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Decorative Overlays Restore and Enhance Concrete Walkways

Only a few years after it opened, a beachfront development in the historic Saint Andrews district of Panama City, Fla., developed serious problems. Not historic edifices themselves, the two eight-story buildings were completed in 2005. Yet exterior concrete terraces and walkways, one of the Harbour Village Condominium complex’s signature features, were deteriorating badly. Thankfully, after some meticulous work by Pro-Floors Plus of Lynn Haven, Fla., the walkways are once again an attractive asset.

Pro-Floors Plus was first called to the complex by the owner of one of the penthouse units, who asked the contractor to investigate cracks on the eighth-floor balcony. While there, the crew noticed a variety of problems with walkways in the common areas. After Pro-Floors Plus successfully repaired the penthouse balcony, the Harbour Village Homeowners Association engaged the company to refurbish all 80,000 square feet of exterior concrete flatwork in the complex. By this time, the contractor had established a relationship with Sherwin-Williams H&C sales representative Brian Mills.

Not Just a Vendor

Scott Davis, Pro-Floors Plus project manager for the Harbour Village project, says working with Sherwin-Williams products has been beneficial in several ways. During the year-long project at Harbour Village, Brian Mills and other Sherwin-Williams reps visited the job site regularly to ensure a constant supply of H&C products and to answer technical questions. In their ongoing relationship, the reps continue to provide hands-on training to Davis and his crews through sample projects using a variety of H&C products. “We truly feel like a trusted source for Pro-Floors Plus, not just a vendor,” Mills says. “Ultimately, that produces a better outcome for every project.”

Treating concrete spalling

Pro-Floors project manager Scott Davis describes the situation: “What we found was that the original decorative cementitious coating on the walkways was rupturing and coming loose from the substrate, due to inadequate prep work by a previous contractor. In some areas, the spalling was severe enough that rebar was already exposed.” So Pro-Floors proposed mechanically scarifying the surface to remove all the existing finishes and any loose concrete, then building the surface back up, either to level or angled slightly to allow for drainage. “Before embarking on the overall project, we did a test section that baked in the sun for eight months, to demonstrate the appearance and performance the owner could expect,” Davis explains.

The materials used depended on the depth of the repairs and desired effect:

  • For the deepest areas, the contractor used H&C® Stampable Overlay, tinted with H&C® Color Packs.
  • For shallower repairs, and to fill in the scarifying marks, Pro-Floors used H&C® Concrete Resurfacer Heavy Traffic Texture as a base coat, also tinted with H&C Color Packs.
  • To create the tile pattern, they laid out a tile pattern over the base coat using tape, applied a second coat of Concrete Resurfacer, and then removed the tape to simulate tile joints.
  • For texture and sealing, a semi-transparent stain was applied to enrich the textural effect, then followed with two coats of solvent-based sealer.
  • To maximize slip resistance, H&C® SharkGrip® was added to the second coat of sealer for increased slip resistance.

 

System of concrete solutions

Both Pro-Floors Plus and its client, the Harbour Village Homeowners Association, liked the fact that the Sherwin-Williams H&C line included all the products needed for the repairs, so the company was able to offer a warranty for the entire system. “When you use products from a number of different manufacturers, you can set yourself up for a lot of finger-pointing in case anything goes wrong,” Davis says. For further reassurance, the homeowners association hired Coastline Engineering and Construction, Inc., Panama City, to oversee Pro-Floors’ work on the project.

Davis said it was important to manage their client’s expectations at the start of the project. “We knew that one of the most difficult aspects of the Harbour Village project would be to work around all the occupied units. People used these walkways for access to their condos, so we scheduled the work to minimize the inconvenience they’d have to experience. That led us to use smaller crews to cause less disruption, even though it meant the project would take longer. And we’d close down the job around holidays to keep out of the owners’ way,” Davis says. Pro-Floors Plus representatives also attended condo board meetings during the project, to answer questions and keep their client apprised of progress.

One result of such careful planning and execution is a complex that once again seems worthy of its historic surroundings. Another is a satisfied client looking forward to improved concrete performance.