Making Your Concrete More Beautiful

The Pros And Cons Of Using Precast Concrete For Your Construction Project

Posted by on Jan 4, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Pros And Cons Of Using Precast Concrete For Your Construction Project

If you are building a new home and using concrete walls or pillars, or adding something as simple as new concrete stairs to the exterior of your home, the type of concrete you use can have an impact on your project. Precast concrete is one of the options you can use. This concrete is molded ahead of time, so little to no concrete needs to be poured on site. Learning the pros and cons of this type of concrete can help you decide if it is right for your project. Here are some of those pros and cons: Cons of Precast Concrete You Can’t Use Your Own Measurements One of the biggest downsides to precast concrete is that you can’t have the concrete piece fit to your measurements. The concrete walls, pillars or stairs are molded using common sizes. If you want something that is not a common size, precast will not work for you. And unfortunately, once concrete is cured, it is not cost-effective to shape or cut it down to a different size, so it really needs to be designed to the specifications you need. Transporting and Erecting Pieces Can Be More Challenging The other disadvantage to precast concrete is that concrete that is already formed is heavy. Trying to move a block of concrete stairs or a concrete panel wall can be challenging for your crew. Sometimes, you may even need a crane or other piece of heavy construction equipment to move the piece for you. Pouring on site allows you to get the item you need without the heavy lifting. Pros of Precast Concrete You Can Use It in All Weather Conditions One of the major advantages to using precast concrete is that the concrete is already cured. Unfortunately, you cannot pour concrete in all weather conditions. Concrete will not cure or harden properly if it is raining, snowing or too cold outside. Different additives also need to be added based on humidity and the temperature. All of this is eliminated when you use precast concrete as it is already hardened off site, allowing you to use it in any weather conditions. You Can Construct Your Item Faster The other advantage to using precast concrete is that it can help speed a construction project along. It can take several hours or days for concrete to harden. And in some cases, you may be unable to move forward with your project until your concrete walls or beams have cured. When you use precast concrete, you don’t waste time waiting for the concrete to harden, allowing you to finish a project faster. Taking the time to learn a few of the pros and cons of using various types of concrete will help you hone in on the type that is right for your construction project. If you have a limited time frame or are working to complete your project during the rainy season, precast concrete may be the right choice for you. For more information regarding construction matters, consult businesses like Mershon...

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How To Use Polymer-Modified Asphalt To Permanently Repair Potholes Year-Round

Posted by on Nov 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Use Polymer-Modified Asphalt To Permanently Repair Potholes Year-Round

Potholes are a common, frustrating, and difficult problem for many areas of the nation, especially during wet conditions or in wintertime. It is hard for road crews to perform repairs of these potholes using conventional hot mix methods during rainy or cold months, and the problem will continue to grow until roads are pockmarked. Drivers become frustrated, and damage to vehicles or even accidents can occur as a result. That is why the use of a fast-drying, versatile product can be so valuable. Below is how you can use polymer-modified asphalt to repair concrete surface potholes: 1. Remove as much moisture as possible – Though polymer-modified asphalt will adhere and set in wet conditions, it is best to remove standing water, as this can obscure areas inside the pothole and make it efficiently replace the material. However, if evacuation of standing water is impossible, go ahead and fill the hole with material to force the water up and out. 2. Fill the pothole with polymer-modified asphalt – After clearing the pothole of water, pour a sufficient amount of polymer-modified asphalt into the opening and pack it down with a tamping tool or flat shovel. Be sure the pothole is filled completely and that there is slightly more material in the hole than necessary. Ideally, a small crown will exist once the repair is finished and allow traffic to fully compact the site. 3. Compact the pothole patch – One benefit of polymer-modified asphalt is that it can be compacted via several methods. For road crews who travel from pothole to pothole, their truck can serve as an effective means of compacting the material. If you wish to use this method, simply drive over the repair site multiple times until it is compacted and no loose material remains. Of course, other compaction methods can be used, such as powered compactors and rollers. 4. Blend the repair (optional) – While the repair is permanent and sound after you complete compaction, you may wish to disguise the darker patch to match the surrounding concrete surface. To do so, sprinkle a fine layer of portland cement on top of the patch and spray it with water to create a wet mixture. Next, use a broom to blend the water and portland cement together and distribute it across the patch. Once this dries, the site will be much less visible to others passing by the location. For more information, contact companies like Roklin Systems...

