Being Environmentally Friendly with Decorative Concrete

decorative concrete is environmentally friendlyDid you know decorative concrete is the environmentally friendly flooring solution for your home or office?  If that surprises you, you’re not alone.  Concrete isn’t the first thing people think of when they hear “environmentally friendly flooring,” but it really should be.  After all, when you envision environmentally friendly flooring, you’re probably thinking of something earthen, green, and growing and that just wouldn’t work in a house – or even worse, at a hospital!  Here are the top three reasons why more and more people in San Luis Obispo County are turning to decorative concrete flooring to be more environmentally friendly:

3.  Concrete floors are more energy efficient because they keep a consistent temperature. Concrete is slower to heat up and slower to cool down.  So in the summer, your home or office will take longer to heat up which will save you money on air conditioning in addition to saving the environment from the burden of that extra electricity, fuel, and/or water you’re using to keep cool.  And the reverse is true in the winter.  If you’re worried about cold feet when you step out of bed, don’t be!  You can always add a few decorative area rugs, but concrete doesn’t get as cold as tile (or poorly installed faux wood or laminate for that matter) and holds its temperature rather than being frigid each morning and fluctuating throughout the rest of the day.

2.  Concrete floors also have lower maintenance needs than carpet, wood, tile, or laminate. This keeps harmful chemicals out of your daily environment and, being a local company, we know how important this is to the people of San Luis Obispo County. Have you ever read the ingredient list on the back of a bottle of carpet shampoo or specialty wooden-floor cleanser?  Yikes!  And of course, being based out of Paso Robles, we understand how much our friends and neighbors love wine, especially our regional red blends.  If your glass slips or your dog catches the bottle on the table with his tail, you don’t have to worry about it with properly sealed or polished decorative concrete.  Are you willing to test that against grouted tile, wood, or carpet?  Even laminates aren’t all waterproof and can stain, which requires completely removing those pieces and replacing them.  If you spill a bit of Paso Robles Red Blend on your concrete floor, it wipes right up with a damp cloth or paper towel.  No problem.

1.  And if you really care about keeping our planet green, concrete floors are the best option to avoid overburdening our landfills. Wood, carpet, tile, and laminate all need to be replaced, creating a cycle of waste which all goes to the landfill again and again. With our decorative concrete options, you can actually just stain, polish, and/or seal the slab that’s already under your house – no new concrete required (unless you have a raised foundation, then contact us and we’ll look at your options with you) – so break the cycle of waste once and for all!  How’s that for going green and saving some green at the same time?!

Clients across San Luis Obispo, Monterey, and Santa Barbara Counties love our decorative concrete.  We’ve done projects that look like faux leather, marble, stone, sea life, tribal art, logos, badges, and more.  View our gallery here for some of our favorite past projects or join us on Facebook to see the newest projects as they happen.

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Bring the Beauty of the Central Coast Inside with Concrete Staining

concrete staining monterey countyHave you ever thought about bringing the beauty of our surrounding central coast indoors?  As a local company in Paso Robles of San Luis Obispo County, we get to see the beauty of our region daily as we drive from one job site to another between Monterey and Santa Barbara Counties.  But if you work in an office all day or spend a lot of your time in your home, you may have thought already tried to bring in some of the colors, materials, and textures of the central coast with plants and decorative pillows.  But what about your flooring?  We at Pristine Concrete consider ourselves to me more than mere concrete contractors – we’re concrete artists!  And we can bring the beauty of smooth river stones, twisted vines, gnarled oak bark, and tanned rodeo leather right to your concrete using a process of concrete staining with acid.

The concrete acid stain lightly etches the concrete to let the color of the stain penetrate it.  This adds color to the concrete permanently, making it a great solution to beautify high traffic areas in a home or office, or areas exposed to the elements like a pool deck.  We can acid stain concrete that is already there, or add it to new concrete if you’re thinking about adding a patio, walkway, garage, or more.

For existing concrete staining, it’s important to keep in mind that the acid stain penetrates the concrete by about 1/32”, so weak concrete that is already cracking and chipping may need to be reinforced first.  Also, natural color variations are normal, especially in older concrete that may have been previously stained by oil.  This happens because concrete acid stains are translucent.  For new concrete, it’s necessary to wait 14-28 days to let the concrete cure before staining it, but on the plus side the acid stain in new concrete tends to be more vibrant in color.

