Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What is efflorescence? A practical primer.

Ever seen white chalky residue on a brick wall? It can look like a salty deposit or a white'ish stain running down a vertical surface, a step or a wall..... 

This is certainly unattractive and undesirable, but is a common side-effect or phenomenon of masonry products. It can happen with concrete, bricks, cinder blocks, mortar, grout, etc...

It looks ugly, but is fairly easy to clean .. not to say it won't come back, but is fairly easy to clean.

Here are links to a few good articles on efflorescence including what it is and how to treat it. Enjoy.

Monday, December 23, 2013

When does concrete crack?

Here is a great article that represents a very realistic look at the concrete cracking phenomenon. Click the link below to read the article.

                  When does concrete crack?

If you are considering purchasing a concrete product, be it a walkway, porch, patio, driveway or other you should be realistic in your expectations regarding cracking.

At this point in the evolution of concrete, with 100s of years of history, experimentation, and modifications to the production and installation of concrete, the notion of cracking is very much understood and for all practical purposes, very much under control.

Our best advise is:
   Understand what to expect.
   Understand the installation techniques.
   Understand the difference between cracks you can see and cracks you can't see.
   Understand the "odds" of getting various types of cracks
   Understand the warranty with your contractor
   Understand what can be done if you were to get a crack.

Don't  *not"  get concrete because you are worried about cracks.
Enjoy it for what it is, but be realistic and have the right expectations before the project.

Ask you contractor for a detailed explanation on their approach and philosophy on cracking.

Salzano Custom Concrete
www.salzanoconcrete.com
703-929-9299


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Imperfections in Stamped Concrete

Common comments that we see online, hear from callers, or get asked in person:

   - Why do I hear people talking about imperfections in stamped concrete?
   - Why do many stamped concrete customers complain that stamped concrete is not perfect?
   - Why can't stamped concrete be perfect like anything else I buy?
   - You use molds to create the surface, why wouldn't the final product be as perfect as those molds?
   - Why is there discoloration sometimes?
   - Why is the color not exactly like what I see on the color chart?

These are great questions and a good topic for discussion.

                                                                             No visible imperfections in this stamped concrete

Most important to us that is that our new customers understand what to expect from a stamped concrete project. Some of the items and concerns listed above are actually true. The most important thing to remember if you are considering a stamped concrete patio (or other area) project is that stamped concrete is not built in a factory, but instead is hand crafted onsite.

What does that mean?  Sounds like an excuse for poor quality!!!!!

Not really. Stamped concrete is a great product, but like all other surface types, has its limitations and things you need to understand. It is in fact hand-crafted right on your property. Concrete starts out as a liquid product and is molded and crafted into the stamped concrete stone-like surface that you've seen.

There are imperfections to expect in the texture and the final coloring of stamped concrete. Some of these details are controlled by the installer, and some are not. Be sure and read the "fine print" in the contract of the installer you select to understand how their warranty works and which details are covered and which are not.

Regardless of whether these are excluded in our contract specifically or not, you certainly have our word that when the project is done, if there is anything you don't like, if it's something that can be fixed with a reasonable touch-up, we will always do that for our customers. We will advise on what touch-ups might be recommended and we also ask that you trust our judgement on whether a touch-up would work or not. Sometimes a touch-up might make the area worse, and we would recommend against it. We will always have this discuss with our customers and we ask that you trust our judgement.

As for specific imperfections, or things a customer might not like, final color tone is one that is typically not covered by warranty. Much like a painter, the stamped concrete installer will use the color that you have selected. The final color tone achieved can be somewhat out of their control. There is more tolerance for final colors in colored concrete than other products you might be used to buying. If you select, say "Sun Gray" for your stamped concrete, which is a medium neutral gray tone, the final gray tone can be a shade lighter or a shade darker and the installer may have done nothing wrong, its just the nature of how coloring concrete works. This is a great example of something you should be aware of before you jump into a stamped concrete project. If you are set on a particular color tone and want a 100% guarantee that the color will be "spot on" with the color chart ... stamped concrete might not be for you. Colors certainly do vary a shade or 2 from job to job with the same color used.

