We got an email from the Greenville Avenue Church of Christ in Richardson, TX to see if we could help them figure out what to do with a large outdoor patio area that just looked bland. On top of that, they were having some issues with water pooling in certain spots. When we walked it with them, we realized it would be an ideal candidate for a skim coat concrete application, as it would address the lack of appeal while simultaneously fixing the drainage issues. The product we chose to use for this project is Thinfinish, made by elitecrete.
As always, the first step was to clean the floor. As nothing had been done to it, all we had to do was power wash it before applying the skim coat concrete material. Thinfinish is designed to go over an existing concrete floor in a very thin layer, but normally we apply it in two coats, the first being a bond coat that sticks tightly to the floor and helps cover up minor imperfections. It has a sandy texture to it that gives the floor excellent abrasion resistance. The second coat is a finish coat that helps cover up anything that may still be visible after the first one.
This was a special case, as we had drainage issues to deal with. We first found where the problem was, a dip in the concrete towards a retaining wall that tended to pool water after a hard rain. We took two steps to resolve this issue. First we used the skim coat concrete material to create a slope towards the lawn to help the water move along. A plus when using thinfinish is that you can build it up to create slopes and ramps if necessary. Usually we are looking to repair slight height differences, less than 1/4"; if we need to do more, then we switch to a similar but different product that is designed for thicker applications. The second thing we did was to cut and install a drainage channel along the width of the pad to help carry along the water that was redirected by the thinfinish.
It worked out great; a couple of days after we wrapped it up, there was a heavy rainstorm, and we swung by to take a look. Success! Previously water would stand for four to five days; now, it was completely gone. On top of that, the new skim coat concrete looked awesome!
After applying it, we stained and sealed it, giving the area a completely new look. It was a hit with our clients; they couldn't have been happier.