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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am facing issues with the concrete contractor, that I would like to share here; maybe somebody experienced can give me some advise.

I hired a contractor to do my porch and entrance from exposed aggregate and also do stamper borders on each side of the driveway with the right one going up to the porch.

After the concrete was poured they stamped it and a day later, they power washed it. I don’t know the exact cause (maybe power washed too soon or substandard quality of concrete) but the surface has chips, voids and craters like in the pictures I attached.

The contractor keeps telling me that this is normal and the surface will look fine after sealing it.

I really have doubts that the surface will look fine as I can’t figure out how the sealant will fill all the surface imperfections.

I would appreciate if somebody can check the pictures and advise his/her opinion.

Edit: my appologies but I cannot post pictures for now being a rookie on this forum. Will come back later once I figure out

The pictures can be found on this thread (please remove the spaces from http):

h t t p://forums.redflagdeals.com/problems-stamped-concrete-contractor-1530491/
 

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JUSTA MEMBER
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One day old concrete has not cured enough to have that kind of abuse and survive.

That is like washing it with a steel wire brush. You are going to leave marks, holes, and gouges.


ED
 

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Look at any walkway that is supposed to look "natural" and you will find the crevices, holes, chips, etc. but they should NOT be in a nice straight line such as that made by the power washer. Concrete is poured, stamped very shortly thereafter, and then allowed to cure before being sealed. If you wanted a surface that looks like a countertop, you picked the wrong product. On the other hand, no way the contractor should have power washed as he took out all of the "natural" look and replaced it with imperfections arrayed in straitpght lines. Ron
 

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I don't know what look you were expecting or going for but to me it looks like a great border when compared to the gravel driveway you have. Berkeley finished concrete would've looked like too much of a contrast compared to the gravel whereas this looks somewhat antique and very natural.

How did the exposed aggregate work come out?
 

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Tileguy
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Doesn't look all that bad to me either but I see what you are saying. I think what you are seeing is the result of the "release powder" being applied in gobs and over-abundance in a lot of areas.

When this is done the stamp is rendered useless in the areas of big piles of release powder. The powder gets pushed down into the surface but the stamp can't make its impression properly. Then when the surface is washed the thick powder is blown away and leaves a mark that deviates from the appearance the stamp would have allowed. These are the areas you have circled.

Of even greater concern to me is the location of the many controls cuts (saw cuts) so close to a stamped joint. That looks like hell! The cuts could have been somewhat hidden had they been made in the stamped joints. The overall layout could have been planned much better I would think.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I don't know what look you were expecting or going for but to me it looks like a great border when compared to the gravel driveway you have. Berkeley finished concrete would've looked like too much of a contrast compared to the gravel whereas this looks somewhat antique and very natural.

How did the exposed aggregate work come out?
The driveway is not finished, it is supposed to be paved with asphalt once the concrete work is done. The exposed aggregate did not turn out bad but they forgot to drive screws into the porch before pouring the concrete - another bummer
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Doesn't look all that bad to me either but I see what you are saying. I think what you are seeing is the result of the "release powder" being applied in gobs and over-abundance in a lot of areas.
Your explanation makes the most sense so far and that's probably what happened.

The big question now is: is the surface repairable? If so what are the drawbacks?
 

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Tileguy
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Your explanation makes the most sense so far and that's probably what happened.

The big question now is: is the surface repairable? If so what are the drawbacks?
I think repairing the surface will leave tell-tale signs of the repairs. I wouldn't try it. Actually in looking at the photos had you not pointed out the imperfections you see I would not have considered them faults at all.

It's the location of the saw cuts that irritate me. I don't think that had to be done like it was. I've never had to do that. We always consider the layout and place the saw cuts strategically so that they are somewhat ascetically correct.
 

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some stamp makers call this stamp ' weathered granite ',,, other stamp makers have the same thing but name them differently,,, we call these stamps ' skins ' as they have very low relief
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The contractor basically walked away and I decided to finish the work by myself.

