Color staining your concrete with eco friendly acids is a somewhat complex process that should be performed by experienced concrete polishing and staining professionals. It is called “Concrete Acid Staining” because the best quality stains are actually made from mild eco friendly acids, and an acid will react positively with many elements of the concrete surface. For safety reasons alone, it is best not to attempt this process on your own, this really isn’t a do it yourself project. Done properly, The results of concrete acid staining can be fantastic, but if done wrong, they can also be devastating. The acid stain must be applied thoroughly and left to react for just the right amount of time. Then the acid residue will have to be thoroughly cleaned in order for any sealer to adhere properly. Experience and knowledge are the keys to a beautifully color acid stained concrete floor.
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There are many colors to choose from when selecting acid stain shades for your concrete. Remember that any samples or color chips are only used for reference; how the stain is applied, and more importantly, the composition of the concrete substrate will affect the outcome of the job. This is another way that experience pays off when acid staining a concrete floor. Knowing the composition of the concrete and age can be very important, and concrete acid staining contractors are great at predicting how the stain is going to react, and how long it needs to remain in place before cleaning. The actual cleaning process is important too. Walking on the acid stain or brushing it while it is still active can leave marks and spots that look like mistakes (and actually are). While the stain is in place it is important to allow the concrete to set without disturbing it. This will ensure a properly (and beautifully) stained concrete finish.
Every acid staining job will turn out different, even if using the same products. The mix of the original concrete, how the finish was toweled, and even the conditions under which the concrete cured can all affect the end results of the job. Most people have their concrete surface polished first and then color stained. A hand troweled floor will often display the colorful swoops of the hand trowel due to the surface composition being manipulated during the troweling process. A power troweled finish will have less distinct and larger circles in the design due to the tools used from putting the finish on the concrete before its final cure. These are only a few of the variables that will affect the outcome of your finished project.
One of most important steps in acid staining process is the cleaning of the acid residue afterwards. The surface must be thoroughly, but carefully cleaned. Great effort must be made not to disturb the stained surface, yet all residues must be removed. Again, this is one of the main reasons why you should call in a concrete polishing or concretes acid staining contractor to help you achieve the best results. You’re only going to get one shot at this, and if this stage fails to be done correctly the sealer will fail. This can result in peeling, flaking or bubbles in the surface's final finish. The sealer is meant to protect and enhance the look of your stained concrete floor and is the layer of protection that will give your floor long lasting quality. So having a very clean and chemically stable surface to apply the sealer to is very important. This sealer must be applied evenly and left to dry without being disturbed. Dust, dirt and footprints can become permanently embedded into the surface if the sealer is not allowed to reach its full cure before being put into service.
All of these steps are crucial to a good acid staining job, and as mentioned above, nothing can beat the knowledge and experience of trained professional. Contact a local professional concrete acid staining contractor and see just how beautiful your concrete floor can truly be!
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