Concrete is perhaps the most versatile man-made material ever discovered. Its history dates back almost 9,000 years to the Syria and Jordan region where floors, houses, and underground cisterns were made from this amazing material. The ancient Romans then spread its use across their empire, though after the fall of Rome, the process was lost for hundreds of years until around 1414. But as far as modern concrete is concerned, we have to thank Joseph Aspdin, who invented Portland cement in 1824, something we are still using to this day.
This is the most common finish to fresh concrete, creating the smooth top surface we all recognize. Once your concrete has been poured into forms, our experienced finishers will first use a screed to level the surface before moving onto the next stage. To achieve a uniformly smooth surface, they will either use a hand trowel or, usually in larger commercial projects, a power trowel. With many years of experience carrying out this task, our skilled finishing team will leave your concrete with that perfect smooth finish.
The next step up from troweling is broom finishing. This is usually done when you want your finished surface to be slip resistant. As the name suggests, this is simply done with a broom in order to produce a concrete texture once the leveling and troweling stages have been successfully completed. As the leading concrete contractors in North Virginia, this is another process we have many years of experience in. Once the finishers have troweled the surface to ensure smoothness, they will carefully drag brooms across it, leaving ridges in the concrete that will reduce the final surface slipperiness.
If you want to create a unique look for your finished concrete surface, then it may be worth considering exposed aggregates. This not only leaves your finished concrete floor or other surface looking good, it also makes the concrete slip resistant. There are different aggregates which can be added in order to produce different final finishes and looks. Popular choices include limestone, colored granite, basalt, and colored glass. Once finished, our team will add a concrete sealer to the concrete surface in order to protect it and prolong its life.
There are other options for finishing your concrete surfaces, all of which our knowledgeable team can talk you through to find the best choice. If you want colored concrete, then you can choose either adding pigments prior to pouring, or you can opt for a post-pour concrete stain. The range of colors from pigments is fairly limited and the surface needs sealed well to prevent degradation of the color. Staining i can be applied to any age of concrete and it comes in a wider choice of colors than colored concrete. Both concrete with pigment added, as well as, stained concrete will need to be sealed once the concrete has cured. To discuss these different options, get in touch with us today.