Learning about Concrete Contractors

How To Use Concrete To Make Your Country Playscape Unique

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Have you decided that you want to raise your children out in the country? If so, you may be wanting to create a playscape that will help to provide outdoor adventures for your children. Think about contacting a professional who specializes in concrete work. Consider having some ideas to present to the commercial concrete contractor so he or she will better understand what you have in mind. Here are some ideas that might inspire you to create something unique and fun.  For example, concrete contractors to pour a hardscape path that winds around your property will give your kids access to fun bike rides and a place to do some fancy roller blading. Another fun idea is to have the contractor design a concrete play pod in an unusual shape like a huge flower, a geometric shape like an octagon or a hexagon, or even in the shape of the state in which you reside. That area would be great for skating, tricycle play, and even for simple fun like hop scotch, Tic-Tack-Toe games, and drawing with sidewalk chalk. Consider asking the contractor to do a square section apart from the main area that can be set up for a huge game of chess or checkers. Think about hiring gifted artisans who specialize in faux painting to do your game designs for you.  It would also be good to have a separate area that would contain a table and chairs so the kids can have picnics and tea parties. The same artisans can make the concrete look like wooden flooring, bricks, or almost anything else your mind can imagine. Think about covering this part of the playscape so there will be protection from rain and the rays of the sun. If you have the space, think about including a concrete court that will be used for games like tennis, volleyball or badminton. Finally, think about asking the contractor to create a separate a space that will be designated for grass or another ground cover that lends itself to games like dodge ball, tag and other activities where a soft landing is good if somebody takes a fall. The great part about using concrete in your playscape plans is that it’s very affordable and it will last for a very long time. In addition, it’s easy to care for, as all you have to do is spray it with a garden hose to clean it. The kids will think that’s just part of the...

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Dressing Up Your Driveway With Stamped Concrete

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If you are looking for a way to change the appearance of a drab looking driveway, you may have considered using concrete as a medium. Concrete is extremely durable and has a pleasing look that many desire in a driveway setting. Adding imprints to the concrete as it is placed can give the aesthetics a whole new look. Here are some basic instructions on how to add decorative stamping to a concrete driveway to make the surface one that is unique from everyone else’s in your neighborhood. Enlist Some Help You will need to enlist help from a concrete contractor to create your driveway as making your own concrete is too difficult and expensive for a large project like this. Calling a driveway paving service is another alternative if you wish to have someone else place the stamping pattern in your driveway for you as part of the process.  Select A Design Concrete stamps come in a variety of patterns. Many people like the look of rock, brick, or cobblestone on a driveway. Using stamps in concrete allows you to have the look of a more expensive medium without having to pay steep prices. Stamps come in sets so you can place more than one down at a time, alternating patterns and directions of the tools in the process so you have a unique look as a result. Prepare The Area Before concrete can be poured, a mold should be placed on each side of your existing driveway. This can be constructed of wooden boards. These will help contain the concrete so it does not spill out into portions of your yard, leaving you with crisp, straight edges instead. Brush some vegetable oil on the interior portions of the boards so they can be easily removed after the concrete has cured. Add The Impressions Stamping equipment can be rented at a tool rental service. Lay the stamps out in the pattern you desire so you can work quickly to make the impressions. Sprinkle a powdered releasing agent on the concrete to help keep the tools from sticking when you pull them back out of the concrete. Press each on down into the concrete, working your way from one side of the driveway to the other.  Start a new row and continue until all tools are placed. Go back to the first one you had placed and remove it from the concrete. Set it down on the ground and follow suit with the remaining stampers until your pattern is laid out in front of you once again. Continue imprinting and removing the stamps until you reach the end of your driveway. After the concrete hardens, you can paint the driveway if desired. To learn more, contact a residential paving company like Asphalt Industries...

