Answering Questions About Preventing Driveway Cracks

Caring for your driveway is a critical task for ensuring that your property’s appearance and value is maintained. Unfortunately, if you are not very informed about the needs of your driveway, this task can be made far more difficult than necessary. Fortunately, if you understand these answers to three common questions about driveway maintenance, you will be better equipped to get the most from this part of your property.

How Does Sealing Prevent Cracks From Forming?

Applying a sealant to the pavement can be one of the more effective ways of protecting it from developing cracks. This is due to the sealant’s ability to prevent water from being able to seep into the concrete or asphalt. If water is allowed to get into the interior of the pavement, it can weaken it, which may make it more susceptible to developing surface cracks. By simply applying a sealant at least every couple of years, you can help to ensure the pavement is protected against moisture caused cracks.

Is Sealing The Only Option For Stopping A Driveway From Cracking?

While applying a sealant is one of the more effective ways of preventing cracks from forming, you should also be aware that regularly cleaning the pavement can also help to protect it against this problem. This stems from the fact that oil and other substances can weaken the driveway’s surface. When this occurs, it can become brittle, which will make cracking more likely. To minimize this risk, you should make it a point to rinse off the driveway every couple of weeks. This will help to remove these substances before they can cause this form of damage.

Will Deicing Chemicals Damage The Pavement?

Preventing ice from forming on the pavement is important for ensuring that you can safely use the driveway during the winter months. However, many deicing chemicals are extremely harsh on pavement, which can damage and discolor it. To help prevent this issue, you should opt for sand instead of these chemicals. Sand will help to prevent ice from forming while also helping to provide traction in the event ice does form, but it is not harsh enough to damage the pavement.

Getting the most from your paved driveway will require you to understand some of the basic steps that you should take to avoid cracks from forming. By appreciating the need to seal and rinse the pavement as well as avoiding using harsh deicing chemicals during the winter, you can help to protect your driveway from these issues. To find out more, speak with a business like Bill Mariotti Site Development Co Inc.

Tips For Repairing A Crumbling Concrete Step In The Middle Of Your Front Porch Stairs

Concrete steps are a great and durable access method for a front porch. But concrete, like any building material, can show some wear over time. If one of your front porch steps starts to crumble, the broken stair poses a safety hazard and takes away from the curb appeal of your home. The problem is particularly noticeable when it’s a middle stair flanked by healthy-looking concrete stairs on either side.

You can fix a crumbling stair on your own if you have a steady hand and some time to kill. You can find quick-setting concrete at most hardware stores but you might find more of a selection at your local concrete supply company.

There are a few key tips that can make your step-fixing process run smoothly for the best final result.

Properly Prepare and Anchor the Step

You want to make sure the crumbled step is as clean, smooth, and secured as possible before you add new concrete on top. You can start this process by using a chisel and a hammer to undercut along the rough edges where the still-healthy stair segment gives way to the crumbling section.

Use a hammer drill to drill some holes strategically in the areas where there is crumbled concrete. You can insert concrete screws into the holes using the same hammer drill. You want the screws to be positioned in areas where the existing concrete is weak enough to require filling but not too weak to support the screws, which will act as an added form of support. Make sure the screws are in deep enough that the screws will be fully submerged under the concrete once it is poured and leveled.

Finally, use a stiff wire brush to clean off any remaining debris on the step. Once the stair is clean and the mold is in place, which is described in the next section, you can use a stiff paintbrush to apply a concrete bonding adhesive to the step. Follow the package directions on application.

Take Time Setting Up Your Mold

Create a front form for your step using a piece of wood. You want the wood to be a few inches higher than you plan to pour the concrete and long enough to rest against the entire front of the step. If your stairs have a concrete railing on either side, you can cut the wood to wedge tightly between those railings to hold it in place. If you don’t have railings, you can just skip to the next step of placing cinder blocks in front of the board to hold it firmly in place.

Pro tip: spritz an even coat of cooking spray on the side of the board that will be against the fresh concrete. The spray makes it easier to pull the board away when you’re done.

Mix the Concrete to the Right Consistency and Trowel Well

Mix the concrete quickly according to package directions. Make sure the consistency is right: it should be thick enough to go on your trowel but not so thick that the concrete doesn’t drip off when you hold the trowel vertical. Think of the consistency of overly thick cake batter.

