Engineering

Published on September 23rd, 2020 | by Sunit Nandi

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Everything You Need to Know About Exposed Aggregate Concrete

The durability and longevity of concrete has since long been appreciated by contractors. However, it holds very less appeal for homeowners hoping to beautify their property. Exposed aggregate concrete is one way to achieve a unique look. This finish can be executed by employing a variety of methods. The end result is ideal for a pool deck, patio, a sidewalk, or/and the driveway.

Techniques Used to Create Aggregate Concrete

There are several ways in which these types of surfaces are created. Mentioned below are a few of them.

#1. Standard: A normal batch of cement, sand, crushed stone and water is mixed together in the standard method. It is then poured and left for about an hour to get slightly harden. The surface is then vigorously swept with a broom to remove particles of fine concrete. This leaves behind the exposed gravel and stone particles.

#2. Topping: This method, also referred to as concrete overlay, is generally used to upgrade an existing concrete surface and make it slip resistant. A fresh batch of concrete is prepared, and then thinly poured on an old path. This thin layer exposes the thicker stones along the surface.

#3. Seeded: In this method, crushed pieces of stones or gravel are placed into freshly laid-down concrete surface by hand. The process is quite similar to putting seeds in the ground where unlike the seeds, the stone is left to stick out at the top.

#4. Polished: This method is used more for decorative purpose than being functional. Rather than the aggregate being exposed, a sander or grinder is used to level the surface and make it completely flat. Layers of coat sealers are used to achieve a polished and shiny surface.

Benefits of Aggregate Concrete

Mentioned below are some of the most compelling benefits of exposed aggregate concrete.

1. Highly Customizable

The biggest advantage of exposed aggregate concrete is that it is highly customizable. One can choose to add a variety of materials, modify it to create new patterns and unique designs.

Whether you pick a subtle or a bold effect is all up to you. With a wide array of colors and a range of textures to choose from, you have the freedom to create something distinct and beautiful.

2. Versatile Aesthetic Option

Exposed aggregate concrete is different from regular concrete in terms of shape, color and size. This allows you to design a custom concrete surface.

Unlike regular concrete, the cement used to bind together the aggregate can be tinted to match the aesthetic of the house. Other than stone aggregates, you could choose to add chunks of polished glass to achieve an added element of luminescence in the concrete.

3. Reduced Susceptibility to Spalling

Spalling is a problem faced by regular concrete during the wintertime when the porous concrete tends to absorb water along with the salts of dissolved ice. As the temperatures continue to drop, a lot of internal stress is created due to the expansion of the salty mixture.

This makes the concrete surface weak and susceptible to crumbling or cracking even under normal pressure. The spalling can make the concrete surface appear rough and reduce its visual appeal.

Exposed aggregate concrete on the other hand is pretty much immune to spalling as contractors remove the cement paste’s surface layer at the time of installation. Homeowners should get the aggregate concrete sealed in every two years to achieve longevity.

4. Improved Traction

The installation process of exposed aggregate concrete is pretty much the same as regular concrete. However, nylon-bristled brushes and water is used after the surface has cured partially to remove a part of the cement. This helps the surface achieve a slightly stubby texture thereby giving it more traction even in wet and humid condition.

The above information helps you to learn about exposed aggregate concrete. You can find more details by visiting this link.

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I'm the leader of Techno FAQ. Also an engineering college student with immense interest in science and technology. Other interests include literature, coin collecting, gardening and photography. Always wish to live life like there's no tomorrow.



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