Religious and Environmentally Enhancing Uses for Concrete

Hi! My name is Martha. I am a deeply spiritual person and a lover of the environment. To give myself a chance to meld those two interests, I have created a beautiful space in my back garden complete with a concrete birdbath, a small patio and a great deal of flowers. In this blog, I am going to help you learn to use concrete in your sanctuary. Whether you are designing a huge church or just creating a small spiritual space in your home, you will find posts that help you integrate concrete into that space. I hope you find inspiration for both your faith and your decorating objectives in this blog!

How to Remove Initials Carved Into Concrete

Initials in concrete can be cute, but if you don’t want them there, they are a blemish on your concrete. Luckily, there are ways to remove initials from concrete. Just take a look at these steps: 1. Catch it while it’s wet. The easiest way to remove unwanted concrete carvings is if you catch them while the concrete is still wet. If you have just poured concrete, make sure to check it periodically as it dries. That way, if a passerby etches his initials into the concrete, you will see them while they are still fresh. To get rid of it, simply smooth it over with a trowel. If there is a swirled pattern in the concrete, you will also need to use a broom to recreate those swirls. If the concrete is almost dry, try spraying water on the initials to moisten the concrete so that you can smooth them out. 2. Cut it out. If you find the initials too late or if you buy a home and there are initials carved into the concrete, you will need to cut them out. If you have a circular saw, you can buy a concrete cutting blade for it. For small tasks, the two options are corundum and diamond blades. Alternatively, you may hire a concrete cutter. Once you have the cutter, begin to cut through the concrete. Don’t use pressure to push the blade into the concrete. Instead, allow the blade to break through the concrete at its own pace. Be prepared to cut through the concrete slowly — the blade may only cut through a small layer...

Concrete Pumping: Comparing Boom Pumps, Line Pumps And Trailer Pumps

If you are planning a large scale concrete pouring operation for your construction project, you will need a concrete pump for the job. Concrete pumps will allow you to pour concrete at faster speeds and over longer distances as compared to concrete mixers. In this article, find out the differences between the three major types of concrete pumps so that you can narrow down which one is most ideal for your project. Boom pumps A boom pump consists of a hydraulic set of booms mounted on a truck. On the pour site, the hydraulic boom is extended to the desired length and directed over the pour site. Unlike other concrete pumps, boom pumps are highly flexible due to the foldable booms. The booms can be manipulated in many ways to manoeuvre over tight spaces and to go over obstacles. Boom pumps also offer great accuracy because concrete can be poured at precise points. Mostly though, boom pumps allow high-reach applications to be carried with ease, thanks to the boom contraption. The pump is also easy to set up because it is automatically operated. However, boom pumps are limited in reach due to their fixed boom length. Line pumps A line pump is also truck mounted just like a boom pump. However, instead of using a boom contraption to deliver the concrete, this pump uses metal pipes to form a delivery line, hence the source of its name. Because individual pipes are used, the line pump is very versatile. It can be assembled to any length and in any direction using line pipes of different sizes, depending on the scale...

Get the Full Benefit of Hammer-Drilling Your Concrete With These Tips

If you have a small concrete drilling project in your home, such as repairing your concrete floor or driving screws into your concrete walls to anchor something, you will always have two choices. You can either go for a large rotary hammer or use a drill driver that comes with a hammer-drill function. While a rotary hammer is more powerful, a hammer drill is ideal for your DIY projects, and it features different mechanisms, which drive forward drill bits as it rotates. This, in turn, results in a high-speed hammer-like pulsing action. Therefore, when using a hammer drill for your DIY concrete drilling project, make the process a success with the following tips.  Dust and Heat Control Drilling into concrete can result in large clouds of abrasive dust, which is sometimes unhealthy. In the course of your concrete drilling process, add some water to your work to prevent the dust from forming. Adding water will also serve to cool the flutes and result in a long-lasting drill bit. Power Control When Changing Bits Before changing the drill bits in your hammer drills, it is important to ensure that the tool is disconnected from power. This simple procedure will prevent any accidents that could be caused by hitting the power switch inadvertently while changing the bits. Occasional Flute Clearance When you drill through deeper materials such as your concrete wall, try to clear out the hole of dust as well as the flutes of your drill bits continually. When you do this, you will be able to see exactly whatever you are drilling so that you do not cause any...