Another variation of color issues is that the color can vary between poured sections, truckloads of concrete, pour days, etc....  So if your stamped concrete project is going to be poured across different days or requires multiple truckloads of concrete, the color can vary between these section. You need to be aware of this and is something to discuss with your contractor.

In addition to color variations, other common imperfections that can occur:
   - Birdbaths
   - Stamp impression depth
   - Release color unevenness
   - Imperfect detail of texture near problem areas such as around deck posts,
            in crevices near steps, corners. etc...

Feel free to call anytime to discuss this or any other topic.
Salzano Custom Concret
www.salzanoconcrete.com
703-929-9299







Sunday, November 24, 2013

Introducing new Zero-Shine sealer!!

Introducing new Zero-Shine sealer!!

I'm sure you would agree, the #1 complaint about stamped concrete is the shine.

We can't agree more.

Natural stones are traditionally not sealed. Natural stones such as flagstone, PA bluestone, Tennessee flagstone are typically not sealed because people really like the dry look. The dry look simply looks more natural. We can't agree more.

So if the dry look is better, why is stamped concrete sealed with shiny sealer?

Stamped concrete is sealed for several reasons. First, the sealer brings our the actual colors. Without sealer, colored concrete looks very different than with sealer. Without sealer, the colors in stamped concrete would be 3-4 shades lighter, softer, paler than with sealer. The sealer also brings out the highlight (release) color. So without sealer, the colors look much more monotone, ie without the traditional 2-tone marbled look.

When stamped concrete is sealed, a choice of sealer is available from high gloss, to low gloss and a few in between. Sealer are referred to by their percent acrylics or "solids". So a higher content solids (acrylics) create higher gloss. High gloss sealers are typically 30%-35% solids, medium gloss sealers around 25% solids and low gloss sealers around 18% solids.

Some stamped concrete installers like to use high gloss, thus the shiney look. Some installers use a medium gloss. We traditionally use a low gloss sealer.

The problem is that even the lowest gloss traditional sealers still leave a bit of shine, and for some customers is unacceptable.

We are very aware that most all customers don't like stamped concrete to be shiney. We have been experimenting with the use of low gloss sealers for many years. We have recently found and helped to develop the lowest gloss, "no shine" sealer that we have used to date.

This sealer, for all practical purposes, leaves no shine at all, thus our name "zero shine". This sealer leaves a very natural look.

We are calling this new style "Garden Stone"



We hope you like it.

Salzano Custom Concrete
www.salzanoconcrete.com


=========

Wanted to add a few more notes. We are in the process of building another variation of the new "Garden Stone" patio mentioned in the post above. The new patio is a PA bluestone style surface. The base color will be blue/green slate color with grout work and multi-color accents. We build many such patios, but use our traditional sealer that leaves a bit of a shine behind. The new one we are now building will use the new ultra low gloss sealer as pictured above. We hope that the combination of our unique coloring technique together with no-gloss sealer will produce the most realistic stamped concrete yet.

We will certainly post pictures as soon as our lastest patio is ready to show... stay tuned!!

=========


Friday, October 11, 2013

Coloring broom finish concrete vs coloring stamped concrete

Coloring Broom Finish Concrete

This is a popular topic of discussion with customers. We get alot of calls and emails from customers asking about coloring techniques for broom finish "plain" concrete vs stamped concrete.  We have some other articles that discuss this topic, but this BLOG post will hit the topic from a slightly different angle.

Other articles discuss the options to color stamped concrete, ie the differences between surface color hardener and integral "through-and-though" color.

This post is more about broom finish concrete. Broom finish concrete or "brushed" concrete, is plain, regular concrete. Most all sidewalks, for example, are made with basic broom finish concrete. This is plain concrete, placed and finished with standard techniques. Just as the concrete is starting to dry, typically same day it was poured, the workers draw a broom through the concrete to create the broom finish. This technique has been around for dozens of years, probably more.

The basic reason for broom finish is for traction. The broom lines are typically applied cross-wise from the direction of foot traffic or car path for a driveway, so that the broom lines create traction.