As the decorative concrete experts of the central coast, we’re proud of our designs and we welcome a challenge!  We’ve created sea life, flames, tribal art with 3-dimentional shading, logos, faux granite, a police badge, faux leather… we could keep the list going, but we’d rather just show you.  View our some of our favorite acid concrete staining projects below and in our gallery.  We also post pictures on Facebook, so be sure to follow us there if you’re looking for more creative concrete inspiration.

 

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Wax On or Wax Off? When Was The Last Time You Used Concrete Wax?

san luis obispo concrete waxDo you have ‘wax on’?

Did you know concrete floors that aren’t mechanically polished need to be waxed?  It’s true.  Even if you know there was a concrete sealant put on your floor, it still needs a topical application of floor wax to preserve that sealant.  The only exception to the rule of ‘wax on’ is concrete flooring that has been polished with something like HTC Superfloor™ or the RetroPlate Concrete Polishing System®.  These polishing systems will grind away the top layer of concrete with a diamond tooling system and instead of a wax or sealer will use a densifier to harden and gloss the surface instead.

So when was the last time you waxed your floors?  Concrete is becoming more and more popular, and for good reason, but all too often we’ve seen home and business owners with sealed concrete in need of help – and most of them were never told that they needed to wax it.

What happens if you go with ‘wax off’?

If you don’t wax your concrete flooring, you may soon find that your concrete is becoming discolored in high-traffic areas and that the floor is losing its luster.  Wax protects the sealant and the sealant protects the color, so without wax, the color will be damaged, darkened, stained, or lifted.  It’s damage that’s completely avoidable.  By regularly waxing your concrete and not letting the concrete sealant get damaged, you’ll save yourself a lot of money in repairs.

Concrete waxing tips:

Don’t skimp. Higher-grade waxes tend to last longer without peeling and more coats (especially in high-traffic areas) can last longer when applied properly.

Clean before you wax. Removing the layers of wax that are peeling and flaking before putting down a fresh coat will give you a better finish.

Do less more often.  A big question everyone asks is: “How often should I wax my concrete floor?” but this is unique to every situation based on traffic, wax quality, number of wax coats applied, and the quality of the work done when it was applied.  The rule of thumb with wax flooring is to do it more often so that you’re doing less – taking off fewer layers of wax and not having to completely re-do the concrete sealant.  The goal of waxing your floor is to preserve the sealant you already have.

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How To Choose The Best Concrete Contractor

Mike the Concrete Contractor

Mike the Concrete Contractor in Action

Let’s first address an elephant in this digital “room” – we aren’t the only concrete contractor servicing San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbra, and Monterey Counties.  We know that and we’re OK with it.  Why?  Because everyone has their own criterion for selecting someone they consider to be the “best;” it’s impossible for us to be the best concrete contractor in San Luis Obispo County for everyone.  Maybe someone doesn’t like blue trucks because they got in an accident with one as a teenager.  We’d be out of the running immediately.  But idiosyncrasies aside, there are a few ways to choose the best concrete contractor for your job that we would like to share them with you.

  1. They return your phone call. Nearly all contractors in San Luis Obispo County seem to have a problem picking up the phone anymore.  They may be highly recommended by your friend or neighbor, but if they aren’t responsible enough to call you back to bring you on as a new customer, are they going to call you back when you have a problem and need help?
  2. They have reviews and/or references to share with you. These days, anyone can (and does) have a website.  So owning a website does not make a concrete contractor a legitimate business.  Make sure you can read recommendations or talk to a reference or two before you commit.  It’s also a good idea to run an Internet search of the concrete contractor’s name (and/or company name) with the word “reviews” and make sure there aren’t other reviews out there they didn’t want you to see.
  3. They provide a transparent estimate.  Not everyone provides a free estimate as some estimates can take 4-5 hours to prepare (especially if there is a long drive involved), but an estimate should clearly identify where your money is going.
  4. You can see samples of their work. Most portfolios are online now, and there are usually even more images on Facebook.  Ask where you can find some samples of their work and make sure you like what you see.
  5. Ask them questions over the phone or in person. This is my personal favorite – by asking questions on the spot, you’ll get a feel for their personality.  You aren’t just giving this concrete contractor a lot of money, you’re also going to be spending a lot of time around them and their team.  Do they laugh?  Are they friendly?  Chances are, they have hired people that are also fun and friendly.  If they are more dry and direct, you can expect a team that keeps their noses down and on task, but may feel a little cold at times.  Choosing a personality is a personal decision, but make sure it’s on your list of qualifications when selecting the best concrete contractor for you.  Mike is certainly one of the fun concrete contractors of San Luis Obispo County.