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Answering A Couple Of Questions About Replacing Your Driveway

Posted by on Aug 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Answering A Couple Of Questions About Replacing Your Driveway

Your concrete driveway can be one of the features of your home that is easy to take for granted. However, it may eventually be necessary to replace the driveway for a number of reasons. When this need arises, you may find that you are not particularly informed about this process. To help you with making sound choices for your home’s needs, you should consider the answers to the following couple of driveway replacement questions. What Is Involved With Removing Your Old Driveway? When having a new driveway installed, one of the first steps will be to remove the old one. Unfortunately, concrete can be extremely difficult to remove, which means that you will need to hire professionals for this task. They will have the tools that are needed to efficiently break up the concrete into moveable pieces. If your driveway is relatively short, this work will likely be able to be done with jackhammers. However, longer driveways may require the use of a specially designed vehicle that can break concrete as it drives on it. Depending on your local community, it may be necessary to obtain a permit for this type of project. Also, you may need to have your concrete demolition cleared with the local homeowner’s association. This is necessary because this project can be somewhat loud, and it is important to ensure that it is only being done during approved hours. How Can You Prevent Common Forms Of Damage To Your New Concrete Driveway? After your new driveway has been poured, it is important for you to understand the steps that you can take to help ensure that your new driveway lasts for as long as possible. To this end, you will want to make sure that you are regularly washing your driveway. This can be done with little more than a garden hose as you will primarily be rinsing off oil, dirt and other debris from the pavement. These substances can gradually weaken the strength of the concrete, which can make it more likely to crack. Yet, simply rinsing it off can remove these materials before they are able to cause damage. In addition to rinsing driveway, you will want to make sure that you are applying a fresh coat of concrete sealant every year. This sealant will prevent water and other substances from soaking into the pavement. This may not seem like a serious issue, but these materials can weaken the interior of the concrete while also putting pressure on it. Eventually, these forces will cause deep cracks to form. Talk to a contractor, like GaitlinByrd Cement, for more...

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3 Benefits Of Using Driveway Gravel In Your Garden

Posted by on May 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Benefits Of Using Driveway Gravel In Your Garden

Are you looking for a way to improve your garden beds while also adding to their appearance? Why  not try using driveway gravel rather than mulch or wood chips? There are a variety of benefits of using gravel in your landscaping, including the following: It’s Long Lasting Unlike mulch, gravel in your landscaping beds can last for a very long time. Instead of paying for and laying new mulch each spring, you can lay gravel that will last for many years. You will have to clean it out each season, particularly if you have shedding trees that drop leaves into your beds. However, this is a very small price to pay for a lovely landscape that requires no extra money. Simply remove the gravel, pull any weeds, remove fallen leaves and other debris, then shovel the gravel right back into your beds. It will look just as lovely as the day you first placed it. Adds Beautiful Texture Gravel in garden beds can add some really nice texture to your landscaping. Instead of the flatness of dirt and mulch, the interest of the driveway will really help set off your flowers, shrubs, and other plants. Much like when you are using texture to decorate the inside of your home, the same concept applies to your exterior as well. Using a mixture of textures can help enhance your lawn and maximize your curb appeal. Colors Maximize Visual Appeal One major benefit of using gravel in garden beds is the fact that it provides beautiful color to your landscape. You never really know what color rocks you will get with driveway gravel, but it typically includes shades of grey, brown, red, white, and orange. If you are more keen on having a neutral color scheme, you can consider a gravel that is monochromatic, such as black lava rock or pea gravel. The color gravel you choose to use will really help set the tone of your garden beds and keep them looking well-maintained and attractive. In addition, adding driveway gravel to your garden beds has some practical purpose as well. It helps with weed prevention, it helps with water drainage, and it can improve your soil health. If you are considering gravel for your garden, speak to a local garden center to ask about bulk purchasing, as it often is a better deal than purchasing it by the sack at home improvement stores. Contact a business, such as Hanson Aggregates, for more information....

