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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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