flexKRETE – HOW TO APPLY A DECORATIVE OVERLAY
Overlays. What is a decorative overlay and how can it save money? A decorative overlay is generally a thin layer of material used to cover concrete, asphalt, steel or wood and give it a decorative look. flexKRETE is the perfect product to use as an overlay on any of these surfaces. Resurfacing will almost always save money. Removing and replacing unsightly or slightly damaged concrete is expensive and time consuming. Burdensome equipment, short load add-ons, material disposal and additional labor are some of the costs associated with concrete R&R, not to mention possible down time for a business if repairs are made to a storefront.
To perform a flexKRETE overlay:
- ) The first procedure is to thoroughly clean the surface. Many concrete surfaces may have had a sealer applied to them; you can verify this by pouring a small amount of water on top of the concrete. If the water beads on top of the concrete, it most likely has been treated with a sealer of some kind. If the water soaks in rather quickly, it most likely does not have a sealer on it. If it has been sealed, the sealer must be removed. This can be accomplished with a liquid sealer remover or by grinding/sanding it off. A mild mixture of muriatic acid and water can be used, as well. Make sure you abide by all laws and regulations when using any types of solvents. Once the entire surface is scrubbed down and rinsed, it needs to be dried. A leaf blower works well; pay close attention to the nooks and crannies, as moisture will hinder the curing of the flexKRETE. If you must, let it dry overnight.
- ) The next step is to fill all holes and depressions in the surface. Any damages to the concrete should be repaired with the following procedure. The damaged area must be clean and dry. Use a wire brush or a grinder to thoroughly clean the damage area. Apply the primer. Mix equal amounts of flexPRIME Part A and Part B into a clean mixing cup. (A little goes a long way.) Mix until the primer turns a dull yellow (30 seconds). Apply a thin coat to the damaged area using a small chip brush, being careful not to leave any puddles or pools. Wait for the primer to become tacky, like duct tape. The time it takes to become tacky will depend on temperature and humidity.
- ) Once the primer is tacky, you can apply the flexKRETE using a 3 to 1 mixture of sand and flexKRETE. Use flexTEMP to speed up the curing process; this will allow you to quickly move to the next step. Once the repairs on holes, chips and depressions have cured, a quick once-over with a grinder to ensure a flat surface is recommended.
- ) Now that the surface is clean and flat, it can be primed. Mix equal amounts of Part A and Part B flexPRIME together. For large overlay areas, a 9” or 18” wide roller with ⅜” or 1/4” nap works well for applying the primer. Apply a thin layer onto the concrete, making sure to avoid any puddling or pooling of the primer. A small paint brush can be used for tight spots or edges.
- ) Once the primer has become tacky, you are ready to apply the flexKRETE. When applying the flexKRETE, we believe a 3/8” nap paint roller works extremely well for most horizontal applications. The idea is to distribute the flexKRETE evenly over the entire area. We have discovered that the best coverage is about 80 to 100 sqft. per gallon. Pour the flexKRETE onto the surface and spread with a grooved squeegee with 1/8” grooves. As soon as possible, saturate the roller with flexKRETE and begin rolling to even out any line or puddles left by the squeegee. Always roll in the same direction. Use a grid pattern for better consistency. As soon as the flexKRETE is rolled on, the broadcast material can be applied. We have found broadcasting by hand is the most effective way of applying the aggregate materials. Simply take a handful of broadcast material, throw it in the air and allow it to settle onto the flexKRETE. The material will sink to the bottom, continue to broadcast until the area is completely covered, watch for “wet spots.” If you see a “wet spot,” broadcast additional material over the spots. The rejected material can be swept up and saved for the next project, blown off or vacuumed up. It is important to have the entire process continue without interruption to keep from having any cold joints. If you must stop, try to stop on an expansion joint. Allow the flexKRETE to cure; once cured, you can scrape the overlaid surface to remove any additional material. This will help provide a much smoother surface.
- ) The next step is to cut in all the existing expansion joints, this is a necessary step to avoid any unsightly cracks. Even though flexKRETE will cure to 10,000 psi, a thin 1/16” to 1/8” layer will eventually crack where there is an existing joint. Once all the joints are cut in, a through blowing off of all the dust and broadcast material should be performed.
- ) A thin layer of sealer can be applied to protect the finish from staining.
Remember “Fix It with flexKRETE and Forget About It.”
Best of success,