As for Pristine Concrete, we will return your call as soon as we possibly can and will often provide the owner’s cell phone number to clients to make sure you get the service you need.  Our reviews are on our website and all over the Internet – all positive.  We always provide a transparent estimate and we’re currently working on incorporating better software to give you an even easier to read estimate.  And we take great pride in the beauty of our work, so you’ll find pictures of it everywhere – our website, Facebook Page, Google+ Page, and more.  We would love to talk to you.  Fill out our estimate request form on our website or Give us a call at 805-237-9221!

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Earthing in Your Home – Grounding Indoors with Concrete

grounding on concreteGrounding, aka ‘Earthing,’ is an ancient practice going through a modern revival in the world.  If you’ve never heard of it, the easiest way to think of grounding is simply connecting with the energy of the Earth, much like an electrical current.  And just like electricity, scientists have been studying the properties of Earthing and how it can benefit your health.  All you have to do is take off your shoes.

Sort of.

See, you have to make a connection with the Earth in order to have a transmission of energy.  The Earth has a lot of energy to give and we rarely take advantage of that.  If your lawn has survived the drought in San Luis Obispo County, you can go outside and stand on the grass, or you can walk around on the dirt, but these methods don’t work for everyone.   Especially when it’s 107⁰F in Paso Robles.  Dry grass and rocks are sharp and dirt is, well, dirty.  To top that off, any concrete or stone is going to be extra hot.  What if you want to ground yourself indoors?

It is possible.  There are companies out there selling mats and blankets that connect to the ground of an electrical socket in your home, but their coverage is limited.  Instead, you can make your entire home a place to connect with the energy of the Earth with concrete.  The home can’t be on an elevated foundation or use a vapor barrier to do it, but it is possible.  For homes in either of these situations, a patio can be built or replaced in concrete without a vapor barrier or a sealer for grounding on concrete.  Concrete is made up of water, sand, crushed stone, and cement (usually with a little bit of air trapped inside, too).  All of these come from the earth, even the cement, which is typically comprised of lime, iron, silica, and alumina.  By connecting the concrete directly to the soil without any vapor barrier between the two, then leaving off the sealer on top so that your feet can make a direct connection, you are Earthing in and around your own home any time you kick off your shoes.

Many San Luis Obispo concrete sidewalks are the same way; just concrete on the Earth with no concrete sealer, but that doesn’t mean your home needs to be the same foggy shade of tombstone gray in order to try grounding on concrete in your own home.  We specialize in decorative concrete applications in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Monterey Counties, and can use additives and grinding techniques to still give your home or patio a beautiful finish.  Contact us today!

Here are just a few of the benefits of Earthing*:

  • Electron Transfer
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Better Sleep
  • Less Pain
  • Reduced Anxiety
  • Neutralizing Free Radicals (could slow aging)
  • Fewer Headaches and Migraines
  • Faster Healing (especially from exercise-induced fatigue)
  • Reduce Loss of Calcium and Phosphorous

*Please keep in mind, we’re a concrete contractor, not a medical doctor.  These benefits have been found by multiple researchers, but speak with your doctor before assuming anything is a cure or treatment program.

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New Santa Maria Police Station Saved by RetroPlate Concrete Polishing System®

santa maria concrete polishing police station

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Paso Robles, CA – July 8, 2015 – In 2008, the City of Santa Maria purchased 1111 West Betteravia Road knowing they had already outgrown their current headquarters, in use since 1953 in the rapidly growing city.  Now, Santa Maria is the largest city in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, but before the doors could open at the new station on June 22, 2015, it had to pass a final walkthrough.

The concrete floor didn’t pass.

The full cost the new station, including the purchase price of the building and land, and the custom modifications for a modern crime lab and communications infrastructure, was about $29M.  The city had cut costs where possible, even buying used office furniture from the previous tenant.  But during the Construction process, the concrete floor began to fail.  At the 11th hour of the project, the City of Santa Maria needed to hire an experienced concrete contractor, one who could handle a government contract for their nearly 72,000 square-foot building and also be someone they could trust.