Work in sections making sure you apply and smooth one section of concrete thoroughly before moving on to the next section. Contact a business, such as the Unit Step Company, for more information.   

Home Deconstruction: Is It Worth It?

Environmentally-conscious homeowners looking to do renovations on their house face a big problem–interior demolition creates a lot of waste. That’s why deconstruction has become so popular recently. During deconstruction, contractors salvage materials such as doors, windows, and carpets and either reuse them or donate them to charity. However, though this process seems friendlier to the environment, it can cost the homeowners much more in time and money. Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether to deconstruct instead of demolish.

Time

It takes much longer to deconstruct a house rather than demolish it, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. For demolition, the demolition contractor will simply shut off the utilities, break it all down, and send it off to the dump. This whole process takes only a few days.

Deconstruction takes more time to not just scrap the interior for parts but also for the assessment of the building. In order to receive a tax deduction, homeowners will have to hire an appraiser to determine the worth of their recyclable materials. This can take some time to schedule depending on the area. When the contractors actually deconstruct the house, they have to take their time to ensure they don’t damage anything that could be donated. The whole process can take four or even five times longer than demolition.

Cost

Deconstruction also costs much more than demolition. First, because the process takes longer, deconstruction will cost more in labor. Homeowners may also have to find alternative living arrangements while their interior rooms are deconstructed. Altogether, it costs at least twice as much as demolition.

However, deconstruction can be worth the cost because the homeowners will receive a tax deduction. This tax deduction can be worth quite a bit depending on the value of the materials. Still, hiring appraisers and accountants to assess this value and prepare the necessary forms will cost money up front.

Environmental Impact

Deconstruction is better for the environment than demolition, but both processes produce waste. The materials salvaged from deconstruction are usually donated to a charity like Habitat for Humanity, which may reuse or sell them. If the materials don’t sell or aren’t reusable, they end up at the dump just like in demolition. There will also be waste from the deconstruction process because not every fixture can be recycled.

Even though deconstruction is greener, homeowners shouldn’t dwell on the fact that the inside of their homes will end up in a landfill. Hazardous materials from both deconstruction and demolition have to be properly disposed of by the demolition contractor.

The Best Choice

Deconstruction isn’t usually the best choice for homeowners who need to save money on their renovations. Though demolition produces more waste, it saves time and money. If you’re not sure whether deconstruction or demolition is a better choice for you, ask your demolition contractor about the costs and benefits of both.

3 Mistakes To Avoid When Installing A Concrete Surface

Working with concrete is hardly rocket science–a fact that tempts many homeowners into installing concrete surfaces all on their own. Those who go into this type of project without the relevant information often find themselves at a marked disadvantage. If you are planning to install a concrete surface, read on. This article will break down three of the most common mistakes people make.

Ordering too little concrete

Installing a concrete slab undeniably requires a high degree of precision. You must carefully account for the dimensions of the surface, the depth of the concrete, and many other factors. This data provides invaluable information about just how much concrete you will need. Yet by ordering only just enough concrete to meet your projected needs, you run the risk of putting yourself in a serious bind when things don’t go as planned.

No matter how diligent your efforts of calculation, unpredictable factors always manage to rear their heads. Whether to accommodate for accidental spills, last minute changes of plan, or simply human error, it pays to order more concrete than you think you’ll need. The additional expense involved will be well worth the peace of mind it brings.

Failure to account for weather

Those who are undertaking indoor projects don’t need to worry about this quite as much. But for those installing a new patio, sidewalk, or driveway, it is crucial to plan your installation around the weather. Be aware, however, that it isn’t just the chances of rain that you need to pay attention to.

You see, hot sunny weather can cause just as many problems for fresh concrete. That’s because concrete has a tendency to dry too rapidly when exposed to excessive heat. This means that the surface will become dehydrated much more quickly than the concrete deeper down. This state of affairs tends to cause the development of ugly, unwanted cracks.

You can avoid this type of nightmare scenario by scheduling your pour to occur on an overcast day of moderate temperature. If that simply isn’t possible, schedule your installation for a time in the evening, after the hottest part of the day has passed. To protect against crack formation, you may also want to look into setting up some sun shades.

