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Category Archives: Decorative Finishes

Photo of concrete swimming pool deck

Concrete Pool Deck Ideas

Dreaming of a summer oasis in your own back yard?  Concrete makes a great material choice for pools and pool decks, no matter whether you are going for the modern exterior style or one a more traditional one. The versatility of concrete and the variety of color and texture choices, make it the perfect building material for all kinds of exterior home projects like pool, paving, outdoor kitchen counters, fire pits and more. The construction of the pool requires precise measurements and surface analysis, so it is important for experts to do the job.  Getting a good foundation for the pool is vital. And for the pool deck, there are so many options to make it look attractive, even with concrete.

According to the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, only 24% of people out of the 7.5 million pool owners in the U.S. use it primarily for swimming. This makes the pool deck even more integral to a good swimming pool design. Designing a one-of-a-kind, functional, and affordable pool deck with concrete is now easy for home owners. And the benefits are many. Not only do you gain a durable surface, it also resists excessive heat absorption, as compared to a wooden or stone deck. Concrete pool decks are slip resistant and do not become slippery when wet. Moreover, it is easy on the bare feet. With concrete pool deck you get a beautiful inviting area for sunbathing and barbecuing. A concrete pool deck is more affordable than using tile or stone too. No wonder then that concrete pools decks have been a popular choice for many years now.

Concrete Pool Deck Styles

Some of the biggest trends in outdoor design today involve concrete in various forms. With new techniques for stamping and decorative concrete application, you do not have to sacrifice look for function. You can choose from traditional poured concrete deck, stamped and decorative concrete, tinted concrete; exposed aggregate, stained concrete or concrete for edging too. You will be spoilt for choice.

Stained Concrete Pool Deck

When it comes to pool decks, you want it to be an extension of the style of your home.  If you want to focus on styling then you need look no further than stained concrete. Jazz things up in your pool deck by adding a splash of color to your concrete. Look up staining options for concrete pool decks. You can select a single color or pick a combination of colors for your deck. The stains soak right into the concrete to give you exclusive designs and colors. Homeowners and designers can express their creative side with the stained concrete pool deck. With stained concrete, you can even get stone, brick or wood finish. White on white decks are really trending now. They are built using uncolored concrete mix, which is then covered with white stain to create for a cooling effect. White does not absorb as much heat and is in fact 20 degrees cooler than the surface surrounding the deck, which is just right for a pool deck.

Stamped Concrete Pool Deck

Stamped concrete pool decks do not just provide a stunning look, they give you flexibility to work any look or design you can imagine. Moreover stamped concrete pool decks are relatively inexpensive than using stone or tile. Work in the labor costs and even that will be much less expensive. You can get your dream pool and pool deck without having to invest a large amount of money. The pool deck is where your friends and family gather around to enjoy food and drinks. You do not have to worry about staining with concrete nor do you have to think about concrete chipping when the chairs or tables around the deck get moved around.  Stamped concrete pool decks are also much easier to clean and maintain than any other type of pool deck surface. No worries about grout lines or filling in gaps between materials. The big concrete slabs are easy to seal and clean. All you need from time to time is a power washer to deep clean the concrete.

Decorative Concrete Pool Deck

Pools and decks are becoming more important with smaller backyards forcing the trend towards smaller swimming pools with leisure areas that flow from the indoor living space. Having a colored, textured and inviting area surrounding the pool is equally important. Pool decks now get as much attention as the exterior design of your home as both should complement each other. With decorative concrete, you can select any size, shape, color and surface treatment for your pool deck to get the look of any material you may fancy such as slate, stone or even wood. Use a combination of decorative treatments to get the look you are after. If you need to give your existing concrete pool deck a new look, you can consider refinishing it with maybe exposed aggregate or getting decorative curbing. Little designer touches with decorative concrete can improve the entire look of your pool deck.

