Categories
Concrete Contractors

Decorate Your Concrete: Ideas for the Do-It-Yourselfer

Decorate Your Concrete: Ideas for the Do-It-Yourselfer-columbus-ohio

Decorate Your Concrete: Ideas for the Do-It-Yourselfer : decorate your home’s concrete surfaces and give your patio, porch, garage, driveway, etc. a customized and refreshing new look. Acid stains, water based stains and epoxy paints are available for do-it-yourself projects.

You can enhance your home’s existing concrete surfaces using acid stains, water based stains, epoxy paints, and scoring techniques.

If you’re tired of looking at dull gray concrete, there are some fairly easy projects for the serious do-it-yourselfer to give your concrete a refreshing new look. Or perhaps you plan to have some new concrete installed but you don’t want plain gray concrete. Decorative concrete work costs double to triple that of regular concrete and many people simply can’t afford it. There are inexpensive ways to decorate concrete after it has cured without having to pay skilled tradesmen.

Acid based concrete stains are becoming more and more popular for coloring concrete surfaces.

They chemically react with the cementitious material to produce permanent color with variegated or mottled appearance like that of marble. This results in a natural, elegant looking surface. Acid stains are available in 8-10 different colors, mainly brown, green, and reddish earth tones. The cost is normally $60-$70 per gallon which covers 300-400 square feet. A coat of clear concrete sealer when you’re finished really brings out the colors and beauty of acid stains.

Water based concrete stains are an alternative to acid stains and are much more user friendly because they’re much less toxic.

These stains don’t chemically react with the concrete; they are absorbed into the surface pores and act like a dye. The big advantage of water based stains is the wide array of colors available. You can find just about any color in the spectrum and create a more vibrant and consistent appearance. They also normally cost about $60-$70 per gallon which covers 300-400 square feet.

If you want to venture beyond the basic staining of concrete, consider using some scoring techniques to create patterns on the surface. You can make your concrete look like a tile floor for example. It’s up to your imagination. An angle grinder with a 4 inch grinding or cutting wheel is the ideal tool for this. The important thing to remember when scoring is to draw the pattern on the concrete first and make sure you’re satisfied with the way it looks because scoring is irreversible. Most people don’t own an angle grinder but you can rent one at almost any tool rental shop.

Epoxy paints make an excellent coating for garage floors and basement floors.

Many commercial floors have epoxy coatings because of their durability and resistance to chemical spills as well as their appearance. In recent years, however, it has become very popular for residential use with an increasing availability of different colors. This is not a difficult project, but the key to successful application is surface preparation. Epoxy paints have also become available in a water based form making it safe for the do-it-yourselfer and ideal for indoor applications. They cost a little more than stains. For a 400 square foot garage, you’ll spend about $200 for the materials needed for this project.

Decorate Your Concrete: Ideas for the Do-It-Yourselfer by Concrete contractors Columbus Ohio

Categories
Concrete Concrete Contractors

Why You Should Consider Staining Your Concrete Floor

Why You Should Consider Staining Your Concrete Floor contractor dallas tx

Why You Should Consider Staining Your Concrete Floor – If you’re not familiar with it, concrete stain isn’t a paint or finish coat. It involves a chemical reaction on cement materials.

Acid staining can make a common concrete floor into look like expensive natural stone flooring.

Not only is it a fraction of the price, but for people allergic to carpeting materials it’s a godsend. Another great application is in houses with radiant floor heating. Radiant heating is at its most efficient when insulating floor coverings like tile or carpet are minimized.

The process of staining a concrete floor, while not overly complex, can be tough to get the results you want from. Most folks are probably better off hiring a professional contractor. It’s a risky project for the do-it-yourselfer.

If you’re not familiar with it, concrete stain isn’t a paint or finish coat.

It involves a chemical reaction on cement materials. Typically a water-based solution of hydrochloric acid and inorganic salts, the stain reacts with minerals and lime in the concrete aggregate, and the result of the reaction is coloring. It works on new or old concrete, and is fairly durable if you maintain it with sealer or wax, since it won’t stain or chip. It can also be applied to both interiors and exterior floors. Walkways, bathrooms, entrances, driveways, living rooms and patios are all fair game.