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How To Decorate Your Patio With A Mexican Theme

Posted by on Apr 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Decorate Your Patio With A Mexican Theme

Are you enclosing part of your backyard to create a patio with a Mexican theme? If so, think of words like festive, colorful and unique. With summer right around the corner, this is the perfect time to get ready for relaxing and entertaining in your new patio. From the flooring to the furniture, here are some ideas that might help you to design something exceptional. The Flooring – Tile, brick, or flagstone are all good choices for a Mexican-themed patio. However, have you ever considered using decorative concrete? Concrete is very affordable and when it is faux painted it can take on the look of pretty much anything your mind can imagine. Think of faux painting it with something totally dramatic like Talavera tile or Saltillo tile. Decorative concrete isn’t just affordable. It’s also so durable that your patio floor will last for years and years. In fact, age often gives the design of decorative concrete a beautiful, soft look. Decorative concrete is also very easy to care for. Just sweep it and, if you want to thoroughly clean it, use your garden hose to do the job. The Furniture – For a casual Mexican look, choose rustic wood, especially if it has leather as part of the design. For a more elegant look, select wrought iron. Both wood and wrought iron do well outdoors, even though the wood may need to be stained and sealed periodically. Another good thing about rustic wood and wrought iron is that they can be painted any color you like. Try something bold for a dramatic touch. For example, black wood would be sensational. Verdi green for the wrought iron would be very classy. For extra fun, even though they’re really not considered furniture, hang Mexican hammocks wherever there is enough room for them. The Walls – Again, consider decorative concrete to establish a Mexican look for your patio. The appearance of weathered brick, adobe or stucco would be very authentic if you want the look of an old Mexican wall. Add the illusion of ivy or moss on the walls for a dramatic touch. For something more contemporary, choose festive designs like butterflies, birds, flowers and even pinatas. Another idea for decorative concrete on your walls is to create a Mexican scene on one of the walls. For example, dancers performing a Mexican folk dance or a mariachi band at work would be amazing. Shop at nurseries and at stores that sell goods from Mexico to find decorative pieces like clay birds, hand-painted pots, and wall planters to add authenticity to your Mexican-themed...

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Three Uses For Old Concrete

Posted by on Mar 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Uses For Old Concrete

If you’re a homeowner who has recently remodeled a yard, driveway, or walkway and who now has a pile of old concrete plunked down in the yard, you’re likely wondering who to call to haul all of it away for either free or for a cheap amount so you can save money. But you may not have to go that route. There are other things you can do with old concrete that are either free for you or that could earn you a little money. Here are three things you can do with that old concrete that won’t cause your remodeling budget to grow any more. Large Mosaic Pieces If you or someone you know is a craftsy type of person, save the pieces of concrete to use as large mosaic tiles. You can trim the pieces down a bit to create interlocking patterns for paths, patios, or even large tabletops. You might not think old, gray concrete pieces could look elegant, but they really can when placed in a pattern. You can separate the pieces by size and save them for when a suitable project comes up. Extra Money Who says you have to pay to have someone take the concrete? Contact gravel companies or landscapers. Many use crushed concrete in paths or in other projects, and they’d be happy to take the concrete off your hands — in some cases by paying you, rather than the other way around. You may have to separate out the different sizes again and sell them to different companies, but the end results are no more concrete sitting in a pile in your yard, and a little more money in your bank account. Short Retaining Wall or Raised Bed Border Even if you plan to keep your new yard design for a while, you may decide soon to plant a flower bed or level some sloped areas with retaining walls. You can use the pieces as edging for the bed, for example, or use larger, flatter pieces to form a bench on top of the bed border. If the slopes in your yard are small, you can create mini-retaining walls by stacking up the blocks of old concrete and fixing them with a little mortar. For more suggestions about what to do with old concrete, you should talk to concrete contractors who can also point you toward companies that might buy some or all of the pieces. The contractors might even want the concrete themselves for recycling. For help with concrete questions, contact a business, such as New Interstate...