Davis Concrete has professionals that work fast and efficiently every step of the way in creating a customized pool or pool deck for you. We have the right equipment and over sixty years experience with concrete jobs to provide the best results.  Whether you want a decorative, stamped, colored, stained, and/or sealed concrete pool deck, we can design a concrete pool deck that suits almost any setting, budget and lifestyle,

If you are interested in a concrete pool deck or have any questions, please call Davis Concrete at (800) 910-6928. It is the number one choice of contractors and concrete experts in the Tampa Bay area.

 

Do Your Lath and Plaster Walls Need Repairing?

Man plastering a white wall

Plaster and lath are a durable form of interior wall finishing that has been used for centuries now. Plaster is not just aesthetically pleasing but when properly applied it creates a stronger finish, which is even more hardy to dents and knocks. The modern day metal lath, or backing, used behind the plaster is also more robust and long-lasting. But as with any finish, even plaster is bound to age and wear off with time. Plaster can break away or crack along the walls because it is coated on top of lath, instead of directly to studs inside walls. Sometimes due to poor workmanship and inappropriate hand application of plaster through the spaces inside the wall, the plaster does not stay in place. Or even if excess moisture enters the plaster and lath walls, cracks are likely to appear or the plaster will separate from the framework.

Signs your plaster wall needs a repair

It is essential to take time and inspect a house and the condition of the walls regularly. Recognizing signs for necessary repairs, such as crumbling plaster along walls, cracked ceilings, and insulation levels within the walls can help homeowners stay on top of repairs and help in preserving a superior home. Here are some of the signs that you may need to think of repairing or replacing your home’s existing plaster and lath walls:

Unevenness

You have to check for worn down surfaces in your home. Look for surface unevenness that may require some smoothing. Check your ceiling surface texture closely at eye level for uneven bumps or ridges, which may require quick fix or an entire repair. If there is extensive plaster problem you may need to consult a professional to ensure there is no underlying problem.

Sagging

It is often difficult to evaluate whether your lath and plaster ceiling needs repairing or removal, especially if it begins to show signs of sag in distinct areas. In cases of sagging, your plaster may be detaching from the lath and if you push up against it with the palm of your hand, you may feel the plaster moving up and down. Sometimes dust and debris can fall through or there may even be a ceiling collapse, so be cautious during inspection. But a sagging ceiling does not always point to detached plasterwork, as old homes often settle and ceilings can slope or sag naturally over time. You can call in a plastering expert, if you believe your plaster is outdated, especially if a ceiling falls completely and the plasterwork hangs from the laths completely unsupported.  This is a rare occurrence over the entire area, but it is quite possible for some areas to develop sagging.

Cracks

When plaster comes apart from the laths, it can lead to cracks developing along walls or ceilings. Plaster is a hard and rigid which cannot expand and contract in varying temperatures like other substrates, which cause cracks to form. Cracks can either be very fine and hard to spot with the naked eye or they can be deeper that look like a spider web. This type of crack is usually the result of poor workmanship from the plasterer not using enough cement. Sometimes even leaks within your plumbing systems may produce cracks from water damage to the plaster. Cracks are often noticeable in the ceiling or above the door framing, because of the stress on structure from movement.

Smaller cracks can be temporarily fixed, by filling in cracks with patching material but it may reoccur if not properly tended to. Cracks should not be allowed to grow and become more problematic. Small cracks can be repaired using flexible fillers over the top of the crack, then sanded to a smooth finish after allowing it to dry. Larger areas of loose plastering will require re-plastering before being painted or decorated over, so it is best to rely on a professional plasterer with good technique.

Dampness

Water ingress often shows up as bubbling on the plaster, when the moisture penetrates through the substrate. When the paint on top of the plaster blisters, it means that the moisture has invaded the substrate from the opposite side of a wall to get under the render. This is a common problem in the walls where it backs onto a damp area, such as a bathroom. If there is no waterproofing in the bathroom to allow the water to escape, the moisture will travel through the grout in the tiles, and the brickwork to show up on the other side, as bubbles on the plaster. When the plaster has been damaged by damp or water, the plaster needs to be stripped off the wall to above the level of the damp, and treated with liquid damp proof membrane, before being finished with a stabilizing primer.