When it’s finished, stained concrete looks a little like marble, but more dappled and less uniform. The concrete will mostly be earthy brown tones, with hints of red and green. It’s possible to make your own tint stain by mixing colors, or applying at dissimilar rates. When you stain a concrete floor, though, don’t expect the stain to be uniform or have an even tone. Plan your room décor and color scheme accordingly, because you’ll get dissimilar reactions from different areas of the concrete, and even a seasoned pro will be hard pressed to predict what the final result will be.

Surface prep for acid staining concrete depends on what condition your slab is in.

Newly poured concrete only needs is be allowed time for curing- three weeks after pouring- then some rinsing and scrubbing. Older concrete is a different story. Thorough cleaning is required because any dirt, grease, paint, sealer or even curing agent will keep the stain from penetrating and reacting as it should. Do a little test area to make sure it’s ready.

Newer poured concrete will require less stain than older floors, but in general, a gallon of water added to one gallon of stain will cover around 400 square feet. Apply the stain with a non-metallic brush or broom, working in the cooler morning or evening hours, rather than in the heat of the day. Be careful to protect yourself from spillage, drips and fumes from the acid stain, and follow the manufacturer’s precautions.

After application, you need to cleanup by sweeping away any leftover stain and residue with a broom. When the floor is thoroughly dry, it is a good idea to apply a sealer agent and then wax it.

If you are in the market for natural stone flooring, a new look for your basement or patio, or just looking for new remodeling ideas, stained concrete is something you should look into.

Why You Should Consider Staining Your Concrete Floor by Concrete contractors Dallas TX

Categories
Concrete

Radiant Heat and Concrete – Why proper curing is so important

Radiant Heat and Concrete – Why proper curing is so important contractor seattleRadiant Heat and Concrete – Why proper curing is so important – Many radiant heat systems are embedded within concrete. Yet, when doing a thermal mass installation, to avoid cracks and shifting, the curing process and conditions need to be favorable. With a basic understanding of concrete, you will clearly understand what it needs to cure properly.

To stop concrete from cracking, the first thing to understand about concrete is that it reacts to moisture.

The moisture within it creates a chemical reaction that hardens the concrete.

Many people believe that once concrete appears lighter in color, with a hard surface that it is dry, but in reality concrete takes at least seven days to cure and several weeks to completely dry.

For concrete to become strong and for the surface to wear well, curing concrete needs moisture. Concrete needs to dry out at a slow continuous pace; otherwise shrinking and cracking will likely occur.

The strength of concrete when accurately cured is about 80 to 100 per cent higher than concrete, that hasn’t been cured at all.

To increase concrete’s strength this curing process should be stable and continuous. If concrete becomes too wet or too dry, cracks will certainly develop, resulting in future flooring problems.

Which means that if you are curing concrete on a hot sunny day, the chemicals within concrete will stop reacting once sufficient moisture is gone – leaving it in a weakened state. Therefore concrete should be protected from damaging effects such as wind, sun and inconsistent weather.

The ideal temperature for hydration is 23°C.

It is best to keep the temperature as close as possible to that level, as curing takes place.

To keep in moisture and slow down the drying process, a membrane can be used.
But there are many types of membranes on the market, and you will want to make sure the one you select is right for the type of flooring you are planning to install.

There are a variety of chemical and liquid membranes on the market, which are growing in popularity. You can apply them easily by hand or with a power sprayer and are classified under the four following base types: chlorinated-rubber, resin, water, and PVA.

Another way to prevent moisture from evaporating is to use a waterproof building paper or plastic film.

Plastic sheeting is a flexible and easy covering for complex shapes. Plastic sheeting can be pulled back quickly to allow you to check the concrete over the course of curing.

Another idea is to get a spray atomizer and spray water on the concrete’s surface prior to putting on the plastic sheeting. Using a finer mist spray almost like a fog, works very well also.

