Concrete is used extensively in the construction industry. It is resilient and durable, which has led to it being used in projects as diverse as the foundations of a shopping centre to creating supporting pillars for a bridge. One word that is not so frequently used to describe concrete is "beautiful." Many people associate concrete with a dull grey appearance that may be functional but will not enhance the appearance of a structure. However, that view is a mistake. Concrete can be both functional and attractive. One of the easiest ways to make concrete attractive is to expose the aggregate in the concrete. By exposing the aggregate, concrete can take on a diversified appearance that is highly decorative and holds greater visual interest for all who see it.
Where should you use exposed aggregate?
There are no limits to how you can employ exposed aggregate. Concrete walls and floors both indoors and outdoors can be enhanced by allowing the otherwise hidden aggregate, to be seen. Depending on the method used to expose the aggregate, you can create different styles and patterns to produce a unique finish for your concrete project.
Not just for decoration
While exposed aggregate concrete can be attractive, that isn't the only reason to use that approach. In addition to looking good, exposed aggregate concrete can provide valuable extra friction. If you use exposed aggregate on a driveway, or perhaps a patio, you can create a slip-free surface that will prevent your family from falling and being injured, whatever the weather may be. By creating a surface that is safe to use in the rain or other potentially hazardous weather conditions, exposed aggregate can enhance the value of your home.
Taking care of exposed aggregate concrete
One of the advantages of using exposed aggregate concrete is that it is no more difficult to maintain than standard concrete. The most important thing to remember is that just like all concrete, exposed aggregate it is naturally porous and must be sealed after it has been installed. The concrete must be resealed at regular intervals to ensure that water does not seep into the concrete and cause damage. If the seal is maintained correctly, there should be almost no other maintenance required on your exposed aggregate surface. Sweeping the concrete to remove debris or wiping it down with a cloth to remove any dirt should be all that is needed to keep your concrete surface looking as good as new.