Diluting the poured concrete to make it easier to spread

Troweling the surface of freshly poured concrete is a task which many amateurs struggle with. You must resist the temptation to add extra water in an attempt to soften up the concrete and make it easier to spread. While this might work in the short term, ultimately it will weaken the concrete on the surface of your slab. This in turn increases the chances of chipping, flaking, and spalling down the line. 

For more tips to help you with your concrete project, talk with a company like Pumptex Concrete Pumping.

3 Indoor Signs That Your Home’s Foundation Needs Repair

There are a number of costly repairs that homeowners must face. One such repair – that of the foundation – is a less common one, but one that can certainly cause you a whole host of issues and cost you thousands if not addressed immediately. Learn how you can catch the issue early with the three signs below.

1. Doors Begin to Jam or Fail to Close Properly

A door that suddenly jams or fails to latch can cause a number of issues, and it can also be caused by a number of factors. The most common factor is a foundation that’s in need of repair which is why this sign should never be ignored.

As the foundation shifts, the frames of your doors will be affected. This will cause the frame to shift, and the door will no longer fit within the frame as it’s supposed to. If this has suddenly become a problem for you, it’s time to call in a contractor to assess the sitatuion and determine whether it’s a foundation issue or not.

2. Windows Close Unevenly or Not at All

If you’re having trouble with a window that once easily closed, you may assume that the window was shoddy and that the problem lies with the window’s improper installation. There could, however, be a more serious problem.

If the foundation of your home is in need of repair, your window frames may become misaligned. This usually occurs slowly, so you may not notice a drastic difference simply by looking at the window. You will notice, however, that the window is now difficult to open or close, or the window no longer closes all the way (the rail does not sit in the sill).

3. Cracks Appear on the Walls or Floor

Cracks are the tell-tale sign of a damaged foundation and should be taken very seriously.

Overtime, the foundation of your home can shift. This can cause damage to your home’s structure and will be seen in the walls and floors of the home in the form of cracks. These cracks can occur anywhere, though they’re more likely to appear in the corners, above doorways, and where the walls and floors meet.

As a homeowner, you expect a reasonable amount of repairs to be required throughout the lifetime of your home. The necessary repair of your home’s foundation, however, may crop up unexpectedly and leave you with costly issues. The above three signs will provide you with the insight necessary to catch foundation issues early. Contact a contractor, like S&W Concrete, for more help.

How To Repair And Resurface A Concrete Patio

Concrete is a highly durable material, but after time, it can crack and crumble with changing weather and temperatures. If your concrete is just beginning to crack or looks a little rough, the good news is that it can be repaired and resurfaced. If, however, your concrete is already crumbling and in really bad shape, you may want to think about having a new concrete patio put in for you by a professional concrete contractor. See below for instructions on how to repair and resurface your patio.

Repairing Concrete

  • Cracks. For small cracks in your concrete, you can use a concrete fill. This is similar to a caulk and is easy to use. First, clean out the crack so it’s free of weeds or grass. Use a weed killer for this, then pull out the dead weeds/grass once dry. Use a broom to clean out any loose concrete or other debris (you can also use a shop vacuum for this as well). Finally, read the manufacturer’s directions on the concrete crack fill. For larger cracks, you may need to fill in the cracks using a concrete mix. Spread it into the crack using a small shovel and even it out using a putty knife. Allow either crack fill you use to dry completely before using the patio.
  • Stains. Concrete is very porous, so it can stain easily. If your concrete has stains from mold or algae, first try to use a power washer to get up most of the dirt and debris. Then use a mild detergent such as dish soap mixed with warm water and a soft scrub brush to try and get the stain out. For tougher stains such as oil or grease stains, look at your local hardware store for a concrete wash and follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Resurfacing Concrete

If the overall appearance of your concrete is looking a little rough from everyday use, you can resurface the entire area using a concrete resurfacer. You can find this at your local hardware store. Be sure to read the package to see how to use it, as well as how much you’ll need to use depending on the size of your patio. Be sure to clean your patio thoroughly using a power washer and cleaning agent, and repair any cracks in your patio before applying the resurfacer. Spread the concrete resurfacer evenly onto your patio in a thin layer using a squeegee. Allow the concrete to dry and set thoroughly before using your patio.

