Concrete Contractors near me

Lay The Foundation For A Successful Project

concrete contractors near meConcrete Contractors Near Me

Choosing the right concrete contractor for the job is the first and most important step in your major home improvement projects when it comes to your foundation. Ensure the pro you pick is qualified, trustworthy and reliable by calling Concrete Walls located in Southern Maryland.

Choose wisely and protect your investment.

Tips to prepare for your next big home project in Southern MD 

The planning process is one of the most exciting parts of a home renovation project, and with social distancing keeping us indoors, now is the time to dream big and get ready.

Whether it’s a laying a new concrete foundation, basement makeover, a pool addition or even building a new house from scratch, here are some tips to get started:

  1. Factor in your lifestyle. Think about your priorities and lifestyle – do you work from home without a proper home office? Do you enjoy cooking and entertaining? Is your backyard living up to its potential as an extension of your home? Asking these kinds of questions can help you determine the most beneficial focus for your next project.
  2. Educate yourself. Take advantage of this extra time you have to learn about materials, processes and new innovations. You can make smarter purchasing decisions by finding out the answers to key questions, such as: Is this material mold-resistant? How long will it last? Is this a passing fad or will it stand the test of time?
  3. Consider sustainability. Products and materials that reduce your carbon footprint don’t just help the planet -they’re often better for your wallet, too. When doing your research, look for energy-efficient appliances, windows, walls and more to build a greener home that will last longer and save you money in the long run.
  4. Disaster-proof your design. The pandemic has taught us that sometimes the worst can happen. From natural disasters to fires and flooding, we need our homes to offer as much protection as possible. Whether you’re planning an extension to your home, pools and spas for your backyard or a custom-built home, insulated concrete forms from Nudura are a smart investment. An eco-friendly alternative to traditional materials like wood, ICFs are disaster resilient, designed to withstand wind, fire, tornados, and more.
  5. Budget for smart splurges and savings. Budgeting is one of the most important parts of the planning process because you want to spend your hard-earned money wisely. You’ll want to splurge on items that will boost your property value, like energy-efficient features, creating more living space and a solid foundation. Upcycling and repurposing furniture, DIY-ing simpler projects like painting, and spending more on nicer hardware but less on cabinets are clever ways to save.

When searching for  Concrete Contractors near me add Concrete Walls to the top of your list.

Preparing your home for the next natural disaster with Concrete

Make your home in Southern MD secure and resilient with concrete.

Preparing your home for the next natural disaster.

concrete homes in Southern MD can prepare for natural disastersWe all want our homes to be safe, comforting spaces that offer refuge and protection from the outside world. The global pandemic has taught us this, as well as the importance of preparation - not just for illness - but also for natural disasters like fires, floods, earthquakes, and tornados.

Making sure your house is a secure and resilient structure is critical no matter where you live, as global warming has altered the climates and weather events of many regions. Fortunately, thanks to advances in design and innovative materials, building a stronger, disaster-proof home is possible.

An alternative to traditional wood-framing, insulated concrete forms are an excellent option many engineers and designers are turning to. The steel-reinforced solid concrete cores range from four to 12 inches, providing far superior strength and safety compared to wood. Meanwhile the non-toxic, fire-retardant expanded polystyrene foam provides a fire protection rating of up to four hours.

Homes built with these ICFs are proven to survive natural disasters - houses that faced Hurricane Michael in Florida and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans are still standing. ICFs even offer wind resistance of up to 250 mph (402 kph), equivalent to an F4 tornado.

Homes that use ICF construction have other added benefits, including enhanced insulation for lower energy bills, a reduced carbon footprint, and improved ventilation for better indoor air quality and lower susceptibility to mold. Concrete forms also require less maintenance over time, saving you the expense and effort of continuous upkeep and providing additional peace of mind.

Call Concrete Walls in Southern MD for all your concrete needs.

A lesson in building a backyard retaining wall in Southern MD

retaining wall in Southern MD

A lesson in building a backyard retaining wall in Southern MD

Flat, even landscapes are often coveted in backyards. However, flat backyards are not always so easy to find. Fortunately, varied terrain does not mean that certain landscaping plans are entirely off limits, especially for homeowners willing to build retaining walls.

Retaining walls help turn steep slopes in a yard into terraced focal points. They also can reduce soil erosion in hilly areas and can be used for aesthetic purposes, like raised planters, or to create more usable space within the yard. When an inground pool or pond is cut into a backyard hill, a retaining wall helps keep the remaining portion of that hill from collapsing into the cut-away area.

Retaining Wall Projects

When contemplating retaining wall projects, a lesson in physics and engineering may be needed. A sturdy and long-lasting retaining wall needs to be built in a way that will take into consideration the force of the soil and the point at which the soil will begin to slide away, advises the experts at The Family Handyman. If these calculations seem beyond the scope of your ability, installation of a retaining wall is a job best left to a professional. If you are ready to forge ahead, these tips can get you started. However, it’s important to note the potential benefits of working with others who have already built a retaining wall.

