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Five Things To Consider When Deciding Whether Or Not To Finish Your Basement

Posted by on Jan 3, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Five Things To Consider When Deciding Whether Or Not To Finish Your Basement

The functionality of your basement will be severely limited if it is unfinished. Of course, finishing a basement is a big project that could be expensive and should only be carried out for very clear reasons. The following are five factors you should be considering when you’re deciding if you want to finish your basement or leave it unfinished.  Space availability Probably the number one consideration is whether you need more habitable rooms in your home. Are you in need of a room that will function as a bedroom or office?  If space is limited in the floors above, you can finish your basement to get some extra living space. However, if you’ve already got excessive space on your ground level and in your upstairs rooms, an unfinished basement to help you store some things might really be all you need. Your home’s resale value Even if you’ve got enough space for you and/or your family in your home, that doesn’t mean the next owners won’t be in need of more space. Of course, if they need it they’ll also be willing to pay for it. Finishing your basement could drastically increase the resale value of your home and make your home much more attractive to potential buyers when it comes time to sell. Consider finishing your basement if you know you’ll need to put your home on the market at some point in the near future. HVAC considerations If you finish your basement, you’re going to want to heat and cool it. Unfortunately, some basements are difficult to heat and cool and will cause a HVAC system to consume much more fuel. Evaluate the layout of your basement- or have a HVAC expert do it- to determine how feasible it will be to heat and cool your basement before deciding whether or not you want to finish it. The costs of finishing Consider the overall dimensions of your basement and try to assess the costs of finishing it before deciding. If your basement is large, you might consider partially finishing it to get a little extra living space without having to make the full investment. Income potentials One big reason for finishing a basement is to have some space to rent out for a little bit of extra income every month. Renting out a basement area is especially profitable if your basement has a separate entrance and a bathroom. This can make it convenient to rent out the space without having to worry about a roomer intruding in your own living areas. For more information regarding the functionality of your basement, contact businesses such as Hanover Concrete...

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Can a Permeable Concrete Driveway Help You Do Your Part for the Environment?

Posted by on Nov 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Can a Permeable Concrete Driveway Help You Do Your Part for the Environment?

There are various types of concrete out there. When you call up a contractor about using concrete for your driveway or walkway, you should know a little about what kind of concrete they typically use. One type you may want to consider, or suggest, is pervious concrete. Pervious, or permeable, concrete is a green solution for driveways for many reasons. Pervious Concrete Helps Your Local Environment Your local environment consists of your property, the properties around you, and other parts of the municipality. Everyone there shares resources. Your driveway can help not just you, but everybody around you as well. Here’s a few ways how. Dealing with storm water – Pervious concrete has a lot more porosity than many other concrete mixtures. This can aid homeowners with dealing with storm water runoff. Instead of storm water creating puddles or flowing down to the public water, it can drain into the ground. Dealing with storm water runoff is a larger problem to the world at large, but a pervious concrete driveway or walkway can help you do your part. Dealing with surface water – It’s not just the storm water that pervious concrete can help with. At a more local level, the dangers of runoff come with all uses of water. This goes for you using a hose, a sprinkler system, or a power washer. Some of that water will drain into the ground. When the ground becomes saturated, that water will flow downhill. As it does so, it will pick up contaminants, debris, and other things you and your neighbors probably don’t want to end up in the public water supply. Replenishing the water table – Pervious concrete mitigates a lot of this by allowing water to drain through it, rather than slide down it. In fact, the concrete will act as a filter for the water. That means you will effectively replenish the water table below your home with clean water. That benefits you, your neighborhood, and the land itself. Controlling the heat-island effect – Driveways are notorious for producing a localized version of the heat-island effect. This occurs when your driveway absorbs heat and traps it. This causes the driveway and the immediate area around it to feel far hotter than anywhere else. When permeable concrete is in place, the ground below your driveway maintains a moist, cool environment. This helps to counteract the heat-island effect. Doing Your Part Benefits Everyone Around You Doing your part for your local environment will, in turn, benefit the overall global initiatives for the environment. Even if you don’t have much interest in the environment, pervious concrete is still an ideal material for your driveway or walkway. When seeking concrete for your new driveway, ask about permeable concretes. If you’re hiring a contractor, ask them if they have experience with using such concrete for...

