Making Your Concrete More Beautiful

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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How To Make The Most Of Your Huge Garage

Posted by on Mar 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Make The Most Of Your Huge Garage

Are you one of the lucky guys that ended up with a garage so big that you don’t even have enough cars to park in it? If so, from the right storage to concrete cutting, here are some ideas that will help you to make the most of the large space. Divide The Garage Into Different Areas – By dividing your garage for specific needs, you’ll be better able to plan its use. Priority Space – Of course, the cars get first dibs on the space. If your kids are all gone and you have only one or two cars, designate the space that is allotted for them by literally marking the space with heavy duty black tape or with paint. If you have a motorcycle or any bicycles, reserve space for them, too. By marking the space, you won’t be tempted to use it for another purpose. For example, if one of you goes out of town and there is a space left where the car went, the black marking will remind you that you can’t set up your tools in that area. Car Repair Space – Do you like to change your own oil, change your tires and do other car maintenance yourself? If so, have professionals (like National Concrete Cutting) come to your garage to do concrete cutting. They will literally cut a space out of the concrete foundation of the garage and you can have a car lift installed in that space. Concrete cutting is affordable and the job can be done in a short amount of time. Be sure to remove as many things from the garage as you can as the concrete cutting will create so much dust that it will take a blower to get rid of it. The concrete cutters will use cut-off machines and diamond chainsaws for the project. The equipment can be powered by a gas engine, a hydraulic power unit, an air compressor or an electric motor. Once the concrete has been cut, you will be able to install your car lift and secure it for safety purposes. Storage Space – Use the rest of your garage for storage. Install shelves and make space for your lawn mower and other gardening equipment. Include a large chest of drawers for small hand tools, maps, compasses and other items that you don’t want to keep inside the house. The garage is also a great place to keep guns and ammunition. Just be sure to secure it in a cabinet that has an excellent lock on it.  It will be helpful for you to make a list of things that you have stored so that you’ll know just where to find each item when you need...

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How To Design A Unique Patio

Posted by on Mar 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Design A Unique Patio

If you’re tired of the cold winter months, you must be excited about spring and summer being right around the corner. Are you adding a patio to your home? If so, from the flooring to the right furniture, here are some ideas that might help you to design a patio that is both unique and attractive. The Flooring – Wood would look nice, but you have to remember that it will need to be re-stained pretty often. A really good idea is to hire a concrete contractor to lay brick or flagstone for your patio floor. Another consideration is to have concrete poured for your flooring. If you choose concrete, it can be faux painted to look like cobblestone, Mexican tile, Italian marble or pretty much anything else you can come up with. Brick, flagstone and concrete are all affordable choices and they will all last for a very long time. They all weather well, too. In fact, weathering often gives those materials an attractive, subtle look. Clean any of those materials just with a broom or the garden hose. A Focal Point –  A tiered fountain as your focal point would be beautiful. Make it even more unique by surrounding it with hand-painted clay pots of different sizes and shapes. Another good focal point would be to have your concrete contractor pour a concrete foundation for a huge fireplace. A fireplace would be great on cool evenings or for roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. If you decide on the fireplace, think of combining rock and brick in the design. A heavy black wrought iron fireplace screen would be great. The Furniture – Choose anything that will weather well. Heavy wooden furniture would give your patio a rustic look. Wrought iron with filigrees in the design would set an elegant look. Outdoor wicker would set a charming, old-fashioned look. As you select your patio furniture, think about how you will be entertaining. If you like sit down meals, buy a large table and chairs. Knowing that sometimes you’ll have more intimate meals, choose a small occasional table that you can use for eating purposes. Just pull up some of the chairs from the large table setting when you need them. A great idea is to buy several rocking chairs just for relaxing. If you’re ready to get started with your patio flooring, contact commercial concrete contractors in your area for more...

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Three Questions To Ask When You Hire A Paving Contractor For Your Driveway

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Questions To Ask When You Hire A Paving Contractor For Your Driveway

An old asphalt driveway can quickly become an eyesore as weeds and grass begin to grow out of the cracks. Whether you’re thinking about selling your home or you just want to keep your curbside appeal, hiring an asphalt paving contractor to repave your driveway will quickly transform the look of the area. The first step in your mission to find the right paving contractor is to talk to your neighbors who have recently had their driveways repaved and develop a list of recommended contractors. You can then call a few of the companies on this list to get cost estimates and confirm schedule availability. Here are three valuable questions to ask during this process. What Driveways In My Area Have You Paved? Even if you’ve received a recommendation from a neighbor or two, it’s beneficial to ask each contractor about other jobs performed around the neighborhood. Any reputable paving service will be happy to provide you with this information. You can then take a drive to check out the various driveways to see how they look. It’s also ideal, if you encounter one of the home’s residents in the yard, to politely ask him or her about the level of satisfaction with the paving contractor and how he or she is liking the new driveway. Will You Pave Directly Over My Existing Driveway? Although it’s sometimes possible to apply a fresh layer of asphalt over an existing one, reputable contractors will want to see how your driveway currently looks before making this decision. When you ask this question, you should expect to be asked to supply some photos of your driveway or told that someone will visit your home to inspect the condition of the driveway to know the best approach for paving it. In the case of a severely cracked driveway, you can expect a reputable contractor to tear up the asphalt and start fresh so that there’s a solid foundation. Do You Use Subcontractors For Any Part Of The Job? Some paving contractors handle the entire project themselves, while others use subcontractors. If you’re happy with the conscientiousness shown when you speak to the contractor on the phone, it might be preferable to have this person handle the job instead of using a subcontractor. If the paving service takes the latter approach, it’s important to confirm that someone will be visiting the job during and after its completion to ensure that it’s done to the contractor’s...

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About Air-Entrained Concrete & Professional Patio Construction

Posted by on Mar 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on About Air-Entrained Concrete & Professional Patio Construction

Although a concrete patio can be constructed in many different ways, your main focuses should be high-quality products and construction so that your patio is as durable as possible. Make sure that a concrete patio will not need untimely repairs by investing in air-entrained concrete and hiring a professional for construction. This article will give you an idea of why air-entrained concrete is a good option for patio construction and why a professional is needed. The Mixing Process of Air-Entrained Concrete The process of mixing air-entrained concrete is one thing that will lead to your patio being more durable. Basically, the pavement contractor will inject air into the concrete as it is being mixed to create a lot of microscopic air bubbles. There are different qualities of air-entrained concrete, so make sure that you opt for one that has the most air bubbles. The purpose of the bubbles is to provide a space for water to go inside of when it seeps underneath the surface of your patio. The reason the air bubbles are helpful for preventing damage is due to them being able to be compressed when water flows inside of them, rather than a lot of pressure building up and causing cracks. The Problems Air-Entrained Concrete Can Prevent If you live in a cold region, a rainy day can lead to frozen water under the surface of the patio. The frozen water can thaw out and cause pressure under the aggregates that make up the surface. You don’t want pressure under the aggregates because it can lead to the surface becoming weak. You will then end up with cracks and scaling on your patio, which is unappealing and requires a repair. Hire a Professional Concrete Contractor You should hire a professional contractor because he or she will know how long to wait before laying the surface aggregates so bleeding can fully take place. Bleeding is a process in which excess water rises to the top of the concrete mixture and naturally evaporates. The point of getting rid of bleed water is to make sure it does create surface pressure and cause untimely damage. A professional will also be able to prepare the ground the right way to ensure that your patio does not end up being unlevel. Speak to a concrete professional about your desires for a patio so he or she can get the task done as soon as possible. For more information, visit sites...

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