  • Safety first: Call to have underground utilities plotted and marked before beginning any excavation.
  • Map out your trench and begin to dig. The trench should have a level, compacted base as it will be the foundation for which the retaining wall materials, be they blocks, bricks or wood, sit in. A crushed stone base will help anchor the courses and serve to promote drainage. The Family Handyman says to bury the first course of the retaining wall one-tenth the height of the wall to prevent soil behind it from pushing the bottom out.
  • Check for level. When placing blocks or timbers, make sure they are even with the first and periodically check for level as you go, advises the home improvement retailer Lowes®.
  • Stagger and set back. The next row of blocks or material should be positioned so that the joints are staggered for blocks, bricks or wood. A masonry blade will be needed to cut the harder materials; a circular saw will cut timber. Also, work against gravity by setting the second course slightly back from the first to help push back against the soil that is trying so hard to push forward. Repeat the process as each level is placed. Many retaining wall products are made with a lip to create this set back.
  • Go with the grade. For especially steep slopes, a gradual step-up design may be more secure and more appealing than a very tall retaining wall. Each level of a stepped design should be done like the first.
  • Backfill with stone for drainage. Using a layer of stone behind the retaining wall can help successfully direct water away so it will not increase the weight of the soil behind the wall and push against the retaining wall, advises The Home Depot.

Retaining walls serve different purposes in a yard. Building such a wall requires planning and careful execution to ensure the job is done correctly.

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More About Retaining Walls

History of Concrete from a nearby concrete company

history of concrete

All About Concrete

History

Despite how common concrete is in modern buildings, it has been around for thousands of years. There is some evidence of concrete having been used in Classical Greece.

The Royal Palace of Tiryns, which dates around the year 1300 BC was built with concrete floors, and lime mortars have been found in Greece, Cyprus, and Crete from the year 800 BC.

By the time of the Roman Empire, concrete was a common building material. In fact, the Romans used concrete so much that they had their own term for it—opus caementicium. Concrete was used frequently and enabled many new types of structures to be constructed. In fact, even the world-famous Roman Coliseum was built using concrete. In fact, Roman concrete even had strength approaching that of modern concrete.

After Rome, however, concrete fell out of fashion as a common building material. Builders in the Middle Ages favored wooden and stone structures, rather than concrete. While concrete was used here and there in the Middle Ages, it was not until the Industrial Revolution that it truly became popular again. Portland cement, the most common type of cement used today, was developed in England in 1824. Continuing in the development of modern concrete, reinforced concrete was invented in 1849. The first house made of concrete was constructed in 1853, while the first concrete reinforced bridge was built in 1875.

Fun Facts about Concrete

  1. Concrete is one of the only building materials available that is resistant to both water and fire. Concrete is incredibly durable when resisting fire—the material will not degrade in the presence of fire, it will not give off toxic fumes, and it will not catch on fire. Concrete buildings are able to survive in the presence of fire, unlike buildings made from other materials.

Concrete is also naturally resistant to water. When building structures underground, such as a parking garage, basement, or other lower levels of a building, concrete is the perfect choice of material, because it will naturally resist the moisture from being underground.

2. Concrete is the best material for building roads. Even though it’s a little bit more expensive than using asphalt to pave a new road, concrete pays off in the long run. Roads paved with concrete both last longer and require less maintenance than asphalt roads.

Another benefit is that specific mixes of concrete can be made to adapt to specific climates. So, for a road in the southwest, the concrete can be customized to a dry and hot climate, while roads in Minnesota can be customized to the cold climate.

3. Concrete can even be used underwater. The Romans developed a specific mix of concrete that hardened underwater, and their work is still used today. Portland cement can be used to reinforce underwater structures such as dams and piers. Plus, the natural water-resistance of concrete means that its structural qualities will remain year after year while underwater. It even performs better than steel or wood for these tasks.

Pouring Concrete Foundation in Winter Southern MD

Pouring Concrete Foundation Southern MD

All You Need to Know about Pouring Concrete Foundation During the Winter and Winning Client for Winter Project

Making a concrete foundation during the winter is always a concern to the homebuyers as they believe that the cold will jeopardize the integrity of the foundation. However, in cases where they fall behind season deadline with their design and modular, it becomes impossible for the contractor to pour the foundation before winter. Consequently, they will ask the contractor to delay the foundation until spring.

As you should expect, most people want their home constructed during the spring. Thus, projects during the period often take an extended period compared to the late summer and fall constructions. 

Is it safe to pour a concrete foundation in the winter?