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3 Tips To Prevent Concrete Lawn Decorations From Growing Mold And Mildew

Posted by on Jul 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips To Prevent Concrete Lawn Decorations From Growing Mold And Mildew

If you have concrete lawn decorations on your property, you might love the way that they look. Unfortunately, you probably will not love them as much if mold and/or mildew begin to grow on them. Luckily, following these tips can help you prevent your lawn decorations from growing mold and mildew. 1. Have Your Lawn Decorations Sealed First of all, before you find the perfect spot for your concrete lawn decorations, it’s a good idea to have them thoroughly sealed with a spray-on sealer, such as an acrylic spray. This will help protect your lawn decorations from the elements, and it will make it easier for you to thoroughly clean them, too. It can also help your lawn decorations to maintain their appearance for longer. Check out a home improvement store or a craft store to look for a spray-on sealant that is approved for use on concrete. 2. Keep Out of Overly Moist, Warm Areas Beware of placing your concrete lawn decorations in overly moist, warm areas, such as in a shady area that is close to a koi pond or other water feature. Warmth and moisture can encourage the growth of mold and mildew, so if you can avoid placing your concrete lawn decorations in these types of areas, it can be best for preventing mold and mildew. However, if you do place them in these types of areas, just know that you will need to keep a closer eye out for growth. 3. Give Them a Thorough Cleaning Regularly It’s always a good idea to clean your concrete lawn decorations on a regular basis. For a basic, quick cleaning, you can simply spray them off with a water hose. Every now and then, however, they may need a more thorough cleaning with a stiff brush and a mixture of dish soap and water. If you do notice mold or mildew growth, mix together a mixture of diluted bleach (you can find the appropriate proportions on the back of the bottle or jug of bleach, since some formulas are concentrated while others are not) and use it to kill the mold or mildew. If you are worried about mold or mildew growing on your concrete lawn decorations, you do have a legitimate concern. However, you can continue to enjoy your decorations without worrying about mold and mildew if you follow these tips. Then, you can keep your decorations looking fantastic. Visit a website like to learn...

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Answers To Two Common Questions About Concrete Curing

Posted by on May 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Answers To Two Common Questions About Concrete Curing

In order to end up with an attractive appearance and long-lasting stability, a concrete surface must be properly cured. Yet few outside of the concrete industry understand how the curing process works. If you have plans to install a new concrete surface on your property, and would like to learn more about curing, read on. This article will answer two commonly asked questions. Why is concrete curing so important? Curing is one of the most essential facets of the concrete installation process. Unless properly cured, a concrete surface will end up being way too weak. Strong concrete depends on the formation of crystals inside of the concrete mass. These crystals act as a binding substance, helping to hold together the sand and gravel. Crystal formation is dependent on the presence of water. When an appropriate water level is maintained, a reaction known as hydration takes place between the water and the Portland cement in the concrete mix. This, in turn, causes crystals to grow. If the concrete is not adequately hydrated during the curing process, the crystal structures will be inadequate, and the resulting concrete will be much more prone to failure down the line. Curing also helps the concrete resist the development of so-called shrinkage cracks. You see, as poured concrete settles, water tends to bleed upward to the surface. If this water evaporates at a greater speed than it rises from the concrete, the result is shrinkage cracks. Curing helps to even out the relationship between the bleed rate and the evaporation rate, thus preventing the formation of unwanted cracks.    How is curing accomplished? There are two principal methods of curing concrete. The oldest and most effective of these is water curing. Water curing involves the application of water to the concrete surface. This can be accomplished either through flooding the surface, or by setting up misters that dispense a steady stream of water vapor. A concrete surface that is water cured for one week will end up being stronger than uncured concrete by a whopping 50%. Plastic sheet curing takes a different approach to the curing process. As its name would imply, this involves the overlay of a thin sheet of plastic on the concrete surface. Rather than adding more water, this technique cures the concrete by preventing the evaporation of water. Though effective in this aim, plastic sheet curing can cause problems due to its tendency to retain more solar energy, thus increasing the temperature of the concrete. For more tips about pouring concrete and letting it cure properly, contact a company like Pumptex Concrete...