Be sure to maintain your concrete to keep it looking like new and prevent it from breaking down. Maintain your concrete by sweeping it often to keep debris such as grass clippings and leaves off of it, and clean it a few times per year using a hose and a mild detergent.

If your concrete patio is looking a little used and abused, try to repair and resurface it before it gets too bad and needs to be replaced. Contact concrete contractors in your area for more info.

Ask These Questions When You Schedule Concrete Delivery

When you have a sizable project that requires concrete, it’s a far better idea to hire a concrete delivery service than try to handle the job yourself. On your own, you’ll need to carry heavy bags of dried concrete mix, mix them with water and then grade the concrete, all while working quickly before it sets. A concrete delivery service, meanwhile, will visit your home with a large truck, and then pour and level the concrete based on your specifications. To be a fully informed customer, as well as make sure you’re hiring the right company for the job, it’s a good idea to ask these questions.

Can You Help Me Estimate My Concrete Needs?

The average person will often have trouble estimating exactly how much concrete he or she will need for the job, and the last thing you want to do is not order enough or order too much. Any reputable concrete service will work with you to help come up with an accurate idea of how much concrete you’ll need. The representative on the phone will listen as you describe your job in detail and will likely ask you to perform a series of measurements — for example, the length and width of the area if you’re getting a slab poured or repaired — so that the truck will come with the right amount.

Is My Yard Configuration Conducive To Concrete Delivery?

You’ll need to be sure that the layout of your yard will work for having concrete delivered. If your project is in the front yard, there will likely be no issues, but a backyard project can be more difficult to reach. Talk about the layout of your yard — providing measurements of openings, if asked — so that the company’s rep will be able to confirm that concrete delivery is feasible. If the crew can’t access the job site with a truck, it may use a smaller mixer to get the job done for you.

What Do You Need Me To Do Before You Arrive?

It’s beneficial to ask about what steps you can take to make the job go smoother — and possibly save you money by reducing the amount of time that the concrete service crew needs to spend on your job. Depending on the location of the project, for example, you might be asked to trim some overhead trees that could be in the way or even remove a panel of fencing to provide access. Confirming this information will ensure the job can be done without delays.

For more information about preparing for this kind of project, contact a company like Jersons Concrete.

Why You Carefully Consider Acid-Stained Concrete For Your Renovation

Do you have renovation plans? If so, acid-stained concrete could be an ideal material for you to consider. Its visual appeal makes it ideal for a variety of outdoor and indoor renovation projects. The following points will help you to better understand this type of concrete stain and why it is gaining popularity among property owners.  

Overview of Acid Staining Process

Contractors use a mixture of acid-soluble metallic salts, water, and hydrochloric acid to create the stain used for this type of project. When the acidic mixture is applied to concrete slabs, it changes the color of them. This is a chemical reaction, and therefore, the resulting stain will not have a solid, uniform color. The complexity of the appearance is what attracts some people to this type staining. The acid stain mixture must dry, and then a sealant is applied on top of it. 

If you have a project that will involve pouring new concrete, there will be a waiting period before the acid stain can be applied. This is because the freshly poured concrete will need to completely cure before it can withstand the acid mixture. 

Durability

The acid stain mixture is not considered a coating material. This means that it will not flake, chip, or peel away from the concrete slab. When it is applied, it becomes part of the concrete. which means you can expect a semi-permanent effect.

Quick Flooring Improvement

As long as the slab you intend to stain is in good condition, there will be no need to replace the concrete. This means that acid-stained concrete is a viable solution for outdated or worn carpet and other types of flooring. 

Hypoallergenic

The sealant that is applied to the concrete in the final stage may inhibit the accumulation of allergens such as mold, dust, and pollen. This means that if you have allergy prone individuals in your family, removing carpet and opting for this type of flooring solution can make cleaning easy and help reduce allergy flare-ups.

Slip Resistant Options

Depending upon the area you intend to stain, you may want to choose a sealant that offers slip resistance. For example, garage floors may be exposed to liquids leaking from vehicles that could cause someone to slip. Opting for a sealant that has a sandlike material infused in it can ensure beautiful floors as well as safety.  

