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Problems With Concrete
AIR ENTRAINMENT--Low air entrainment that results in spalling and scaling of the surface destroys decorative finishes. When dry-shake color is used, scales typically have color on one side and plain concrete bonded to the colored layer on the back side of the scale. This is because dry shake color hardeners provide a densified layer that effectively protects the colored layer from freeze-thaw damage. When air entrainment is excessively high, strength goes down, and there is virtually no bleed. It can also be difficult to properly "wet out" dry shake color hardeners.

HIGH WATER-CEMENT RATIOS--Because of the more porous surfaces that result from too much water, colored finishes, including chemical stains, diffract more light, giving the impression of weaker coloration. Due to the weaker surface, traffic wear patterns can develop. In the case of chemical staining, wear call remove the colored layer.

LACK OF CURING--These symptoms can be similar to high w/c ratio conditions. Unhydrated cement does not develop calcium hydroxide, so there is less of it for some decorative products to react with. Colored surfaces will appear less intense than well-cured concrete with the same amount of color. Stained surfaces also appear less intense. Dusting and traffic wearing patterns problems can also result. However, most decorative finishes can't tolerate the same curing methods used for plain concrete.

LOW STRENGTH--When there isn't enough cement paste in a mix, integral color isn't properly restrained in the paste, and color can be lost from the surface. Chemical stains may not have enough calcium hydroxide to react with, resulting in less coloration. Low strength in decorative finishes can cause traffic to wear into the finishes.

HIGH MOISTURE LEVELS IN CONCRETE--Chemical stains react differently in areas of a slab that have higher relative humidity. Decorative treatments, which do not have good moisture vapor transmission properties, can peel off the surface, blemish, turn cloudy white, or cause blisters to develop.

COLD WEATHER CONDITIONS--Long initial set times and excessive bleed water mean that more calcium hydroxide comes to the surface where it reacts with carbon dioxide from the air to form efflorescence. More laitance also comes to the surface from silica in the aggregates, causing hard white silicates to form. Also, slab finishes are often wet in appearance. In cold weather, concrete is usually covered with curing blankets or plastic, causing unsightly efflorescence markings.

HOT WEATHER CONDITIONS--When conditions are really hot, there is less time to perform all the added steps needed for some decorative finishes. In the case of stamped concrete it is more likely that impressions will be "mushy" at the beginning of the stamping process and too light, with little texture, at the end.

. PAVERS will not crack
. PAVERS carry a longer warranty on the installation
. PAVERS are a modular solution and allow access for underground maintenance on cables and/or roots
. PAVERS do not require pressure joints - which are ugly and break up the pattern
. PAVERS do not require extended cure time (and kids can't carve their initials in them!)