Contrarily to what most laypeople think, it is possible to pour a concrete foundation in the cold winter through some effective methods. First off, it all boils down to covering the ground under the foundation from ice, snow, and frost. To do this, you need to protect the ground before the winter begins using hay, then layering the hay with plastic sheets – tarps are also a good idea.

Now, you will need the services of experienced concrete and foundation companies that can prepare a suitable concrete foundation for your site’s weather conditions – which, in this case, is cold temperature. To do this, the company will need to increase the water temperature and use extra cement for the mix. Furthermore, it is vital to control the air from getting trapped in the concrete. And importantly, they need to use accelerators to increase the process of curing.

Once the concrete foundation is poured, the accelerant will create a chemical reaction that will heat the concrete. With the heat, the concrete will be able to cure before freezing. However, great care should be taken; otherwise, it will not work if the heat is not retained. To help the process, it is essential to leave the wood cement forms for some days – you may remove them the next day if the temperature is really warm. Additionally, insulating blankets will be used to cover the cement and forms to reduce the loss of moisture. And lastly, a heater and enclosure can be used to maintain a temperature freezing point if the temperature is extremely low.

Protect Your Home from Inclement Weather by Constructing a Modular Home

If you plan to create a modular home, making the construction during the winter is a good idea. This is because modules are created in a climate-controlled industry. Before the modules reached the project’s site and positioned on the foundation, they would have been protected from the severe weather condition of the winter period. So, building a modular home is another effective method of pouring a concrete foundation safely during the winter weather as it will be protected from the rain, ice, and snow.

How do you explain pouring foundation in winter to a homeowner?

You need to make your client understand that pouring concrete foundation during the winter is possible – with reasons. To begin with, endeavor to inform your customer that paying attention to frost heaving and ensuring that your experienced team is protected from the elements is crucial to the project. Also, as long as you can adhere to winter construction practices, the task is highly possible.

Understandably, some homebuyers will still have concerns. So, endeavor to share the following details about the groundwork and other practices to convince them.

  • Mix design

In clear terms, make your clients understand that while the ratio of water to cement is crucial, an excessive amount of water will foster freezing. And more so, admixtures, such as calcium chloride and non-chloride accelerators, can speed up the hydration process. Consequently, it will generate more internal heat and improve concrete strength.

  • Concrete temperature

Another important consideration is the temperature of the concrete. According to research by CFA, the mix has to be secured from freezing until it attained 500 psi. More so, it has to be protected from multiple freeze cycles until it has achieved 3,500 psi. Hence, you need to explain to your client that delivering concrete with a higher temperature to the project site is a crucial part of the plan.

  • Ground Temperature

It is vital to consider the ground temperature as frozen ground expands, which may affect the soil’s load-bearing capacity. By constructing a concrete foundation on frozen ground, the structure might collapse once the soil thaws. Therefore, it becomes salient for the builders to insulate the ground with hay, then layer it with a tarp before freezing temperature is attained.

Sometimes, you may encounter a reluctant homeowner who is still concerned about pouring a concrete foundation during the winter. In this case, what you can do to save yourself from endless questions, as well as ease tensions ahead to make all the parties involved happy is to try the following ideas:

  • Discuss the whole process in simple and concise terms.
  • Enlighten your client about admixtures and how it generates heat within concretes.
  • Provide pictures of previous jobs done about pouring concrete foundation in the winter.
  • Provide beneficial and informative articles collected from the internet.
  • Ask them to visit the construction site together to state their concerns and provide answers accordingly.

After applying all the listed strategies to convince your client, another critical step to take is to provide testimonials from your previous homebuyers. Try to collate positive feedback, then allow your new prospects to read them. Also, you can ask your last satisfied client to share their experience about pouring concrete foundation in the winter. In this way, even the most reluctant client will be relaxed and willing to proceed with the project.

Additionally, endeavor to discuss some primary benefits of building a home in the winter with your clients. For instance, by constructing their projects during off-peak time helps reduce the costs and waiting times. Also, it provides the buyers with an opportunity to move into their new home before the busy construction period in the spring commences.

Conclusion

When you know that you can pour a concrete foundation safely during the winter, it gives you an edge over your competitors. Also, it helps get the most out of the less busy period of construction during the winter.

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Benefits of Poured Concrete 

What is concrete Acid Strain-Concrete Walls News Southern MD?

Southern MD wants to know what is a Concrete Acid Stain?

Many people are not familiar with the concrete acid stain technique. Concrete acid staining is not a paint or coating agent; it is the process of coloring concrete by setting off a chemical reaction on the surface. 

Concrete chemical reaction

The chemical reaction that takes place during a concrete acid stain is caused by mixing water, acid, and inorganic salts. These three ingredients mix with the minerals that are already present in the concrete, which in turn causes the concrete to change color. This process can work very nicely on both new and old concrete. If properly protected, concrete that has been acid stained will last a very long time. 