So what color is regular broom finish concrete you might be asking?  Well, there is typically not any color added, so the final color is the sum of the color of the ingredients. Now-a-days, that equals white. Yes, white, very white.  Now as a reminder, the first week or two, the concrete will be dark and somewhat discolored, but once is cures within a month or so, it will blend to a rather stark white color.

Another option for those customers that want basic broom finish concrete is to add color to the mix. So when we order your concrete from the production plant, we would order it pre-colored with whatever color you'd like. There are 50+ colors to pick from off of a color chart. The price to add color usually reasonably inexpensive for lighter colors, then gets more expensive for medium range and rather expensive for the darker colors.

For example, the color can cost $1 - $2 per square foot for the lighter colors and $4/sf for darker colors, graphite, dark brown, brick red, etc.... So you know, the cost of adding color to the concrete also covers the minimum charges from the production plant. For example, most colored concrete must be ordered with a minimum of 3 cubic yards ... this restriction often changed the number of yards, ie the quantity we order for your job. So the price we charge to add color to broom finish concrete, isn't usually just for the color, but also for some other things including the need to often order more concrete than you might really need.

Broom finish concrete would always be colored with integral "through-and-though" color and never colored with surface color hardener. Most always, surface color hardener is reserved for stamped concrete only.

Broom finish concrete can also show discoloration during the curing process, and the discoloration can be permanent. This isn't just YOUR concrete, but for all broom finish concrete. Next time you are walking into a school, or office building, or into the mall, and you are walking across a large concrete plaza area to get into the building, look down ... look at discoloration in concrete. Most all concrete slabs / areas have sections with discoloration, but most often people don't notice, honestly, because they simply aren't looking at it. Customers do, however look much more closely, and are thus much more critical, when that concrete is their own new driveway, walkway, etc....  Discoloration isn't normally because the contractor did a bad job, it's just part of how concrete works / cures ... this is why we always do our best to education, ie warn broom finish customers of these issues ... and to not be surprised or upset when your concrete has some discoloration.

Hope this clears up some coloring issues for you. We want you to be very excited about your new concrete slab!!

Salzano Custom Concrete


Plain broom finish concrete sidewalk, no color, regular white concrete, somewhere in southern virginia (I think), probably a year or two old, with some amount of discoloration. Would you have noticed this if we didn't point it out? Would you have noticed it if this was a new walkway in front of your house?


(right side) is broom finish concrete with color pre-mixed .. this color is called "Sandstone".






Monday, August 12, 2013

Photo Gallery

See photos of some of our decorative concrete work,
Above, 2-color classic stamped concrete, Adobe Buff color with Desert Tan release/highlight color with Ashlar Slate stamp pattern..

Above, 2-color classic stamped concrete, Weathered Sage color with Nutmeg release/highlight color with Ashlar Slate stamp pattern..



Above, 2-color classic stamped concrete, Adobe Buff color with Oak release/highlight color with Ashlar Slate stamp pattern..



Above, 2-color classic stamped concrete, Adobe Buff color with Sun Buff release/highlight color with Ashlar Slate stamp pattern..



Above, plain concrete, broom finish main area, with color pre-mixed, multi-color stamped left side border and walkway.

Above, exposed aggregate concrete driveway.



Above, Sun Gray color, London Cobble pattern with brown color brick edging and circle pattern landing.




Above,  Wood plank pattern with brown color and charcoal accents.



Above,  chart of some of our more popular color combinations.

Above,  Natural stone landscape walls, and decorative overlay steps and landing area.





Above,  Grouted and multi-color stamped concrete, backyard patio.


Above,  Grouted and multi-color stamped concrete, backyard patio. Gettysburg slate base color with accent/shading colors



Above,  Classic 2-color stamped concrete. Ashlar Slate pattern, weathered sage color with Nutmeg highlight color.



Above,  Classic 2-color stamped concrete. Ashlar Slate pattern, stone gray color with charcoal highlight color.




Click here to go to the photo gallery on our site
       Salzano Custom Concrete Photo Gallery

Friday, August 9, 2013

Service Areas

Service Areas

Salzano Custom Concrete is a local concrete service company, specializing in decorative concrete such as stamped concrete and decorative resurfacing.

