It seems like there's always something wrong with the house. After winter melted away, the pathway out front had a ton of new cracks. Then, as spring progressed, the rain showers showed just how flood-prone the basement is. And no matter what time of year, the garage floor always looks dingy.
Repairs can be costly. A dirty garage floor isn't necessarily a big problem, but it can be frustrating. This is where Quikrete products come into play. Whether you're repairing concrete structures or coating surfaces to maintain quality, Quikrete products can be a simple and inexpensive solution - they can make these household repairs can be a do-it-yourself process.
Concrete is a mixture of cement, water and aggregate (like gravel or sand). It's a popular building material because it's inexpensive and its ingredients are so simple and abundant. Concrete is also moldable and comes in multiple colors, making it extremely versatile and appropriate for a wide range of projects. A final plus: Concrete is tough. It's resistant to fire, rot, decay, extreme temperatures, wind, water and animal wear-down. The problem is, it's tricky to work with and takes a great deal of time to fully dry [source: Materials Science and Technology]. That's the advantage of Quikrete.
Depending on the amount you use, quick-drying Quikrete concrete can set in as little as 10 minutes, although the common time for larger projects is between 20 and 40 minutes [source: Pavement Package]. You can buy it in small packages or bulk and then prepare, set and finish it all in one day. It relieves a lot of time and money stress associated with large home repairs -- if you don't want to rent a truck and heavy equipment or hire a contractor, Quikrete is for you.
The next two pages will go into more of the specific details of how to mix and set Quikrete, and what options you have. Head over to the next page to start learning setting up your own concrete project.
How to Mix Quikrete
Normal concrete is tough to work with. Many concrete projects will deplete your expense account -- you'll have to rent a heavy-duty concrete mixing truck and all the other materials you'll need. Then, if you can't get the truck right up to the site where you'll be laying the concrete, you'll need additional transportation equipment and labor. Laying concrete isn't that tricky, but it's still often beyond the do-it-yourselfer's time and physical capabilities. You'll usually have to hire a professional to do the job, adding yet another expense. Taking care of your concrete needs with Quikrete might save you money, time and effort.
The general rule for achieving a good Quikrete texture is to use one part water for every five parts of mix. For the best results, it should have the consistency of modeling clay [source: Quikrete]. To get the right mix, you may need to experiment with the proportions, the way you would when trying to perfect your bowl of oatmeal. If the Quikrete is too thick, add small amounts of water slowly. If it's too thin, add more Quikrete mix. When you've gotten the desired results, you can use a small garden shovel to do small touchups, or mold entire batches of Quikrete into large projects
Head over to the next page to read about your Quikrete coating options.
Concrete should be treated to protect its surface. Adding a coating or a sealer over your finished cured concrete will help protect it from chipping and fading, as well as make it easier to clean. Apply the coat to the fully cured surface and your concrete will require less maintenance [source: My Garage Floor Coatings].
Here are the Quikrete coating substances:
- Epoxy Garage Floor Coating -- used primarily for coating garage floors, but also appropriate for any interior concrete surface
- Epoxy Multi-Surface Coating -- used to strengthen and seal interior concrete floors, but is also appropriate for outdoor surfaces such as walkways and patios
- Premium Clear Epoxy Coating -- best for interior surfaces but is also said to perform well in the garage
- Epoxy Industrial Floor Coating -- this heavy-duty product is best for surfaces like garage floors that see heavy traffic and harsh conditions
- Anti-Skid Textured Coating -- good for stairs and pool decks, this seal is meant to protect against skid marks in high-traffic areas [source: Quikrete Coatings]
Beyond products with "coatings" in the name, there are several other products for sealing and finishing your concrete surfaces:
- Basement & Concrete Floor Paint
- Garage Floor Sealer
- 1-Part Epoxy: Garage Floor Sealer
- Multi-Surface Concrete Sealer
- Natural Look Water-proofer
- Wet Look High Gloss Sealer
- Etching Stain High Gloss Sealer
- High Gloss Sealer
- Exposed Aggregate Sealer [source: Quikrete Coatings]
Whether or not you decide to take your household repairs into your own hands, Quikrete may be the time- and cost-effective method you need. If you have further questions, head over to your local hardware store or big box chain, and you should be able to take a look at the variety of Quikrete products on the market.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Associated Content. "How to Use Quikrete: Using Instant Concrete. (Accesses 12/18/2008). http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/996092/how_to_use_quikrete_using_instant_concrete.html?cat=6
- Burlingame, Burl. "Concrete Solutions that's easy as 1, 2, 3." (Accessed 12/18/2008). http://www.starbulletin.com/features/20081114_concrete_solution_thats_as_easy_as_123.html
- Empfield, Dan. "The Slab." Slowtwitch.com. (Accessed 12/18/2008). http://www.slowtwitch.com/mainheadings/features/endless/slab.html
- JNK Products. "Quikrete Garage Floor Paint and Flooring Products. (Accessed 12/18/2008) http://www.jnkproducts.com/epoxy-garage-floor-coating.htm
- Materials Science and Technology. "Scientific Principles." (Accessed 12/18/2008). http://matse1.mse.uiuc.edu/concrete/prin.html
- My Garage Floor Coatings. "What is the Quikrete Garage Floor Coating?" (Accessed 12/18/2008). http://www.mygaragefloorcoatings.com/quikrete-garage-floor-coating.html
- Pavement Package. "Quikrete -- Setting Fence Posts. (Accessed 12/17/2008). http://www.packagepavement.com/setting_post_qk.html
- Quikrete. "Frequently Asked Questions. (Accessed 12/18/2008). http://www.quikrete.com/ContactUs/FAQs.asp
- Quikrete Coatings. "Project Guide." (Accessed 12/18/2008). http://www.quikretecoatings.com/projectGuide.jsp