Archives for August 2011

FLOOR PREPARATION (prep)– What is it?

FLOOR PREPARATION (prep)-- What is it? Is the preparation work minor, major, complete substrate resurfacing, flash patch application to substrate or is it just using a broom to sweep the floor? How is it determined, when is it determined and is it part of the original job work scope? Does floor prep include a moisture barrier/retarder application, self-leveling compound, moisture vapor emission testing, scraping, grinding, or bead blasting the substrate? Is removal of the existing floor … [Read more...]

With the Concrete Vapor Movement Comes the Alkali Salts

With the Concrete Vapor Movement Comes the Alkali Salts With water vapor moving upward into the slab comes the alkalinity degrading to adhesives causing the flooring material to lift from the concrete surface.  As the vapor moves through the slab capillaries, alkali attaches itself and is then deposited on the slab surface. The failures are two fold as we can see the bumps from the accumulation of the moisture telegraphing through vinyl sheeting and tiles, combined with the lack of bond to … [Read more...]

Acid Etched Concrete Designs, DYI Instructions, Ideas

One of the newest hot trends for flooring is acid etched concrete. The great appeal of acid etched concrete floors is the endless possibilities of gorgeous designs, durability and ability to withstand heavy traffic areas. A special type of acid, usually muriatic acid is applied to clean concrete surfaces or environmentally friendly products (recommended) that clean and etch such as Krudkutter,Eco-Etch Pro and others  are commercially available. Special stains are available in an array of … [Read more...]

Going Green with Concrete

Architects, engineers, developers and owners are seeking efficient, innovative building solutions that conserve non-renewable resources. Concrete is being recognized for its strong environmental benefits in support of creative and effective sustainable development. When considering the lifetime environmental impact of a building material, concrete is an excellent choice to meet these goals. Choice of building material is key in reversing the heat island effect, for it is the dense, … [Read more...]

What are the Pozzolans used in the production of Green Concrete?

There are no better definitions concerning Pozzolans than those offered by the Amercian Concrete Institute. The basic issue to remember is the fact that pozzolans are the ashes of Soil and Coal, the waste materials after burning coal for electricity.  Natural pozzolans would be volcanic ash. Cement, portland-pozzolan – a hydraulic cement consisting of an intimate and uniform blend of portland cement or portland blast-furnace slag cement and fine pozzolan. Produced by intergrinding … [Read more...]

The Green Movement

The green movement has caused changes in the concrete industry and possibly huge problems for the painting, coating, flooring or any industry that would require bonding to a concrete surface. The green movement is forcing concrete producers to increase the use of waste products, such as fly ash, a waste ash from burning coal. This leads us to the question: what is Pozzolan Portland Cement or Blast-Furnace Slag Portland Cement, or What is Green Concrete? Green concrete is concrete made of less … [Read more...]

What is Concrete?

The simple explanation of concrete is: Concrete is a composite stone type material made of aggregate (sand and gravel) bonded together by adding Portland Cement. The various sizes of aggregate is what gives concrete much of its strength as the cement encapsulates the aggregate to become a hard and reasonably stable building material. It’s important to remember that there can be no such thing as concrete without adding water to the mix to create hydration. The American Concrete Institute … [Read more...]

What is Portland Cement?

First of all, cement is any material that bonds one item to another or items to other items. To cement together is to ‘glue together’. So the question should be “What is Portland Cement” ? Portland cement is the most universal, yet versatile, building component on the planet as it is the basic component of concrete, grouts and mortars, to name a few. Portland cement is basically burnt Limestone and Clay. Limestone is rich in silica, alumina and iron oxide materials that blend, or fuse, … [Read more...]

Concrete Coatings

Concrete is practical, sturdy and has been used in the construction of buildings since the early Roman times. However, without a decorative or protective coating most concrete patios, driveways, walkways and garage floors are unattractive. In fact, more than likely, they're stained, drab, dull, and possibly even ugly. Today many homeowners and do-it-yourselfers are discovering, through the use of concrete coatings, those gray, cold outdoor slabs can take on a unique, stylish look that not … [Read more...]

Pre-Installation Moisture Testing

Pre-installation concrete moisture testing minimizes such issues: • Damage caused by excess moisture. • Discoloration of both floors and coatings giving an unacceptable appearance. • Delaminating of floor coverings and coatings. • Growth of microbes that can lead to poor indoor air, odors, and even some allergic reactions. • Deterioration of wall coatings and mold reactions inside the walls. • Corrosion of items embedded in the concrete or attached to the concrete. • Damage to items … [Read more...]