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!

Want Coloured Concrete? Try These Different Methods

Concrete is an excellent material not just for your driveway or patio, but also for a sunroom or inside your home with the flooring and countertops. The problem is that the off-white natural colour of concrete isn’t that fun to have inside your home. A better option is to colour it, which allows you to control the overall appearance and really make it your own. Here are some different methods to use for getting coloured concrete.  Stain One of the more popular methods for colouring concrete is to stain it. You can use this for any type of concrete, whether it is going to be used inside or outside your home. Staining is done with acid stain, so you want to use this method if you are going for more of an earthy tone. This would be in a range of browns, tans, blues, and greens. It is perfect for your indoor concrete floors when you want them to blend in well with your home’s d├ęcor, but get away from that natural concrete colour. Pigments You can also add colour to your concrete by adding pigments of colour. These pigments are made up of ground particles of colour that are added to the concrete during the mixing process. You will need to control the shade of colour based on how much concrete is being mixed, so generally a professional should be in charge of this. Pigments are great when you want to choose from a wider variety of colours than what staining offers you. You can still go with the earthy tones or go for other colours like orange,...

Premix Concrete | 3 Considerations When Planning Exposed Aggregate For The Footpath Leading To Your Home

While plain concrete can seem dull, exposed aggregate premix concrete presents unparalleled aesthetic appeal for any hard ground spaces around your home, including your driveways, pool decks, patios and footpaths. Decorative aggregate can transform your space beautifully, so consider these factors when planning to use it on the footpath leading to your home. Consider The Existing Finish Of Your Home The existing finish of your home will play a role in the exposed aggregate premix concrete you choose for the path leading to your home. Exposed aggregate has a number of different finishes, so you can choose something that complements the look and architectural style of your home. For instance, if you have a Victorian-styled home, then you can choose a traditional paver-block finish for complementary appeal. If you have a modern home, then a sleek pebble border with an internal granite finish gives exposed aggregate pathways minimalistic appeal. You even have the flexibility to match the pathway to the colours of your home for increased curb appeal. Plan The Shape Of The Pathway The type of look you’re trying to create typically determines the shape of your pathway. For example, you may want to produce a winding pathway with exposed aggregate premix concrete for curvaceous decorative appeal or you may want to create an oval-shaped pathway leading to your front door. Curved pathways look especially interesting when you have a unique garden because they add instant visual interest to your outdoor spaces. With plenty of shapes and designs available for pathways, you can use exposed aggregate concrete to uplift your garden, fencing and other outdoor areas.  Establish A...

Problems During Diamond Core Drilling and How to Solve Them

Diamond core drilling is the use of diamond core bits in drilling. Diamond is one of the strongest materials on earth, and can drill through almost any hard material. Diamond core bits are commonly used in concrete core drilling as they drill into concrete and reinforced concrete materials with little effort. Drill bits made from other materials such as aluminium can wear off quickly when used in reinforced concrete.  There are various problems that you can encounter during diamond core drilling. Understanding them and how to counter them is paramount to the success of a core drilling project. Here are some of those problems and their solutions. The core bit not drilling There are various reasons why the diamond core bit can fail to drill when the drill is powered. One of the reasons is using too much water during wet drilling. Also, you could be using a diamond drill bit with a hard matrix during concrete core drilling. Hard material requires diamond drill bits with a soft matrix. Also, ensure you use just enough water to form slurry on the concrete. If you use excess water, the drill bit may not be able to drill into the concrete. Excessive wear of diamond core drill Diamond core bits are meant to wear away as you drill, however, if they wear prematurely, the drill could be running on excessive motor power. Check the motor and adjust the power to match the core diameter. Also, if you use a hard diamond matrix with hard materials such as concrete, it will wear away quickly. A soft matrix should be used on hard...

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...