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Repairing A Poured Concrete Foundation Crack With Epoxy

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Poured concrete foundations can become cracked as the house settles into the ground. When the concrete cracks, water from rain, and snow melt can leak through the openings and flood the basement. To prevent this type of flooding, you need to seal the crack to keep the water out. Here is how you can seal cracks in poured concrete foundations. You Will Need: Concrete Crack Sealing Kit Wire Brush Injection Ports Caulk Gun Hair Dryer Hacksaw Hammer Nails Utility Knife Putty Knife Prepare Cracks Step 1: Clean out the crack to remove any debris that could interfere with the ability of the epoxy to cling to the foundation walls. Run a trowel up and down the crack to scrap away the broken pieces of concrete.   Step 2: After you scrap the crack clean, use a wire brush to smooth the exterior surface of the crack. Step 3: If you see moisture in the crack, you’ll need to dry the crack before you apply the epoxy. You can use a hair dryer to dry the crack. Step 4: Place small nails about a foot apart from each other into the crack. The nails should be thin and long enough to slip the injector ports over them. The injector ports are hollow pieces of plastic that come with the concrete crack sealing kit. and you’ll shoot epoxy though them to fill the inside of the crack using a tube of epoxy and a caulk gun.  Apply Epoxy to the Surface Before you apply epoxy, slip the injection ports over the nails you put in the crack.  Apply epoxy to the surface of the crack. You want to push the epoxy into the crack for about a half an inch to an inch to get a good seal. Spread the epoxy over the base of the injection ports. Remove the nail once the base of the port is secured to the crack. Spread the epoxy so it covers the entire length of the crack. You also want the epoxy to extend about an inch on both sides of the crack. Use a paint brush dipped in mineral spirits to smooth the crack and feather out the edges. Wait until the epoxy on the surface dries before you inject epoxy into the crack (about a day). Applying Epoxy into the Crack Place a tube of epoxy into a caulk gun. Cut the tip of the tube with a utility knife. The tip should be cut flat so it fits over the injection port. Start at the bottom of the crack. Remove the nail in injector port, slide the epoxy tube over the injection port, and squeeze the handle on the caulk gun. Stop squeezing the handle when you see epoxy start to come out of the injection port above the one you are working on. Plug the injection port with a plastic cap that come with the ports. Move to the injection port above the one you just filled and repeat the process. Keep on repeating the process until you get to the top of the crack. Cut the injection ports off with a hacksaw after the epoxy dries. The drying time takes about a week. For assistance with foundation crack repair, talk to a...

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Finishing Your Basement: What To Expect

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If you have an unfinished basement, the world is your oyster when it comes to refinishing. While the work may be extensive, there are many benefits to being able to utilize this square footage to the fullest. Learn what to expect when you finish your basement so you can be prepared for the process. Concrete cutting If you want your basement to have an exit door so you can walk outside from this living space, you will have to hire a concrete contractor to do the job. A concrete contractor uses special concrete cutting tools to remove your concrete walls so you can put in steps to lead you up from your underground living space to the outside via a patio or basic door. They then lay a concrete pad or steps outside your door so you can have outdoor space to utilize when you step outside. Part of the concrete cutting process is making precision cuts along your concrete pad to help prevent stress fractures in your cement. This process can cost anywhere between $2,500 to $5,500, and makes your basement more efficient and safe in having an exit to the outside of your home. Sheetrock and painting Exposed beams and pipes can make your basement less desirable to be in. Simply installing sheet rock and decorative paint can make a world of difference. A contractor will install sheetrock for you, and place insulation between your home’s structure and the sheet rock to help keep heat in and cold and moisture out of your basement. If you have exposed cement walls, you can choose to sheetrock this area as well to make the area more comfortable. Carpeting Carpeting can be tricky in a basement. You want carpet that is comfortable to walk on, but also functional in style. Since your basement is an area that is prone to flooding, especially if your main sewer pipes are housed in your basement, you want to make sure you choose carpet that is easy to clean and care for. Commercial carpeting is often a wise choice for basements, and comes in a variety of stylish patterns and colors. You may want to leave a wash room or storage area free of carpeting and paint your concrete with slick-proof paint in these areas instead to help prevent stains and other types of damage in these high-traffic areas. When finishing your basement, you want to make sure you are ready for all the renovations that will need to be done to make this space more livable. From choosing the right carpeting to hiring a concrete contractor to cut out a doorway for you, your basement will require a lot of work to make it ideal for living in. The results will be worth it and you can enjoy all the square footage of your home once the project is...