We serve most all of Northern Virginia including Fairfax County, Loudoun County, and Prince William County.

See counties served on google maps, see links below.

Fairfax County
Loudoun County
Prince William County


Feel free to call anytime to discuss your project.

Salzano Custom Concrete
703-929-9299
www.salzanoconcrete.com


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Decorative Borders on Stamped Concrete

Decorative Borders

We get alot of questions about how the outside edges, or the perimeter of a stamped concrete patio or driveway will be finished.

Well, there are many options. The simplest is that we just run the stamp pattern all the way up to the edge of the area, so there is not distinguishing feature or detail around the edges other than the stamp pattern itself.

Another option which is a bit fancier is to create a decorative trim or border that runs all the way around the perimeter of the area.

Note: Often this is only done where workers can stand on the ground next to the new concrete to apply the border detail, so typically not done against the house or another structure.

The related topic is how the outside facing edge of the patio will be finished. Regardless of whether you ask for a decorative border or not, the outside faces that will ultimately be visible are always detailed with a nice finished side.

The decorative border is typically installed at 6", 7", or 8" and can be done with "same color" as in this photo.



The decorative border option can also be installed as "different color" where that border trim is a different color than the rest of the patio area. The following photos show different color borders:





Here is a link to a related article on the Concrete Network.
Click Here for the article on various ways to create borders.

Hope this has been helpful.
Salzano Custom Concrete
703-929-9299


Friday, August 2, 2013

What is decorative concrete resurfacing?

I found this great video about concrete resurfacing.  First, you might be asking what is concrete resurfacing?
Well, concrete resurfacing is a process by which a new skim coat of a special type of concrete is applied to your existing concrete to create a new surface. Here are a couple of photos of existing concrete slabs that have been resurfaced to create a very decorative surface.





Click here to watch the video on  What is concrete resurfacing .........

Concrete resurfacing, or skim coating, can be applied to make the existing concrete look more decorative, and it can also be applied in simple white/light gray/light tan and broomed to make it appear to be just new concrete. This is common for driveways that have deteriorated and a new surface is desired without the need to jack hammer and replace the entire concrete slab.

This is from the Concrete Network on concrete overlays:

"Even the best concrete has its imperfections in the form of cracks, discoloration, pop outs, and other flaws. While repairing concrete can help fix some of these flaws, the repairs themselves can be noticeable and unattractive. It's no wonder, then, that many homeowners think their only recourse for improving the look of unsightly concrete is to rip it out and replace it. But if the concrete is in perfectly good condition otherwise, you can offer homeowners an economical alternative by giving the surface a complete facelift with a decorative concrete overlay."

If you have a project for concrete overlay or resurfacing, give us a call and we can help to evaluate the existing slab to determine what your options might be. In some cases the slab is just to far gone and no overlay will save it ... and other situations, there is too much repair needed to make it cost effective, ie more cost effective to remove and replace the slab.

Feel free to call anytime to discuss and setup an appointment to meet.
Salzano Custom Concrete
703-929-9299
Salzano Custom Concrete




Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Stamped Driveways, comments on sealer

Here is an article that our own C.J. Salzano participated in ... C.J. was consulted on several topics regarding sealing driveway projects for this article ... Thought you might find it interesting.

Stamped DrivewaysIf your looking for a more realistic and natural stamped driveway, high gloss sealers should be avoided. “I hardly ever get any customers asking for a gloss look any more,” says C. J. Salzano of Salzano Custom Concrete in VA. “The trend is matte or a no-gloss look, very natural. After all, aren’t we trying to simulate natural stone? I don’t know many stones that are naturally glossy.” Sealers that provide color enhancement without producing a wet or glazed appearance can be found. These new-generation sealers for stamped concrete come in both solvent- and water-based versions, and they are gaining wider acceptance in the industry. You can also use penetrating sealers, which were rarely used in years past, but are also starting to gain mainstream acceptance.

