Compared to other construction materials, concrete is much easier to maintain. However, there are some problems that you might experience if you haven’t worked on it properly. In fact, concrete problems may include scaling, discolouration, shrinkage, cracking, and other various issues.
Here are some common problems that you need to be aware of and how to solve them.
To reduce the cracking on your concrete surface, you can remove the topsoil, organic material, and soft spots in the subgrade. You should also compact all loose soil under the concrete slab or install concrete joints by forming, tooling, and sawing a groove.
Most importantly, minimise the water content by maximising the amount of course aggregate, and avoid rapid drying or using retardant admixture since this could weaken your concrete and make it more prone to cracking.
To remedy concrete discolouration, you must first prepare a uniform subgrade and wait until all the water has evaporated before you do the finishing process. Also, avoid hard trowelling on the surface of the concrete since this could to more significant discolouration.
The contractor should also ensure the proper bonding of materials when applying thin topping mixes, and they must use the right amount of steel reinforcement in the slab. Also, concrete must be placed on an absorptive sub-grade, so all the bleed water will not be pushed on the top of the slab.
Another concrete problem is scaling, and this occurs when the surface of the concrete breaks off and peels away. This is usually caused by inadequate concrete strength or improper curing procedure, as well as the heavy exposure of concrete to freeze-thaw cycles.
To avoid this issue, you should only use low slump-air in your entrained mix. It’s also wise to wait for the water to evaporate from the surface before conducting the curing procedure. Also, you should not use salt or other harmful chemicals on your mix during the winter season. If you have this issue with your concrete, you might like to consider concrete resurfacing.
Crazing is considered one of the most repeated problems in concrete. This usually happens when the surface shows various interconnected cracks, or when the cement paste is pushed up to the surface and shrinks.To avoid crazed concrete, you should properly cure the concrete in a timely manner. Also, wait until the water has evaporated before you do the finishing process. In addition, you must not sprinkle water over the concrete while finishing it.
Concrete patios which are in good condition, but with minor damage can be completely transformed on a very low budget. You can have yourself an an elegant and great looking patio once again through concrete resurfacing. In fact, it is the best option to take rather than starting over with a new patio, since you can improve the appearance and strength with a cement-based overlay.
There are several options available to you when you resurface your concrete patio; you can choose stamped, stencilled, stained, or stencilled with colour added. However, before you embark on a patio resurfacing project, you’ll need to seek the help of a professional contractor since they can determine if your surface is a good candidate. They can also determine if using brick, wood, or stone is more applicable to your surface.
What is the right concrete patio coating for your project?
There are several types of concrete patio coatings, and you should choose the one based on the type of work you need done. So, if you want a less expensive option, you should just paint your patio, but it does not handle wear and tear well, and it can quickly fade in a couple of months.
Other more expensive coating options will include epoxy coating and stamped concrete overlay, which can protect your surface from water, and they can adequately handle wear and tear. These options can also bring a bold colour palette to your surface.
Also, through stamped concrete overlays, you can add unique patterns, colours and texture to your patio. But the most significant benefit is its ability to enhance the strength and durability of your surface.
So, we highly recommend that you consider using stamped concrete over just painting your patio because it’s more cost-effective in the long run.
The best patio finishes for your existing concrete
If you want a more personalised and unique look for your patio, there are a variety of options available. You can use textures, patterns, colours, or even borders to enhance the beauty of your patio and bring it to the next level.
The right way of resurfacing a concrete patio
There are several steps required to resurface a concrete patio properly and these will include the following:
How much will it cost?
Overall, the cost of a resurfacing project will depend on the design you want to achieve and the size of your surface. But it is still a more cost-effective option because removing existing concrete and pouring a new slab will cost a lot more than resurfacing, making it the most budget-friendly option to get a new look and feel for your concrete patio in Mornington.
If you’re planning to sell your home or at least increase its value, then you should consider beautifying your outdoor space. In fact, a well-maintained and attractive garden can add as much as 10 percent to the value of your home.
There are several ways to spruce up your garden without spending too much money. Here are some inexpensive garden tips that you might want to consider for your home:
Add unique outdoor container plants and mulch
Container plants like those large tropical breeds can add zest and contrast to your patios and doorways where potential buyers may enter and exit your home. This will make your home more attractive and inviting to your guests.