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3 Ideas To Give Your Home Interesting Floor Solutions With Concrete Finishes

Posted by on May 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ideas To Give Your Home Interesting Floor Solutions With Concrete Finishes

If you want to have durable custom floors for your home, it can be costly to have materials like hardwood or tile installed in your home. Some of these materials can also be a problem in basements where water damage may be a concern. Instead of using conventional materials for the flooring in your home, you may want to consider some alternatives with concrete finished. Some concrete solutions are even used in high-end homes, such as acid staining and stamped concrete finishes. If you want to have new custom floors that are durable and affordable, here are some concrete finishes that you may want to consider for the floors in your home:  1. Add Indoor/Outdoor Flooring To Your Home With Stamped Concrete Indoor/outdoor flooring can be a great solution for many areas of your home, such as an entrance or a patio area with sliding glass doors. This can be done with the use of stamped concrete finishes. You can have the floors continue to the outdoors and blend the indoors and outdoors of your home. If you want to separate these areas or make them look different, you can use different stamped patterns. With floors that are connected, you may want to have a drainage system installed to prevent water from entering your home. 2. Give Your Floors A Custom Design With Acid Staining To Create Any Look You Want You may want to more custom look for the floors in your home, which can be done with an acid stain solution. These finishes are often used to create the appearance of stone slabs. Acid staining can also be a great solution to add custom patterns to your floor. This can be a good solution if you have an in-floor heating system in your home, which can have a lightweight concrete installed over it with an acid stain. The concrete will have a better heat transfer for better performance of your heating system. 3. Add Color And Durability To Your Concrete Floors With A Durable Epoxy Finish You may also want to consider adding color and durability to a concrete floor. Epoxy finishes can give you the most choices when it comes to adding a finish to your concrete. These can have a solid color or be combined with colors and patterns to give your floors a custom look. Another advantage to the epoxy flooring solution is that it is stain resistant, which can be a good solution if you have children or animals that wreak havoc on the floors in your home. These are some of the options you may want to consider for durable concrete floors in your home. If you are ready for new custom floors with a concrete finish, contact a concrete contractor (such as one from TKO Concrete) and talk with them about some of these solutions....

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Watch Out For These 4 Things When Laying Concrete In The Winter

Posted by on Feb 25, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Watch Out For These 4 Things When Laying Concrete In The Winter

You can lay concrete during the winter; however, you need to be careful. Here are a few precautions that you need to take while laying concrete during cold weather.  #1 Never Lay Concrete On Frozen Ground The key to laying concrete during the winter time is to never lay it when the ground is frozen or on top of snow or ice. When you lay concrete on frozen ground, the coldness will transfer to the concrete and will slow down the drying process. Additionally, when the ground thaws, it will settle and expand, which will cause the concrete to crack.  #2 Warm Up The Ground Before Laying Concrete If you want to lay concrete during the winter time, you need to take the temperature of the ground. If the ground is frozen, you need to warm it up before laying the concrete. You can do this by thawing the ground. You can use either electric blankets, hydronic heat pipes or hydronic blankets to defrost the ground.  After you defrost the ground, you need to make sure that remove any standing water that is created. You don’t want the water to mix into the concrete.  #3 Warm Up All Other Equipment As Well You don’t just need to warm up the ground; you need to warm up all the equipment that you will be using to lay the cement as well. All of your equipment needs to be above freezing as well as the ground, including your embedments and forms. Use a dial pocket thermometer to measure the temperature coming off your equipment. #4 Cover Your Concrete Up With Blankets If you decide to lay concrete during the winter, you need to keep everything warm. If you set up the forms and embedments the day before you lay the concrete, cover everything up with blankets.  After you lay the concrete, cover everything up with two layers of landscaping fabric so that there is a breathable layer on top of the concrete. Then, put the curing blankets on top of the landscaping fabric. This will keep your concrete warm as the temperature drop during the night.  The next day, when you remove the blankets, wash the concrete off to get rid of any residue left over from the blankets.  If you follow all of the tips above, and keep a close eye on the temperature, you should be able to lay the concrete during cold weather without compromising the concrete. ...