An acid stain project can be done on either interior or exterior walls. This is a common misconception. A lot of people think that you can only acid stain exterior walls, but this is definitely not true. Acid stain can be applied to many different areas including: walkways, entrances, driveways, patios, interior walls, retaining walls, or any other concrete area that is in need of a little sprucing up.

An acid stain gives the appearance of mottled, marbled look. It creates beautiful colors on any type of concrete. The end color is an earth tone brown, mixed with some reds and greens.  A great advantage of a concrete acid stain is that you can also make your own color by mixing and matching available colors that can be bought at any hardware store. One thing that you should remember is that you can never expect an acid stain to stay uniform in color. One slab of concrete will not look exactly like another.

If you are looking for a way to add color to your existing or new concrete surface look into acid staining. An acid stain can give your concrete surface a life of its own.

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Concrete Landscaping can add so much to your yard

In Southern MD concrete landscaping can add so much to your yard

concrete patio southern md

To hear the word concrete you may not think that it would be something to want in your yard but in fact, concrete landscaping has come a long way in the last 10 years or so. Now concrete landscaping is all the rage and it is very pretty too.

You can use concrete landscaping for many different parts of your yard. Most people use concrete landscaping ideas and designs for the walkways and paths that wind through their gardens. This is more for those with larger yards but even if your yard is small it could do with some concrete landscaping. You could put down a lively patio that you and your friends could it at to have drinks or tea. There is nothing more fun than a little party out on the patio on a nice day.

Stone walls are another form of concrete landscaping that has really caught on like wildfire. Walls are what will frame the whole home. They are the gorgeous and steely frame to the glorious painting that is your front and back yard. There are many other reasons to have concrete landscaping such as walls as well. These walls are perfect for keeping your pet in the yard. If you have a dog that is prone to run away then look into this kind of concrete landscaping. These walls are also very good for keeping intruders out. The harder your home is to get into the less likely burglars will be to bother trying. So look into this type of concrete landscaping today and talk to a professional about it.

You can also use concrete landscaping to keep your soil in place. If there is a part of your yard that is prone to slipping then you can build a retention wall expressly for this purpose. The best thing about concrete landscaping is that while it can be functional you can make it look as if it is just there for looks. There is so much that you can do with concrete landscaping because concrete is so easy to work with. You can use concrete landscaping bricks or you can use whole solid slabs. You can even get custom made concrete landscaping stones that are in unique and creative shapes and patters. Take some time and see what all is out there in terms of concrete landscaping, you might just be surprised.

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Sandblasting a Concrete Surface in Southern MD

In Southern MD sandblasting can be used to remove debris, dirt and other pollutants from the surface of the concrete or to remove the old concrete surface to lay the new one with better adhesive properties, or it can be used to give new texture to your concrete surface, or even used to engrave a new design into the surface using a stencil.

If you don t have a sandblaster, rent one from a nearby hardware or home improvement store.

To prevent any damage to the surrounding area cover it with a tarp and secure it with a tape. Abrasive material used in sandblasting can be harmful for the secondary surfaces, hence it is important to cover them properly. To make cleanup easier for you place a tarp parallel to the concrete right behind you, this will catch most of the wayward abrasive.

Always wear protective clothing, gloves and safety goggles and breathing mask before working on sandblasting. They will keep your body safe from any sort of injuries.

Prepare the sandblaster for sandblasting. Take the air compressor hose away after shutting all the valves off. Place a funnel on the fill hole of the abrasive container and fill it with silica sand. Recap the filler hole properly. Reattach the air compressor hose.

Turn on all the valves on sandblaster for nozzles and air compressor hose. Now add air pressure to the sandblaster tank. Read the manufacturer manual to find the exact pressure needed in that type of blaster.

Place the sandblaster nozzle at eight to ten inches from the concrete surface. Now unlock the sand valve on the sandblaster. This is so because when you activate the nozzle, this valve will allow the sand to enter into the air stream.

Start blasting the concrete. Keep the nozzle moving from side to side while blasting the concrete. Don t keep the nozzle positioned at the same place. Keeps the nozzle moving from one side to another covering the area needs to be blasted. They sandblaster spray sand on the concrete and it will scrape anything off from the concrete.

If you want to blast a certain pattern, etch a pattern on the concrete surface using stencil. Take the stencil away and blast the pattern.

The continuous blasting will scrape off the cement from the surface of the concrete. You will see the material which commonly gives strength to the concrete like small stones etc. sandblasting helps you to remove the cement easily without much effort.

Always use protective clothing, gloves and eyes safety goggles to prevent injuries. Keep checking the sand container occasionally while blasting the concrete to avoid clumping of the abrasive. Shaking it will give you an idea of how much sand is remaining and also prevent clumping.

Concrete Walls is waiting to hear from you to start your next concrete project.

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