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Concrete and salt

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by ktfbgb, Sep 18, 2016.

  1. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    Ok not trying to start a fight here, and moderators if this is the wrong section to put this in go ahead and move it. An older thread below mine reguarding non payment for plowing because of some concrete problems that were unrelated to the snow removal sparked me wanting to post this thread. I am by no means a concrete expert. One of the services my company offers is concrete installation which is subbed out if it's a larger project, and concrete resurfacing which we have had really good success with so far. Non of my questions pertain to roads, highways, industrial jobs etc. I only deal with residential work as my license is residential and not dual for commercial etc. I have done a lot of research on my own, I have learned from pros in the industry here as well. I want to put down my understanding on the subject and see if I am missing anything, or am completely wrong, or whatever input you may have. I sell these services to my customers and give them advice that I believe to be the best and always want to learn more and make sure I am giving the best advice. I want my products to last well beyond the warranty period and I charge a premium for my services. Below is my understanding of concrete.

    1. All concrete will crack eventually. It's just what it does. The prep that is done before hand on the sub base, base, drainage etc. will determine how soon it does. Up here for most residential drives, patios, and walks we have gotten away from rebar and recommend using fiber instead. Again this is residential on grade stuff.

    2. Salt itself is not inheritantly dangerous to concrete it's self. What salt does is accelerates the freeze thaw cycling allowing water to penetrate into unsealed concrete and then freeze causing the concrete to spall. (A lot of people also call it flaking, out here at least we call it spalling). The way to prevent spalling is to use a penetrating sealer that does not build on the surface making it slippery when wet. The exception to this is with exposed aggregate in which case a lot of customers want the wet look to highlite the colored concrete. We advise them that it can still get really slippery however not as bad as broom finished as the agg is exposed. The wet look sealers have to be applied every couple years. The penetrating non build stuff we are using is called radon seal and actually penetrates the full thickness of the slab and therefore never wears off and keeps water from penetrating the concrete forever thus almost eliminating the possibility of spalling.

    Number two is what I'm really getting at here and want to get opinion from more guys in here. Again this is what I have researched and have learned from other pros. I know that spalling has other factors such as insulating the concrete if it's going to freeze while it's doing the initial cure, using a retarder if it's hot so that it doesn't cure too fast, the quality of the finishing etc. etc.

    Thanks ahead of time. Can't wait to hear from everyone.
     
  2. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,855

    Could be wrong, but the greater majority of concrete here is not sealed. And if provided by a decent redi-mix company will not spall.

    Maybe Defcon and some others will jump in, but you are correct, salt does not chemically harm concrete. If it gets to the rebar or wire, it will cause problems there, but not the concrete itself.
     
  3. FredG

    FredG 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,212

    A hot load of concrete off the truck could definitely cause flaking, Installing in the winter and freezing can do the same. Fibermesh is cool for residential, Yes your sub base is important, Most concrete will bridge but fail over time or weight. For extra stabilization of your sub base you could use marafi paper under your stone. Givin enough time salt will damage most services.

    This is where it gets interesting, I don't believe in sealers, It's your curing process that's important to concrete as part of the installation process thats important not a sealer. Always wet your sub base. I have paved roadways, tarmac, poured residential to. Water and burlap is the proper way to cure concrete.

    If you want to use a sealer after pouring fine. The foot traffic will wear it off the surface. You got it has far as I know, The sealer thing will be a argument till were all pushing daises.
     
  4. FredG

    FredG 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,212

    BTW, Yes all concrete will crack, Hopefully in your case in your control joints.
     
  5. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 8,503

    what kind of lic?
    ." I only deal with residential work as my license is residential and not dual for commercial"
    all of the business lic I hold dont limit the scope of work that can be preformed. ??

    ho, salt, you have to feed it properly or it will eat everything.

    Bad concrete is the concrete guys issue, my job is to clear the snow and apply a ice melt of some type as requested by the costumer.
     
  6. FredG

    FredG 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,212

    I hope your putting your Joints in wet, Not coming back the next day with a saw.
     
  7. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    Thanks for the replies so far guys.

    Fred yep we put control joints in wet. I want to look into the burlap curing. I've never seen that around here but thinking about it makes sense. Your covering it with burlap and wetting that to hold moisture for a longer slower amount of time rather than misting the concrete directly with water?

    Sno- I was referring to my contractors license. In my state we have a lot of different licenses for contractors. There are different categories for different trades etc. and also different requirements between residential and commercial or a dual license for both. So for me right now I am licensed to do smaller residential remodeling. I am in process however of upgrading to a general remodeling contractor license that is dual for commercial and residential. Our business license process is pretty standard and doesn't matter what you are doing as long as you have one. And ya I realize that the bad concrete is the concrete guys problem. Just sometimes I am the concrete guy that pours the new new driveway in spring and then services that customer for snow removal in the winter. I get called in a lot as well to do repair and resurfacing so I want to make sure we are giving the best advice so their product will last the longest amount of time possible.
     