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Learn What To Expect When A Concrete Contractor Creates A Concrete Driveway For You

Posted by on Mar 21, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Learn What To Expect When A Concrete Contractor Creates A Concrete Driveway For You

If you plan to have a concrete driveway made in your yard, it is important to know what to expect when the company creates the driveway for you. There is a lot that goes into creating a concrete driveway and knowing what to expect can make the process easier for you and the company creating the driveway. The following guide provides you with everything you need to know about having your concrete driveway created. Know Where You Want the Driveway to Be Located The first thing you will need to do is walk around with the concrete contractor to determine where you want the driveway to be located. The contractor will let you know if the driveway can be placed where you want it to be placed or if it needs to be placed in a different location. The Ground Will Be Leveled Next, the contractor will need to level the ground where the driveway will be placed. When the concrete is poured, the ground needs to be as level as possible to decrease the chances of the concrete cracking when weight is put on it after it dries. A Frame Will Be Created The contractor will then create a frame for the driveway. This ensures that the concrete only goes where you want it to go. The frame is often made out of wood so that it can easily be removed after the concrete hardens. Rebar and Remesh Will Be Laid Rebar and remesh will then be laid inside of the frame. The rebar and remesh help to give the concrete more strength so that it can support the heavy weight of the vehicles you plan to park on it. The Dump Truck Needs a Clear Path A large concrete dump truck will bring concrete to the job site. In order for the truck to get to the driveway, there needs to be a clear path for the truck to take. The contractor may need to trim tree limbs or have you move vehicles out of the way to create a clear path for the truck. The Concrete Must Be Spread Immediately Once the truck gets to your new driveway location, the concrete will be poured into the frame and will need to be spread immediately. The contractor needs to spread the concrete so that it will be even and smooth when everything is said and done. Once the concrete driveway has been created, you need to be sure that no one walks or drives on it for a few days. This allows the concrete to dry thoroughly so that no prints will be left in the concrete. Once the concrete has dried, you can then allow people to walk on it and park your car on it without having to worry about causing any damage to...

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3 Ways To Protect Your Basement From Water Damage

Posted by on Mar 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways To Protect Your Basement From Water Damage

Many people use their basement to store all of their excess belongings and create space in the main part of their home. While you expect your basement to be dry, many end up finding themselves battling with water in their living space. To make sure that your basement stays as dry as possible at all times, there are a few simple steps you can take to keep the water at bay. Extend your gutters. Your gutters are responsible for taking rain water and melting the snow away from your home’s foundation. However, many have extremely short drain spouts. That means that all of the water that is supposed to be whisked away from your home is going to end up pooling around your foundation. You need to get the water as far away from your home as you can. The best way to do this is to add on to the gutters and extend them out away from your property. Adding on a few feet will go a long way in preventing water from seeping into your basement and ruining your foundation. Recreate the slope. Over the course of time, the soil around your home is going to end up eroding. Once the soil wears down around your foundation, there is no place for the water to go but to pool up around your space. To put an end to all of the water pooling along your foundation, you just need to add in some sand around the base of your home. This will allow the water to be seeped up and prevent it from going into your home and trying to destroy your space. Seal off the cracks. Countless people will wait until a crack is too far gone in their foundation to be able to seal it off quickly. While it is inevitable that your basement is going to end up with a few cracks in it, that doesn’t mean you have to ignore it and not do anything to fix it. The first time you notice any type of crack forming in your basement wall or floor, you need to get to work sealing it off. This will save you time and money in the long run. Sealing the small crack now will go a long way to prevent major damage and even more repair work. Full basement waterproofing is also an option that you might consider.  By doing the three things above, you can prevent your basement from being destroyed by...

