Here’s a primer in how the Exposed Aggregate Concrete is done:
Concrete is poured into forms, just as with a normal installation. The fresh concrete is treated much like regular concrete; it is leveled, bull-floated, then edged and hand troweled to make sure the surface is flat and edges are sealed.
Now comes the part where the “magic happens.”
The surface of the concrete is sprayed with a retarder that allows the concrete under the surface to continue to harden while the surface cures at a much slower rate. After the concrete hardens to the point where it can support a finisher’s weight, the surface is ready for the final steps to becoming exposed aggregate concrete.
Using a pressurized hose and brooms, we begin to wash away the top layer of concrete. By washing the surface away we have exposed the internal aggregates of the concrete mix. Great care must be taken to strike the proper balance between exposing the aggregates in the concrete and not washing away so much of the surface that the aggregates lose their bond with the slab.
After the perfect finish is achieved, we seal the surface with curing compound and a clear sealant.
Exposed Aggregate Concrete surfaces should be resealed at regular intervals, but you’ll find it’s a very durable and long-lasting finish that holds up very well to Central Ohio winters and summers.
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