  8. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,569

    This reminds me of what an old farmer that I know chimed in while a group of us were solving the worlds problems in his shop years ago :)drinkup::drinkup:) and we made it to the logistics how to control the cracking of concrete

    3 rules of concrete young men...
    It is going to get hard...
    It is going to crack...
    And no one is going to steal it...

    Fred - What is the basis behind a tooled joint vs a saw cut? (Honest Question) I just ask as we do what the customer requests. I personally would not ever want tooled joints on a floor in a shop. Every bit of dirt gets stuck in them, creeper wheels get stuck in them, they just suck.

    Mesh and bar will not stop cracking, they will control separating, heaving, and falling.

    As for the flaking... that typically is from hot concrete or getting a heal in a load. We have a local ready mix company here that guys who pour a bunch of concrete will not use as they are notorious for leaving a heal in the truck from the load before and loading your material on top of that heal. After you get a couple of those loads and you have a spot in the middle of someones pour that is black from scrubbing the sh*t out of it to try to get it to cream, then it eventuality blows up... you know how the word on the playground gets around.
     
  9. FredG

    FredG 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,212

    I'm not saying you have to do that with residential. I'm just trying to prove a point about useless sealers. If you want to use the burlap you need garden hose with little holes in it to create a mist on the burlap.

    We do jobs for the state and they make you use colored cure and seal for sidewalk. There the only ones left that does that. City, County etc. Do not have it in the specs. no more.
     
  10. FredG

    FredG 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,212

    I was referring to outside work, I don't pour floors anymore. I was assuming the op was to. Now to get to your honest answer you have coming.

    Rule of thumb for control joints. When I was pouring floors I used a wet saw to get the joints in as soon as possible. Guys that don't put joints in are usually Lazy,:terribletowel: without proper tools (wet saw) or just suk at it.

    The longer you wait to put your joints in the deeper you have to cut your slab. Probably can google it.

    I never said mesh, re bar whatever will stop cracking.

    Around here if dispatch tells them to bring a hot load somewhere they bring it. Been on jobs where we turned them down after putting a thermometer in it. The ready mix company's have guys that go in the drum to remove hot concrete from time to time.

    If your client wants saw cut (inside or out) Buy a wet saw. Your slab has begun to crack while those slackers :terribletowel: are waiting till next day to lay it out and cut it,

    How did I do?????:nod: :clapping: :waving:
     
  11. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,569

    Pretty decent...

    I guess what I thought you meant by putting the joints in wet was implying tooling joints with a groover in and not cutting while concrete is still green.

    I could not agree with cutting as soon as you can get on it... You are 100% right that it has started cracking (typically not in the spots where your cuts are.


    I didn't mean to say that you did say anything about the mesh and what not. I was just adding that to the thoughts that were trickling out of my head at the moment as general BS.
     
  12. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    We are only doing small outside stuff. If it were a bigger job or an interior slab we sub it out. I still have to know what I'm talking about though since I'm the one selling the product to the customer and have to tell the subs what I want. We usually tool the control joints. That is typical here for outdoor concrete. You are starting to see more saw control joints for garage floors and interior slabs that will be the finished floor though.
     
  13. FredG

    FredG 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,212

    Nah It's not the tool, When you cut them and the depth is suppose to be whats right. That's what was drilled in my head anyways, If nothing else you don't have to go back besides some clean up. :laugh: :waving:
     
  14. FredG

    FredG 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,212

    Yes you want to saw cut interior slabs. You don't have time to come back and saw cut. You won't be at your high earning potential. Your boys got 1 or 6 bullfloat handles on your joint er and edgers. This would be my next move.

    There's a place in Phoenix got numerous tools you use on a handle some of the best I ever used. They take a little time to get used to but the only way to go. The guys don't come in crippled up from the 80yards of sidewalk you poured from the day before. If your young enough and have a dedicated source for finishers you can pour City sidewalks for GC's make a nice check. I don't know the SQ FT price no more. I only do small jobs and repairs now. I try to base it on 10 10.5 a sq ft. I did this for a while.

    You need two guys setting setting forms a head of your finishers, Need to set at least 1000ft linear ft. per day and pour the following day, Repeat for a couple of days then step back and tie everything in, Meaning wheel chair ramps aprons etc. The GC does all the prep. with in a inch. Make sure they know this is a inch low.