You can also bring life to your garden by adding various types of mulch since it enhances the contrast of the surrounding plants, especially when you combine it with different breeds of container plants. Mulch is an excellent addition to your garden since it’s relatively cheap and easy to apply.
Remove unsightly or overgrown shrubs and trees
You should never overlook your pruning chores because a bunch of dead branches will make your garden look dirty and neglected. It’s essential to maintain your outdoor area, especially your garden, and it’s a great way to spend your lazy weekend with your family or buddies.
Tend to perennial beds
If you have herbaceous plants on your garden like annuals and perennials that may not look good as they should, then it’s time to replace them with decorative pots or at least relocate them to another area. The important thing here is to add variety to your garden and remove plants that may affect the look and ambiance of your garden.
Vertical planting is a great way of growing plants upright instead of the conventional method of allowing them to sprawl out. For this purpose, you can use garden nets, fences, and trellises that may enable crops like spaghetti squash, cucumbers, peas, and pole beans to climb up. This method saves a lot of space and makes weeding a lot easier.
Create a grand entrance
Your guests or potential buyers would want to see something amazing when they go to your home. So, let your slow-growing conifers and alpine plants greet them. These plants will grow about 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide, and it gives a welcoming ambiance at the entrance of your home.
Leave a sweet spot in your garden
Gardens aren’t just about weeding, pruning or planting, they’re magical places where you enjoy nature right in your own backyard. So, it’s only right to put a cheap decorative table and chairs in the middle of your garden where you or your guests can sit and smell the flower and watch the beauty of your backyard.
Overall, a garden is an essential element of your home, and if you maintain it properly, it can increase the value of your home.
Everybody would love to have a beautiful landscape in their backyard, but taking care of it is another story. If you want to have a gorgeous landscape design, but dreads the idea of maintaining it yourself, then we urge you to stick around because we’ll show you some of the best ways to achieve your dream landscape with minimal maintenance.
But first, let us demystify the term low maintenance, which is very different from “no maintenance.” You need to understand that all landscapes will require some kind of care, but with proper planning, you can significantly minimise maintenance.
So, shrubs and weeds will always grow, and they will establish themselves in your backyard. This process is always in motion and will become more noticeable if you stop mowing them. Therefore, maintaining your landscape is more like you’re trying to slow down a natural process.
Your property is considered a “managed environment,” which means you’ve established an ecological community in your area, and it is your responsibility to take care of it. Your primary role is to control or prevent unwanted and desirable vegetation from invading your landscape.
Here are some essential tips on how to get a low maintenance landscape in your backyard:
The steps we enumerated above seem logical, linear, and straightforward, but for a complete beginner – it may not be that easy. So, to successfully do these steps, you must know something about your landscape design, environment, soil, plants, and more.
But what if you don’t have the time and skills to maintain your yard? Fortunately, there are experienced landscaped designers at Mornington Peninsula Concreters who can help you with the planning process.
We recommend that you get in touch with a qualified and environmentally-committed landscape professional who is willing to discuss with you all the options available for your property. They will be eager to advise you on how you can effectively achieve a low maintenance landscape.
You can also hire them to maintain your yard on a monthly or quarterly basis. In fact, you will be please with the results once they have implemented your landscape design.
Adding outdoor living spaces can expand the usable square footage of your property, and it’s also an excellent way for you to enjoy your outdoor areas. This is particularly beneficial for homeowners who live in areas where outdoor living is possible throughout the year.
In fact, outdoor kitchen and dining areas in the patio is now rather common, since a patio will usually have a table and chairs which you often use for your morning coffee or other outdoor events like a family barbecue.
Extending the functionality of your patio
When it comes to using your outdoor space like your patio, you usually hold an event that is applicable for outdoor space, but you can go much farther in creating living spaces that can truly bring life to your patio.
It is now possible to create outdoor kitchens and built-in grills, which are a growing trend in 2020, particularly in Australia, where the weather permits us to spend more time outdoors. In fact, you can even add flatscreen televisions, outdoor rugs, cocktail tables, and comfortable sofas right beside your outdoor kitchen.
Many homeowners are now choosing to expand their patio by adding outdoor kitchens that range from a few simple features to complete setups that would even impress a full-time chef. So, constructing these new elements in your backyard can potentially add value to your home.