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Four Tips For Repairing Cracks In Asphalt

Posted by on Jan 16, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Tips For Repairing Cracks In Asphalt

Asphalt is an excellent material to use for a driveway, due to its ability to withstand heavy objects, high heat, and various other elements. Unfortunately, it is not impenetrable, and is prone to cracks over time. Here are some tips for repairing the cracks in your asphalt driveway. Remove Debris From the Cracks The first thing you need to do is prepare the asphalt driveway by cleaning it thoroughly. You can start by sweeping the driveway, particularly around the areas where there are cracks. In the cracks themselves, you will probably find some debris, such as rocks, twigs, or weeds. These all need to be removed before you repair them, since the filler is going to go inside the cracks. If you are having difficulty removing it on your own or with tools, you can try pushing the debris out with a can of compressed air. Create Smooth Lines The next thing to do is work on the cracks a little bit. You don’t want to create a larger crack to repair, but you also don’t want uneven, jagged edges, as it will be more difficult to repair. If the cracks are not smooth, get a chisel tool to just smooth the lines a little bit. Be very gentle when doing this so you don’t make the crack worse. Don’t attempt this if you are concerned that the crack is prone to more damage. Once you have smoothed it out, take a pressure washer to continue cleaning the area around and inside the crack. It should help remove any remaining dust or debris from inside the crack. Prepare the Asphalt Patching Compound There are two types of filling compounds to be used for repairing asphalt cracks, including one that has already been mixed and one that needs mixing. If you got one that is already mixed, it comes in a tube that is ready to use right away. This one doesn’t have any required preparations. However, if you got the other kind, you will need to follow the directions on the package to mix it. Many of them are as simple as shaking the bottle to mix the contents together. Just make sure you do this vigorously so it is completely mixed. If the top of the tube needs to be cut for application, make slightly smaller in width than the size of the crack. Fill the Cracks With the asphalt filler compound mixed together, it is time to fill the cracks. Take your time and work with one crack at a time. Press the tube or bottle gently and allow the filler to enter the crack until it becomes flush with the pavement. When it reaches the top, use a squeegee to smooth it out. If after smoothing it out, it is not completely flush with the pavement, add a little more and smooth it out again. You can use toothpicks to poke inside the filler and get rid of bubbles that might form. Give the filler plenty of time to dry, which is usually at least a full day or so. For more help or information on paving, contact a company like Bill Mariotti Site Development Co Inc or another local...

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Questions You Should Ask Before Starting Your Concrete Cutting Project

Posted by on Sep 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Questions You Should Ask Before Starting Your Concrete Cutting Project

Whether you’re customizing a patio slab or doing other backyard work, you may find that you need to cut concrete to shape it correctly. If so, you’re probably going to want to invest in a diamond blade to help you get the job done right. Diamond blades are crafted specifically to cut through some of the hardest materials, so that makes them durable enough to shape concrete. But, before you go out and buy just any diamond blade, you should understand your options. Here are some things to consider. What Is Your Concrete Like? Concrete can be made up of different types of aggregate, and that aggregate content will play a role in the type of blade you need. For example, if the concrete has large aggregate chunks, you’re going to need something that’s really durable. A heavy-duty diamond blade is the best choice for something like that. If, on the other hand, the concrete is made from smaller aggregate pieces, you can do the job with a basic diamond blade in most cases. The other thing to consider when you’re evaluating the concrete is the kind of sand used to make it. A sharp sand mix can be abrasive on the blade, wearing it down. You can avoid a lot of this wear and tear by choosing a heavier diamond blade that will hold up to it. Crushed sand is the sharpest type that could be used in your concrete structure. River sand is more moderate, and fine granules are typically not abrasive. How Old is Your Concrete? The age of the concrete can also be important when selecting a cutting blade. The older the concrete pad, the more curing it has done. That means that the concrete gets harder as it ages. As a result, you’ll want a more durable diamond blade for older concrete than you’d choose for a fairly green concrete structure that hasn’t cured for more than a year or two. How Are You Cutting the Concrete? There are two ways to cut concrete – wet and dry. You’ll want to make sure you know which approach you’re going to be using, because your blade needs to be made specifically for that application. Wet cutting blades require a constant flow of water to keep the blade cool while it cuts. Dry cutting blades don’t need moisture. Wet cutting won’t create near as much dust, but it is more involved. You shouldn’t use a wet cutting blade in an application where you’re going to be dry cutting. The blade won’t be able to hold up to the friction and the heat, and it could cause damage to your saw, the blade, and the concrete. Be attentive to the type of blade you choose to be sure it fits your application. Now that you understand some of the basics, you can choose the blades you need for a successful concrete cutting project. If you aren’t confident doing the work yourself, talk with a local concrete contractor, like National Concrete Cutting, for...

