• Try This Trick for Removing Oil Stains from Concrete

    Concrete patios and driveways are durable , but can be susceptible to oil stains. If yours become stained, your concrete contractor in Murfreesboro might recommend trying the cola trick. See a demonstration of this when you watch this featured video.

    All you’ll need to clean your driveway’s surface is a new bottle of cola, a stiff-bristled scrub brush, and a bucket of water. First, give the cola bottle a few good shakes. Point the top at the oil stain and open the cap. Pour a generous amount of fizzy cola on the stain, and replace the cap. Scrub the concrete vigorously with the brush, and rinse with the water. If the stain is still there, repeat the process until it’s gone.

  • How Trees Can Move Your Foundation & What to Do About It

    Trees are a beautiful addition to any landscape. They grace your yard with beauty, give you shade in the summer, encourage birds to nest near your home, and may even give you fruit or nuts during harvest time. But trees also have one major disadvantage: They can cost you thousands of dollars in damage to your foundation. Take a proactive approach by contacting a foundation services company near Murfreesboro, and ask how you can help your foundation last for years to come.

    Misconceptions About Tree Roots and Foundations

    Many homeowners are aware of the damage that tree roots can do to their sewer line. Tree roots are quite strong, and can penetrate through pipes and cause clogs. Because of this, homeowners often mistakenly think that tree roots damage foundations in the same way. But in fact, trees are less directly responsible for foundation problems. The underlying cause is the expansion and shrinkage of the soil.

    Ways Roots Do Damage Foundations

    A mature, thirsty tree can gulp up tens of gallons of water in one day. As the soil dries, it settles and shrinks. It’s the movement of the soil that ultimately leads to foundation damage, since the concrete will move as the soil moves. The concrete foundation may crack or it may shift. A shifting movement tends to cause more severe structural damage to the home. Severe shifting is more likely to affect older homes.

    Steps You Can Take to Prevent Foundation Damage

    If you think you might already have foundation damage, you should call in a team of concrete contractors right away. Delaying repairs can make the problem worse. However, even if your home was recently built and shows no signs of damage, taking proactive steps will help keep it in good condition. Ask your contractor about installing a root barrier. This is a polyethylene barrier that is buried in a trench around the perimeter of your home. The purpose of the barrier is to prevent thirsty tree roots from drinking the water near the foundation, which will preserve the integrity of the soil.

  • Understanding Concrete Curing

    Homeowners who choose concrete driveways often do so because they are equally elegant and rugged. But it takes a while for the material to become hard and durable. As soon as the concrete contractor in Murfreesboro finishes installing the driveway, the curing process begins. During curing, the contractor must maintain the concrete at the ideal temperature and moisture level so that the driveway will develop its desired properties.

    Why Curing Is Necessary

    If concrete isn’t allowed to cure properly, it won’t have its maximum strength and durability. The curing process is central to concrete’s capacity to withstand the damaging effects of freezing and thawing. Curing also gives the material greater resistance to scaling and abrasion. If slabs aren’t cured, they will be prone to crazing. This is the development of hairline cracks.

    How Long Concrete Takes to Cure

    There are three phases to the concrete curing process. The initial phase is characterized by the settling of the concrete mixture. As this happens, “bleed water” rises to the surface and begins evaporating. The contractor will evaluate the rate of evaporation to determine if the bleed water is evaporating more quickly than it’s rising out of the mixture. If so, then it will be necessary to do some initial curing. The intermediate curing stage is when the contractor will perform the stamping, if required. This is followed by the final curing. The initial curing takes about seven days, and for at least the first three days, people and pets should avoid walking on the surface. The total curing process usually takes 28 days, during which time it should not be subjected to heavy equipment.

    How Proper Curing Occurs

    It’s commonly thought that concrete cures automatically, but it actually needs to be taken care of while the material sets and develops its strength. There are two primary methods used during the first week: Moist curing and membrane curing. Moist curing requires keeping water on the surface at all times, such as by using a sprinkler. The second method involves the use of a liquid membrane-forming compound, called a curing compound. The contractor can apply the curing compound to the surface. Once dry, the substance prevents evaporation.

  • Can Concrete Be Sealed in the Winter?

    Although Murfreesboro has moderate winters, concrete installers still exercise caution when sealing concrete. All concrete sealers have an MFT, which is the minimum film-forming temperature. This means that, if applied to a concrete driveway below this temperature, the sealer film won’t adhere properly. When this occurs, the surface develops delamination, white dusting, and white hazing. A general rule of thumb is to seal concrete only when the ambient air temperature and surface temperature are at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, there are always exceptions.

    Some concrete sealers use solvents that cure faster than others. This means that they are less likely to be adversely affected by cold temperatures. For example, water-based solvents are best used during the summertime, while acetone-based solvents are arguably the best ones to use during colder weather. Another consideration is the method of application. Concrete installers will usually spray on the sealer, rather than roll it on when the weather is chilly. Spraying sealer will allow for a more even, thinner coat that will cure more quickly.

  • The Beauty and Function of Concrete

    Concrete has an enormous number of applications—far more than many homeowners have considered. From concrete slab foundations to driveways, walkways, and even full home structures, there are an incredible number of ways concrete can be used in and around your home. If you’re considering the use of concrete in Murfreesboro for your home, this video will help you understand your options.

    In this video, you’ll see a home that uses concrete for everything from the foundation slab to the siding and roofing. Concrete is also used for the outdoor space. The home, however, does not look like what most people picture when they envision a concrete home. It looks like a home with traditional siding, showcasing the functionality and aesthetic potential of using concrete in home design.