Options for cooking outdoors
The easiest way to keep your house cool and enjoy your backyard is to cook in your outdoor kitchen. You can install a built-in grill in your patio and have it customised to complement your cooking needs. You can add burners, drawers, and other essential accessories to make your cooking more convenient.
If you love pizza, then you can install an outdoor pizza oven, which could have a flat brick or ceramic surface inside a cave-like shape. These types of ovens are usually operated by burning wood, and the reflected heat cook the pizza. The most significant feature of an outdoor oven is its capability to bake tender pizzas with bubbly crusts that are perfectly crisp.
Another excellent idea for your patio is to install a modular outdoor kitchen, which is customizable and created solely by concrete to make it more affordable and maintenance-free.
To make your patio even more beautiful, you can add several finishing touches like modern cylinders to hold your plants, elegant curvy urns, or add fun splashes of vibrant colours that could add an inviting ambiance to your patio. You can also plant a graceful ornamental grass that will wave in the breeze – making your outdoor space more relaxing and comfortable.
It’s also a great idea to put some outdoor rugs on your patio, including some concrete furniture to add that living room feels even if you’re in your outdoor area.
Overall, making your patio functional and more enjoyable can now be achieved without breaking your bank.
We all want our home or office to be safe and peaceful, but there will always be a slight risk of fire hazard. So, it is important to know some basic safety precautions because fire hazard is one of the most causes of accidents in our homes and offices and it could lead to tremendous damages. However, a fire hazard can always be prevented, but it is still a highly ignored risk, especially in Australia.
With proper precautions, we can prevent fire or at least minimise the damage and loss it can cause. There are a few simple things you can do to protect yourself and your family from fire accidents.
Fire safety tips in your home
Home fires can happen any time and it poses serious dangers to anybody in that property. In fact, when a fire breaks out in a home, the inhabitants just have two minutes to escape since fire can spread fast and can engulf the house in only 5 minutes.
So, when you’re in the kitchen and fire suddenly occurs, you shouldn’t use water to put it out because it will only help spread the fire. Also, you should always turn off any kitchen appliance after use, or just turn the main power switch off. Lastly, never leave your kids unattended in the kitchen, especially if you have flammable materials in your kitchen like oven mitts, paper towel, etc.
It is also wise to use concrete material in all of your kitchen fixtures including your kitchen island or sink since concrete does not burn and it can retain its strength even in high temperatures.
When it comes to your outdoor area, there are a few things you should check to prevent any fire accidents. Firstly, you need to determine if your roof is fire retardant, so you need to make sure that your roof is treated with fire retardant processes. For this purpose, you should contact your building contractor and have your roof treated with the necessary fire-retardant compound.
If you’re grilling in your backyard, you shouldn’t use gasoline on a grill since this has a tendency blow up the fire instantaneously and you might even catch fire in your clothes and skin. So, if you’re reviving fire in your grill, it’s better to use dry kindling than gasoline.
Use concrete building materials in your home
We also recommend you use concrete when building your patio since it is more versatile, fire-proof and safer than a timber deck. Also, a concrete patio is smoother, cleaner, and can be cast to form various geometric shapes, which is quite stylish. It’s also possible to use concrete furniture in your backyard since it is more durable and a non-combustible alternative to wood or timber. While you may think of concrete as cold and ugly, a variety of finishing options are available to give it the look you desire.
So, if you want to protect your home from fire, we suggest you use concrete more in some of your fixtures since it can minimise the risks of fire and it’s not that expensive either, and it is easy to maintain. Therefore, you can never go wrong if you choose concrete in your construction or renovation projects.
Whether you’re planning to extend your backyard, porch, build a new shed, lay a new driveway, or a flat surface for your basketball court, it is essential to prepare the ground before pouring concrete. In fact, if you pour concrete on uneven ground, it will most likely break apart or sink, which can cause major cracks.
Although pouring concrete is straightforward, prepping the ground and framing the area is a challenging task. Depending on the size of the slab you want to produce, the prep time can take several hours to do. That is why the key to a properly leveled surface is planning and efficient execution.