Tips to Preventing Unnecessary Asphalt Repairs on Your Driveway

Most homeowners tend to overlook the condition of their driveways. Once the asphalt has been laid and set, not many will give a second through to keeping it well maintained as they expect it to withstand all the stress and exposure to the elements. However, driveways are not immune to wear and tear. Neglecting your driveway is a sure fire way of ensuring you have to embark on costly asphalt repairs on a regular basis. Here are some handy tips to preventing unnecessary asphalt repairs on your driveway. Be mindful of your driveway’s edges The first step to keeping your driveway well maintained would be by ensuring that its edges are well supported. One of the ways of doing this is by placing stones or some hard-packed dirt on its sides. This support works toward keeping the driveway edges firm, hence reducing the risk of cracks forming. Another thing to be mindful when caring for your driveway’s edges is ensuring there are no trees or shrubbery that are growing in close proximity to it. This is because over time, the roots may begin to encroach onto the base of the driveway, thus increasing the risk of ruining its foundation. This leads to buckling and you may have to replace the driveway in its entirety. Lastly, when driving on the surface of the driveway, do not drive over its edges, as this will put it at risk of fracturing. Be mindful of what is parked and placed on the driveway As much as asphalt driveways are flexible, they are also susceptible to damage from sharp objects and heavy items. For instance,...

Building your first home | Top tips to consider

Building your first home can be exciting; you will get to have your own design and carve a reality out of your dreams. But there is also a huge possibility of making a mistake. Mistakes when building a home can be costly. But there are a number of foolproof tips to help you get started and give you a pretty clear idea of what to do, and the best way to ensure a successful construction process. Know your Materials The construction industry has undergone tremendous developments over the past few years. The materials available are not as limited as they were some time ago. Try and use some of these emerging materials in building your home because they have been designed to boost performance and reduce environmental impacts. Geopolymer cement and concrete for instance, is a low carbon cement that reduces emissions by about 80 to 90 percent. Magnesium cements are also available and they extract carbon dioxide from the air during the curing process, thus being more eco-friendly. Pick your materials from an early stage in the project because, in most cases, the materials used dictate the specifications and designs of the home. Affordability This is the part that leaves most homeowners dumbstruck. After browsing through glossy magazines and mind-boggling renovation shows, people tend to have a really vague idea of what they can and can’t afford. Your best bet is to break down the math. Divide your total budget over the room area to get a figure that will help you know the amount to spend in each room. That will give you a clearer value of the...

Supplementing Concrete Joint Sealing: 5 Essential Design Features for Concrete Pavements

With time, cracks may start to appear on the surface of your concrete pavements. Unless these cracks are sealed properly, they will allow water to permeate and stay below the concrete, forming a void that can result in deterioration of the concrete. Although sealing the expansion joints on your concrete pavements can help minimise the extent of water damage, it doesn’t prevent water infiltration completely. For that reason, here are some basic features that can be incorporated into your permeable concrete pavement design to ensure proper management of stormwater. 1.    Pretreatment In permeable concrete pavements, the pavement itself serves as pretreatment to the stone reservoir underneath. Since the surface performs this function, ensuring regular maintenance of the surface can help to guarantee maximum possible performance. 2.    Treatment Permeable concrete pavements are made using concrete with reduced fines to allow stormwater to pass through it easily. After the storm, some stormwater may be stored in the empty spaces found in the stone reservoir found directly beneath the surface of the pavement. Treating porous concrete pavements can help to reduce the volume and rate of stormwater run-off and remove pollutants as well. 3.    Reduction of Maintenance Requirements An example of a non-structural element that can aid to guarantee proper maintenance of permeable concrete pavement is the use of a well-thought-out maintenance plan that clearly stipulates specific guidance on how to carry out routine maintenance. In essence, signs should be placed where cracking has been identified on the pervious concrete pavement. Proper maintenance entails vacuuming or pressure washing the surface of the concrete pavement periodically depending on site-specific conditions. 4.    Conveyance Stormwater...

3 Essential Benefits of Concrete Drilling Services

Are you in need of concrete drilling services? Concrete cutting contractors offer these services for virtually all new concrete construction or renovation projects. Whether you are a commercial, industrial or residential client, professional concrete cutting contractors can deliver the following benefits when you approach them to provide concrete drilling services for your specific project: Minimising the Danger Associated with Concrete Drilling Jobs Concrete drilling jobs are often risky to do because concrete material characteristically has high structural strength and is, therefore, difficult to break. When drilling concrete structures, dust and debris are usually released and this compromises the safety of site operatives. Apart from ensuring that such jobs are finished rapidly and professionally, concrete cutting contractors will make sure that they are done safely by providing site workers with safety equipment such as goggles, ear muffs, and work helmets, which help to protect the workers from various forms of physical or bodily harm including eye damage, hearing problems, and head injuries caused by flying dust and debris from the concrete. Hands-On Skills and Experience Working on Concrete Structures The quality of workmanship is an important factor for consideration when it comes to providing concrete drilling services. For that reason, many concrete cutting contractors employ site managers or engineers directly so that there is continuity in experience and capability for all of the services offered. In other words, these contractors seldom sub-contract any of the jobs brought to them, ensuring that every step of the job is closely supervised. As a result, they can guarantee a reliably high standard of skill in all the concrete drilling services that they provide...

