TRU PC Floor by National Concrete Polishing

Indoors and out, decorative concrete overlays permanently cover up surface imperfections in existing concrete, giving them any new look imaginable at a much lower cost than removal and replacement. This is especially beneficial in extreme weather conditions where traditional concrete can suffer from rapid deterioration.

What Are Concrete Overlays?

Today’s cement-based overlays combine polymer resins with cement, sand, acrylics or blends, and other additives. 

These components improve performance, wear resistance, beauty, and shine. They adhere well to existing concrete and resist damage from salt, chemicals, UV exposure, freeze-thaw conditions, and abrasion. These qualities make them ideal for use in areas with extreme weather variations.

Decorate Concrete Overlays

Decorative concrete overlays, particularly stamped and stained concrete, are widely favored for their aesthetic appeal. However, preferences for specific types vary across the country. 

For example, in the Sunbelt regions, exterior knock-down finishes are the go-to choice due to their suitability for the climate. In contrast, urban metropolitan areas favor hard-troweled interior micro toppings for their sleek and modern appearance.

With many options available, you’re sure to find at least one system that offers the most variety in color and finish while meeting your requirements for:

  • Durability
  • Appearance
  • Maintenance
  • Cost 

Contractors must pay critical attention to adequate surface preparation, the most crucial factor to long-term performance. 

For this reason, they prefer mechanical surface preparation, which does a more thorough job with the same grinding equipment and diamond tooling used for polishing concrete.

How to Prepare and Apply Concrete Overlays in Hot Weather

Concrete experts like the Portland Cement Association suggest contractors employ hot weather concreting procedures if the ambient temperature forecast exceeds 77°F.

Hot weather, high wind velocity, and low relative humidity contribute to increased concrete temperatures. This elevation in temperature raises the ratio of the water-cementitious material, leading to lower strength and reduced durability of the concrete.

Concrete will not only set quicker; the high evaporation rate can cause early-age shrinkage and cracking before concrete sets. Thermal cracking can occur from rapid temperature changes, such as hot days to cool nights.

4 Key Temperatures to Check

  1. Air or Ambient Temperature
  2. Concrete Substrate Temperature
  3. Materials Temperature
  4. Water Temperature

Knowing these temperatures and employing the installation guidelines described below will help achieve the desired results.

10 Installation Guidelines for Hot Weather Concreting

  1. Store materials in a cool, dry place rather than on-site underneath a tarp, which can get very warm.
  2. Plan the installation early in the day, when air and substrate temperatures will be at their lowest.
  3. The substrate temperature is the most important. Use a surface thermometer to determine the deployment of hot weather concreting procedures. Tenting or shading the installation area can help control substrate temperature.
  4. Work the materials more quickly and in smaller areas. It is critical to use the right tools, including heavy-duty drills for mixing, to maximize efficiency. Providing sufficient labor will minimize the time required to place and finish the materials.
  5. Make modifications to concrete mixtures. Additives can reduce slump loss, setting time, and plastic shrinkage cracking. These may include retarders, water reducers, extended set-control admixtures, slag cement, or synthetic fibers.
  6. For exterior applications, erect temporary windbreaks to prevent rapid evaporation from air movement over the surface. Use sunscreens, mist fogging, or evaporation retardants.
  7. Chill, mix water, and store aggregate in a cool, dry place. Blocks or bags of ice in a 55-gallon drum will chill the water to increase working time. In the case of a pump installation of a self-leveling material, sections of copper tubing or coiled garden hose packed in a drum of ice will chill the water on its way to the pump, allowing for a longer working time.
  8. Clean the mixing bucket or barrel before mixing a fresh batch of material. Leftover material on the sides of the mixing bucket or barrel can accelerate the set times of the materials.
  9. Consider using accelerators to expedite finishing operations and avoid plastic shrinkage cracking.
  10. Where possible, halt concrete work until the temperature is more conducive to a successful installation.

Concrete Overlay Products and Services

Runyon Surface Prep is a full-service stocking distributor for all your concrete prep, polishing, decorative, repair, restoration, and maintenance needs. We carry the following:

CTS RAPID SET 50 POUND TRU SELF-LEVELING CEMENT – Use CTS Rapid Set TRU Floor Self-Leveling Cement for high-performance floor topping, underlayment, and resurfacing projects. 

TRU Self-Leveling is ideal for projects that require long life and working time. It settles to a light off-white color for stained, dyed, or decorative aggregate flooring. Not only can TRU grind, but it can also be used to polish, making it ideal for those shiny decorative floors.

CTS RAPID SET 50 POUND TRU GRAY SELF-LEVELING – Use Rapid Set TRU Gray Self-Leveling when you need a high-quality, fast, cement gray topping that can be polished. 

TRU Gray is a high-performance architectural topping and resurfacing used indoors and outdoors in wet or dry environments. It is ideal for projects that need long flow life and working time while achieving high early strength. Adding decorative aggregate will achieve a customized appearance.

CTS RAPID SET 60 POUND TRU PC POLISHED CONCRETE TOPPING – Use Rapid Set TRU PC Polished Concrete Topping when you need your floor ready for foot traffic in 2 to 3 hours. It is a professional grade, hydraulic cement-based, self-leveling topping that can be ground and polished to expose the aggregate and simulate the appearance of polished concrete.

TRU PC levels rapidly maintain workability for up to 20 minutes, produce a dense surface, and have high bond strength. TRU PC is durable as an interior and exterior product in wet or dry conditions.

Successfully installing decorative concrete overlays in extreme weather conditions demands expertise, precision, and materials. At Runyon Surface Prep, we are committed to providing top-quality products and expert advice to ensure your projects thrive, regardless of the weather challenges. 

Don’t let extreme conditions hinder your work. Contact us at Runyon Surface Prep today, and let’s work together to achieve outstanding results in every environment.