In fact, there are several steps you need to do to accomplish this task, and these will include the following:
Mark and measure the area where you want to pour the concrete, then dig to a depth of at least 3 to 5 inches with a shovel. If the ground you’re digging is mostly clay, then you need to add 2 inches of depth more to hold the gravel and will also serve as the drainage. After digging, use spray paint or stake to mark the area.
You should also remove all the vegetation within the area, especially the spot where concrete will be poured. You can always use the removed grass in other areas of your lawn or where there are bald spots.
It is also vital to dig a trench around the area’s perimeter for about 4 inches deep and 6 inches wide. This is done to make the concrete surface stronger and less likely to crack with time.
Another important thing to do is to smooth the ground with a rake using its flat side. Try to fill in any low spot with extra dirt and check the level of the ground by placing a level measuring tool.
The next important step is to tamp down the surface with a machine tamper or the manual hand tamper. You need to pack the soil until you no longer see a footprint when you walk on the surface. You also have the option to add gravel by pouring it on the surface and tamping it down tightly and ensuring the ground is leveled correctly.
You must also place stones at the base of the new slope to create a low wall and prevent erosion or loose soil. However, you’ll need concrete and other specialised techniques to build a larger retaining wall for more safety and stability.
Lastly, place a level on different parts of the ground to check how to level the surface is on all the areas. If you noticed that there are spots that aren’t level, you can fill those up with the removed dirt from other areas.
After doing the steps above, be sure to research whether or not you'll need to reinforce the concrete. This may be necessary depending on the project. You can now pour concrete on the ground and accomplish any of your backyard projects.
Wood is an important material in any construction project, since it is durable, plentiful, and it can easily be cut into various sizes and lengths. It can also provide several benefits, which include: sound isolation, thermal elasticity, resistance to any electrical charges, and oxidation, and it is easy to maintain and repair.
Although timber can be one of the best materials in any construction project, especially in the framing of residential housing, it also has several structural disadvantages, which in turn can significantly affect any type of construction. In fact, timber or wood is known to swell, shrink, and deteriorate when exposed to certain types of conditions like extreme temperatures. It can also produce fungi or biological diseases if not properly treated.
Most importantly, timber is prone to the elements and can be damaged by insects, termites, and moisture. Fortunately, there are several alternatives to timber in the market, and it these alternatives can mitigate the disadvantages of wood.
The following building materials can be used instead of timber:
There are plenty of ways to add value or ambiance to your home, but perhaps the easiest and most effective way is landscaping, and it doesn’t need to be expensive. In fact, landscaping can have a big impact on your guests’ first impression of your home. The moment they step out of the car, they will already be assessing your property, so you need to ensure that your outdoor space will leave a good impression.
So, before you start your landscaping project, you need to determine your budget and what elements you want to add to your garden, and the costs of each element. There are several ways you can implement in your landscaping project that will make a world of difference. This only shows that landscaping doesn’t need to break the bank.
Here are a few landscaping ideas that are simple and effective but are budget-friendly:
Many contemporary walkways can be poured in oversized pavers that create a look of giant stepping stones. You can also take advantage of other shapes, such as circles or rectangles to create a bold geometric pattern. It is also possible to plant Bermuda grass in spaces between the poured concrete pavers to give more vibrant colours to your walkway.
Overall, concrete is a great option to consider especially in landscaping since it is more affordable, durable, and versatile than its other more expensive counterpart.
We always think of spending our time in our outdoor area especially during summer, but for most homeowners in Australia, having an alfresco in their backyard is always on top of their list since it adds glamour and ambiance to your outdoor space.
In this article, we’re going to share some essential tips that will transform your property into a luxurious and stylish outdoor space that you’ve always wanted to have.
Here are some of the things you can do to make your backyard into a perfect outdoor space:
If you have a large alfresco, it is ideal to create a dining area and lounge space complete with bar and kitchen. So, to add some pizzazz to your outdoor area, you can specify the functions of each small area based on their intended purpose.
To change the scenery and feel of your outdoor area, you can add a few pots of different sizes with lots of greenery to break up the starkness of your wooden decking or concrete pavers.
In your dining area, you can add a centerpiece or table runner depending on the season you’re on. Also, think about lighting and the ambiance it can provide you. In fact, string lights can add dimension to your space during evenings and it gives an inviting feeling for both your family and guests.
This means you could put accessories and colours in your outdoor area that complement the existing features of your indoors.