If you’re taking on a concrete project by yourself, you may not be sure whether or not concrete sealant is necessary. For some projects, it’s not; for others, it’s a necessity. Here’s some things to consider when determining whether or not a concrete sealant is necessary or not.

Do You Need a Concrete Sealant?

The first thing to consider is why concrete sealant is necessary. It’s used to offer a further protection for concrete or cement, especially when outside. Water, weather and wear and tear can eventually breakdown and crack concrete. Concrete is permeable, which means water can seep into it and eventually crack the concrete or cement, forcing you to repair or replace it. By using a concrete sealant, you can help make your concrete last much longer.

If you’re building something outside with concrete, like a patio, you want to use a concrete sealant to help it stand up the elements longer. If you’re building something indoors, you may want to consider using a sealant anyway. A concrete sealant can help keep your concrete or cement keep up its appearance much longer than without it. However, for some projects, you just don’t need a concrete sealant. For examples, if you’re using concrete as a basement floor, then laying wood or carpet over it, you may not need a sealant so long as the basement isn’t leak prone.

When taking on any concrete project, consider the long-term functionality of the cement or concrete. If you’re not sure about sealant, consult a professional. You may find out the scope of the project needs a professional to truly make it work the way you want. A concrete professional can make any concrete or cement project that much easier on you, along with ensuring it lasts long into the future with few issues or maintenance to deal with along the way.

Going green is a popular trend in construction and in our daily lives. As people are looking for ways to go green, they’re looking at what they can do around them to help the environment and reduce their carbon footprint. Here’s what you can do as a homeowner when working with concrete to do your part and be green.

How to Go Green with Concrete

When working with a concrete professional, ask what they do with any leftover, ruined or extra concrete. Many will recycle or use it for additional projects, charging you only for what you use and what is used for the project. If there’s anything leftover, or perhaps you’re having old concrete removed, you can recycle it in many cases.

There’s several ways to recycle concrete. If you’re hiring a company to do it, they often will offer to haul it away for you for a fee. You can request to have it recycled. Depending on the condition of the concrete, they may even buy it from you at a discounted price for having to haul it, too. It always pays to see if your concrete company can help you with recycling concrete.

If you’re taking on a project yourself, you can always reach out on Craigslist or into the local community. There are many art, community and school projects that might be in the need of recycled concrete. If this is the case, they’ll often come take it off your hands for free which allows it to be recycled.

There are a variety of ways to go green when owning a home. It takes some time and research, but it can be done. If you’re taking on a new concrete project, consider what steps you can take to help save the environment and reduce your carbon footprint.

Rest stops are a staple of the American commute. If you’ve ever driven cross-country, you’ve stopped at them here or there to go to the bathroom, eat lunch or buy souvenirs. Rest stops vary from state-to-state. Recently, concrete rest stop tipis have received some national recognition as a new way to not only stop and see the country but to take part in something amazing on the road.

Whitwam’s wigwams, or tipis, were opened more than 50 years ago. They were placed along Interstate 90 and are made of concrete. They’re concrete instate tipis and were entered into the National Register of Historic Places as Ward Whitwmam’s concrete instate tipis. There were four tipis in this area of the country and five more from South Dakota that were built during the years 1939 to 1979.

These concrete tipis have been recognized by the National Park Service (NPS), along with the state of South Dakota. The American Indian culture preserved by the concrete tipis is just one part of honoring them throughout history. South Dakota is known for a variety of rest stops, including Dinosaur Park, the pheasant in Huron, Milbank’s windmill and Chef Louis’s steak house. While the tipis represent more art than anything else, they’re worth a stop by on any trip through the state.

Whitwam originally meant for more concrete tips to be littered across the state but they proved more difficult than he thought to build and move into place. The concrete tipis were covered with earth, reflecting sod houses that many in the American Indian culture used to live in. The concrete tipi bases reach 35 feet in diameter and feature a three foot opening at its height. They cost about $225,000 in the 1960s to erect.

Concrete tipis are just one unique way concrete is used in building. Have you ever seen the concrete tipis? If not, they’re worth a trip, whether you’re driving through the states or take the time out of a trip to do it.

3D printing is changing the way just about everyone does anything. While 3D printers are still out of the reach of most of the consumer base, many construction industries are starting to use 3D printers to make things easier during projects. Let’s look at how 3D printing could change the concrete industry and how it’s already being used around the world when it comes to building.

3D printing, for the most part, allows you to print just about anything within reason. Depending on the type of printer you have, you can print with a variety of materials. These materials can then be used in the building and construction in different ways. While the industry is still trying to figure out how to regulate 3D printed materials, it’s only a matter of time before they become a regular thing used in finishing everything from buildings to cars and more.

