Location: Jacobs Well
Project Size: 60sqm
“You can’t accept your wins if you can’t wear your losses.” – Me 2019
I’m a big believer that business is all about the ups and downs. We work the hardest of making sure that the up’s are much more frequent than the downs, but of course, the downs are never that far away. The main thing, is that working just as hard on the downs as we do on the ups, turns those downs also into ups. I swear that just sounded like “Cat in the Hat” reading that back to myself….
This project here is a project we got under way around October 2018. A package deal for our clients with installation of side paths and driveway in plain grey concrete, then returning to decorative resurfacing or overlay the concrete to something pretty and fancy for this up market area in Jacobs Well.
The time came to install the concrete and a brief look at the weather had Mr Weather Man predicting 20% chance of 1-5mm of rain. Having been in this industry for 20+ years, a little rain here and there is certainly nothing that frightens us, especially considering we’re resurfacing later. At worst, it will just cool the afternoon down a bit on an already scorching days work.
However, as we got to final finishing, a big purple headed monster flew over the mountains with bright red eyes and horns of fire and instead of the 1-5mm of rain which would have seen my lovely niece in her gumboots splashing around, we were getting spears of pure evil pelted from the heavens at near horizontal angles seeing us racing for cover behind the other side of the house praying that the wall didn’t fall down.
10 minutes. That’s all it was, but it was enough to wash all the surface off our newly installed concrete and saw me kicking construction hats down the street swearing at Thor and his horrible temper that he just threw my way.
But, we are professionals and the show must go on.
We returned in November to start resurfacing works. I took to the concrete with my grinders, hoping to remove any unwanted wash that was sitting on the surface and wouldn’t prevent a solid bond of our new resurfacing products. I then acid cleaned the bejingles out of it and pressure washed everything off until I had nothing but pure stone to contact bond to when resurfacing.
After completing the resurfacing and taking all precautions I could, I walked away knowing that my years of experience has again gotten us out of a tricky situation….or so I thought.
Our client here got back in touch with us April this year, about 4-5 months after we finished work there. They just let us know that there were two cracks in the concrete that they would like me to look at.
Now one of these cracks, was just an unfortunate, non-structural crack that was only a hairline and being held together nicely by the steel reinforcing. Sucks that it’s there, but nothing more could be done. However, the bottom crack, was right next to the joint and looked pretty shitty. After some closer inspection, I could see that it was another control area that had basically gotten some unwanted materials in there, and, over the past 4-5 months, had began to let go in a straight line, more installation error than faulty product.
Now I had two choices here, licencing and warranty terms only dictate that I need to repair the damaged area, which would have been a pretty easy process considering it was only a small area, but I wanted to go the extra mile here and grind off the entire surface of the concrete and resurface again for two reasons.
Firstly, I wanted to make sure there weren’t any other areas underneath our resurfacing that I had missed in the original process that would fail later on down the track for our clients. I want our clients to have a long lasting solution for their concrete, not just a pretty coating that comes off if you step on it too hard.
Secondly, I know that if I just grind back and repair and resurfacing that particular section, in the position where it is, the new colour I put next to the old colour is going to look different. Over time, the two colours would blend back to each other, but these are good clients here and I want them to have the job they paid for.
So after a few days swearing and kicking behind the floor grinder, dragging my ageing ass over the concrete to hand grind the remaining bits, repairing areas, acid and pressure cleaning again, double base coating with modified product for fullness, then finally re-spraying, our clients again have their beautiful driveway back to pristine condition and not only looking fantastic, but I also modified the products that I used making them stronger and more effective…..lets see this little sucker let go now, I dare you.
Now, we’re only a small operation, literally me, my wife and the odd sub-contractor. Finding time to complete warranty works, especially with what was required here, is very difficult. I explained to our clients here to please be patient, gave them an outline of what I would be completing whilst asking them to be patient about the overall time frame. We finished their respray over a 3 week period, leaving them full access on the driveway throughout the duration except for the last 2 days (yesterday and today), when the final coatings went down.
If you’re reading this Geoff & Val, thank you for your patience in waiting for repairs, along with you respect and trust that we are professionals and only want the best results for you, along with you overall business. It was a pleasure working with you.
White base with Natural main colour, Blue Mountain borders and control inserts with White and Blue Mountain Flecking