc with your concrete. Many of them will chew right into the top surface. Once you've passed the spreader around check your walks and driveways. If any chemicals seem to have landed there, wash them off promptly with the garden hose. Frequently, depending upon the chemicals you may use, rust spots will appear to alert you as to where you may have missed the lawn and hit the concrete. Though chemicals can be highly effective in controlling or eliminating harmful bugs and weeds, concrete can handle the weeds without help, so no extra chemistry is needed there!
The Freeze/Thaw Monster:
Colorado weather, famous across this land, is a concrete killer. As concrete pavers in Colorado Springs, we’ve seen it all. With warm sunny days followed by sub-zero nights, a daily temperature fluctuation of at least twenty degrees, and a continual freeze/thaw cycle, concrete is hard put to survive the expansion/contraction that is a natural result of our climate. Coloradoans, above all, need to give their concrete a lot of TLC. The results are well worth the effort! Here are three fundamental rules to follow:
No one expects the property owner to be an expert with concrete. That's why we're here to help, advise or treat your pavements. So rely upon our experts to help you in any way possible, whether your surfaces need, repair or replacement. If a problem occurs, let us know in the beginning. Often we can prevent the damage from growing worse. You know what they say about "an ounce of prevention". So feel free to give us a call. As concrete pavers in Colorado Springs, we're here to help. Years of experience working with concrete have taught us how to handle any problem. We're at your service!
Want to know more about your concrete and TLC? Contact us today
Winter in Colorado is wonderful! Days of beautiful sunshine and warmth then fantastic fluffy snow for snowshoeing, skiing and sledding. That’s wonderful for us, but bad for your concrete!
These conditions occur weekly, even daily. Thaw, freeze, thaw, freeze, etc. etc. Moisture residing on the concrete surface melts and is absorbed by the slab during the day, and then freezes at night. As this moisture, now residing in the pores of the concrete, freezes, it expands. Up to 9% in volume! As this occurs over and over during the winter, spalling (the flaking of the slab surface) and cracking are likely to develop.
How can you protect your concrete during the winter months? First and foremost, you must re-seal you slab every two-three years no later than September. While sealers do not completely stop the migration of water into the concrete, it is shown to extend the life of your concrete 3x-5x! Sealers help!
If you have not sealed your concrete lately, don’t bother doing it this winter. It’s too late. Sealers need to be applied during warmer temperatures, usually above 40 degrees. All is not lost however. 1) Keep the snow off your slab as best you can this winter. Allowing snow to live on your slab for weeks at a time will lead to spalling and cracking. Brush / shovel the snow as soon as convenient after if falls. 2) DO NOT use deicers on the snow that remains. Deicers lower the melting point of ice and snow causing them to melt. Once melted, the moisture migrates into the concrete. This chemical “brine” is extremely harmful to the integrity of your concreted. If you must, spread dark sand on the surface of the remaining snow and ice for slip protection. On the next 50 degree day (we have many during the winter months), scrape any remaining snow and ice from the surface.
When Spring arrives, re-seal your slab. Call Flat & Fancy to re-seal your drive and patio. If you wish to do it yourself, we’ll help you find the right materials to ensure a quality seal is created.
As always, please contact us anytime with questions or just to say hello! Warmest regards to all and enjoy the rest of the winter!
Summer is in full swing in Colorado. This is the perfect time of year to catch up on the little projects around your home that were put off over the winter and spring.
Flat and Fancy crews have been busy helping homeowners all over Colorado Springs take their properties to the next level with gorgeous decorative concrete designs.
Here are some photos and recaps from a couple of the projects we wrapped up recently.
This basement floor was originally plain grey concrete, stained and sealed. We prepared the concrete with a grinding process that removes contaminants, improves the concrete’s ability to react with the stain, and improves the floor’s flatness.
Once prepared, we applied two colors of stain simultaneously and then “washed” the floor with a diluted version of the darker stain. This gives the floor a very liquid appearance and exceptionally smooth transition between colors.
Once we neutralized the stains, we applied two coats of a high gloss 75 percent solids sealer that makes the surface extremely durable and resistant to wear.