Using an absorptive medium like sand or canvas is also an effective way to retain moisture.

To sum it up, if you are pouring concrete you should create an optimal environment so it can cure properly. As your concrete hardens and starts to get rid of excess water, it will shrink.

For a trouble free installation, being proactive and implementing preventative measures during curing will result in strong concrete that won’t crack.

The advantage of an installation that carefully controls moisture levels and temperatures is immense and something that should not be ignored.

Radiant Heat and Concrete – Why proper curing is so important by Concrete contractors Seattle

Categories
Concrete Concrete Contractors

Asphalt versus Concrete Driveways – Which is Best

Asphalt versus Concrete Driveways – Which is Best contractors portland oregon

Asphalt versus Concrete Driveways – Which is Best – Asphalt and concrete are the most popular types of material for paving driveways. Asphalt driveways and concrete driveways both have their unique advantages. If you live in a cold climate and are considering a concrete driveway you need to make sure the base for the driveway is heavily laid with gravel and it is compacted first. Otherwise the driveway will run the risk of cracking due to frost heaves. In addition, concrete is susceptible to salt damage, a material frequently used on roads in cold weather parts of the country. On the other hand, if you live in a warm or hot climate and are considering asphalt paving, then you need to consider the fact that asphalt can become soft in the hot sun and is therefore susceptible to ruts.

Asphalt paved driveways are typically cheaper to install than concrete paved driveways.

However, asphalt paved driveways need significant more care over time to protect them. Asphalt paved driveways need to be sealed at least once every 3-5 years. Each sealing, though easily completed by a do it yourself homeowner, costs money and time. In addition, the sealer needs typically 2-3 days to dry before you can park a vehicle on it. Also, a newly asphalt paved driveway should not be sealed for at least 6-9 months, as the light oils associated with the asphalt need to evaporate first. If an asphalt driveway is sealed too soon it will remain soft forever.

Asphalt driveways do not need to be always black and concrete driveways do not always need to be off-white. Both asphalt and concrete driveways can be tinted to various colors. Check with your prospective paving contractors first to see what color options there are for your driveway project.

Asphalt driveways, if maintained can typically last 25-30 years. Concrete driveways can last even longer.

However, both require a solid foundation to be laid on. If not laid on a solid foundation both will crack over time, especially in colder weather climates. Asphalt cracks are easier to repair than concrete driveway cracks.

Consideration for the slope of the driveway should also be considered when contemplating concrete driveways. Over time, concrete driveways can shear off of the foundation they are poured on which can lead to unwanted cracks.

If you are planning a new asphalt driveway and need help on how to hire an Asphalt Driveway Paving Contractor, see HomeAdditionPlus.com’s Asphalt Driveway Paving Bid sheet. The Asphalt Driveway Paving Bid sheet will help ensure that your hire the right contractor so that your driveway is paved correctly and you get the finished driveway you are looking for. In addition, it will help to ensure that the installation of your driveway will be accomplished on time and on budget!

Concrete contractors portland oregon

Categories
Concrete Concrete Contractors

Concrete Floor Paint And Vital Preparation

Concrete Floor Paint And Vital Preparation contractor okcConcrete Floor Paint And Vital Preparation : preparation is important when applying floor paint. You can only expect a surface to stay in place, if its substrate is permanent. If the substrate crumbles or moves, your surface and floor paint will move with it. After 40 years of application practice, flooring experts have developed application preparation procedures that minimize the risk of substrates moving. Floors that are new are especially vulnerable and require extra preparation before painting the floor. While a new concrete floor is dusty for the first couple of years while the latent of concrete on the surface are kicked, walked, or driven off. The latent must be removed before quality topcoats are applied; or the topcoats will move with the latent as they break free from the substrate.

Cleaning first with a high pH or alkaline degreaser attacks oil and grease contaminants while moving the floor pH higher will do wonders for the floor paint finish.