I have a few questions and would really appreciate if somebody can help answer:

1) The concrete has some chipped areas and is generally rough on the edges. What kind of grinding tool can I use to smooth it out?

2) What kind of cleaning agent I can use prior to sealing the concrete. I have a tire mark and it just does not go away no matter what I do

3) What kind of sealer should I use? Somebody told me that water base epoxy sealer would be a good option

4) Is anything that goes into the relief cuts or I just leave them as is?

Thanks a lot
 

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Tileguy
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The contractor basically walked away and I decided to finish the work by myself.

I have a few questions and would really appreciate if somebody can help answer:

1) The concrete has some chipped areas and is generally rough on the edges. What kind of grinding tool can I use to smooth it out?
Another photo would be nice. Anything you do with a grinder is likely to show up as grinder marks, it just depends on what you are trying to fix.

2) What kind of cleaning agent I can use prior to sealing the concrete. I have a tire mark and it just does not go away no matter what I do
Tire marks are tuff to erase. Again a photo may help here also.

3) What kind of sealer should I use? Somebody told me that water base epoxy sealer would be a good option
I'll let someone else suggest a good sealer. I don't do this everyday and I have never sealed any outdoor work. I use Thermo-Seal on interior work but don't know that it can be used outside. There are people here that do this all of the time.

4) Is anything that goes into the relief cuts or I just leave them as is?
I don't remember if you said where you are located. If freeze/thaw is an issue for you then it may be wise to fill the saw cuts with a self leveling pourable caulk product. Otherwise if the cracks hold water and freeze you could have the edges of the cracks chipping out.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Another photo would be nice. Anything you do with a grinder is likely to show up as grinder marks, it just depends on what you are trying to fix.

Tire marks are tuff to erase. Again a photo may help here also.

I'll let someone else suggest a good sealer. I don't do this everyday and I have never sealed any outdoor work. I use Thermo-Seal on interior work but don't know that it can be used outside. There are people here that do this all of the time.

I don't remember if you said where you are located. If freeze/thaw is an issue for you then it may be wise to fill the saw cuts with a self leveling pourable caulk product. Otherwise if the cracks hold water and freeze you could have the edges of the cracks chipping out.
I uploaded pictures in post # 4. If you look at the second and the third pictures it's the chipped edges that I'm trying to fix.

I live in Canada, close to Toronto and we get freezing temperatures during the winter here
 

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Tileguy
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I uploaded pictures in post # 4. If you look at the second and the third pictures it's the chipped edges that I'm trying to fix.

I live in Canada, close to Toronto and we get freezing temperatures during the winter here
Fixing those small chips is futile in my thinking. I'd be more concerned about the saw cuts and getting them filled. I don't think providing only close-up photos of your concerns without some overall views is being reasonable. What about the tire mark, where's that picture?

It seems you have chosen a rustic rugged natural stone-look impression and then when you get it you don't seem to care for it. Did you visit other job sites where this same contractor used these same mats BEFORE you hired him to do yours? Not sure you are complaining about the things you should be complaining about. The saw-cuts and their locations are much more distracting than a few small chips.

To fix the chips you could mix a small amount of patch and finger it in the chips but it will still look different than its surroundings.

I am beginning to see why you can't get a response from the contractor.
 

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If that's not the finish product it does not look bad. But once it's complete post an updated pic. I am curious to know what is the end result.
 

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I wouldn't put a lot of effort into fixing anything in the pictures, it's bound to look worse when you're done, especially if you've never repaired this stuff before. If it looks good wet, it will look even better when sealed. As for what sealer to use, I have preferences, but I'm not sure what's available to you locally. I would call a local ready-mix supplier and ask them what they carry in a solvent-based acrylic enhancing sealer that's meant for decorative concrete flatwork. Post back what they carry.........
 
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