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Three Brick Road Patterns You Can Achieve With A Brick Layer Machine

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It used to take concrete contractors weeks to lay down individual bricks and have them interlace in complex patterns to create patios, driveways, walkways and even brick roads. A recent bit of modern engineering, a brick layer machine, takes bricks of all sizes and colors and interlaces them before slowly laying down and entire grid of bricks in a wet concrete base. The machine can be programmed to make three different patterns, all of which your concrete contractor can program the machine to do. If you are interested in shortening the time necessary to lay this type of interlaced brick driveway or walkway, ask your concrete contractor if he or she has such a machine. Then choose from one of the following three patterns. The Chevron Bricks of your color choice are fed into the Tiger Stone paving machine, where the crew lays a row of bricks across the top and continues to feed rows of bricks into the machine. As the paving machine slowly backs up, a long, slanted shovel in front lays down the bricks that were interlaced inside the machine and now form the chevron pattern. All of the bricks, except those on the outside edges, are laced end to end and side to side. Triangular bricks fill the holes along the straight edges where the chevron pattern meets the edges and leaves the large triangular holes. The L-Shape Rectangles and Columns This simplified but very decorative pattern involves several straight lines of bricks, which can be a different color from the rest of the bricks used to create a very dynamic and colorful paved surface. In between these straight rows of bricks, the paving machine weaves a slightly more complex pattern that creates capital L-shaped patterns in rectangular columns. It is a very nice way to create bike lanes or walking paths, and in the same time that the paving machine would lay any of the other two patterns it can be programmed to create and lay. The Classic Brick Wall Look–Horizontally The final pattern that this modern marvel of concrete construction creates is the classic brick wall look. Just like the chevron and L-shape rectangle patterns, bricks are fed into the top of the machine, row by row, by the concrete contractor’s crew. As the machine backs up, the bricks are pulled into the machine, laid on top of each other, and then gently expelled downward into a horizontal wall on the ground. It is the simplest of all three patterns, although the paving machine makes any of the patterns look like child’s play. Contact a company like Planit Dirt, Inc. for more...

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4 Tips For Creating A Memory Garden For Your Loved One

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If you have lost a loved one, you can make a beautiful garden at your home in their memory. This not only gives you a beautiful area of your yard, but gives you a place to go to feel close to that person, and to think on all the wonderful memories you have of them. To create a memory garden, follow the four tips below. Get the Garden Ready Choose an area of your yard that gets sun most of the day, as many flowers require this. You may want to consider placing the flower garden in an area of your yard where you can be alone. Once you decide on the place, you need to determine how large you want the flower garden to be, and then build it. Building a new flower garden is a lot of hard work, so consider asking friends and family members of the person that passed away to help you. Plant Flowers Visit your local garden center to find flowers for your memory garden, and then plant them. Purchase flowers your loved one would have liked, or choose flowers by their favorite colors. Plant a mixture of perennials and annuals. Perennial flowers come back each year on their own, and annual flowers die at the end of each season. Invite friends of your loved one to bring a start from the flowers in their flower gardens to include in the memory garden. If your loved one had a garden of their own, transplant a few of their flowers to your memory garden. Build a Garden Pathway Build a pathway that you can use to walk to your memory garden. This could be something as simple as decorative stone chips. Add a large stone edging on each side of the pathway to keep the stone chips in place. You could use concrete pavers to make a unique walkway. You can find concrete pavers in almost any color you could want because pigments and color dyes can be added to the concrete while it is being manufactured. If you have a small pathway, you can purchase ready mix concrete at any home improvement store that you can add color to and make your own pavers. No matter what type you use, you should use a color sealant on the colored concrete to keep the color from fading. Add a Cement Stepping Stone Add a cement stepping stone in the garden with a quote dedicated to your loved one. You can purchase these stepping stones at most home improvement stores. You can also purchase kits that allow you to create your own cement stone and personalize it yourself. To make your memory garden eve more peaceful, add a bird bath or a garden bench. Consider adding a small statue, or you could add a statue water...