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Removing Fresh Antifreeze Spills From Concrete Surfaces

Posted by on Sep 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Removing Fresh Antifreeze Spills From Concrete Surfaces

If you have an antifreeze spill on your concrete driveway or garage floor, you probably worry that the spot will be there forever. Fortunately, the spill can be cleaned up and the concrete surface will look as good as it did before the spill occurred. Absorb the Spill If you have found the spill before it has absorbed into the concrete, lay several sheets of old newspapers over the spill. The newspapers will work to absorb much of the spill and make the clean-up process a bit easier. Tip: If you have kitty litter or saw dust around, these materials can also be used to absorb the antifreeze even more effectively than the newspaper. Once the excess liquid is absorbed, roll up the newspaper and put it in a trash bag for disposal later. Rinse with Water Use your garden hose to rinse the area with water. If you don’t have a garden hose, fill a bucket with water a few times to dilute the antifreeze. Rinsing the area with water is meant to dilute the antifreeze and prevent the toxic liquid from running down your driveway and killing plants or puddling where animals can drink it. Coat with Powdered Laundry Detergent Apply a coat of powdered laundry detergent. The detergent will help to break down the antifreeze that has been absorbed by the concrete and eliminate the potential stains before they become permanent. Once you have coated the area with detergent, lay several sheets of newspaper over it and mist it with your hose or pour water gently out of a bucket to wet it. You want the newspaper wet, but you don’t want so much water that it begins to wash away the detergent under the newspaper. Wait for the newspaper and detergent to dry. Once dry, remove the newspapers and put them in the trash bag you had used previously. Now, get a bucket of water and dip a stiff scrub brush into it. Scrub the area to create a foamy solution from the detergent being mixed with the water. Rinse the area and inspect it for remaining stains. If any spots remain, repeat the process once more. After the clean-up process is complete, apply a coat of concrete sealant to the area to protect it from stains in the future. Talk with your local concrete expert about removing stains that have set and cannot be removed using this process. To find out more, contact a business like AAA Concrete Construction...

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Getting Rid Of The Grey: Three Ways To Give Concrete An Attractive Custom Finish

Posted by on Jul 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Getting Rid Of The Grey: Three Ways To Give Concrete An Attractive Custom Finish

If you have dull grey concrete anywhere around you home, you may want to make it more attractive. Many different types of decorative concrete finishes can transform concrete on paths, drives and patios. This can be done with stamping, staining and applying epoxy finishes. Here are some of the different things that can be done to give your concrete a custom finish: 1. Concrete Stamping To Give Drives The Look Of Masonry Stamping concrete can be a great way to add a decorative finish to areas like driveways. Stamping will give your driveway a look of brick and masonry. It can also make concrete more durable. To add color to stamping, a concrete sealant can be added to the finish once it has dried. This also helps to reduce problems with erosion or cracks. This can be done to portions of your driveway, or you can have the entire length finished with stamping. This can also be an affordable solution for adding decorative concrete to areas like garden paths. 2. Staining To Add Decorative Patterns And Colors To Concrete Finishes Staining can also to give concrete a custom finish. Acid can be used to give concrete different colors and patterns. This can be done for areas like patios, floors in a basement or to give the garage a creative look. There are many different methods of applying acid stains, which can give a marbling effect to the finish. You can also use stencils to apply custom designs to the finish, which can look like custom floor tiles or collages. 3. Epoxy Coating For Durable Concrete Finishes In Many Styles And Colors Epoxy coatings are also an option for adding custom finishes to concrete. These can be clear epoxy finishes to protect things like acid staining. Epoxies can also have their own colors to finish a floor, and create a marbling effect. The benefits of epoxy are that it is affordable and easy to clean. This makes it a great choice for areas where messes are likely to happen, such as a child’s playroom, basement flooring or in parking and garages. You can even use different colors and styles of epoxy finishes for different areas. Adding a decorative concrete finish can help to change the look of your home. If you need help improving the look of concrete around your home, contact a concrete finishing service like Shears Concrete to make sure you get the custom look that you...

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