When Mike Boeddeker of Pristine Concrete got the call, he knew right away they were going to need the RetroPlate Concrete Polishing System because of its permanence and durability.  The last thing a police station needs is the cost and hassle of the upkeep on a limited-life concrete flooring seal.  Reducing maintenance for the City of Santa Maria is a big win, but Boeddeker knew RetroPlate™ could offer more and he would still be done in time for the City to move into the new building before June 22, 2015.

Boeddeker has experience in other industrial, commercial, and government concrete contractor jobs with his team at Pristine Concrete.  Based out of Paso Robles, the team handles concrete refinishing, polishing, and staining in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey Counties.  One big signature to his work; branding.  “I wanted to include more in the flooring at the new police station than just a concrete stain,” said Boeddeker.  “A new building like this is a great achievement for the City of Santa Maria and for the men and women who serve this area.  I immediately made plans to incorporate their colors and shield into the floor as part of my repair to give their new office something really special.  It took a lot of work to complete their concrete floor in time, but we still used an 800-grit concrete polish to make sure that floor will hold a pristine shine for years to come, even with the abuse it’s likely to get as a working police station.”  The police can be tough on crime, Boeddeker will be tough on concrete and what he demands from it.

If you find yourself at the new Santa Maria Police Station, be sure to look down and see the work from the team at Pristine Concrete.

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Spraying Weeds in Your Driveway Year After Year? Concrete Resurfacing Can Save You Money!

concrete driveway san luis obispoWe enjoy beautiful weather her in San Luis Obispo County, but with this mild climate comes a year-round battle with weeds.  And they find their way into everything, don’t they?  Even into those little tiny cracks in your driveway, causing more damage and opening up more space for even more weeds.  With laborious pulling and the best ground-all-around-clear-up-365 spray, you’ll still only be able to keep the weeds away for so-long before they rear their ugly little heads again, sending you back to the store for more expensive spray.

Little cracks appear in concrete as it ages and the material begins to break down.  This is normal in the life cycle of your concrete.  If it was installed properly with a good foundation, your concrete should be pretty old before this begins to happen, but if you have a home or business with concrete that was old to begin with, you are fighting a battle you can’t win with the weeds.  The cracks in your concrete will only continue to get bigger.

So don’t keep wasting money on a temporary solution.  Concrete resurfacing now will save you money over the years in expensive weed sprays – and it can also keep those little cracks from becoming so big that they require a more costly repair down the road.  Concrete resurfacing is cheaper than replacement (good for your bottom line), maintains the integrity of your existing concrete longer (keeping it out of landfills – good for the environment), can be a great excuse to dress up your business facility or residence by adding some concrete stain at the same time, and will seal up any cracks to keep the weeds out (no more expensive and toxic sprays).

The process for concrete resurfacing is surprisingly simple.  We’ll come out to your home or business in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, or Monterey counties and start by thoroughly cleaning and prepping your existing concrete.  This will remove any oil, sand, or other debris.  We’ll also have to get rid of any weeds still growing through the cracks at this time, too, but the 3500psi pressure washer we’ve got will likely take care of that!  Then, we work our magic by scrubbing and smoothing the new layer of specialty concrete on the clean surface and add any decorative finishes.  Depending on the finishing touches and weather conditions, your fresh, new concrete driveway or patio will be ready for foot-traffic in about 6 hours and will last for years and years, leaving you free to enjoy life on the central coast.

Contact us for a quote here.

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Green Businesses Use Concrete in San Luis Obispo County

polished green concrete samplesSan Luis Obispo County is an area dedicated to being environmentally friendly and the people who live here are starting to expect the same from businesses in the area.  Some businesses have been green from the start because of the personal morals of the owner(s), but others are starting to realize that being green is necessary for growth in San Luis Obispo.  Concrete polishing offers an opportunity to step forward, not only in becoming a green business, but also for the bottom line as it offers a return on the investment.

Concrete usually already exists as the foundational floor of a business, it then gets covered with ‘flooring’ material, such as wood, carpeting, or laminate, which starts off as a burden to the environment in materials, production, and shipping (think about how much oil your floor must have cost!), then wears down over time and ends up in the landfill, further going against any efforts at being green, and the process to cover it begins again.  Polishing the concrete that is already there can be cheaper, more decorative, more energy-efficient, and cleaner than other flooring types (have you ever thought about what is in the carpet in a retail store? Don’t – we’ve seen it!).