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2 Ways A Concrete Pump Can Help Your New Concrete Business Succeed

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If you just started up a concrete business, you should consider purchasing a concrete pump and adding it to your equipment. Here are two ways a concrete pump could help your business succeed. You Can Help Get To Hard To Reach Locations One of the biggest advantages of adding a concrete pump to your equipment is that you will be able to get to hard to reach locations. When you only have a traditional concrete truck, you can only deliver to locations you can easily back your truck up to. This severely limits the types of jobs you can accept and the type of projects that you can do. With a concrete pump, you will be able to go to sites that are harder to get to. You will no longer be restricted to working job sites where you can just pull up and dump the concrete. A pump will allow you to deliver concrete several yards away from where your truck is located. This will allow your company to take on jobs where concrete is required underground; you can easily set up a concrete pump to reach an underground building site, such as a basement or parking garage. You will also be able to take on jobs where concrete is required up high. Concrete pumps can be used to deliver concrete above ground level, so you can take on jobs where concrete is needed on multiple levels. You can even run a concrete pump through buildings. For example, if a courtyard needed pavement that was enclosed between multiple buildings, you could use the concrete pumps to get the concrete to the site. With a concrete pump, you will no longer be restricted to delivering concrete to sites that you can pull up to; you will be able to take on contracts for more complex jobs and expand your business. You Can Deliver Concrete Without Worrying About Damaging Construction Sites The second way a concrete pump can help your business is that you will be able to reduce the chance that your concrete truck will cause harm to a construction site that you are doing contract work at. It can be difficult to navigate a concrete truck through jobs sites; it is a huge piece of machinery that needs a lot of room. With a concrete pump, you will be able to park your truck someone safe, and easily navigate the smaller pump through the construction site to the final location. This will help reduce the risk of damage to the construction site and to your vehicle. A concrete pump will allow your business to grow more quickly than if you only invest in a simple concrete truck. A concrete pump will allow you to take on a wide variety of contracts, and increase the number of contractors you can work with and jobs that you can do. It is a smart business move if you want your business to continue to grow.  To learn more, contact a company like Masterlink Concrete Pumping ...

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Remove Leaf Stains From Your Patio This Weekend With Basic Household Supplies

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One of the best parts about fall are all the beautiful leaves. However, just because you appreciate looking at the leaves as they fall down does not mean you want your concrete stained with leaf shapes. You can easily remove the leaf stains on your concrete with a couple of basic supplies and a little bit of free time. Gather Up Your Supplies Most of the supplies you need for this project are items that you should be able to easily find around your home. You will need powdered dishwasher detergent, bleach, a large bucket and a stiff scrub-brush to clean with. You will need either a power washer or a garden hose with a spray attachment. Since you will be working with bleach, you may also want to wear some old clothing that you don’t mind splashing bleach on. Clean Off Your Patio The first thing you need to do is clean off your patio. Take out your push broom and clean off any leaves and debris that are hanging around. Or, you can use your pressure washer or garden hose with a spray attachment to remove any leaves and debris on your patio. Use The Powdered Dishwasher Detergent Next, once your patio is clean, you need to get it damp if you didn’t use water to clean your patio with. Hose down your patio with a garden hose or pressure washer. Then, take the container of dishwasher detergent and scatter the detergent over any areas where you have leaf stains on your patio. Let the detergent soak into the cement for at least five to ten minutes. Scrub It Off After the detergent has sat for ten minutes, use your scrub brush to scrub the areas where the leaf stains are located. Scrub in a circular motion and then scrub back and forth. You should scrub each leaf stain for at least a minute or two before moving on to the next stain. After you have scrubbed all the leaf stains, rinse off the dishwasher detergent with your hose or with your pressure washer. If the stain is still present, let some more powdered dishwasher detergent sit on the stain and then scrub it again. The stains will come off more easily if you remove them when they are fresh. Attack Tough Stains With Bleach If you are not able to get to the leaf stains on your patio when they are fresh, and they are able to soak into your patio, you may need to attack them with bleach. You only need to use a bleach solution on really tough stains that will not come out with the powdered dishwasher detergent. Due to how strong the bleach is, you’ll want to dilute it with water. Pour the bleach mixture onto the leaf stain and let it soak in for five to ten minutes. Then, scrub the stain with a brush. Finally, rinse off your patio to remove the bleach. If you need to use the bleach to clean your stains, you may want to clean your entire patio with the bleach. This will prevent one area of your patio getting stained lighter than the rest due to the bleach. You should be able to clean the leaf stains off your patio without making a trip to the...

