In recent years concrete patios have been making a big comeback. More contractors are now building slab houses. With this type of construction, elevated decks aren't really an option unless the lot has an extreme downward slope. This makes a concrete patio a natural choice.
Even on homes built with a traditional crawlspace, concrete patios offer many advantages over decks built from wood, vinyl or composite materials. Their service life is longer by eons. They require much less maintenance. They are less prone to damage. A concrete patio can be built into almost any available space, regardless of its shape, and concrete is more environmentally friendly over its lifespan than other materials. To take full advantage of the benefits that a concrete patio offers, use a quality concrete patio paint to create a waterproof concrete patio.
Why Paint A Concrete Patio?
There are many reasons to waterproof a concrete patio with quality concrete patio paint. Whether your deck is old or new, waterproofing with Liquid Rubber Polyurethane Deck Coating makes maintaining it much easier and extends its life. Painting with polyurethane seals the surface under a coat of plastic, preventing damage and making cleaning simple.
Concrete is not as solid as it seems. It is porous, making it prone to staining and allowing water or other chemicals to seep in and eat away at its surface. If you have an older patio that has already become discolored, stained or flaking, patching and painting your patio is a great way to return it to like-new condition and prevent further deterioration.
Not all of the reasons to paint your concrete patio are practical. Polyurethane deck coatings come in a wide variety of colors and finishes. This gives you the freedom to create the look and feel that you are most comfortable with for your outdoor living area. Even better, if you choose to change the color scheme of your home a repainting is all it takes to update your patio.
How to Prepare Your Patio to Be Painted?
Applying concrete patio paint is only slightly more complicated than any other painting project that you might have undertaken. On new construction, the concrete should be allowed to cure for at least 30 days before you begin working. While it may appear to be solid, it takes time for the molecular bonds to fully form. In cooler climates, it is advisable to wait even longer.
There are several optional steps to consider. Liquid Rubber Polyurethane Deck Coating makes it super easy to waterproof concrete patio floors, but for truly professional results, don't cut corners.
- Strip - This step is only necessary if the patio has been previously painted. Use Liquid Rubber Smart Strip Plus to remove old paint.
- Clean - Begin by giving your patio a thorough cleaning. Clear the surface to of any organic growth, dust, debris or loose material.
- Inspect and Repair - Once you have cleaned your patio give it a good once over. Any cracks exceeding 1/8˝ (3 mm) should be filled with a flexible crack repair product. Smaller cracks can be repaired using 4" Geo-textile or filled with Liquid Rubber Multi-Purpose Primer. Allow all repairs to fully cure before proceeding.
- Etch - To be sure that the paint will properly adhere to the entire surface, you will need to etch it with acid. Muriatic acid, also called hydrochloric acid, is the most common choice for this chore, but phosphoric acid and sulfamic acid are also popular choices. Be sure to read the acid container labeling for proper dilution guidance and carefully follow any recommended best practices and personal protective equipment recommendations. You can also use Liquid Rubber Concrete Etch to deliver professional quality results without the safety concerns of using acid.
- Clean - After etching, you once again clean the entire surface with a pressure washer and a quality deck and patio cleaner. Be sure to allow the surface to dry 24 to 48 hours after cleaning.
- Moisture Test - Take a two-foot square piece of plastic, tape it down on all four sides to the concrete with duct tape and allow it to sit undisturbed for 24 hours. If the concrete is discolored when you remove it or there is moisture on the plastic, allow your patio to dry for a further 24 hours and then retest. Do not proceed until the concrete is dry.
- Mask - Once the surface is dry enough, mask off and cover any areas that you don't want paint on, such as at junctions with connecting walls.
- Prime - The final step in the preparation process is to apply one heavy coat of Liquid Rubber Multi-Purpose Primer to the concrete. You should use a Gallon of primer for every 200-250 sq ft of area to be covered.
Choosing A Color for Your Patio
Consider the style and color scheme of your home when you begin choosing the right colored concrete patio paint. You can also consider how you will use the patio. If your outdoor area is going to be subjected to roller skates and bicycle traffic, an elegant white might not be the wisest choice. Polyurethane patio paint is easy to clean but why make your life difficult.
Luckily, Liquid Rubber Polyurethane Deck Coating comes in five colors and two textures ranging from white to utilitarian grey and earthy tones. The colors currently available in both smooth and textured finishes include:
- Brilliant White
- Misty Grey
- Stone Grey
- Neutral Beige
- Saddle Brown
How to Apply Liquid Rubber PU Deck Coating to A Concrete Patio
Apply Liquid Rubber Polyurethane Deck Coating when the temperature is between 50-86˚F (10-30°C) and the humidity is below 80%. If rain is in the forecast within two days, wait till you know you will have several clear days before you begin painting.
You can brush on roll on Liquid Rubber PU Deck Coating. Use a roller for large areas and a small polyester brush for trim work and to reach tight spots. Standard polyester rollers work well on smooth finishes, but a deeper napped roller is preferable for textured finishes. Take note that textured and smooth finish paint can be mixed to achieve your desired finish.
Apply the coating in generous coats (1 gal every 40 sq ft, final coverage) and allow it to cure until dry to the touch. Normally this will take 4-8 hours but can vary due to environmental conditions. Warm dry weather with a breeze will provide optimum conditions.
Once a coat has dried, apply another coat until you have used up all of the polyurethane you have. You cannot have too many coats. However, add three to four coats for optimal results. When your last coat feels dry, caulk around poles or other areas where water can infiltrate.
An important detail to remember is even though the coating will be dry to the touch in just a few hours you should avoid walking on it as much as possible for 48-72 hours depending on the weather and no furniture should be placed on it for 5-7 days. It takes that long for the polyurethane to fully cure and reach its full strength.
Maintenance moving forward
Part of the beauty of waterproofing your patio with Liquid Rubber products is that while they are not maintenance-free, they are as close as you can get without being there. All of the care that they require under normal use conditions is sweeping, the wiping up of spills and an occasional cleaning with a quality deck and patio cleaner and soft-bristled brush. As a general rule, pressure washers should not be used. Many operate at extremely high pressures and can not only prematurely erode your coating but damage the concrete itself.
Polyurethane is very stable and chemical resistant. However, it can be damaged by some solvents such as Mineral Spirits or Toluene, most commonly found in paint thinners. Spills by these types of chemicals should be cleaned up immediately.
If your patio coating is damaged by chemical spillage or heavy impacts, restoring it is as easy as lightly sanding the damaged area and touching up the blemish with fresh paint.
Concrete patios offer many advantages over traditional decks built from other materials. Concrete is easy to form and can be used to fill almost any available space. It has a lifespan far exceeding its competition and because of this is considered more environmentally friendly. Concrete patios are also more resilient, less labor-intensive to maintain and easier to keep clean. Their only drawbacks are that, being porous, they can be easily stained, are subject to damage from many common chemicals and the ever-increasing threat of acid rains.
Obliterating all of these issues is the simple process of transforming your patio into a waterproof concrete patio by applying a quality polyurethane patio paint. Applying a waterproof polyurethane coating to your concrete patio is no more difficult than painting and delivers the best possible protection for your outdoor living space.
For premium quality polyurethane deck coatings that deliver professional results, are environmentally friendly and are up to ten times stronger than traditional patio paints visit Liquid Rubber's Online Store or contact them directly for more information.