Concrete Frequently Asked Questions

What is your specialty?
What steps do you take to ensure I’m getting a quality product?
Will my concrete crack?
How will water flow off the concrete?
How thick is the concrete?
How long will the process take?
Do I need a permit for a concrete project?
Do I have to call Digger’s Hotline?
Are you going to tear my yard up?
Do you clean up after yourselves?
How are you going to get a concrete truck into my backyard?
What types of materials do you remove?
How deep do you dig?
Is stamped concrete slippery when wet?
How difficult is stamped concrete to shovel?
Can I use salt or deicers in the winter?
I don’t know anything about concrete. Do you have someone to help me design my project?
What is the most popular pattern?
What colors look the best together?
Do I have to have the cut lines through my stamped patio?
If my colored concrete chips, will I see gray concrete?
Once my concrete is poured, how long should I stay off?
When can I drive on my driveway/ garage?
My concrete was recently poured and now it looks like there are spots all over, what is happening?
What if the color isn’t what I expected?
What if my concrete does not look perfect?
When is it too cold to install stamped concrete?
When is it too cold to pour regular concrete?
From the time I sign a contract with Ageless Concrete to install time, how long must I wait?
Do you have a minimum fee or job size?
Do you charge for estimates?
Do you charge more for rounded corners and curves?
What kind of maintenance is necessary with concrete?

 

Q What is your specialty?
A Our specialty and passion is installing colored and stamped concrete flatwork. Stamped concrete when done properly is functional art, and every project is a one-of-a-kind.

Back to Top

 

Q What steps do you take to ensure I’m getting a quality product?
A Proper Sub-base: The key to good concrete is a good sub-base. We place 6″ of compacted crushed limestone gravel beneath all of our flatwork. The sub-base must mirror the surface of the concrete to achieve uniform concrete thickness.

Heavy Reinforcement: Unlike most of our competition, we use ½” steel reinforcing bars (rebar), and synthetic fiber mesh that is integrally mixed throughout the concrete. This is the ultimate combination of reinforcement.

Quality Concrete: We use a 6-bag, 4000 psi, air entrained concrete, with a low water to cement ratio. We only pour a quality concrete mix.

Properly Placed Control Joints: We install all control joints in a 10’x10′ pattern or smaller. This is the best method to control random cracking.

Quality Sealers / Cure and Seals: We use two different types of commercial grade sealers, depending on the project. With all of our stamped concrete projects we apply 2 coats of decorative concrete sealer. With all of our traditional concrete flatwork projects we apply a penetrating cure and seal sealer. Quality sealer will better protect your investment.

Back to Top

 

Q Will my concrete crack?
A Yes, all concrete cracks. In the vast majority of projects, the cracks occur in the designed control joints. However, even properly poured and jointed concrete can crack in places other than the joints. It is important to understand that random cracks are not indications of poor craftsmanship. Most of these cracks are simply un-planned joints and are normal.

Back to Top

 

Q How will water flow off the concrete?
A One of our top priorities is ensuring water flows away from your house and runs off your concrete. We put ¼” per foot of pitch on all projects (where possible).

Back to Top

 

Q How thick is the concrete?
A It depends on the project. We pour the majority of our projects 4” thick. We pour all driveways 5” thick. Steps, walls, aprons, and other projects will call for different thicknesses.

Back to Top

 

Q How long will the process take?
A Most traditional flatwork projects take 3 days or less depending on the size. Most colored and stamped projects take 4 days or less depending on the size.

Back to Top

 

Q Do I need a permit for a concrete project?
A In most cases the answer is no. Concrete flatwork is considered permanent landscaping, which does not require a building permit in most municipalities. Some areas do require permits for driveways, however. Any project requiring a foundation wall will typically require a building permit. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure that their proposed project is within property lines and is approved by zoning. Any necessary permits must be pulled by the homeowner.

Back to Top

 

Q Do I have to call Digger’s Hotline?
A No, we contact Digger’s Hotline about a week prior to your projected start date.

Back to Top

 

Q Are you going to tear my yard up?
A If we have to get into your backyard, we will most likely damage your yard. The typical project requires excavation with a bobcat, which means multiple trips back and forth across the same path hauling heavy materials. If your project is a driveway, then more than likely we will cause very little damage to your yard. Rest assured, we offer yard restoration services to repair any damages to landscaping that may occur.

Back to Top

 

Q Do you clean up after yourselves?
A Yes, we take pride in treating your home with the respect it deserves. We do a thorough clean up of your property, and sweep the street at the end of each work day.

Back to Top

 

Q How are you going to get a concrete truck into my backyard?
A We have a motorized wheel barrel called a concrete buggy to get concrete into backyards and tough to reach spots, the concrete truck stays on the street.

Back to Top

 

Q What types of materials do you remove?
A We remove concrete, asphalt, pavers, brick, decks, retaining walls, stumps, trees, sod, dirt, and other miscellaneous debris.