3 Trends in Residential Concrete Applications to Expect in 2015

If you’re building a new home or planning some home renovations, you may have already considered using concrete as a cost-effective construction medium. However, many people are not aware of the range of versatile applications for concrete around the home. Look at three new trends in residential concrete applications that demonstrate the exciting and fashionable ways you can use concrete in your home. Metallic finishes Concrete is fast becoming a viable flooring option for both business and residential properties, and is also making appearances in the kitchen and bathroom as vanities, countertops, sinks and baths. A new way of creating interest to concrete in wet-areas and flooring is to apply a metallic coating. If you’re looking for a dynamic finish for your concrete floors, a marbled metallic effect can be achieved by applying layers of epoxy resin that have been pigmented with different metallic shades. Alternatively, a polyester resin can be mixed with real metal powders, resulting in the appearance of a solid cast metal surface. Metallic finishes can be applied to any concrete with successful results. Soft curves When we think of concrete, the image conjured is one of straight lines and hard edges. A new style of concrete casting, however, is revolutionising that preconception. Using fabric or plastic sheeting to create soft curves, concrete can be used to create everything from corrugated fencing and garden edging to custom-designed architectural elements. By applying wet concrete to a flexible form liner in the required shape, the concrete is cast in a customised shape or with a unique texture. One of the most exciting applications for fabric-formed concrete is wall panelling,...

Five Things You Need To Know About Your Scaffolding

Scaffolding helps construction and maintenance personnel to access elevated places so that work can be done there. However, working at heights presents safety risks that you must be aware of so that you take steps to reduce those risks. This article discusses five things that you need to know about your scaffolding so that the safety of your workers is not compromised. The Scaffold’s Weight Limit Each scaffold is designed to carry a certain maximum weight of personnel and materials. Ask for the design records of your scaffold so that you confirm what its load limit is. Once you know that limit, make sure that it is never exceeded so that you prevent the scaffold from collapsing due to an overload. The Scaffold’s Guardrails Guardrails protect materials, equipment  and workers from falling off the scaffold. However, these guardrails are often removed in order to load bulky materials, such as window frames, onto the platform, and workers neglect to put them back. Avoid making this mistake since it creates an opportunity for an accident, such as an employee falling, to occur at your worksite. Scaffold Anchorage Scaffold safety is enhanced if that scaffold is well anchored onto the structure against which it is standing. Ensure that your scaffold is not anchored on a drainpipe, vent or other pipes that can be dislodged by the weight of the scaffold and its load. Anchor the scaffold using tiebacks installed in the walls of the building so that the scaffold is secured well. Scaffold Access Many accidents occur as employees get onto or off a scaffold. You should devote attention to ensuring that...

Concrete Joint Sealing: What It Is & Its Benefits

Concrete joint sealing is a repair/maintenance treatment carried out on concrete paving. This entails the application of a bituminous sealer that binds your concrete, restoring its structural integrity and getting rid of gaps on your paving. This treatment can be carried out in response to damage such as cracks or poorly installed concrete slabs. It can also be carried out as a preventative measure on areas that have tiny gaps and could leak water or develop into large gaps. However, concrete joint sealing has far-reaching benefits apart from just restoring the looks of your paving. Read on to learn more. Great cost savings Whether you’re repairing the effects of wear on your concrete or just carrying out maintenance to avoid future damage, concrete joint sealing is a great cost-saver. During the process, minimal repair work is carried out. The gaps are simply identified, cleared out and filled with a special sealer. Concrete joint sealing is therefore an affordable way to repair your paving as opposed to carrying out major reconstruction. Concrete joint sealing also reduces the amount of maintenance you need to carry out thereafter, saving you even more costs. Minimal downtime during repair Another thing to note about concrete joint sealing is that it’s a fast process. It’s the kind of paving maintenance treatment that can be carried out on your paving in just a few hours. Once done, your surfaces can resume work immediately. This means that concrete joint sealing will cause your premises or work area very little interruption. This makes the process ideal even for busy areas such as roads, driveways and runways. Prolongs the...