A rear garden patio, stamped and colored. This multi-level patio was a unique challenge. The owner wanted a warm Southwestern appearance with an Ashlar Slate stamp. We also needed the grout lines and low spots of the stamp to appear to have moss growing.
We accomplished the desired effect with a special staining technique which was sprayed, then washed, to encourage the moss effect to occur only in the low spots as desired. The custom wrought iron railing was completed by another contractor and really complimented the entire project.
Visit our portfolio page to see more examples of the fine concrete work we’ve done around Colorado Springs.
If you have a concrete project you’re ready to tackle this spring, call (719) 635-9920 or contact us online today!
Concrete stamps imprint custom patterns on colored concrete. When a stamp is pressed onto laid concrete, it produces a beautiful texture that looks like natural stone while being much more durable and easier to maintain. If you’re interested in a stamped concrete patio in Colorado Springs, there is a variety of patterns and styles you can choose from.
Flat and Fancy offers you the best priced concrete, best concrete mix, best workmanship and the best two-year warranty! Find out why you should be thinking about a stamped concrete from Flat and Fancy for your home improvement upgrades in 2017.
Stamped Concrete Advantages
Stamped Concrete Patios Versus Pavers, Brick, Etc.
Why are stamped concrete patios often superior to bricks or pavers? Natural surfaces like brick and cobble form a surface with many interlocking pieces. This type of surface is highly susceptible to changes in the underlying structure caused by frost heave. In a climate like Colorado Springs, that can be a major concern. It takes a lot of maintenance to keep a natural surface patio looking its best.
The reinforced rods in a stamped concrete patio bind the pavement together and provide a stronger, more durable surface.
Stamped Concrete Patios Cost
Upfront costs aren’t the only thing to consider. With the significant maintenance costs involved in keeping a natural surface patio looking great, the long-term cost-efficiency starts to get very one-sided when you compare natural surfaces to a stamped concrete patio. This is an important point to keep in mind when weighing one patio option over another.
Get Help from a Concrete Expert
Don’t struggle alone with the decision of what type of patio to install. Flat and Fancy, the premier Colorado Springs concrete experts, can come to your home and provide you with a free estimate on a stamped concrete patio installation.
Call 719-635-9920 or contact us online today for a free, no-obligation estimate!
Your concrete could use some work. You don’t have the skills, the time, or the desire for a DIY project, but, still somebody’s got to get the job done. Sounds like it’s time to find a Colorado Springs concrete contractor!
It’s likely that you already know of a few ways of finding reputable Colorado Springs concrete contractors (Google search, yellow pages, Yelp, etc.), but do you know what to ask a professional before deciding to take the plunge and hire them? It’s understandable if you’re not sure what questions you pose a contractor before starting a project. Let Flat and Fancy help:
Questions to Ask a Colorado Springs Concrete Contractor
What’s your warranty?
If the contractor is not willing to offer a warranty on work completed, you should go elsewhere. You can even do better than a one-year warranty. Flat and Fancy offers a two-year warranty that will provide you with maximum peace of mind in your concrete investment.
How long will the project take?
In most cases, a Colorado Springs concrete contractor should be able to complete the project within a few days. Special jobs may require a different timeframe, but you should hesitate if your potential contractor suggests your standard project may take a week or more to finish.
How soon can you start?
Quality, reputable contractors are typically booked for at least a couple weeks in advance. If your potential hire says they are ready to come tomorrow, you should ask some more questions to learn more about their experience. At the same time, if they’re so busy they want you to wait months for follow up, that can be its own warning sign.
Can you provide photos of completed projects?
This is a big one. Never be afraid to ask for the contractor to provide pictures of work completed for previous customers. They may even have photos available on their website, just like we do.
How thick will you pour the concrete?
You don’t want cracks showing in your concrete in the first couple months after it’s been poured. With an appropriate thickness of 4 or 5 inches, you should have no worries about the durability of your new surface.
Now you know what to ask, it’s time to start looking for a Colorado Springs concrete contractor. Flat and Fancy should be your first call if you want dedicated service, quality craftsmanship, and the finest materials.
Contact us online or call 719-635-9920 today to discuss your concrete project!
Ray Beresford... Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.