And for new business construction here as SLO County is growing, concrete is a sustainable resource, coming from the most abundant mineral on Earth.  Additionally, sticking with a polished concrete floor contributes toward achieving certification for most types of construction projects under the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Local green businesses already use concrete as part of their green strategy, including New Frontiers, noted for their polished concrete floors by The Tribune in A look at 5 green businesses in SLO County,  and iFixit, recent winners of the 2014 Green Awards, by the USGBC California Central Coast Chapter award for their new office within walking distance of the green-friendly Farmer’s Market in downtown San Luis Obispo.

Click here if you would like more information on going green with concrete and the decorative concrete polishing services we offer.

 

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Tackitt Family Vineyards

tasting room concrete polishingWow! What a great job these guys did. Mike, we can’t thank you enough for the great work that you did on our tasting room floor. We appreciate the extra mile that you took with our job supporting our troops and the EOD Warrior Foundation. Your company is top notch!

Leon Tackitt Paso Robles CA

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Why is Stained Concrete a Good Choice

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Stained concrete flooring really offers the best of all worlds:  They are beautiful, durable, environmentally friendly and promote healthy indoor air quality, with little to no maintenance.  They not only bring relief to allergy sufferers and prevent the adverse health reactions that can occur from other flooring options, but they also provide unique design options by combine colors and techniques that simply are not possible with other types of flooring.

  • Protect Your Health- Improve your air quality!  Stained concrete flooring offers relief for allergy sufferers. It’s a proven fact that carpet can house millions of dust mites, pounds of dust and hair, as well as fungus and mold.  Carpet also releases chemical fumes and gases into the air that affect your health. Although a better choice than carpet, even wood floors have a high level of formaldehyde and release VOCs into the air.  Stained concrete, especially water based stained concrete, promotes healthy indoor air.  It provides a completely smooth surface with no hiding places to harbor bacteria, dust, or unwanted pests.  It contains no formaldehyde,repels water and will not encourage the growth of mold.  New water based concrete stains are low or no odor for those who are especially sensitive to any fumes during the application process.
  • The Environment-  Stained concrete is a green choice because it is slow to heat up and slow to cool down.  It typically maintains a persistent temperature, which promotes lower utility bills.  Also, since your foundation is already THERE, you are not cutting down trees or buying products such as carpet or engineered wood, which require a large amount of energy to manufacture.   Also,  concrete is there forever.  You will not be pulling it up and throwing it in the landfill later as you eventually will have to do with a wood, tile and carpet, when it reaches the end of its life.
  • Durability-  Few materials are as durable as concrete.  Carpet has a short life span and is expensive (not to mention a burden) over the years to replace over and over again. Wood can fade, scratch, chip, and the finish must be maintained over the years.  Tile floors can break, crack, or chip as well and be difficult to replace. Carpet, wood and tile can all grow mold underneath the flooring.   Your investment in durable stained concrete flooring will give you the most value for your money since it can last a lifetime.
  • Easy on the Budget-  Since you will not have to replace the concrete again and the stain can last a lifetime,  you save money in the long run.  Even up front, for new construction, the cost of stained concrete flooring is about half the cost of hardwood floors.
  • Easy to Maintain-  Just sweep and use a damp mop.  There is nowhere for the dust and dirt to hide. No need for chemicals or harsh cleaning products.
  • Beautiful and Diverse- You can enjoy the look of marble or stone or a rich, leathery appearance.  Perhaps you have an urban loft and prefer a more ultra modern solid bold color.  The possibilities are limited only by your creativity. Choose any color and any effect.  Get rid of ugly carpet and  outdated flooring.   Upgrade your home with beautiful stained concrete flooring and add to the value of your home!

Stained concrete flooring has many benefits.  But it’s only as good as the company that you hire to create the effect.  The floor must be properly evaluated, prepared and treated even before the work begins.  Depending on the effect you desire, a specific technique must be employed using special tools and specific products.   Our qualified and highly skilled concrete flooring specialists have the product knowledge, the years of experience and training, and the tools and equipment to create your masterpiece.

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