Link to the article


Mobile Technology in the Construction Industry


Found this article on mobile technology in the construction industry. Thought is was interesting and eye-opening. Interesting to see the percent of use of these devices with construction managers and workers with storing contacts, use for email, and accessing information relevant to the job via the device.

Have a look:



Salzano Custom Concrete

Twitter!

Not real good about using Twitter yet. I have tweeted (is that a word?) a few times, but not sure anyone is twistening ....

Love it, will keep it up. If you see a tweet from us, let us know that you saw it, would give us a confidence boost!

Follow us at Twitter @SalzanoConcrete

Enjoy!
Salzano Custom Concrete

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Interesting Article on Stamped Concrete
Found this interesting article about stamped concrete. I like it because is it quite unbiased from a third party reporter, just stating the facts.

What is Stamped Concrete?

Stamped concrete involves pouring slab concrete for driveways, walkways, patios, etc., and then impressing both patterns and textures onto the concrete before it is fully dry. For many years, a lesser form of stamped concrete was often seen that merely duplicated patterns. But the newer types of stamped concrete impart textures that duplicate many different surfaces such as cobblestones, brick, pavers, wood, seashells, and more. Also, pigment is usually added to stamped concrete to further duplicate the look of such patterns.

Read the entire Article here.

Enjoy.
Feel free to call anytime to discuss these details.
Salzano Custom Concrete
703-929-9299

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sprinkler Systems vs. patio projects

Wanted to post some information about sprinkler systems with respect to our patio and other concrete projects.

Typically, if we are doing a backyard patio installation a homeowner will advise us if there is an existing sprinkler system, or if one is planned.  If there is an existing system, we always advise that you let your sprinkler company know what your plans are for the new patio. Often, they would like to move or add heads or zones to better cover the area with the new patio. In terms of precautions for installation of the patio and not interfering with the sprinkler heads, pipes or other components, we recommend that you have your sprinkler company come out after we have all excavation done and form work in place, but before we have poured the concrete. This is good timing so in the event they want to make a modification to the system or if any repairs are needed, its much easier to do before the new concrete is in place.

Hope this helps.
Call anytime to discuss.

For general information on sprinkler systems, feel free to contact the sprinkler association at Sprinkler Association.

You can also contact any local sprinkler contractors. There are many in Northern Virginia. Here are a few:

HydroTech

KT Irrigation

Affordable Lawn Sprinklers

Long Fence and Irrigation

Allen Sprinkler

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Facebook!

Hey, do any of you use Facebook?
I guess that's a silly question these days.

We have a Facebook page that we put up about a year ago. Click here to see our Facebook page.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

PSI .... What is that?

PSI is the measurement of the strength of concrete.

PSI is an acronym that stands for Pounds per Square Inch.

It is important to know the PSI rating of your concrete. This is something you can discuss with your contractor to be sure you are getting the appropriate concrete mix.

The actual strength of a particular concrete mix is determined by many things most notably by the ratio of Portland cement in the mix ... This is the ingredient that makes the concrete hard and strong.

Similar to horse power n your car you want to be sure you have enough but no sense paying for more than you really need.

Concrete mixes or "recipes" can have PSI ratings that range from 500 to over 10,000. The PSI range most common for residential concrete work is 2,000 to 5,000. PSI ratings below 2000 and over 5000 are really reserved for specialty work.

So within the range of 2000 to 5000 is most common for residential work.

Let's tighten up this range of a little bit more. It is recommended that for most all residential walkway driveway or patio projects the practical minimum is 3000 PSI and max 4000 PSI.

Concrete is customarily ordered in increments of 500 PSI. So that leaves us with concrete with a PSI rating of 3000, 3500 or 4000.

So let's now throw in our recommendations to never use 3000 psi for residential concrete work.

So now we are really down to a choice of 2 concrete mixes one at 3500 and one at 4000 PSI.

Some contractors routinely use 3500 for all projects. Some other contractors may routinely used 4000 for all projects.

Another rule of thumb used by contractors is to use 3500 walkways and patios and to use 4000 for driveways, carports or other areas carrying vehicle loads. This is a very reasonable approach one that we use regularly.

