LESLIE: Judy in Iowa, welcome to The Money Pit. What’s going on with your house?
JUDY: Well, I have this really pretty deck and it has a colored cement in it.
JUDY: And I’m having a problem just by my front step area. I think they used a different batch or something or other and some of the cement is – like little pebbles are working their way up. And so then I have a pitted area …
LESLIE: Oh, you see the aggregate coming through.
TOM: That sounds like it wasn’t troweled properly. It wasn’t finished correctly. If they don’t shake the concrete enough you’ll get the aggregate that comes up too close to the surface. Also, if you use something that’s very abrasive – like in the winter a lot of people put sodium chloride, rock salt – on patios and that will cause it to deteriorate and sort of wear off the surface. So what you’re describing here is a physical breakdown of the concrete.
JUDY: Oh. So can I just fill those holes or …
TOM: I think probably the best thing is some sort of a finish treatment. Leslie, would you suggest, perhaps, an epoxy coating?
LESLIE: Hmm, an epoxy coating’s going to do the trick plus you can custom mix those. A lot of the brands will allow you to custom color the epoxy paints and the kits themselves. So you’ll probably be able to match something close enough to this sort of etched and stained concrete that you already have there. And you might have to get one or two different colors to sort of help create that blend. I’m not really sure what yours looks like. So you have to sort of determine if you can do it with one color or maybe you need to sort of washy blend two different colors.
Have you tried contacting the installer? Because if it wasn’t poured right they might be able to just come in and fix this one part.
JUDY: Oh, no, I have not tried to call him. It’s because he did it like – hmm, I’d say 10 years ago. But it’s …
JUDY: … very good everywhere else but right at my front door. (chuckling)
TOM: Yeah, and that’s also where, of course, like I say, you’re getting all the wear and tear and I’m sure there’s been some salt there over the years and that might have worn it out.
LESLIE: And in the future the good salt that you want to use – is it potassium chloride? I’ve always …
TOM: Calcium chloride.
JUDY: Calcium chloride.
TOM: Yep. And safety salt.