Back to Top

 

Q How deep do you dig?
A We excavate a minimum of 10” below grade on most projects, and 11” below grade on driveways.

Back to Top

 

Q Is stamped concrete slippery when wet?
A Many of the stamp patterns are smooth, so we add a traction additive called Shark Grip, to give your stamped concrete great traction.

Back to Top

 

Q How difficult is stamped concrete to shovel?
A Stamped concrete is easier to shovel than the materials it replicates. Overall stamped concrete is more uniform and flat than cut slate, tile, brick pavers, natural stone, wood decks, etc. It is not bulletproof though, so we recommend using a shovel with a plastic edge and / or snow blower with rubber paddles. We do not recommend plowing stamped concrete.

Back to Top

 

Q Can I use salt or deicers in the winter?
A No. Never. Salt is the enemy of concrete. It will chemically corrode the surface and cause imperfections. Use sand anytime to add traction, but never use salt or deicers.

Back to Top

 

Q I don’t know anything about concrete. Do you have someone to help me design my project?
A Yes, our sales team will work with you to create the project that will best fit your needs and budget. We will meet you on site and discuss your ideas. We then draw up a detailed plan and go over all of the details of your project. This is the first step in turning your imaginations into custom concrete creations.

Back to Top

 

Q What is the most popular pattern?
A The pattern we install most frequently is Ashlar Slate. It is a very rich and clean look that goes well with most types of architecture and home exteriors.

Back to Top

 

Q What colors look the best together?
A Our stamped concrete is a two color system, an integral color and an antiquing color. We do a lot of light – medium earth tones for the integral color, and a darker brown or gray color for the antiquing. This gives you a nice natural contrast. Upon request we will help you pick out the colors that you feel will fit your project the best.

Back to Top

 

Q Do I have to have the cut lines through my stamped patio?
A The cut lines are control joints, and are found in almost all stamped concrete. Their function is to coax the concrete to crack in nice straight lines. We strongly recommend them to avoid random cracking.

Back to Top

 

Q If my colored concrete chips, will I see gray concrete?
A No, you will see the integral color.

Back to Top

 

Q Once my concrete is poured, how long should I stay off?
A For all stamped concrete projects we recommend you stay off of the concrete for a full day after we have finished sealing it. For traditional flatwork, we recommend you stay off for a full day after we pour.

Back to Top

 

Q When can I drive on my driveway/ garage?
A We recommend you wait 7 days prior to vehicle traffic. During the early spring and late fall we recommend waiting 10-12 days prior to vehicle traffic.

Back to Top

 

Q My concrete was recently poured and now it looks like there are spots all over, what is happening?
A Your concrete is curing. Concrete typically takes about 30 days to cure, during this time your concrete will transform from its initial darker color to its final lighter color. The spots and/or blotchiness will fade out during this time.

Back to Top

 

Q What if the color isn’t what I expected?
A It is important to understand that every project is different and that we are working with literally tons of materials, not a gallon of paint. The final color will be close to color chart swatches, but we are not able to guarantee it will be exactly the same. Even traditional concrete can exhibit color variations, especially if the project requires more than one load of concrete or if the concrete is placed on different days. Most of these variations are minor and will fade over time.

Back to Top

 

Q What if my concrete does not look perfect?
A Concrete will never be perfect. It is important to understand that we work with imperfect materials under imperfect environmental conditions. The factors that can affect the final looks of concrete are too many to mention. Every project is different and therefore every project will look different. The imperfections in concrete are what makes concrete so attractive and sought after.

Back to Top

 

Q When is it too cold to install stamped concrete?
A Stamped concrete is a multiple step process that requires warmer temperatures than traditional concrete. The temps must be in the 40’s for a few days in a row to properly pour, finish, and seal your project.

Back to Top

 

Q When is it too cold to pour regular concrete?
A As long as the ground is not frozen and the temps will be above freezing while we are pouring, we can pour traditional concrete flatwork. We cover the concrete with insulated curing blankets to protect from freezing in cold conditions.

Back to Top

 

Q From the time I sign a contract with Ageless Concrete to install time, how long must I wait?
A We typically have a 7-10 week back log. If you know you are ready to move forward with Ageless, don’t wait. We operate on a first come first serve basis. If you want your patio poured by the 4th of July, please contact us no later than early May.

Back to Top

 

Q Do you have a minimum fee or job size?
A For traditional flatwork projects our minimum fee is $1,000. For colored and stamped projects our minimum fee is $2,000.

Back to Top

 

Q Do you charge for estimates?
A No, we offer free consultations and estimates.

Back to Top

 

Q Do you charge more for rounded corners and curves?
A No, we use flexible material for our forms. We can literally make any shape you can imagine.

Back to Top

 

Q What kind of maintenance is necessary with concrete?
A We recommend concrete be resealed every 2-3 years for maximum protection of your investment. The process is easy to do and we provide all of our customers with detailed instructions on exactly how to re-seal their concrete. We also offer resealing services.

Back to Top