careface cracks concrete

Technical Report – Cracking, Rising Damp, Structural Integrity

Welcome to the darker side of decorative flooring

I want to cover a few topics here in a very blunt and direct nature, offering explanations on why these things occur and where it leaves us as professional installers with often, a very tough decision to make.

First I’ll cover cracking and the patching “repairs” of said cracks. Followed by a few things that only pop up from time to time, but need a little technical coverage because on the rare occasion when they do pop up, they can be confusing and hard to manage.

Maybe other professionals in the industry might be able to use this blog format to pinpoint what is happening on their project, or at least I can direct any clients of mine towards this blog to review some technical information from a 20+ year veteran.

So without further adieu and a 0% blood alcohol reading, lets get started.

Patching Repairing of Cracking

To be fair, this topic is such a blatant “logically makes sense” issue, it really does suprise me on the odd occasion when someone doesn’t understand that the decorative overlay and patching that has been applied, doesn’t stop the concrete underneath moving and the crack opening up again.

I actually don’t even know if I need to go into further detail other than that…..The Majority of people will get the point. But, for the those special few who don’t, lets talk more.

Cracking in concrete is considered by both amatuer installers and double decade structural engineers as normal and typical and nothing done during the installation of said concrete is to prevent cracking, on the contrary, everything that is done is to “control” cracking. Where, how far, what angle, what stress levels etc etc. From steel reinforicing holding the crack together, to control joints specially put in to make the concrete crack where we want it to….cracking to concrete is like bubbles in your champagne, you don’t get one without the other.

Legally from the standpoint of Australian Standards, if the control measures installed into the concrete are working effectively on the crack that has appeared, then the crack is to be considered “non structural” and not a problem. In turn, if the control measures are not working effectively, it is to be considered “structural” and in need of rectification.Either way, the warranty provided for the cracks in your concrete, is supplied over a 7 year basis by the contractor who installed your concrete.

Crack Repairs Concrete Resurfacing
Concrete Refurb Grind and Resurface Wellington Point
Epoxy Flake Floor Ormeau
Epoxy Flake Floor Ormeau

Filling Your Crack - Pun Totally Intended

THIS IS NOT A REPAIR!!!! (big letters in bold with exclamations!!!!)

This system of what we do is specifically called “patching”. It is common in the industry and quite normal from home domestic jobs to large commercial sites. Yes, you will have one or more of your chosen contractors come out to quote with a droopy mouth and a few missing teeth and tell you they’ll repair your crack and you won’t see it agian, but that is an absolute load of shit and you should just smile while you subcontiously tell yourself to run for the hills.

Honesty. Simple huh? Someone like myself, makes this one of the main talking points of your project during our initial consultations. Ask any of the quotes we do. I make this topic so blatantly obvious to the client, that no confusion can be present.

“What I am doing, is patching fill your crack with epoxy and silica sand, the strongest substance I have available to do my absolute best to have that crack not return, however, you should expect that crack to return, because once you start driving your 2 ton car over the concrete again, it will supress the ground underneath, cause the concrete to flex and tension again, which will reinstate the inital reason why your concrete cracked in the first place. The good news is, WHEN your crack returns, it will look somewhat like the picture above, a relatively hairline crack that is no worse than it already was.”

I can and might some day, go into a hell of a lot more technical detail on cracking, but I think this part of the blog at least describes things in enough detail so the few who can’t see anything with reasoning, might have a second opion to go through.

PS: Contractors. Stop calling these things fucking repairs. Be professionals and speak from experience. I guarantee very few of your “crack repairs” remained hidden for more than 6 months.

Rising Damp - Lack of Vapour Barrier

This one here is very uncommon. In the last 20 odd years, I think I’ve come across 2-3 of my own works that have encounted this, along with another contractor sending me some photos asking me what it was, which I was happy to explain to him the details, coming directly from experience.

This is called “Rising Damp”. I just had my latest one pop up from a lovely client that we completed some work for last year, which again, due to having dealth with this before, the cause was very straight forward.

Basically, when concrete is installed that is going to be tiled or basically be an internal floor to have coverings, as a concreter, the engineering dictates that a vapour barrier be used (Visqueen), to prevent rising damp which will in turn pop your tiles off over time, and in this case with resurfacing products, leave the sealer looking a little cloudy in the areas that it is rising.

Unfortunately, not being in control of the inital installation for the concrete, we have absolutely no idea during your surface refurb if this is going to occur or not. This latest one, has shown it’s face after we have just received 500+mm of rain in the last wet season down pour, and has primarily occured on the outer areas of the patio, along with control joint and crack infill patching where moisture can rise more easily from the sloppy ground under neath.