And afterwards you put on a low pH acidic cleaner that attacks minerals, rust and other particles. That makes your pH jump 10 points or better to shock contaminants loose from substrates. An acidic cleaner should have detergents, rinse agents and water softeners blended into it so that it is formulated to do the best job possible. It is very important to bring the pH back to normal 6.5 or 7 pH after cleaning, using a scrub rinse.

If you have ever tried to run your fingers across your car after pressure washing it;

you know that it still has a thin layer of road film on it. That is because surface tension holds even high pressure from penetrating the road film. You must break the surface tension with contact during all three steps of cleaning. The more aggressive the contact the better for removing concrete latent, small particles of concrete that are ready to break of to become that endless dust coming off unquoted concrete floors.

You should be careful relying on retail store clerks alone, to help you with a floor that will be used for the next 10 to 20 years. Now a day’s factory-direct kit of materials including step-by-step instructions and a 24/7 online help are now on hand. With these resources, you can put quality floor paint down in your garage that will last for many years. Like with a car finish, you may get some scratches and marks, but likewise a car finish, a little touching up can keep the floor paint looking good for many years.

Concrete Floor Paint And Vital Preparation by Concrete contractors OKC

Categories
Concrete Concrete Contractors

A Concrete Way To Raise Your Home’s Profile

A Concrete Way To Raise Your Home's Profile jacksonville fl

A Concrete Way To Raise Your Home’s Profile : increasingly, homeowners looking for an inexpensive way to make their home more livable and increase curb appeal with an eye toward resale are embracing the nationwide trend of creating outdoor living spaces.

These areas usually feature spaces for entertaining friends and family while grilling, dining, eating and relaxing.

That often means room for a patio, a grill, a sink or a fireplace. Some think of it as adding a family room without the roof.

For many, the building technique of choice when creating these spaces calls for using segmental concrete paving. This technique employs interlocking units-called concrete pavers-that are strong, durable and are growing in popularity worldwide. In Germany, for instance, there are 15 square feet of pavers installed per person annually. In the Netherlands, most of the streets and sidewalks are made of pavers.

Often used in walkways, patios, plazas and historic restoration projects, pavers are manufactured in a variety of shapes, textures and colors and can be easily removed and reinstalled.

One kind of home-improvement project where pavers are increasingly being used is a raised patio.

These patios are known for their durability and can create a new sense of space in a yard, particularly when extended to meet an existing deck. Such spaces can be used as an outdoor entertainment area, complete with hot tub or barbeque pit.

There are a number of reasons why pavers have become popular in projects such as these:

• Their uniform size and quality allow them to fit tightly together for a strong, interlocking surface.

• Paver joints allow for a small amount of movement without cracking. That means they won’t crack like asphalt or poured-in-place concrete.

• Their design makes them easy to install and repair

• They’re available in a wide variety of shapes, colors and textures.

• And they can be installed by either a professional or a skilled do-it-yourselfer.

One of the newest styles offers the high-end look of stone for a more modest price. Called “tumbled” or “antiqued” pavers, they can be used to add a stately look to a walkway, patio or driveway.

A Concrete Way To Raise Your Home’s Profile by Concrete contractors jacksonville fl

Categories
Concrete Concrete Contractors

Landscaping Tips: Concrete Pond Construction

Landscaping Tips: Concrete Pond Construction chicago

Landscaping Tips: Concrete Pond Construction : good concrete pond construction means not taking shortcuts. Improper methods can lead to more money spent on maintenance, repairs, or replacement than on the cost of the initial construction. Since good concrete pond construction equates to having one that lasts a lifetime or longer, follow these rules of thumb to get it right – the first time!

Keep in mind that for suitable concrete pond construction, you need to pour the concrete to a thickness of four to six inches.

After deciding on the dimensions and outlining the area, all soil (and rocks!) should then be dug out. Forms then need to be built and placed where concrete is to be poured, along with the proper placement of cut-to-fit reinforcement bars (rebar).

For digging out the area for concrete pond construction, you will need shovels, picks, a crowbar, and, of course, a wheelbarrow. Some other necessary items include a carpenter’s level, string, stakes, sheets of plastic, and a long two-by-four.

