When it comes to ease and speed in concrete application, concrete pumping is considered to be the optimal method for most contractors. It dramatically improves productivity and safety in the construction site by removing the most exhausting labor of manual concrete pouring. Concrete pumping is ideal in work sites where the application point of concrete is difficult to access. Examples are concrete applications in enclosed doors and above ground level areas. The traditional wheeling and raking used to be very inconvenient and require a lot of work.
Concrete pumping is done through the use of a specialized machine that is usually attached to a concrete mixer truck. This machine is called a concrete pump and is used for transferring liquid concrete from the source to the point of application. The pump requires flexible hoses that are manually attached to the outlet of the machine. Concrete pumping is highly recommended in smaller volume concrete applications like sidewalks, swimming pools, and ground slabs. But no matter how convenient concrete pumping is, it still requires safety precautions. Its safety starts with an uncluttered space for the pump truck on the work area.
If the pump setup site is near an excavation, follow the one-to-one rule: For every 1 foot of vertical drop, stay back from the base edge at least 1 foot. Take measurements from the edge of the outrigger pad nearest the excavation. Less-than-ideal soil conditions and engineered support walls are treated differently, so check with the pump operator for guidance. Learn how concrete is transferred through pumping at this site.
So the concrete pump will be used efficiently, a thorough pre-pour inspection must be done first. It is essential to check all the measurements on the project before everything else. Check for footprints, lintels, wall openings, and other areas that could affect the concrete application. Also, ensure that all reinforcing metals are correctly installed and have met local building standards. Furthermore, check the formwork for any irregularities and weak spots.
ICFs, one of the hottest trends in concrete construction today, are hollow blocks or panels made of rigid polystyrene foam erected and filled with concrete to produce insulated walls. Since concrete must be placed into ICFs at a more controlled rate than on standard pours, great care must be taken in selecting the proper materials, equipment, and pour procedures. To view the full article about concrete pumping and insulation, go to the main source of the article.
Any builder would agree that concrete pumping is the most economical method for pouring concrete today. Reputable construction companies typically have their pump trucks and concrete pumps for hard-to-access concrete applications. If you are up for a new house to be built, or commercial space, you should consider getting a concrete pumping service. It will cut down labor cost and will hasten the construction process.
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|Do Concrete Patios Crack?||Concrete is good for warm climate landscapes that do not experience the extreme freeze-thaw of the northern states, which is the cause of uncontrollable cracking. Chris Major of Blue Ridge Landscaping in Holland, Michigan says, “Concrete is great and cheaper at the start, but it cracks.” Trust a Michigan landscaper to be forthright about the problem that does and always has afflicted concrete patios. The radical pressures of freeze-thaw make this a problem in the north, but other factors can lead to cracking too.Virginia marl is a unique soil condition that afflicts projects by Adam Heath at Mid Atlantic Enterprise. “Marl makes our soils unstable, causing big problems with paving. This is a mushy organic soil composed of silt and sediment that is very expansive. You literally can’t build on it. We have to excavate all our patio spaces to remove all the marl then backfill it with specific crushed stone to obtain the solid compaction we need.”
Similar problems are experienced by Matt Schmuke of Arcadia Design Group. “In Colorado you’re guaranteed that a slab will crack. Plasticity of the clay soil is the problem. With pavers we have an infinite number of joints so you’ll never see a crack.”
|Concrete Sealer Pros and Cons||There are two ways to use sealers on your concrete patio. One is as a standalone sealer over bare concrete. The other is to use the sealer on top of a concrete stain or paint, says Kerri Schlenker, Rust-Oleum brand manager for high performance coatings. “A stain isn’t going to offer protection, only color, so the sealer over it would protect the color and the concrete in general, ” she says.Sealers that are film-forming (meaning they leave a sheen on the surface) come in two types — solvent-based and water-based. According to ChemMasters, a manufacturer of concrete coatings, solvent-based sealers are high gloss and darken concrete, while water-based sealers are low gloss with minimal darkening and/or color change.
If you’d like stain protection from food, fire/water features or flower pots and planters, choose a film-forming sealer. However, one drawback is because these sealers form a film, they may create a slippery surface on the concrete. Consider them for stamped concrete and broom-finished concrete patios. And to prevent the sealer from yellowing your concrete due to excessive UV exposure, look for a film-forming sealer with UV stable resin.
A second class of sealer is known as a penetrating sealer, or a water-repellent sealer. This type seeps into the concrete surface and is best for smooth concrete and broom-finished concrete. Penetrating sealers will offer freeze/thaw protection and, of course, prevent water absorption, but do not offer stain protection. Penetrating sealers give a matte finish to concrete and do not add slippage to the surface.
Both film-forming and water-based sealers come in acrylic and epoxy varieties. Generally, epoxy sealers are applied to extremely high-traffic areas and to prevent chemical spills because they offer excellent protection. Acrylic sealers are often used to block water penetration for residential applications and decorative concrete.
Keep in mind that applying any solvent-based sealer will require chemical clean-up, while water-based are easier to clean with soap and water. Choosing which type can be a tradeoff between long-term maintenance and ease of application. Schlenker says that the “easiest product to use and apply is water- or latex-based, but an oil-based or solvent-based [product] will last longer over time, requiring less maintenance.”