A concrete contractor can usually do more than just pour concrete on your property; they can advise you on how to make that new driveway, walkway or patio look its best and on how to maintain it over the years. When you hire a concrete contractor you want to take the time to ask him or her the right questions about the concrete itself and that includes questions about recurring problems you have with concrete that's already been poured. Note a few of those questions you might cover with a concrete contractor before work begins on your property.
1. Discuss decorative concrete options
An aggregate can give your concrete a bumpy texture that looks good and that provides traction against ice and snow. Painted concrete can complement your home's exterior colors. Stamped concrete can look like stone but without the same cost. Your concrete contractor should know your options for making your space look its best, so don't hesitate to ask them for assistance or recommendations. Note that it may be more difficult to maintain stamped concrete as you would need the right coatings to use for cracks, so be sure you ask the recommended products and their overall cost so you know to work these into your budget.
2. Ask what is recommended to maintain your concrete beyond sealers
A sealant is usually recommended for any concrete and is often applied not long after the concrete is poured and then on a regular basis, but other coatings may be recommended for you. For instance, a repellent gets absorbed into the concrete and helps to repel water, snow, mud, and the like. This can be very good to use in areas with lots of rain. Hardeners are like repellents, but they may concrete even more durable against wear; these are usually used on factory floors or any concrete with lots of traffic and wear and tear. Other coatings provide extra traction and grip, like aggregates but not as visible.
Ask your contractor what he or she would recommend and especially before you apply any of these products yourself; you don't want to assume that a repellent means you don't need a sealant or vice versa. If you spend a lot of time in the garage working on cars or other such hobbies, repellants might be good for the floor to keep it from being stained with oil. The right coatings may also allow you to avoid recurring problems you've had with your concrete, for example, if your driveway always cracks you may need a hardener to keep the concrete strong against the weight of your travel trailer. Use the expertise of your concrete contractor to help avoid these problems.