So, you've tried everything you can to keep the surface of your concrete form drying out and crusting over on sunny days when the temps where low the night before. But no matter how hard you try, you still end up with a few cracks on the surface of your stamped concrete. If this has been happening to you. Don’t worry, you're not alone. Here are two things you can try the next time you have this issue come up.
After you've washed the release powder off of your stamped concrete and you notice a few cracks on the surface. Grab a ball-peen hammer. Using the ball end of the hammer, start to tap on and around cracks, switching from one side to the other in a motion that would close up the crack. If you have never tried this before, you will be pleasantly surprised at many of those annoying little cracks you can get rid of using just this method alone. This always works best the day after pouring, and keep in mind that after the concrete cures out for a few days this will no longer work. Please refer to TOW Video Below.
Color Hardener Slurry
Sometimes even the ball-peen hammer can’t fix everything or maybe you missed a few the day after the pour. There is one more thing you can do to solve this problem. If you used color hardener for your base color, then simply take a small amount of that same color hardener and run it through a bucket strainer to get rid of the large sand. Then mix the fine powder with some water until you have a puddy like consistency. Use this mixture to fill in the cracks. Make sure to have damp rag with you to clean up any excess slurry in unwanted areas. Let the slurry completely dry before antiquing or sealing. If you had used integral color for your base, then things will be a little more difficult. It will be hard to find a color hardener that will match your integral color exactly. The best thing to do is to get the closest one you can find and also have a second or even third color to lighten or darken things up as needed. You could also use a gray based micro topping and color it with a small amount of your integral color, you will need to experiment with the dosage to get the color to match.
One thing to remember is that the ball-peen hammer technique requires less time and effort then the slurry technique. The best thing is to fix as many cracks as you can the next day with the ball-peen hammer, and only resort to the slurry when you have to. Please feel free to send us an email if you have any questions on fixing surface cracks or any other topics that you might need help with.
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