Some customers want us to use the stronger mix at 4000 thinking that will prevent cracks. Concrete with stronger strength rating yes is stronger and yes is more resilient but certainly is not a guarantee against cracking.

In summary try to stay with either 3500 or 4000 strength concrete for most of your residential concrete project. As always remember to discuss these details with your contractor so there are no surprises.

=========

Note: There are of course cases where 3000 or lower PSI rating is appropriate and also cases where 4500 or stronger PSI is needed. The notes in this posting cover most general presidential concrete project.

Hope this has been helpful.
Salzano Custom Concrete

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Go PROLINE!

A well deserved shout-out to one of our favorite decorative concrete suppliers, Proline Concrete Stamp products.

See many photos on their Facebook Page

We have some of their stamping tools and use some of their chemical products.

Salzano Custom Concrete

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Surface color, vs integral color

Did you know there are 2 ways to color stamped concrete?

The base color, aka the predominant color of the patio can be infused into the concrete 2 different ways. (Yes, I'm sure there are more than 2, but for the purpose of this discussion, the 2 most common are addressed here)

First, the color can be mixed through and through into the concrete. This is referred to as "Integral" color. This is typically done at the plant when the concrete is ordered. So the light gray, or beige tone (or whichever color you select) is mixed in the "million dollar machine" at the concrete plant. So when the concrete shows up on the job, it is already pre-colored.  Contractors love this .... much of the work to color the concrete is already done!!

The other way to achieve that base color is to use a product called "Surface Color Hardener". This is produced my many decorative concrete chemical manufacturers. Surface color is a technique where the color is broadcast, by hand, out onto the concrete when it is still wet. The color, in powder form, is absorbed into the top surface of the concrete and worked into the surface with float tools by the concrete finishing crew. The surface color hardener technique increased the surface strength to 6,000 - 7,000 PSI. It essentially puts a hardened shell onto the patio. This color is permanent, doesn't chip away, doesn't fade and you can't wear through it.

Both coloring techniques are good, both are permanent, both are generally accepted in the industry.

There are many other pros and cons to these 2 techniques. Call anytime or ask more questions during your consultation. Happy to discuss this in much more detail.

There are many advocates of integral color, and many for surface color. Most people instinctively feel that the integral color is the better, more robust technique ... but when you dig into it, most would agree that surface color is the way to go!!

One of the common manufacturers of integral (through-and-through) colors is Davis Concrete Colors.

The surface color hardener products are also produced by many manufacturers. Some of the commons ones are Inicrete and Brickform / Solomon ... another is Butterfield and another is Scofield color


BTW, the highlight or "Release" color is most always put on as a powder ....

Feel free to call anytime to discuss.
Salzano Custom Concrete

Another happy customer!!

We are very appreciative of the time that customers take to write nice reviews for us.  Here is another example of the dozens and dozens of great online reviews customers have posted for us.

>>
MARIILYN BROWNE, Arlington, VA
Here's what we got when we hired CJ Salzano and his team to cover 31 concrete steps and 55 feet of concrete walkway with flagstone in Arlington: superb workmanship, attention to detail, prompt and polite customer service ... and a fair price. Last but not least, the crew cleaned up so well, there's no hint that eight days of dirty, sweaty work had just taken place. If we need more such work in the future, there will be no need to obtain other bids. This is an outstanding, well-run company that understands just who pays their salaries. Marilyn and Joe  Superb, from start to finish. $15,000.00
<<

to see others, check out YELP, and Angies List, and Better Business Bureau

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Main ingredients in Concrete

Did you know there are 4 main ingredients in concrete?

Sand
Water
Gravel ..... and last, but certainly not least
Portland Cement


See this great article on Wikipedia.com on concrete.


YELP review filter

YELP is a popular review site. Many people use it to find a good local restaurant, hair dresser, plumber, or even a company to help with some decorative concrete work. YELP.com has become one of the most popular review sites on the web.

When a homeowner or customer uses a business, store, service, etc.. they go onto yelp.com and file a new report for that business. Sometimes raving about great food, or great service, and other times to complain about a bad experience. Yelp users, aka "YELPers" feel that they are saving other YELPers from having a similar bad experience if they post a bad review.

Many YELPers spend a fair amount of time writing these reviews for good or for bad to help build the YELP community.

YELP.com on the other end reads the dozens and hundreds of new reviews that are posted each day. These reviews are read electronically by a YELP filtering process. This software program(s), aka, filter, attempts to "weed out" reviews that it deems to be falsified, fake, or otherwise not having been created in a legitimate manner.

This filter has created a life of its own.....   This filter or filtering process has good intention, but has at the same time created major problems for many innocent bystanders.

Many YELPers are very upset that they spend lots of time writing detailed reviews and come to find out a day or 2 later, their hard work has been wiped out by the YELP filter.

The main premise of YELP, to facilitate freedom of speech, is by its own doing, by this now infamous filtering process, has silenced the same freedom of speech that YELP.com was created to promote ... how ironic ...

Many legitimate business owners have had good reviews left by YELPers, again, only to find out that a few days later, the reviews vanish ... swallowed up by the YELP filter.

If you do a Google search for "YELP review filter" you will find dozens if not hundreds of complaining users, both YELPers and business owners about what seems to be unfair business practice, as this filter, in all good faith tries to weed out the bad, but also inadvertently is weeding out the good.  Search Google here for YELP review filter.

YELP has many pages on its website that explain the filter ... sort of .... they explain what its for and how great its suppose to be, but go on to say that the details of which and why get weeded out are very proprietary, and they cannot go into any detail.  Click here for one YELP page on explaining the YELP filter explained

Try calling YELP to request putting legitimate review back online? Ha ... sort of a joke I guess. Really nobody on the other end of the phone to talk to ... other than those selling YELP advertising ... Hmmmmm ... some of the hits on Google when you search "YELP review filter" suggest that maybe, just maybe, those companies that refuse to spend money advertising on YELP are the same companies whos good reviews are being scraped away by the filter ... no way to prove such a thing ... and certainly would be highly unethical, and potentially illegal; but many Google'ers have come to this conclusion.

There are law suits pending, and some court cases on this topic ... not sure where this is going, but just wanted to give a shout-out to the YELP filter, and ask it to quit filtering out legitimate reviews for us and the YELPers spending time writing review and many other businesses effected by this ....

Salzano Custom Concrete

Salzano Custom Concrete, accredited business on BBB

Just a quick post to provide a link to show our accreditation with the Better Business Bureau BBB.
BBB


Click here to show the profile for Salzano Custom Concrete
BBB accredited company Salzano Custom Concrete

We are very proud to offer this new qualification for customers. This qualification helps to ensure customers that Salzano Custom Concrete is professional, insured and experienced company to fill your needs with any decorative concrete service.

Click the link above for the BBB site to see more information on the requirements to become an accredited business.


Great information in Concrete Decor magazine

Just wanted to give a shout-out to our friends over at the Concrete Decor magazine.

Click this link to their site:
Concrete Decor Magazine

This trade magazine is one of the voices in the decorative concrete industry. Month after month they publish great articles on various interesting topics on stamped concrete, concrete staining, concrete resurfacing, concrete polishing, and many other interesting services and techniques.

Take a look at this link when you have time.

Salzano Custom Concrete

Award winning project, Watergate complex in Washington, DC --- Salzano Custom Concrete

Click the link below to read an article on Concrete Decor magazine and website on a pool deck project we completed at the famous Watergate complex pool deck.

Watergate pool deck project by Salzano Custom Concrete

For this project we had to first prepare the surface to receive a new decorative concrete overlay. This is a cementious resurfacing product that we use to "coat" the existing concrete to give it a completely new and updated appearance.

Read the article for many details about the project.

Salzano Custom Concrete

Award winning project, Manassas, Va

Salzano Custom Concrete, award winning custom stamped concrete project in Manassas, Va.

Click on the link below to see a write-up and details on our custom stamped concrete project in Manassas, Va. Worked with this homeowner to design and build a very unique multi-color stamped concrete backyard patio space. This project included 2 staircases and a 2-tier patio area.

Take a look at the photos to see the various coloring effects that were done on this project. We have done many others like this, but each one is different, unique, and creates a custom space.

Concrete Decor project awards

Monday, July 15, 2013

Pool Decks by Salzano Custom Concrete

At Salzano Custom Concrete we can build your next new pool deck or provide renovations to your existing concrete pool deck.

Here is a great picture on pinterest.com of an existing pool deck that we renovated with a decorative concrete resurfacing application. Wow ... what a great transformation!


http://pinterest.com/pin/44121271322195907/

Revitalizing the contracting experience

Revitalizing the contracting experience

This sounds sooooo cliche!
I know that, but really ..... this is our objective and the way we are rooted.

We come to your house to see the project. Our initial consultation is typically 1+ hours long, and free of charge. We want to be able to meet with you, see the project area and help you come up with some great ideas for your new space.

We will come up with 3-4 different design ideas, sometimes more. We will leave copies with you of our design sketches to let you have time to decide the size and style you'd like.

Hard sell ???  Not here..........
We are anxious to work with you, but will never put you under pressure to "decide right now". We never require both spouses to be home ... normally a sign of high pressure to come ... we provide all information, provide you with a one-hour education on decorative concrete so that you can make a more informed decision.

Our objective is to provide as much "hand holding" as you need throughout the project. Stamped concrete is new to most everyone so we know you will have questions and be anxious about the whole project. So the more education we can give you in the beginning and help you to understand what to expect, the more pleasant and stress-free the experience will be for everyone.

We do our best to keep you informed, before and during the project by email, phone, text, etc.. as to schedule and progress details so you know what's going on at all times.

Changing prices? Raising prices?  Not here......
The price we quote you in the beginning is the final price!   Except of course if you change your mind along the way and want the project larger or smaller, we would modify the contract to suit.

Wrapping up the project ... we will meet at the end of the project for a final walk-through if you'd like. Happy to answer any questions you might have. We will also go through the maintenance items for cleaning, resealing etc....

We always want you to be comfortable with your new purchase so that you'd get many years of use out of your new space.

Thanks for reading!!

www.salzanoconcrete.com

Lots of photos and useful information also at
www.concretenetwork.com

Read some great articles on Concrete Decor website.
http://www.concretedecor.net/

Salzano Custom Concrete

Creating a new generation of stamped concrete!

Modern stamped concrete has been around for over 30 years. The original discovery and trials of stamped concrete dates back even further. Over the past five years, stamped concrete is more and more, becoming a household term, just like flagstone and brick.

The traditional installation of stamped concrete has included one base color and one highlight color. The base color is typically the lighter color and the highlight color typically the darker color. The highlight color is also referred to as the "release" color. The base color can be introduced into the concrete as an integral color that is mixed "through and through", or can be applied as a surface color hardener. These are both good techniques, both strong, durable, and considered to be permanent. Most people "instinctively" feel that the through-and-through coloring method is better, but once you understand the details, you'll agree that they are both good, and to many in the business, the surface color method actually takes the edge. (see other articles and blogs on the topic of integral color vs surface color hardener).

Using the traditional 2-color process, the concrete can be stamped with any of dozens of stamp patterns. Most commonly Ashlar Slate patterns, Random Stone and brick patterns. For nearly every style of natural stone, brick, slate, wood, tile, etc... there is a corresponding stamp pattern to match. Stamp tools are actually made from real stone, so they produce a very life-like appearance.

Our unique new generation of stamped concrete introduces real grout in between what appears to be stones and also introduces many accent colors. This makes the stone pattern more detailed and as many customers have said "nearly indistinguishable from real stone".

We always use matte finish sealer which is the lowest gloss available. We agree that making stamped concrete too shiney makes is look fake. Stamped concrete is sealed for many reasons, and as long as we use the low gloss matte finish sealer, the stamped concrete retains a very authentic look.

Give us a call anytime for an appointment to discuss this further.

Hope you have found this informative and helpful!
Salzano Custom Concrete
www.salzanoconcrete.com
www.salzanocustomconcrete.com