Damp Rising Concrete Resurfacing
Rising Damp Sealer

Here is another example sent through from another contractor. They applied a clear sealer to coloured concrete roughly 6 months ago, basically now again after the heavy down pours, the rising damp is starting to cloud the sealer on top appearing to change the colour of the concrete.

Unfortunately with this problem, there is no real fix. The only method of work available, is to firstly try and use solvent to dilute the sealer on top, hoping that the moisture in the sealer will be removed. If / when this fails (rarely does the job), a choice needs to be made to either redo the area in question, or leave it as is because, through no fault to anyone it will only keep occuring whenever heavy rains are received through outside factors that your resurfacing installer cannot control.

I know we’re always looking for someone to blame in modern society, but sometimes, accepting that shit happens, is the only thing to do when no one is to blame.

This leads me to my final topic of discussions…….

Risk VS Reward

There is absolutely no point making something look amazing if it’s not going to hold together. – Me (all the time).

We do some awesome designs and quality of work. I know I say that about myelf being a little pretentious, but I am just ask quick to point out a negative as I am to verbally uplift my own workmanship.

We do however run into tough decisions from time to time that clients sometimes don’t fully understand. There is a point where we need to leave well enough alone. To fiddle, is to lessen the structural integrity of the product, and lessing that integrity will lead to problems in the future that shouldn’t need to arrise. I’m not talking about the warranty periods that we’re responsible for, I’m talking about the long term integrity of your product install.

Take for instance the cracking issue, there is nothing that can be done to stop concrete from cracking, apart from removing the actual concrete and replacing it with new concrete…..which will most likely crack somewhere else then….because….it’s concrete ffs.

Rising damp. We hate to see this as much as you do. It sucks. All that hard work put in. But to play with the surface to try and rectify a small colour clouding issue, and run the risk of having your product not last 10 – 15 years like it should. To try and fix something that is just going to come back again next time it rains…it’s just madness.

If something does need to be done, there is a limit to how much can be done. Scuff grinding and re-coating a section that was showing an obvious miscolouration, is sometimes worth the effort in the attempt to bend over backwards to keep a customer happy. Re-doing that same process a second time to the same concrete, is most often not worth the risk for the reward to be achieved, as further degredation to the product is only going to bring forward failures at a later date for the client.

Our goal should be giving our clients a structurally strong, hard wearing coating to their concrete that is intended to last 10-15 years with simple maintenance, and then worrying how pretty it looks.

If 95% of that floor looks great with 100% structural integrity, the job is complete.Perfection lies in more areas importantly than a shade of colour from a certain angle.

Sometimes, a stand needs to be made to ensure the client has a long lasting finish, even in the face of criticism from them. After all, there is no point making something look amazing if i’ts not going to hold together. (badumtish).

smell the roses walker concreting gold coast

An Encouraging Scent

Holy freaking bejingles what a roller coaster the end of 2019 was.

We got smacked in the ass early into the 2nd quarter and put our nose to the grind for what seemed an eternity busting our butts to put ourselves in front again, or at least level pegging, then finally Christmas came and we found ourselves with a few weeks to unwind and relax.

Enter the Dimentia zone.

You see, nothing we do in our Walker family is….normal. We’re either smashing our heads into the brick wall in top of 5th gear at full throttle, or laying face first unable to reach the accellerator, middle ground just doesn’t exist. So when our parents decided old age wasn’t enough and they needed something to be cared for, they both decided Dimentia….at the same fucking time was appropriate.

This pulled our holiday up by a few weeks and back to reality to try our best to support / guide the situation, but I think with all situations with Dimentia, it quickly becomes apparent that the person suffering, can’t be saved, just cushioned as they enter the next stage of their life.

That’s enough about that though, no need for too much solemn text. My parents have had a full life lived rich in travel and experiences, even if the remaining years are clouded with Dimentia, I know many a soul envious of their endevours.

Given this situation, it’s brought us into 2020 with such a confused outlook. We’ve worked so hard for so long with the business, house and all of things that are life, that we’ve finally reached a stage where we can let off the throttle a bit, take a bit more time off, go fishing a bit more and re-find a balance between life and work that we all strive for. At the same time though, the inevitablity of where life is headed is in our thoughts constantly. It’s actually a little surreal and for the first time in my life, leaves me with uncertainty of how I should handle my life.

2020 so far, has begun with countless quotes, slugging it out 6 days a week and back into the usual grind that is modern day business. The fragrant aroma of promise though is in the air and pushing us towards “us” time that we haven’t had in years. There’s just a feeling in the air, that we’re reaching the peak of our climb and the sunrise is looking pretty damn good.

Today for example, we finished off a lovely project in Wellington Point, everything went swimmingly, then to do our usual 3-4 quote inspections on the way home. Camilla got an address wrong for an inspection, I maybe said a few little cuss words towards her, we rocked up to the wrong house, apologised to the home owner, to which he wanted a quote for something he was thinking about, only to have it approved on the spot for another mid sized refurb project. Pretty uncanny, but we’ll take the good when the bad doesn’t seem to give a shit what time it hits.

If that isn’t circumstancial prosperity filled with optimisim for the year to come, then I’m a Tooth Fairy wearing a fucking mini skirt.

The smell of 2020 so far is sweet, lets hope people don’t cover it in shit.

Good luck to you all for the year to come.

concrete resurfacing gold coast

New Custom Designs in the Works

Announcement of New Designs in the Works

So here we are. First week in the bag after coming off our first holiday in what seems like forever. Three weeks off with no work, no phone calls, no stress….just flowing around the Whitsundays with a rod and beer in hand and two tiny dogs barking at freaking everything, but that’s another story.

It’s nice to come back refreshed. Not only towards our actual work load which is basically nearly full right up until Christmas at the moment, but also the enthusiasm to retweak one of our existing custom finishes, revamp another one of them into something completely new and different, along with a totaly new creation as well.

I’ll give a bit of a run through here and do our best to get onto them and keep you up to date with their progress.

Tweaking Desert Dreams

This finsh is one of our most popular finishes and for good reason, it looks great and works so well with a lot of natural settings, leaning more towards Sandstone inspired areas of course.

We do tweak this finish slightly already, using one of three colour options for the decorating to better suit an area. This isn’t always the same, but either of the three choices leaves us with a really cool sandy, stone looking design.

What we’ll be doing is introducing some more elements to it with some off white highlighting and other subtle techniques that should create an even more in depth appearance throughout.

custom concrete resurfacing gold coast

Re-Implementing an old Design Style

This is a design we installed a while ago now. We didn’t really follow through much more with it. We kind of just played around with colours and styles and thought this worked really really well with natural “forest” like areas with plenty of tree’s and green’s around.

Already having two designs with swirling and patching decorations, I’ve decided to put some time into this one differently and instead of utilising swirling and patching, really take it to another level removing them and bringing in custom stencil designs, tweaking the colour styles and creating a “Forest” styled finish. My wife and I get back to nature at every oportunity, so this ones a little close to heart, really looking forward to what we come up with.

custom concrete resurfacing gold coast

Making Timber Our Own

Timber overlay’s are nothing new. They’re a relatively simple overlay process through resurfacing, (at least simple for skilled installers of course), but I’ve stayed clear of them for a long time now, mainly because I don’t like replicating something else that can be installed for similar pricing, that is exactly the real thing.

What I will be creating is a “Timber Plank” inspired finish but bringing it into the modern age and putting a very unique Walker Concreting influence on it. This one’s going to take some time to get right, but when we do, it should be very fitting in a more modern styling. (Possibly two versions, one also leading to rustic….but we’ll trip over that bridge if we get to it).

timber overlay

Closing

What you may or may not have noticed by most of our work that I don’t like “copying” things. Resurfacing products are my medium to portray my artwork. I’m a firm beleiver that I am not here to replicate something else with resurfacing products. It is it’s own entity and should be used and taken forward using creation styles that utilise it’s strengths.

If you want Sandstone, buy Sandstone. If you want Marble, buy Marble. Timber, timber. You get the point. Even our “Desert Dreams” is only stone inspired, it’s completely unique to what we can acheive with the medium we have chosen to create with.

Thanks for staying with me this far if you have, we get some great feedback by clients reading about our work and path we take in designs and this industry. We’ll do our best to keep regular updates with how these designs are going.

Just remember, most of our updating is done through Instagram, find us at http://instagram.com/walker_concreting.

Before the money shot

Once more into the breach....

Hi again. Twice in the same fortnight I’m back here writing some more personalised content. People are going to start thinking I’m not working and sitting at my computer too much…Truth is, I’m looking for a little escape tonight.

I’m at that stage in life where it seems like all I’m doing is working, then blessing the single day off I get (occasionally), so I can rest and get some house work completed, before again entering the fray the following day to rinse and repeat.

Combine that, with the typical problems we face as we get older. Trying to comfort parents as they age beyond capabilities of looking after themselves. Giving my daughter as much time as I can whilst at the same time feeling guilty that work always seems to take a forward seat to everything that’s far more important, not knowing how to change things due to pressures of this modern society.

But alas, lets forget about all that rubbish. Everyone has their dramas and mine aren’t anything special and the point of this unedited wall of text is to take the mind off the hamster wheel of life and chat about something on the only platform I have available for such purposes……

Ironic it’s only to talk about more work stuff huh?

What I thought I’d run through, is putting a few of my most memorable projects within the past stones throw of a memory I can still recollect. I’ve realised sitting here that all of us, including myself, just put up the “money shot” of photos that best portray the actual outcome of all the hard work and thought we put into what we do.

We’re all guilty of it. It’s great to see the final result and it’s what all the hard work is for. But since my fiance (calling her wife as of this Sunday, never thought that would happen), came on board, she’s started taking some photos of me in action doing some of these finishes and what goes into the whole process. So I thought I’d run through, in as much detail as my words will allow, the whole process of completing a single piece of work.

Maybe in this context, a few ill informed peoples might see why a certain piece or project cost’s so much, and why some contractors are more expensive than others, often by a long way.

The Long Grind

long grind gold coast
Concrete Colour Sealing Mermaid Waters

This project here, was for a lovely client at Mermaid Waters. After inspecting the project, I presented the client with two options for refurbishing their existing stamped concrete, that at some stage, someone thought was an intelligent idea to re-colour it with paint….instead of far more superior products.

PS….If anyone is reading this considering revamping their stamped concrete, for the love of airconditioning on a January afternoon, DON’T LISTEN TO BUNNINGS! They don’t know their ass hole from elbow. Paint is not your friend.

Back on track….

I half ass.ed.ly? (is that a word?), gave a price for what a cheap option would be for simply colour sealing what was there, making emphasis that this option would not work and I’m not interested in completing this. More just a forewarning of what they might run into from the cowboys.

The only option I gave that I said I would complete for them, is to hand grind off as much as possible of the existing paint, doing my absolute best through nothing but falling onto hands and knee’s, sweating cussing and cursing why I got in this industry to start with, leaving us with at least some traction for our new products and a chance of it only requiring at least small amounts of upkeep over a long period of time.

For this job, it was 300sqm+ all up. The final coatings you see in the second picture, the one that looks great and shiny and sexy and you think wow, I wish mine looked like that! Took me nearly 2 weeks to grind back by hand to prepare it. What a slog,

I hated it, but I also priced accordingly for it and have walked away from that project, paid in full and confident that my client’s project is the best that I could provide them.

Confidence in results, cost money. Combining this thought, with realising that most people in the world are quite intelligent and aren’t after a cheap job, see us busier than we’ve ever been.

Custom stamped installation

custom stamped concrete gold coast
custom stamped concrete gold coast

There are many different levels of concrete finishers.

There’s men and women who work all their life on three story walk ups, house slabs and stand behind a trowel machine for hours on end and can finish a concrete slab to mirror perfection without fail.

There’s men and women who can place and finish exposed aggregate to absolute perfection without a single stone out of place.

There’s also many pretenders who call themselves finishers, reaching out for top pay when times are good, only to find themselves out of work when it comes crunch time.

Then there’s finishers you talk to for completely custom installations. Finishers that foresee an outcome and know exactly what path needs to be followed to get there. From artistic design, to installation and completion, if you’re in talks for a custom concrete install, treat these people with the upmost respect because there’s many many years experience behind what they’re saying, and they will quite happily walk away from you if you barter pricing with them.

This project here, is the peak of my knowledge and experience. This is literally 25 odd years doing what I do. Not only that, but also a direct piece of my artistic and creative side, attempting to show what I can do through sheer creation the only way I know how to do it.

This project here, (to get back on track and stop shamelessly plugging), is a very lengthy and challenging process throughout all it’s aspects.

Apart from all the quoting to get some estimate pricing’s down for our client, then the real challenges begin. After sitting down on several occasions and exchanging tens of emails shooting ideas past each other, we cam to a conclusion of what direction we wanted to head. Now this kind of design is like going to a tattoo artist. It’s ok to have a design that you want done, but the installer needs to be confident they can supply it. Asking for a Traditional Tattoo Artist to complete a Japanese Windbar theme will work of course, but you’d be better keeping things in line with Traditional, to make sure all angles have been covered.

I’ll just use point form to finish this off to give a general idea of what was involved, along with time frames involved for each section of installation. If I try explain each of them, fuck, we’ll be here all bloody night and to be fair, this is the last one I’ve got in me to share tonight.

  • Day 1 @ 9 hours work time: Onsite with machine and tipper. Dig out all areas and allow for correct heights and falls in sub-grade for tricky areas, especially top path section that has only 50mm~ fall over an 8m section in length. Remove hot water system and air conditioning unit. Smash out old plumbing section and remove asbestos, replace with new connections. Form first pour for day 2. Install all steel reinforcing and expansion requirements making sure all steel s chaired correctly. Remove excess spoil from site, clean up and go to Burleigh to hire equipment. Pick up hired stamp pads and off setting colour release powder for tomorrow.
  • Day 2 @ 7 hours work time: Onsite early to finalise prep of first pour. Concrete arrives that was booked a week in advance to allow enough time for the colour through oxide that is ordered. Placement of concrete by wheel barrow throughout. Concrete screeded and floated accordingly. Measure out pre-determined dimensions for new diamond and border installations, use string line to flick each install. As the concrete has gone off enough to get onto with a kick board, but not enough that it can’t be worked, hand install (without a straight edge guide), all the of intricate diamonds and borders throughout, roughing it up with a mag trowel. Then return to start and hand finish smooth with steel trowel. Return to start again to throw on release agent powder with full dust protection and PPE. Return to start again and stamp all of the concrete a the right time so as to not go too deep, but deep enough that the release agent is impregnated into the surface enough to allow for a two tone finish. Wash everything off, suck down a beer like it didn’t touch the sides (forget how much I swore throughout the install), then head home fucked to rest.
  • Day 3 @ 7 hours work time: Rinse and repeat day 2
  • Day 4 @ 7 hours work time: Rinse and repeat day 2
  • Day 5 @ 7 hours work time: Rinse and repeat day 2
  • Day 6 @ 3 hours work time: Attend site with high pressure washer and wash all concrete off removing excess release agent powder, along with cleaning walls and adjoining areas. Lightly apply hydro acid to stubborn spots to make sure everything is cleaned properly. Block everything off very thoroughly so no body can access for the next 3 weeks until it has cured and I can finish it off and protect it properly. Strictly warn client if they don’t treat it like a new born baby, I will return and bring hell with me….(lol).
  • Day 7 @ 8 hours work time: Quick blow off of all concrete (client kept it amazingly clean, you’re awesome). Mix up water based stain at the consistency I want for the application I’m working with. Apply to all borders and diamonds with a paint brush making emphasis for the toning that I’m after, not just solid black. Wait for stain to drain, apply three coats of high grade acrylic sealer throughout with a very light solvent mix at the end to make sure bubbles don’t pop up.
  • Day 8 @ who give a fuck at this stage: Take “money shot” photos to show all my friends and peers to brag about how good it it, even though very few of them know exactly the blood, sweat and tears that went into creating something like this.

As you can most likely imagine, this process was not cheap. Quite the opposite, some would probably fall over to find out how much the cost of 50sqm of custom concrete can be. But our client wanted something special and was prepared to pay a proven professional to not only supply it, but bring forth their own creativity and artistic flair for something completely unique, seen rarely, if anywhere, else in the world.

What this created though was a completely focused installer with nothing on their mind but perfection. No cutting corners. No “close enough” attitude. Just giving literally everything they had into every aspect of the job. You don’t see that very often these days.

Where was I headed again?

I seem to start off all of these articles full of enthusiasm, with ideas flowing and popping around my head….only to forget the majority of them half way through and thinking fuck it, enough, what I was here for has been fulfilled.

I guess at the end of the day, if you as the client, are looking for something professional and you’re in turn talking to a professional about the outcome of your project, think about price last. The most successful projects I’ve taken on, that not only look the best but also the install went without much fault at all, were the ones where the profit margin reflected the effort I applied to it’s application.

If your concrete finisher, installer, artist? has nothing on his or her mind but providing you with quality and something truly unique in design, then that is exactly what you will receive. Don’t fill their heads with doubt, because it will reflect in their work.

If you’ve gotten this far, thanks for letting me vomit some text onto this site and trying to keep you interested for at least a little while. I guess I’m always in a constant battle with being in an industry which has a low reputation in general, but has artists who install some of the most amazing pieces of work, not talking about me here, some of the work I see from other professionals is truly inspiring…it really does resonate from the times when sculptures were looked upon with awe and admiration for the skill set, as opposed to the consumer driven Chinese market of modern times.

wtf walker concreting

It’s been a while

Been a while since I’ve a written up anything on here apart from reports on work completed.

Man, this year has been a slog. I’ve personally managed to work through personal problems that have only surfaced (or more to the point), been managed properly since I was a kid. I’ve seen people going out of business, workers selling all their tools screaming “I’m broke, help me help me!”, yet seen the same old true, good quality contractors getting busier and busier through these times of economic down turn.

For better or worse, here we all still are with our complaints and our happiness all completely contradicting each other as per what our own personal path is allowing us to follow. Ultimately, regardless of whether you’re broke or begging for JUST ONE SINGLE FUCKING DAY OFF, we’ll all be here when it’s done and forget about this very quickly, as everyone has done since the last economic downturn…..the GFC.

What a lot of people won’t know about me, is I started my business about 4 -5 years before the GFC started to take effect in the USA initially, of which I took not a lot of notice through being a little…unconditioned to what a downturn actually is. Before I knew it, green little me was nearly $100K in debt after some bad business transactions chasing the dragon and ultimately claiming bankruptcy. Fucking drag.

For all you lads / gals that are too young to have experienced that 1/100 years down turn, I forgive you for not knowing what you’re getting into, but to all the others who did experience this downturn and are now sitting here whinging because you have no work, no money, or someone is charging pennies for their services, or anything else, shame on you, learn your fucking lesson and stop the bullshit, you’re to blame. Prepare ffs. It’s not rocket science.

If you take the 2 seconds to realise, even in good times, these morons are charging pennies for their services. These tradespeople come and go as quick as it takes to put an ad in the Trading Post (yes, I’m that old school I remember when this was the only advertising really available), stop worrying about the “others”. Focus on yourself and your own growth within your chosen industry of expertise.

Here’s a few lessons in concreting to anyone who wants to listen to someone who has seen most of what the industry has to offer.

1: Get good at what you do.

  • Not pretending you’re good during good times, putting your hand out for top dollar as a concrete finisher when you couldn’t finish your 12 yo self in the shower with fucking soap. (We see straight away what you are, stop talking shit).
  • Take the time, even for free if the option comes available, to learn high skills in the trade. I offered a labourera few weeks back to help with barrowing, for $150 / 2 hours work, then, welcome to sit through me finishing some very high end work and asking any questions they wish…..he barrowed in, washed tools, got paid and fucking left. This is the finish I completed, quite literally, (without blowing my own horn), 20+ years of experience and knowledge, of which they simply walked away from and didn’t care to get more knowledge (to earn a better pay). I bet this guy will be complaining next down turn how he’s worth more money…..

Yeah  yeah, guilty as charged. That was a shameless plug for a job I completed. But, I am more than willing to put my work in front of my peers and have it judged. Feel free to check the following link for what my fellow professionals have to say (if you’re a part of that FB page). https://www.facebook.com/groups/1992926050968709/

But I digress……

2: Forget the profit margin

  • This is the first part of contracting. Once this has been quoted on and price supplied to the client, apart from a few changes if needed for changes in scope of works, live and die by your price.
  • Under charge? Over charge? Whatever. It’s contracting, you win some you lose some. In the end, if you’re not a complete moron, you will end up ahead of the game, kind of like poker I suppose.
  • Once this price has been worked out, do you absolute best, as often as you can to provide good quality work. Structurally secure, quality finishing and basically as good as you can give your client who is paying you their hard earned savings. Yes, that’s right, your client has also earned their money as hard as you, respect that shit, or fuck off and go work at Maccas.

Fark. Too many brews on a Friday night.

………….You know what….My daughter just walked in the door after I’ve just finished another 70 hour week trying desperately to stay on top of our 3+ month forward work schedule. It’s been a big week and tomorrow is yet another work day and my family comes first as much as I can put them there, which is all too infrequent to be fair.

I didn’t get through anywhere near what I had in mind for this post, but if you haven’t got the gist of this shit by now, even through limited context, you’re probably well short of learning by using your ears anyway, try bashing your chest and throwing shit at the walls, see what sticks.

This industry, if you try hard enough, will drive you to alcoholism, put your Bipolar and ADHD into swirls of madness that seem uncontrollable…..but those few, brief moments of the year when everything comes together and you do something that honestly, few people in this world can do to perfection,  man it feels good…..beyond comprehension.

If you’re in this concrete game, regardless of what society tells you that you are, strive for perfection and show the world what it was once like to be a sculpture and create something from stone that other people stand back from and admire.

I’ll leave this (somewhat random and drunkenly abhorrent post), with some more shameless self promotion. Give us a call today for your higher end projects, we’re the real deal and I’ve got the fucking scars to prove it.

Concrete Colour Sealing Mermaid Waters
Warranty Repairs Jacobs Well
modern stone
minor stone
Epoxy Metallic Gold Coast
Custom Stone Resurfacing Gaven
Multi Tone Stain Stamped Tallai
Exposed Concrete Driveway Runaway Bay
Concrete Resurfacing Runaway Bay
Concrete Resurfacing Gold Coast
Warranty Repairs Jacobs Well

Warranty Works

Project Description

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.

Colours Used
White base with Natural main colour, Blue Mountain borders and control inserts with White and Blue Mountain Flecking

Project Photos

Warranty Repairs Jacobs Well
Warranty Repairs Jacobs Well
Warranty Repairs Jacobs Well
Warranty Repairs Jacobs Well
Warranty Repairs Jacobs Well
Warranty Repairs Jacobs Well
Warranty Repairs Jacobs Well
Warranty Repairs Jacobs Well
Warranty Repairs Jacobs Well
highlight stone

Our Artistic Approach

Welcome

It’s been a while since I’ve put an article on the website that is written with the intention of more “insight” into what we do, as opposed to being strictly business related explaining projects completed and services rendered.

We have a period at the moment where it seems to be public holiday after public holiday. That, coupled with the constant rain this time of year, finds me with a little free time to write up a more personal article.

I’ve got a bit of a strong philosophy with my creations. I don’t believe, when we are spray resurfacing or applying an epoxy coating, that attempting to “re-create” a natural finish is being truly accurate to the situation, nor being truly honest with our clients.

The problem with providing, (for instance), a “Sandstone” finish for a client with our spray on resurfacing products, is that that finish is directly compared with a true Sandstone tile finish. This is not what we’re after. I don’t want to replicate a true Sandstone finish, because if you’re after a true Sandstone finish, then head down a different path and install Sandstone tiling.

What I try to achieve, is a take on a Sandstone finish. Whether it be a modern take, a pastel conversion, or a complete contrast application with the same principles, but trying to create a something with true WOW factor.

We separate our pricing into three different catagories. These catagories are affected directly by the amount of time and effort it takes to apply them, plus also the creativity and foresight to find the right “feeling” for the design.

Let me explain roughly the differences.

Base Pricing - Standard Works

These designs can be considered the bread and butter of both spray resurfacing and epoxy coatings. They’re technically nothing special and can be applied by most applicators / artists.

I do have a saying though, “There is an elegance in simplicity”.

Spray - Single Colour

Concrete Resurfacing Ormeau

Spray - Borders

Concrete Resurfacing Ormeau

Epoxy - Flake Flooring

Epoxy Garage Helensvale

Epoxy - Single Colour

revamp holmview

Midway Pricing - Little More Detail

These designs can still be relatively considered standard, but due to the extra workmanship required to complete them, incur extra costing. I suppose the extras come in the detailing required in the patterning and centre pieces to fill empty space a little more effectively over larger areas.

Spray - Offset Tiles

Off Set Tile Resurfacing Eagleby

Spray - Extensive Detail

Concrete & Resurfacing Oxenford

Epoxy - Simple Blending

epoxy sample board

Epoxy - Overtoning

contrast overtoning

Premium Pricing - Full Detail

These are examples of our premium custom designs. We put everything we have, both artistically and physically into these creations and leave nothing wanting. These designs are very time consuming and are applied with all of our 20+ years of experience.

Just keep in mind though, due to the time consuming nature of these designs, there is an area limit to what can be completed in a single section. They are physically and mentally exhausting to complete.

For larger areas, stop points need to be created and these stop points may have variation in colouring between them, only slight, but natural pigment products very rarely produce the same result day after day.

What we do in this situation, is try and create start / stop points in areas of no interest. Meaning, at the side of the house where nobody really looks, as opposed to the front door where it’s the first thing you see when you walk onto your patio.

Apart from all that, these designs are truly one off pieces of art work and will never be 100% recreated twice anywhere. If we were a little more of a narcissist, we’d even sign our work at the bottom…but that’s a little rude.

As you can see, what we’re looking for with the designs is not a re-creation of a natural application so much, but a feeling. We want to install a “theme” if you will.

I love what we’ve done so far in our journey, we hope you do too.

Sand in your Toes

resurfacing walker concreting

Ocean Dreaming

resurfacing walker concreting

Stormy Skies

modern stone

Volcanic Stream

Epoxy Metallic Gold Coast

Volcanic Implosion

Epoxy Metallic Gold Coast

Marble(ish) Constrast

marblised

Epoxy Design Explanations

Epoxy Flooring

Base Standard Examples

Considered standard installation procedures

Full Flake Application

Epoxy Garage Helensvale

Single Colours

revamp holmview

Premium Metallic Examples

Installation of metallic epoxy systems to custom suit the area and create a truly one off piece of artwork for your floor.

Metallic Epoxy Concrete Upper Coomera
marblised
Custom Decorative Concrete Installation Ormeau
Epoxy Metallic Gold Coast
contrast overtoning

Spray On Design Explanations

Spray On Concrete Resurfacing

Standard Pricing Examples

Simple designs and workmanship involved to complete.

Single Colour

Concrete Resurfacing Ormeau

Coloured Borders

Smashed Avocado Ormeau

Tiled Patterns

Backyard Transformation Benowa

Midway Pricing Examples

Typically combining several simple designs which require a larger degree of workmanship to complete.

Diamonds w/ Borders

Concrete & Resurfacing Oxenford

Offset Tiles

Concrete Resurfacing Tallai

Border and Tiles

Concrete Resurfacing Runaway Bay

Premium Pricing Examples

These are our premium, one off designs where we explore our creative, artistic side and we can both contribute to a one off piece that is truly unique. Utilising spray techniques, skip trowel and micro topping overlays, along with full through colouring and staining. These are all custom jobs and one of a kind.

Desert Dreams

Custom concrete and resurfacing Upper Coomera Gold Coast

Stormy Skies

Custom Decorative Concrete Installation Ormeau

Custom Trowel & Stain

skip trowel overlay
wabisabi

Metallic Epoxy – A Discussion

Introduction

I’m sitting here over the weekend with what little free time I have and I stumbled upon a Facebook post discussing metallic floor installations between other contractors.

Now I hate Facebook, it’s a necessary evil for me with the business and I’m sure there’s lots of good content on there, but it’s just not my thing getting involved in conversations there.

There’s a contractor whom posted a project that he had completed, I think it looked fantastic. Unsure of the exact process of course, I can see smooth transition of the main colour into the base colour creating a nice, blended two tone appearance.

This was one of his early attempts with metallic epoxy, and although he said he was happy with the appearance, he stated he was unhappy with having foreign objects lodge themselves in the final result beyond his control, along with a few small other imperfections. He also wasn’t sure whether he was confident providing this line of work to client who would be expecting perfection.

I stepped in at this stage. As I said before, I hate having conversations over Facebook, but a few things needed to be made clear about metallic epoxy, of which I’ll go into in detail during this post.

Credit: Mark Fautley

Cloudy

I haven’t asked permission to use this image Mark, if you wish it removed, I will do so immediately.

The Right Frame of Mind

Metallic epoxy is artwork. Artwork that is hand crafted by a human being. Human being’s have flaws and faults, we are not perfect no matter how hard we strive to be. These faults come to the forefront through creation of anything that is not perfected with robotics….frig, even then things have little faults in them.

It is in those flaws and imperfections that true beauty is created.

Without being pretentious, I challenge you to look upon the Mona Lisa and tell me there isn’t at least a flaw or two within the brush strokes of that wonderful man Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece.

Don’t get me wrong, in no way am I comparing any of our work to anything near the masterpiece’s da Vinci created, it’s just a theory of thought of course.

When installing a custom metallic epoxy floor, we, as the installers (or more to the point artists), are creating something that we are seeing within ourselves and our mind’s eye of which we see matches and blends with the area / surroundings with which we have to work with.

Things like a little a fly that fell into our 100sqm fully customised floor we just installed, or a few small air bubbles caused by the chemical reaction of the products we’re working with, these things only create more beauty to the masterpiece.

They tell the onlookers that this was created by human hands, with love and passion and the installer has given his or her all to express their feelings and emotions into something so special, that you will never see two of the same floors anywhere in the world.

Example Of Thought

For me, this was my latest creation, at my own home for example.

https://walkerconcreting.com.au/2019/03/01/passion-in-depth/

Is it the most perfect work I’ve ever done? Absolutely not.

Is it the perfect colouring matching each tone of the inspiration I acquired to complete this floor? Not even close.

Is there a little bit of foreign matter in the finish and a few spots where blistered occurred and things could have been done better? Hell yes there, I’m HUMAN!

But I put my heart and soul into re-creating a feeling that I gained through light and dark contrasting, yet blending seamlessly at the same time, which gave me strength and helped me feel positive in this unforgiving world we live in.

Inspiration….

Depth

Application….

Depth in Design

In Closing

For me, I’ve done a relative amount of travelling. When I travel, I try to intricately delve into the foreign culture and experience the heart and soul of where I am. Am I the most experience traveller out there? Heck no, I haven’t touched a finger print on this earth really yet.

But one place I’ve been to which completely captured my heart forever. Japan. the country itself was absolutely amazing, but it was the people, the culture and the frame of mind (with everything they do), that really drew me in.

One celebrated train of thought, which is evident throughout travels in Japan if you look close enough, is

“Wabi-sabi – The Celebration of Imperfection”

The actual train of thought may not be 100% in line with creating a flamboyant metallic epoxy installation, but the thought process that not everything needs to be 100% perfect, is inspiring to me.

If you’re after a metallic epoxy installation, through me or another fine artist applying their minds eye to your project area, accept the fact that you will find imperfections if you get down close and look hard enough.

Hell, some might be blatantly obvious.

But if you can stand back, admire the blending of the colouring, the workmanship that has gone into your project, and hopefully find a feeling that coincides with your installer, then you’re job is a one of a kind and an amazing piece of artwork that should be cherished.

wabisabi