Exposed aggregate is a material that is added to concrete and which is meant to be seen along the surface. An aggregate can be added for a number of reasons and is a good choice when you're having your driveway and home's walkways repaved. There are many different types of aggregate that can be added and they all look different and function differently, so you need to discuss your options with your concrete contractor before work begins. Note a few questions to go over with him or her before you have a home's driveway or walkways paved.
1. What type of aggregate is best for the property?
Since exposed aggregate is all different, you need to consider why you're having aggregate added to the concrete. If you want a stunning look, polished glass can reflect the sun and add bright color to the concrete. However, polished glass can still be slick and not offer much added traction. If you live in an area with lots of snow or rain, you want an aggregate with a bumpy texture. This might include a type of gravel. To add visual interest, you can have the concrete painted or stained as well as having the aggregate added.
2. Should concrete with an aggregate be sealed?
Sealing concrete regularly can keep it protected and help to avoid cracks. You might hesitate to seal concrete with an aggregate, perhaps assuming it might damage the aggregate, but in most cases you want to ensure you seal concrete with aggregate. This will protect the aggregate from being discolored or otherwise damaged by rain, snow, and the like. It will also keep the contract from cracking due to freezing and thawing, which result in the concrete expanding and contracting. This can cause the aggregate to pull away from the concrete itself. Discuss sealing with your contractor and know what products to use and how often.
3. How do you repair cracks in concrete with an exposed aggregate?
You may not want to use a typical joint filler when it comes to concrete with an exposed aggregate, as the filler may become very unsightly. Your contractor will probably have a recommendation as to what to use to repair cracks that form, such as a stained filler that matches the aggregate. In some cases it may even be best to have the contractor handle cracks themselves so they can fill them with the same type of material and your driveways and walkways always look new.