    I do know the GC's around here are always looking for new blood. The only problem is you have to leave 10% from your earnings for 1YR. You doing any curb? Last I new they were getting $18 to 20 a ft.
     
  15. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,569

    Retainage checks suck for the first year, but once they start coming in, it is sometimes comical if you actually get one that you have not had to follow up on a ask for. Those ones crack me up when they come in and you are looking at Quickbooks and asking... "what the heck job is this from???" :confused::confused::confused:

    Think of a retainage check like a unwanted savings plan that makes no interest... :wall:
    and you have to remember to ask for it as typically in our area GC's don't just send them out without an e mail or phone call asking for them... but there are those few that do!

    Pretty good advise overall there Fred! ;) Thumbs Up
     
    FredG likes this.
  16. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    This is why I love this site so much. Thanks for all the wisdom! I'm not doing any city sidewalks or curbs right now as my license is only residential. But I am upgrading to a dual license. Once that happens then maybe I'll start looking into it. I'm always looking for opportunities to fill voids where I can make some coin. And doing sidewalks would not require a big capitol purchase for new tools etc. As for the tools out of Phoenix I know what your talking about I think. They carry them in town at Border Supply. Made by Kraft tool co.? They are hand crafted and "broken" in.
     
  17. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    3 rules of concrete young men...
    It is going to get hard...
    It is going to crack...
    And no one is going to steal it...

    Thumbs Up

    As for the flaking... that typically is from hot concrete or getting a heal in a load. We have a local ready mix company here that guys who pour a bunch of concrete will not use as they are notorious for leaving a heal in the truck from the load before and loading your material on top of that heal. After you get a couple of those loads and you have a spot in the middle of someones pour that is black from scrubbing the sh*t out of it to try to get it to cream, then it eventuality blows up... you know how the word on the playground gets around.[/QUOTE]

    Most of what I am re surfacing or ripping out and re pouring is older stuff. Like 10-15 years old. Would this still be the case? Here in AZ they just started using salt on state highways and the interstates like 5-7 years ago. All city streets are just cindered still. So there are a lot of driveways that are spalling out right under where vehicles are parked and they drip. So the conclusion was that since we didn't have a wide spread problem with spalling before they started using salt that it was being caused by the accelerated freeze thaw cycling from the salt. Was it maybe just crap ready mix or finishing from the couple big guys up here that is just now showing up? We are a small town only 120,000 people. Back then was more like 80,000. So there were a couple concrete contractors that did 80% of the work.
     
  18. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,569

    Most of what I am re surfacing or ripping out and re pouring is older stuff. Like 10-15 years old. Would this still be the case? Here in AZ they just started using salt on state highways and the interstates like 5-7 years ago. All city streets are just cindered still. So there are a lot of driveways that are spalling out right under where vehicles are parked and they drip. So the conclusion was that since we didn't have a wide spread problem with spalling before they started using salt that it was being caused by the accelerated freeze thaw cycling from the salt. Was it maybe just crap ready mix or finishing from the couple big guys up here that is just now showing up? We are a small town only 120,000 people. Back then was more like 80,000. So there were a couple concrete contractors that did 80% of the work.[/QUOTE]

    No, that is not from a hot load. That is just concrete that has seen some wear and tear. The hot loads show up very quickly.

    Small town of 120,000??? Woah. What do you call the town I live in we have 2400 residents and 1700 of them are in locked up in the correctional facility on the edge of town. :confused: :eek: :laugh:
     
    FredG likes this.
  19. FredG

    FredG 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,212

    No, that is not from a hot load. That is just concrete that has seen some wear and tear. The hot loads show up very quickly.

    Small town of 120,000??? Woah. What do you call the town I live in we have 2400 residents and 1700 of them are in locked up in the correctional facility on the edge of town. :confused: :eek: :laugh:[/QUOTE]
    :laughing: :laughing::laughing: Life in the big city, :eek:
     
  20. ktfbgb

    ktfbgb Senior Member
    Messages: 770

    Ha well I guess it's not so small. Still feels that way some times. Trying to get materials for jobs, finding quality subs, etc. is super difficult here. I guess I was comparing to the Phoenix area 2 hours south of us with a couple million people.

    Hey on another note do you guys have a labor pool worth a c$&@ out there? Trying to find guys willing to do any kind of work who are young enough to do it is like pulling teeth here. It's so bad here that the registrar of contractors, that's who issues contractor licenses in our state, is holding open forum meetings to get ideas of how to increase participation in young people getting into the trades. Pretty soon there will be no one left to do trade work, at least that's what it feels like. And it's really really sad. I keep hiring guys in their 40's and 50's. They are usually great but holy crap try finding them a laborer :wall: