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Lifetime Flooring Solutions, Inc.

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SPRING CLEANING IS A PERFECT TIME TO SPRUCE UP YOUR GARAGE FLOOR!

It's been a long winter with temperatures that rivaled Canada and upstate New York!  But finally, warmer temperatures are returning to the Carolinas--just in time for spring.  It's time to pull all the clutter out of the garage and get everything organized.  Let's talk about that for a minute. This year, I would recommend starting from the bottom and working your way up.  Let's start at the garage floor.

GARAGE FLOOR COATING

Did you know that most of the dust in your garage floor actually comes from the floor itself?  Most people don't realize that as concrete cures (or drys out) it emits dust.  Of course, dust is the breeding ground for spiders and bugs, so it's no wonder your garage has tons of cob-webs and always feels dusty.  Not to mention that concrete is very porous and will absorb just aboutany liquid you throw at it.  (A simple test:  pour a little water on your floor and watch how it quickly darkens the concrete and absorbs into the surface.) 

So, the first thing you'll want to do is put a protective coating on your floor.  Epoxy is the best solution because it forms a bond with the concrete and is available in many colors.  When accompanied by chips (vinyl flakes) and covered with a clear polyaspartic top coat, you have a floor that is both durable, impervious to virtually any household chemical you can throw at it, and it helps keep down the dust and critters. 

ALL EPOXY IS NOT THE SAME!

Think of coating your garage floor the same way you would install hardwood or ceramic tile inside your house.  Cheap tile cracks, cheap hardwood scratches and mars easily....and cheap epoxy chips off or worse, peels right up.  Without mentioning names, the epoxy floor kits you buy at the big box stores are designed for the homeowner that does not know what he's doing.  (PLEASE, don't be that guy!) These kits have two major flaws: 1) the epoxy is designed to last about 45 minutes (what is known as 'pot life') because they know most homeowners become very apprehensive when it comes time to mix Part A with Part B.  They'll read and re-read the instructions, mix the components together and then re-read the instructions again.....all the while the epoxy is setting up in the bucket.  When they finally pour it on the floor, they'll roll it out like they're painting a wall....WRONG! You've got to hustle!!  Time's-a-wasting and you need to spread that epoxy around and get it evened out.  Flaw  number 2) what you won't find in the DIY home epoxy kit is the polyaspartic top coat.  In fact, in most stores, you'll be hard-pressed to find it at all.  Why, because it's expensive and if you knew you had to buy it, you'd likely nix the entire project.  Who wants to spend all that money and still have to do the job yourself?  In fact, that's why I started this company--because none of my friends would help me tackle coating my own floor.  And there is sort of a third reason.  If you read the instructions on the DIY kits, it will tell you to diamond grind the concrete or acid etch it.  Have you ever done either of these things?  

IT'S ALL IN THE PREPARATION

Diamond grinding....sounds simple enough. And it actually is...once you get past the $1,000/day rental fee for the equipment (a diamond floor grinding machine, diamond tooling and a concrete dust evacuator). And you'll need to know how hard (or soft) your concrete is.  "Pretty hard" is not going to do the trick when you're being charged by the millimeter for diamond rental.  So, let's skip the grinding and we'll just acid etch instead.  Buy some acid and have at it!  Make sure you protect anything you value (including your eyes, hands, cars, grass, etc.... because acid is....well, caustic!  Now you understand why nobody in their right mind wants to tackle this themselves?  It's money well spent to have somebody else get all dirty and sweaty and covered with epoxy.  And I'm not just saying that because that's what I do....If you don't believe me, come watch me work on my next garage--or on your garage!  

THIS COMMITMENT IS BIGGER THAN MARRIAGE!

When you commit to installing an epoxy floor, you've made a huge step forward in your relationship (with your spouse and your garage).  There's no turning back once the epoxy is down......except to grind it off and start over.  I guarantee my floors for life, so  the good news is you won't have to go through this every spring time (unless you move every year).  You will, however, have to empty out your entire garage the day before.  That's often the hardest part.  But think of it as a great time to de-clutter.  Aunt Sally won't remember the salad bowl she gave you ten years ago, so --whoosh, out it goes!  Broken lawn chairs that you promised to fix....buh bye!  And what's up with the pile of stuff in the corner?  If you haven't touched it in a year it's officially clutter.  Eighty-six it!  Look how easy that is.  Now, don't spend a fortune for one of those storage pods.  Just go to your local U-Haul dealer (or Penske or Hertz) and rent a small truck for a couple of days for $19/day.  Load all your valuables into the truck and leave it in your driveway for the couple of days.  Easy-peasy!  In two days, I'll be in and out and you can enjoy neatly placing all your quality items back into your beautiful garage.  Now, I don't offer this to everyone, so listen closely.  For you...and you alone...I will offer my organizational consulting skills for free to help you design a storage system for your space.  I will then  give you a quote to do the installation.  Deal?  Good.  Let's get started, summer's almost here!

Exterior Concrete Coatings

May 30, 2017

Don't forget to protect  your pool surround

Now that summer is un-officially here, it's time to think about getting that pool ready for use.  One thing to consider is the condition of the concrete surfaces that surround your backyard oasis.  Even those of you who have new pools may want to consider applying a coating to protect your concrete surface from the damaging effects of water....especially salt, or chemically treated water.   Water is the krypto-nite of concrete as everyone  knows, so leaving your surface un-coated is like inviting the Joker to your pool parties.  Here are a few ways you can protect your back yard and keep your pool surround looking awesome!

Knocked Down (KD) Trowel Finish

Applying a concrete coating doesn't have to send you to the poor house.  A simple knocked down trowel finish is a cost-effective way to provide years of protection, while creating a non-slip surface that may just save a trip to the emergency room  (Now, you're talking major coin!)  A KD trowel finish can be applied within a couple of days in most cases, with a return to service of about 24 hours. 

 

What to do when you have cracks in the concrete

It's inevitable....concrete is going to crack, somewhere.  Mother nature is largely to blame, although a contractor who didn't take the time to properly compact the fill dirt prior to pouring the slab is a good second choice. That being said, how do you deal with cracks?  You can patch them....and patch them....and patch them.  But they'll come back time and time again.  Concrete cracks for one reason and one reason only: an unstable sub-surface.  We can debate the cause of the instability, but the reality is that ANY movement in the earth significant enough to crack 3-1/2" of concrete, is gong to crack any patch or repair...and certainly any concrete micro-topping or acrylic coating.  You still need to repair the crack to prevent water and moisture from doing further damage.  I'm simply saying that concrete is not like the sheet metal on your car where you can fix it and paint over it and you'll never know it was there.  Think of it more as a pimple on your face....it's going to come back!

So, what do we do?  We incorporate the crack(s) into our design element and virtually "hide them in plain sight". the best way to do this is with a stencil or Pattern finish.  the irregular shapes can be used to follow a crack line and make it look as if it doesn't exist.  (Now you and I will have a secret about your patio....and I promise I won't tell anyone!).  For between $6-$8/sf we can re-coat the entire pool deck surface with a concrete micro-topping (thin layer of cement) and apply grout lines using a stencil, or by hand, to provide a decorative, functional and long-lasting solution to problem concrete.  Cracks would be treated with a patch, and any "return" cracks can be treated as the need arises.

  

These are just a few of the decorative coatings we have to offer.  Another alternative is a slate floor finish.  the Ashlar pattern is not as popular for hiding cracks, but a random slate pattern (similar to the random stone) is an excellent choice if you want color and variation in your stone work.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call Bob at 704-771-6721.

Have a great summer.....and stay safe!

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