  • Protect Your Foundation by Fixing Plumbing Problems

    Your foundation is one of the most critical parts of your home. If you develop issues like cracks or an uneven foundation, then cracked walls, uneven floorings, doors that won’t close, and structural problems with your home’s frame will follow. Having a concrete foundation slab near Murfreesboro can help prevent these issues, but there are still some steps you need to take to ensure that your foundation remains strong and viable for the life of your home. One of these important steps is taking action fast when plumbing problems develop.

    Plumbing problems can be disastrous for your foundation. Water leaks will damage the foundation by changing the volume of the soil that surrounds it. First, water leaks can wash away soil, leaving parts of your foundation without support, leading to cracks and dropping. Water can also cause soil to expand. Over time, this puts excessive pressure on your foundation, causing cracks and faults. For these reasons, it’s important to protect your concrete foundation by having any necessary plumbing problems fixed quickly.

  • Strategies for Increasing Your Home’s Value

    Often, the key to increasing your home’s value starts outside of your door. There are may changes you can make to your outdoor area that will increase your curb appeal and make your home more valuable, and many of those changes start with concrete. Concrete is a versatile and durable material that can be used in countless ways to boost the exterior appeal of your home. Here is a look at some of the ways you can use concrete in Murfreesboro to boost your home’s value.

    Concrete Driveway

    Concrete driveways offer a smooth surface and the ability to add colors and patterns into your driveway design. Concrete is a major upgrade from gravel, and it is also superior to asphalt. Asphalt driveways can look aesthetically pleasing, but they require maintenance to stay in good condition. Asphalt needs to be periodically sealed, or it will begin to crack. Even with careful maintenance, asphalt will fail before concrete. Concrete driveways look great, don’t need any kind of maintenance, and will last for over 30 years.

    Concrete Patio

    Increasing your usable outdoor space is a proven way to increase your property value. With a concrete patio, you get added livable space that is both durable and low-maintenance. Concrete is easily adapted to match your color and shape preferences, so that your patio will blend seamlessly into your existing aesthetic. Concrete patios last for decades and are ideal for creating everything from a small gazebo space to large outdoor kitchens.

    Concrete Walkways

    Concrete is the perfect material to use to create a walkway for your home. Design a path that leads from your driveway to your front door or from the street up to your porch. Walkways are also ideal for making paths from your home across your yard to a pool or other outdoor sitting area. Walkways can be designed in a multitude of colors and can incorporate decorative patterns to boost their appeal for your property.

  • Best Practices for Cold Weather Concreting

    Although the weather is generally mild in Murfreesboro, when the days get cool, there are some special steps your concrete company must take to ensure that you get the best possible results. Here are the facts you need to know about concrete pouring in cold weather conditions.

    Defining Cold Weather

    As a strong, durable material, concrete can stand up to extreme weather conditions for decades, but when it is being poured and before it is cured, cold weather can interfere with the installation process. As a general rule, temperatures of 40 degrees F or below can be problematic for concrete. For the Tennessee region, these temperatures are typically limited to a small window of time between December and March. Long-term freezing temperatures are rare. Your concrete company will follow the weather forecast closely to ensure that they take the appropriate steps if your installation will occur on a cold-weather day.

    Prepping

    If the ground is frozen, your concrete company may wait to pour the concrete until it has warmed. The ground must also be free of ice and snow. If concrete is poured onto frozen ground, it will settle and crack as the ground thaws. The top could also set while the bottom does not. In some cases, ground heaters can be used to thaw frozen ground. Any tools used to work on the concrete itself must also be warmed so that they are above freezing. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t apply deicing agents to any ground that is going to be treated with concrete.

    Curing

    If temperatures are going to reach 40 degrees F or below at any time during the concrete installation process, your concrete company will follow cold weather curing procedures. Typically, solvent-based curing products or cure-and-seal chemicals should be used to prevent freezing in the concrete before it is set. One challenge of winter weather in the Tennessee region is that the ground typically goes through freeze-and-thaw cycles daily, with cold nights and warmer days. Your concrete company may use tenting or heat retention blankets to protect the concrete during curing for this reason.

  • Why Concrete Tops Asphalt as a Driveway Material

    Concrete driveways near Murfreesboro aren’t the only kinds of driveways. Asphalt is another common material for use in driveway surfaces, but it might not but the best choice for your needs. Concrete tends to be a more reliable choice than asphalt, and it offers a handful of benefits that asphalt can’t compete with. If you’re planning on doing some renovating, continue reading and find out why concrete tops asphalt as a driveway material.

    Your driveway should be durable and easy to maintain, and the right choice can boost your curb appeal for decades. Although asphalt and concrete are both viable materials, concrete is the clear winner. That’s because it stands up well against the elements, and it doesn’t need to be sealed. The opposite is true for asphalt, as these driveways are prone to cracking and must be sealed regularly to keep their appeal. Whether you choose concrete or asphalt for your driveway, you should repair small problems before they escalate. The good news for concrete driveway owners is that this is less likely to become a concern over the years. Save money and hassle by talking to your contractor about a concrete driveway.

  • Landscaping Ideas for Your New Concrete Patio

    There’s a lot you can do with a concrete patio, which is one reason it can be such a versatile concrete installation near Murfreesboro. You can get as creative as you want when you design yours, but you might need a little inspiration to get the creativity flowing. Watch this video for some landscaping ideas for your new concrete patio .

    Landscaping can be broken down into softscaping and hardscaping, and you can use both to bring your concrete patio to life. Flowers, shrubs, and trees all have their places on the patio. Group a few different kinds of potted flowers together in different sized containers for a focal point with a nice variety of color and shape. Or, consider small trees or large shrubs to add faux walls to your patio and increase your privacy. Use the colors already present in your backyard design to help you choose your plants.