A common and frequently sought after renovation, flatwork refers to any concrete project where the material is poured horizontally. When installed correctly, the cured concrete is smooth and durable enough to withstand constant vehicle and foot traffic, and heavy loads. Although you should hire a general contractor, knowing answers to the following questions will make you more informed about your project.
FAQ Regarding Concrete Flatwork
What does installation entail?
For site preparation, a contractor will level the ground where concrete will be installed. Wooden slats are often placed along the perimeter to section off the area and hold the poured mixture in place. When keeping the slab from sinking into the soil or crack later, aggregate or rebar is used for the subbase.
Concrete shrinks as it cures, which is why control joints are placed in the slabs. If the material does crack, this will relieve tension so the break is in a straight line instead of splintering.
What are common concrete flatwork projects?
International-Falls-Minnesota-concreteConcrete flatwork is involved in numerous home renovations that require flat surfaces. When creating sidewalks, contractors lay a bed of aggregate, then they pour the material in sections with expansion joints between each section. Rebar is commonly used for raised patio installation, while aggregate provides a durable surface for slabs flush with the ground. Whether rebar is also used for driveway installation depends on the slope of the earth.
What are the different finish options?
Contractors can use different dyes and finishes to create functional concrete surfaces that are aesthetically pleasing. For outdoor installations and building lobbies, it’s best to use a textured finish since they provide traction for wet surfaces. For industrial-inspired home interiors, smooth flatwork finishes can be used for counters and flooring.
What are some of the maintenance requirements?
To prevent stains and permanent discoloration, have the concrete sealed. The coating will block moisture and UV rays. Routinely check for small cracks and have them sealed immediately. This will prevent water infiltration that could corrode the material and cause any breaks to expand.
For concrete flatwork installation, contact Up North Builders in International Falls, MN. Boasting over 35 years of experience, their licensed, bonded, and insured technicians will see your construction project through, from the design stages to execution. For a consultation, call (218) 285-3635. View their project photos on the company’s website and Facebook page.
If your home features a concrete driveway, you want to keep it looking attractive and extend its life. When properly installed and cared for, your driveway might last for decades. Paying attention to these tips should help to maintain a beautiful path to your home well into the future.
Apply a sealant. One way to avoid hard-to-remove stains and protect your driveway is to apply a sealant every two to five years. Coating the driveway’s surface with a top-quality sealer limits discoloration and decay. To get started with this do-it-yourself project, purchase a silicone-based sealant from your local hardware store.
Remove oil stains and spills quickly. If liquids, such as motor oil and transmission fluid, leak from your vehicle onto the driveway, remove them quickly to avoid unsightly stains. If stains do occur, scrub the spots with WD-40® or with a mixture of 1 gallon of water and 1 cup ammonia, then rinse with your garden hose on high pressure. Spray-on oven cleaners or pressure washing also remove oil and transmission fluid stains well.
Use corrosive materials for de-icing. Corrosive substances, including ammonium sulfates, ammonium nitrates, and rock salt, are enemies of concrete because they break down the materials that compose the driveway. To help melt ice and snow and prevent slipping, use substitute materials such as kitty litter or sand.
Park heavy trucks or plow with metal blades.Concrete residential driveways are durable, but they aren’t designed as parking pads for heavy commercial trucks, moving vans, or large vehicles that use snowplow blades. As well, be cautious about shoveling with metal blades, especially with driveways less than a year old, as they might damage the surface.
Whether you want to install a concrete driveway or maintain one, get help from the professionals at Up North Builders, Inc. Based in International Falls, MN, this general contractor has a 30-year record of providing quality construction services for residential and commercial clients. They offer sound advice and dedicated service with a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. For more information about their custom home and remodeling services, call (218) 285-3635 or visit their website.