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Removing An Old Concrete Driveway With A Sledgehammer And Concrete Saw

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If your older home has a concrete driveway that is at the end of its life, then you will be pleased to know that you can remove it. While this project is very physical, the tools can be operated by any able-bodied person with a willing spirit. This project requires the following: a walk-behind concrete saw a sledgehammer a long pry bar Follow these steps to remove your old concrete driveway: Note: You need to rent a construction dumpster that is approved for concrete recycling to complete this project. Place all of the concrete and rebar from your home’s old driveway into the dumpster so that it can be recycled into clean fill for a construction site. Step 1: Dress in Appropriate Clothing for Concrete Removal Since breaking up concrete can be a messy and dangerous project, it is important that you wear appropriate clothing to protect yourself during the process. You should wear long pants and a long-sleeve shirt, work boots, and a dust mask that is rated for concrete dust. In addition, you will be handling broken pieces of concrete, so you should wear a thick pair of leather gloves to protect your hands. Step 2: Break the Concrete with the Sledgehammer The easiest way to break up the old driveway is to hit it with a large sledgehammer. While you can cut it with the concrete saw, breaking it up first will save a lot of time and will prevent the blades on the saw from becoming dull halfway through your project. Step 3: Remove the Smaller Pieces of Concrete Once you have chunks of the old driveway that you can safely carry, you should pry them out using the pry bar and place them into the recycling dumpster. If you alternate breaking and moving material into the dumpster, then you will be able to work longer, and your body will more easily tolerate the physical labor. Step 4: Cut the Rebar Sections with the Concrete Saw Your concrete driveway is likely to have rebar inside of it that was meant to keep it strong. You should cut through the rebar with the concrete saw. The diamond blade on the concrete saw will easily cut through the metal. Step 5: Remove the Rest of the Concrete Finally, you should place the rest of the concrete and rebar materials into the recycling dumpster. Once all of the material is in the dumpster, then you can have the waste removal company retrieve their...

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How to Fix Cracking and Peeling Concrete Caulk

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If the caulk in your concrete patio keeps cracking and peeling. You can fix your caulking for good by using this simple and professional method. Remove The Cracking Caulk The first thing you are going to need to do remove all the old, cracking caulking. The removal method depends on the type of caulking that is inside of your concrete. The most common types of caulking are latex, silicone or polyurethane. If you don’t know what type of caulking is in your concrete, start with the latex removal method. Latex Caulking Removal. To remove caulking made of latex, you need to pour a caulking remover you purchased from your local hardware store. You will need to let it sit for a couple of hours. After the remover has sat for a couple of hours, use a putty knife to dig out the remaining caulking. Silicone And Polyurethane Removal. For silicone and polyurethane caulking, you’ll need to purchase mineral spirits. Pour the mineral spirits on the caulking, and then remove it with a putty knife. If the caulking is difficult to remove, you may need to repeat this process. Make sure you remove at least the top inch of old caulking; you don’t have to get all the way down to the bottom of the caulking, but you do need to remove the top inch. Insert The Rod In between each crack in the concrete, you need to insert a backer rod. You may need to use the putty knife to push the backer rod into the crack. The backer rod needs to be wide enough to fit in between the crack and fit tightly. The rod will help keep the new caulk that you apply in place. It will prevent additional cracking in the future. Apply The Caulk Once the rod is in place, you’ll need to apply the caulking. Make sure the caulking is designed specifically for concrete. Carefully apply the caulking; make sure that you keep the beads of caulking smooth. You can use a plastic spoon to smooth out the caulking. Allow the caulking to dry according to the instructions on the package; don’t walk on the caulking until that time has passed in order to allow it to cure properly.  By removing all the old caulking and adding the backer rod when you apply the new caulking, you’ll create a stronger surface for the new caulking. The new caulking should stay in place and should not crack. If you’re looking to purchase concrete products,...

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