Pouring the cement in concrete pond construction should be done in one day, unless the pond is very large, and then it must be poured in sections. Pour cement in the bottom of the pool first, then the sides. If shelves have been dug out, pour cement there, next. Finally, pour cement for the top of the pond and for any coping that may be involved.

After you have completed these first steps of your concrete pond construction project, you need to let the cement cure for several days under plastic.

Treating with muriatic acid at this stage helps prevent high pH levels in water later, which benefits fish and plants. After the acid treatment, apply several coats of paint made for pools or masonry sealant, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly.

Concrete pond construction can be a true learning experience. It’s best to start with a smaller pond, then if you meet with success, you can then move on to a larger project. But once you get the hang of concrete pond construction, there’s no limit to where you can go from there. So learn, build, and then build some more!

Landscaping Tips: Concrete Pond Construction by Concrete contractors chicago

Categories
Concrete

Concrete Mixers – Types Of Concrete Mixers

mixer concrete contractor clevelandConcrete Mixers and Types Of Concrete Mixers : when you want to get a job done in your home or in the yard, it is important to have the right equipment. If you are building a foundation to a home, garage or shed, repairing a sidewalk, or repairing the side of the building, having the right type of concrete mixer can ensure that you will do a job in excellence. There are several tools and types of concrete mixers that can be used to ensure that your job gets done easier.

The first type of concrete mixer that you may want to consider using is a mobile concrete dispenser.

This is used to batch concrete in one area then move to another area. Usually, these dispensers are used to pour sidewalks and other projects that need concrete batched into several areas. You are able to control the amount of concrete that is needed in one area at one time as well as be able to mix other types of rocks in with the concrete. Usually, this type of concrete mixer will also mix the concrete and other materials without having to use extra water with the process.

The second type of concrete mixer that you can use is the stationary concrete dispenser.

This is designed to stay in the same place while you pour the concrete. Most of the time, this type of mixer will be used if you are pouring molds for a building or are using cement for a pre-caster for a project that you are doing. If you are in a remote location or are going to be staying in one area to build a project, then a stationary concrete dispenser is the better type of mixer to get.

Another thing to look at with concrete mixers is the parts that you will need. Even if you are simply renting a mixer, it is important to know what is being used in the mixer. This will eliminate problems and will help you in understanding how the concrete is mixed. If any problems arise with the process, you will know which parts is not working properly or need replaced. One of the main things to look at is the type of blades that are being used. There are certain sizes that are included with the blades and different materials that are used, depending on the type of mixer that you are getting.

There are also different types of belts that will be in the mixer, explains Concrete contractor Cleveland . This helps to turn the mixture before and while you are pouring concrete. The sizes on these belts will differ, as well as the type of belt that is being used. Chutes, filter bags, air pads, cartridges, and other parts are some of the other things that will be included in the mixer. You should always make sure that these are in tact when you get your mixer.

By having the right type of mixer and the right parts that go with it, it will be easier for you to finish your large and small projects. Concrete mixers, no matter what kind, can help you to get your landscape or home project looking new again.

Categories
Landscaping

History of Organic Gardening

history of organic gardening landscaping dallasYou could say that the history of organic gardening started centuries ago when ancient civilizations would till the soil, plant the crops and then harvest them. As the demand for such goods increased, fertilizers or pesticides were used to help grow crops but because It was only later on that people realized these were also being eaten after they were washed thus there was a campaign to go back to organic gardening.

There was renewed interest in the 1980’s that people in the US began to switch back to organic gardening. The Department of Agriculture even gave the farmers incentives to this old approach and as the demand for such products grew, more and more people have shifted to this method. This has been the trend in many countries especially in Europe.

But what is organic gardening?

Well, aside from no longer using fertilizers and pesticides, gardeners will have to rely on compost, crop residue, crop rotation, integrated pest management and mechanical cultivation in order to preserve soil productivity and combat pests.

Currently, such organic gardening methods are regulated by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements which helps farmers grow crops in 75 million acres of land across the globe.