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You Don’t Have To Wait Until Summer To Pour Concrete: Here Are 4 Ways To Ensure Success In The Winter

Posted by on Mar 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on You Don’t Have To Wait Until Summer To Pour Concrete: Here Are 4 Ways To Ensure Success In The Winter

Whether you plan to create a concrete walkway or a simple path, you might not think you can do either in the colder months. However, concrete projects can be done all throughout the winter as long as you plan wisely and take steps to ensure that your project is done properly. Use the following pointers to complete your concrete project successfully. Prepare the Ground The first thing you need to do if you want to undertake a concrete project in the winter is to make sure the soil is not frozen. Frozen soil, as it warms later on, can make cracks in the concrete a possibility over time. Take a few readings with a soil thermometer to ensure that the ground temperature is above freezing when you are ready to begin. To warm the soil, you can place curing blankets and tarps on top of the area you plan to work in. If you are still not sure that the soil is warm enough, you might think about using a synthetic sub-base to avoid problems. However, if you use a synthetic sub-base, ensure that you don’t leave it outdoors to become cold; place it on the ground right before you start working. Choose a Suitable Mix While there are many types of concrete you can work with, in the winter it is important to pay attention to the amount of water in any mix that you select, as you want to do everything you can to prevent freezing. A good choice is a ready-mix concrete that has a high cement-to-water ratio so that there is less water in danger of freezing. Consider an Accelerator To lower the chances that the concrete will freeze, you might also consider using an accelerator containing calcium chloride so that the concrete will set more quickly. However, you might opt not to use an accelerator if you are working alone; the concrete may start to set before you’re even done pouring and smoothing the concrete. If you have a lot of people working on the project and can complete the task quickly, an accelerator might be a good choice. Cover Your Concrete After you’ve finished pouring, it is vital that the concrete dries properly. This can be a challenge even in the summer, but in the winter you need to ensure that the concrete and the sub-base both stay warm enough for the concrete to set without freezing over. To do this, you can cover the project area with plastic tarps as you would in the summer months. However, for added protection, you might also cover the area with insulating blankets; you can even use electric curing blankets. Cover the blankets and the tarps with wood planks so that everything stays in place as the concrete sets. Use the information here to assist you with your winter concrete project. If you have more concerns about supplies or how to protect your concrete during colder months, chat with your concrete supplier like Island Ready-Mix Concrete, who should be able to give you more suggestions about what your next steps should...

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How To Separate Damaged Sections From Undamaged Ones On Your Concrete Sidewalk With A Circular Saw

Posted by on Mar 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Separate Damaged Sections From Undamaged Ones On Your Concrete Sidewalk With A Circular Saw

Cracked and raised sidewalks are a liability for homeowners. If someone comes trips over the sidewalk on your property, they could sue you for not properly maintaining your property. You need to make sure the sidewalk leading up to your home is in proper condition, and this means you’ll have to replace deteriorated sections of the sidewalks every once in a while with new concrete. The first thing you should do is cut through the concrete along the joints where damaged and undamaged slabs of concrete meet along the sidewalk so you can separate the damaged sections from the undamaged ones. Here is how you can separate the sections of concrete at the joints with a circular saw. Safety First You should block off the section of the sidewalk you are working on so no one walks up to you while concrete chips and dust are flying up in the air while you are cutting. You should use wood stakes and yellow caution tape to block out the area while you work. Place the caution tape about waist high completely around the perimeter of your work area to warn people walking down the street not to enter this area. You should also protect yourself. Make sure you have eye protection, ear plugs, breathing mask, and gloves on while you cut through the concrete. Saw Blade You will need a tough blade to cut through the concrete. The best kind of blade to use is a diamond-tipped one as it won’t wear down as fast as a regular carborundum blade that is typically found on circular saws for regular cutting jobs. Cutting the Concrete Set the circular saw alongside the slab of concrete to adjust the blade depth. Set the blade so it will go about a third of the way down the depth of the concrete sidewalk. Set the blade of the saw into the joint and cut across it. After the first cut, adjust the blade again so it now goes about 2/3rds of the way down into the sidewalk. Make a second cut across the joint. Readjust the blade one more time so it will cut through the rest of the sidewalk and make a final cut across the joint. The slab of sidewalk will now be completely separated from the slab next to it. Repeat this process on the joint on the other side of the deteriorated section of the sidewalk. Once done. You can now safely break apart the deteriorated section of the sidewalk and remove the broken pieces without affecting the undamaged sections. For more tips or for a big concrete restoration project, contact a company like Concrete Coring...

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