Installing polished concrete in your outdoor areas can add a tactile, industrial contrast to the natural elements of your yard. Choosing the right concrete for your external spaces is all about the finish. You want a finish that looks great, lasts a long time, and isn't slippery.
Choosing concrete for your outdoor areas
There are two distinct types of concrete that will be suitable for inclusion in your outdoor areas:
Honed concrete is concrete that has been ground down to expose the rougher substrate beneath the surface. This is then polished to achieve the correct finish.
Concrete grind and seal grinds slabs down, and then applies sealant to the top of the surface. This finish can be anything from matte to high gloss, giving you complete control over the final product.
After you've chosen which style of concrete you'd like to install in your outdoor areas, you then need to choose a final finish. Here, you should be considering where the concrete will be placed outdoors, how much traffic it gets, and who will be using it.
Choosing a finish for your outdoor concrete
The higher the gloss and shinier the finish, the slipperier your concrete will be. If you live in an area that receives a lot of annual rainfall, this may not be in your best interest — especially if you have elderly family members, children, or pets to consider.
Furthermore, highly polished concrete should never exist close to pool areas, spas, or other outdoor features that contain water. Instead, stick to installing your concrete in seating areas, garden paths, and other high traffic spaces.
Here are some other things to consider:
Colour: Our suppliers provide over 60 different colour schemes for you to choose from, ranging from classic greys, to vibrant reds.
Inclusions: Our concretes can also include a range of stylistic elements, including rocks, stones, and other tactile aggregates.
The process of installing concrete in your outdoor areas
Once you've selected your style of concrete flooring, the installation process can get underway. Here's what the process will likely look like for most outdoor concreting jobs:
Quote. Get in touch with Policrete for an accurate quote on your job. We will assess your outdoor areas, the scope of the project, and exactly what's required in the way of finishes.
Grinding or pouring. If you have an existing concrete slab, we can grind it down or hone it until the desired finish is reached. We can also pour brand new slabs in your outdoor areas.
Sealing and finishing. Once the slab has been prepared, our Policrete team will apply the seal or finish. This is where we use chemicals and polishers to achieve the desired level of polish on your new concrete outdoor flooring.
Barring any problems, the timeframe of an average outdoor concrete installation job will take between two days to a week depending on the size of the project. You'll be walking around with a steady, stable foundation in no time at all!
Caring for your outdoor concrete flooring
After installing concrete outside of your home, it's important to know exactly what to do to make it last. Your new concrete — whether polished or sealed — will fare well against the elements for a number of years. However, there are some steps you can take to ensure that it looks its best, year after year.
Your exterior concrete may accrue a layer of dirt, grime, or moss, depending on how exposed it is. Thankfully, it's very easy to clean.
For sealed concrete, begin by sweeping or vacuuming any loose dirt. Make a light solution of water and dishwashing liquid and mop the floor to remove harder stains. Finally, use clean water to wash away the soapy liquid.
For polished concrete, you'll need a commercial polished concrete cleaner in the mopping phase. Ensure that it is pH-neutral. You won't need to rinse the cleaner once it is applied to the floor.
For unsealed concrete floors, like on garden paths and older slabs, you can clean the concrete with trisodium phosphate. Other commercial stain removers will remove rust stains, grease, tyre tracks, and mildew.
Proper care and maintenance will ensure that your outdoor concrete will continue to look and feel its best for years to come. It will also save on resealing and refinishing costs.