Their goal can be summed up into two words and that is sustainable development so that the land that is used will be around for the next generation because there is a healthy ecosystem.

Is organic gardening effective?

The answer is yes. Over a 22 year study that was released to the public in 2005, the results showed that going back to the basics produces the same amount of corn and soybean yields as conventional methods. However, it does so by consuming less energy and without any pesticide residue.

A study done by the University of Michigan shows developing countries that practice organic gardening could double or even triple their crops mainly because they do not have the financial resources to buy pesticides or fertilizer.

The nice thing about organic gardening is that farmers are not the only ones that can do it because you too can make this happen in your own backyard. You just have to learn how to till the soil and keep it in good condition, how to make your crops grow and how to fight against pests so you will be able to harvest them.

You can even turn this into a hobby and see how fun it is to make grow your own vegetables instead of buying these from the grocery. So, go online or buy a few books to learn how easy it is to do.

Remember,

the key to a successful harvest regardless of what you decide to plant is all in the planning. Take into account how much you are willing to spend, your limited space and how much time and effort is in your hands. We let that know to our clients,

You will also need to get the right gardening tools like gloves and a tiller to break the soil because it makes the task much easier than doing this by hand so that in a few months, you will be able to see what you planted grow.

As you can see, the history of organic gardening isn’t really something new. We have been doing it for a very long time and we probably lost sight of it but we learned our mistakes and we are simply going back to the basics.

This post was kindly provided by Landscaper Dallas, one of the best landscaping companies in Dallas

Categories
accounting

How to Prepare for a Tax Audit

prepare tax audit Expert Comptable Nantes

To prepare a tax audit : there is no reason to be afraid of an audit if you have been ethical and truthful in your accounting methods. However, it is best to be prepared for an audit to make sure that it runs smoothly. Different types of audits require different preparation methods.

If a business is brought up for an IRS audit, there are several things you can do to prepare your business for audit. First, review the tax returns that are being audited. Make sure that you are ready to explain how you or your tax preparer came up with the figures in the return. If you don’t know how your tax preparer came up with the figures, or you have any questions, you should contact your tax preparer prior to the audit for any clarification needed so that you are thoroughly prepared for the audit.

Organizing records used to prepare your tax returns yearly is a great way to maintain proper accounting before an audit. However, if you have not organized your records as you filed year by year, now is the time to organize them for the audit. Make sure that the person performing the audit has access to all records used to prepare the tax returns. For the audit to go smoothly,  you should organize these records in a logical fashion. In addition to making an audit quick and painless, this organization will lend you credibility with the auditor, thus making the auditor take things in stride if a small issue does arise during the audit.

Documentation

Your audit notice should tell you what documentation the auditor wants to see during the audit. Typically, auditors may want to see bank statements, canceled income checks, receipts for expenses, and your financial records. If you have a smaller business, you are not required to maintain a formal set of financial records such as journals and ledgers. However, the auditor may request to see any financial records you do have, and see your bookkeeping system during the audit. If your bookkeeping system in on a computer or otherwise electronic, make sure you take a printout of your financial records with you, explains Expert Comptable Nantes. If you do keep a ledger and journal for financial records, the auditor is entitled to see them and you should bring them to the audit also. In addition, you should bring with you any prepared financial statements so that the auditor has a clear overview of your bookkeeping.

If you don’t keep a formal set of financial records and you are missing a few receipts, take your appointment books, service logs, and diaries with you to the audit as well. The documentation in your appointment book, service log, and diary will substantiate your expense for deduction without a receipt, provided the expense can be proved to be reasonable based on the information in your personal records.

Business and home use

If you have a home based business, you will also want to bring with you to your audit any usage logs of “listed property.” This is anything that you use for business and home use. Usage logs show that you use these things for business purposes, thereby allowing you to take a partial deduction for that property during the audit if you have not already done so.

If you are in any doubt as to what information you need to prepare for your business tax audit, you should contact a certified public accountant to assist you and represent you to the audit representative.