Repair work for your lath and plaster can be time taking and costly, so it is best to keep your home maintenance up to date. Once you inspect your walls to check for signs of cracking, blistering or sagging in worn down plaster and lath, there in need for quick repair or replacement. Smaller repairs that need simple fixes may lead to bigger problems later if techniques used are improper. It may be beneficial to hire a professional contractor with knowledge about building and construction to complete any repair jobs for you.

 

Why Choose Stucco for Siding?

siding

A lot of home owners and project managers are replacing the current wood or vinyl siding that is currently on the exterior of their home or building with a more long lasting and visually pleasing siding such as stucco. Stucco siding is made of Portland cement, sand, lime, and water. The ancient Greeks and Romans painted wall frescoes onto fine-grained hard plaster surfaces made of gypsum, marble dust and glue.

During the Renaissance, the Italians elaborated stucco techniques, which, in turn, spread throughout Europe. Reasonably priced, easy to maintain and aesthetically pleasing, stucco has been a popular siding choice for hundreds of years. With a variety of paint colors and applications to choose from, stucco works well with any home’s exterior. Check out the facts to decide if it’s right for yours.

1. A high degree of energy efficiency and low maintenance

Stucco is an incredible insulator of both warm and cool air. With stucco on the exterior, it is cheap and easy to maintain a constant temperature in your home, no matter what the mercury reads outdoors. Its energy efficiency is one of the main reasons stucco is such a popular siding choice in areas of extreme heat. It also expands and contracts with the weather, which minimizes cracking.

2. Variations in Content and Application

Stucco lends itself to virtually any application, paint color and countless variations in content. Stucco can be smooth or course, raked or swirled. It can contain sand, lime or pebbles. Depending upon the climate and the desired texture, different types of cement are used in the stucco mix. Because it is plaster with a cement base, stucco can be applied:

  •  In layers over framed and solid walls
  •  Over a base of wire mesh or wooden slat spacers
  •  On existing surfaces, including concrete block or older stucco

It can be applied by hand with a trowel or sprayed on. Pigment can be mixed in or the surface may be painted when it’s dry and set. This variety of ways in which stucco may be applied makes it one of the most adaptable materials available for siding.

3. Durability

Stucco is generally a very durable siding option. It can expand and contract during seasonal shifts, so it won’t sustain damage under harsh conditions. In fact, it’s even fire-resistant. Synthetic stucco has been developed to overcome the moisture issues and is quite durable. EIFS is styrofoam-based stucco that provides additional insulation. Stucco can last up to 50 years before it needs to be replaced.

4. Low Maintenance

Unlike wood siding, stucco requires little to no maintenance. Some homeowners don’t like the stains that stucco tends to attract, so light pressure-washing is common. Hairline cracks can be easily fixed with paint or a brushable elastomeric sealant.

5. Aesthetic Appearance

From a design standpoint, you can’t beat the appearance of the smooth, traditional, southwestern look of stucco as a siding material. Add to that the fact that you can add coloring to your cement coats, get artistic designs carved into the cement coatings, and mosaics and murals into your stucco walls before the cement dries. Stucco can thus easily be transformed into one of the most creative, and innovative, siding applications on the market.

Stucco siding can be applied as a do-it-yourself siding application, or homeowners can choose to hire a siding contractor experienced in applying stucco, to do the work for them. An experienced contractor with a good crew can accomplish in a few weeks what will take a homeowner several months to do on their own. Give Davis Concrete a call at (800) 910-6928, if you think stucco is the siding material you’ve been searching out for your home.

aligns wall

5 Different types of Stucco Finishes

Stucco, commonly known as mortar, has been around for hundreds of years generally used in modern home building construction. It is a combination of water, lime, cement and sand. Mixed together, it is applied to walls as an outer protective coating. It is a popular choice because it is durable and fire resistant. There are over 30 decorative finishes that are used on materials such as wood, block, brick and drywall. In its beginnings, stucco was only gray in color and dull in appearance; however, there are many stains and colors when added to wet stucco that will make the surface more appealing. There are also and many tools that create patterns and designs giving a wall a unique custom look.

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