A concrete contractor (such as one from AAA Concrete Construction Inc) is a good resource to use for stained concrete projects. They can offer you additional concrete staining options including customized solid colors. 

3 Reasons To Consider Concrete Floors For Your Home

One of the best flooring materials that you can utilize for your home is concrete, mostly because this type of flooring can provide a range of benefits that other materials would hard-pressed to match. Listed below are just a few of the reasons to consider concrete floors for your home. 

Benefits The Environment

A major reason to consider concrete flooring is that it can actually be quite good for the environment. This is especially true if your house is already built on a concrete slab. In that situation, no new materials will be required to create your floors, you can simply hire a concrete contractor to give your concrete slab whatever staining, texture, or shine that you desire.

Another way that concrete flooring can help the environment is that it retains hot and cold air very well. This means that your floors will remain warm or cool for a while after your heating or cooling system turns off, which can reduce your need to keep the heating and cooling units on as long, which will result in your household using less electricity.

Creates A Healthier Home Environment

One of the biggest benefits provided by a concrete floor is that it can help make your home into a much healthier environment for you and your family. The primary reason for this is that concrete floors are not conducive to mold development or growth. This means that you will not have to worry about mold spreading throughout your house and leading to all kinds of health issues, such as allergic reactions or trouble breathing. 

In addition, bacteria is not an issue for concrete flooring either as the bacteria does not really have anywhere to hide with concrete floors. With carpeting, the bacteria can sink deep into the carpet’s fibers and spread. This bacteria can then lead to foul odors throughout your home and possible health complications.

Requires Less Maintenance

Finally, you should consider a concrete floor if you want to be able to cut down on your daily house cleaning. The reason for this is that you do not really need to worry about the concrete staining inside your home as most spills can easily be mopped up without leaving any residue behind.

In addition, there is no need to vacuum or wax the floors, you only need to deal with sweeping and mopping. Also, when you do mop your concrete floors, no special cleaners are required, you can simply use warm water and soap.

Contact a concrete contractor today in order to discuss the many benefits of installing a concrete floor throughout your home. These floors can be good for the environment, healthier for your family, and require less maintenance. To elarn more, contact a company like Garrett Concrete Cutting, Coring & Sawing Inc – Chino

Have Your Concrete And Be Green Too

Concrete has been seen in some circles as being a green material for building. However, there have been naysayers who look at the fact that the production of cement accounts for approximately 6 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions per year. Considering the versatility, durability and low cost of the material ($3.25 to $5.25 per square foot), the idea that it might be adding to an increasing problem of global warming may make it seem less desirable to you.

However, if you are building a business place and you are concerned about the environmental impact of the materials that you choose to use, there are ways in which you can still use concrete and get the green effect that you desire. 

Cement it

The biggest contribution of carbon emission from concrete production is from the cement. Making it and then transporting it includes the burning of fossil fuels. However, a fairly new type of cement not only reduces the carbon emissions from making the cement, but actually helps to remove waste carbon dioxide that would ordinarily be released into the atmosphere. Since carbon dioxide (CO2) is responsible for about 80 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., this process is a step in the right direction. The process uses a method that is called bio-mimicry where it makes CO2 and dissolves it with sea water in a process similar to how coral reefs are made.

Another environmentally friendly cement substitute is that of fly ash cement, which is made as a by-product from coal-burning plants. This substance can be mixed with lime and water to produce a concrete that is strong and durable. Since 75 percent of this used to end up in landfills, this may be a great way for you to help save the planet.

Use a substitute

There are benefits to be had with using a concrete substitute that is environmentally friendly. These benefits can even extend beyond the clear conscience that you are likely to have in doing your part to reduce your contribution to the carbon emissions, as you can get credits for using up to 25 percent concrete aggregates as a foundation in your concrete mixture. The applicable concrete mixtures include papercrete or fibercrete, which are made from waste paper mixed with cement. This is a green alternative since less cement is used.

Other options in concrete alternatives include foam crete, ceramicrete and grasscrete. The aim behind these methods is to utilize less cement in the concrete mixture so that your building would require less energy and therefore decrease the amount of carbon emissions that can be attributed to your project. Contact commercial concrete contractors for more information.