In China, an almost complete 3D printed apartment building has been built. Can you imagine living in a 3D printed building? Can you imagine the way building and projects will change when you can 3D print at home or hire a contractor who can do it for you? Right now, the most abundant 3D printing related to concrete comes in the form of concrete molds.

Let’s say you want to use a concrete mold or stamp that a contractor doesn’t have or that you make up on your own? A 3D printer can make it happen in no time at all. That gives you the opportunity to use the mold or stamps you want, without having to compromise on your creative or design vision. This can change the way you use concrete and other materials.

3D printing allows contractors and builders do more than they ever thought possible. Instead of waiting for materials to be shipped or delivered, they can do it themselves. They can print what you want, when you need it, and can get the job done on time or even sooner. If something goes wrong, such as losing a part, a broken piece, or something else, it can be 3D printed without waiting for an order to come in or having to special order it.

Portsmouth, Virginia is looking to open a permanent concrete plant, despite city and resident protests over the lasting impact of such a plant. This is a common issue around the nation as concrete companies look to expand operations and make concrete a more viable option in areas that see concrete shipped in from far distances. Let’s look at what’s happening in Portsmouth.

A 16.5 acre piece of land between the South Norfolk Jordan Bridge and Naval Shipyard was sold to PER Properties, with the agreement that they’d be able to build a permanent concrete plant, rather than use a temporary one in the area for concrete production and shipment. After getting all the required permissions to build the concrete plant, the city council did a reverse face and after community leaders brought up the lasting impact, challenged the build.

Everything from traffic concerns to noise to dust and other issues were raised about building a permanent concrete plant. There’s been some question as to why the city council changed their minds, including the idea that they were influenced outside the sphere of the council itself by a former member.

It’s a shame that hard-working businesses and concrete suppliers are running into issues like this around the country. While many cities would benefit from a permanent concrete plant, others aren’t sure about the long-term impact they’d bring to an area. This is where communities rally together to challenge the inclusion. Not all cities are ready for an industrial plant, like a concrete one, but as long as they hear out the issues from both sides, they can give a fair chance to companies who want to invest in their towns.

Concrete jungle gyms have been in the news recently as older schools, parks and playgrounds are struggling to keep up with the times. While concrete jungle gyms are a thing of the past, you’d be surprised at how many you’ll still find around the country. Using concrete to build a playground is easier than you’d think and can be done cheaper, which is why this was a common practice in the 1960s and 1970s. As the times have changed and better playground technology has been developed and implemented, old school parks and playgrounds face the challenge of demolishing and rebuilding this types of jungle gyms.

The jungle gym has been an endearing symbol of childhood youth for almost a century now. These playgrounds were designed to allow kids to socialize, think outside the box and play outside their own homes and with kids their own age. As developers looked for ways to be creative and make playgrounds for cheap, they turned to concrete as a base to make everything from sandboxes to swings to other components of playgrounds.

Over time, concrete chips, cracks and eventually crumbles. Metal playgrounds are more common than ever, along with plastic ones, which have become a relatively cheap way to quickly create a jungle gym that will last. As parks and neighborhoods look for ways to develop, update and evolve their jungle gyms, concrete is being thrown to the wayside in the hopes of creating a visually appealing experience for kids and their communities alike.

Concrete jungles gyms aren’t as safe as they used to be and any playground still using concrete might want to think about updating and coming to terms with the times. With the options out there for playground design and aesthetics, it’s easier than ever to get an exciting, adventurous playground for a great price that’s up and running in no time. It’ll look good, be useful to families and add value to any neighborhood or community that invests in updating or installing one.

This is one instance where concrete gets it wrong and is left behind as the times are changing.

Going green is a popular buzzword being thrown around just about anywhere you go. Even in the asphalt business, some are looking to go green with how they use, handle and produce asphalt. While green asphalt does exist, it’s harder than you’d think to make the process entirely green. We’ll breakdown what green asphalt is and why it’s so hard in this industry to “go green.”

More About Asphalt Green Technologies

Green asphalt is a process that seeks to take recycled scraps, unused mixture and bases to make an asphalt that is usable and can be laid on roads, driveways and other areas. It may seem easy to the layman to do but in practice can be difficult. Asphalt, or any product that’s mixed and laid, can be effected by any number of outside factors.

When trying to find ways to go green when it comes to construction and erection, it can be hard to find ways that still cost the same and get the job done efficiently. While the environment is something everyone should consider, in some cases the green technology does not exist to get the job done right. When it comes to asphalt, advances are being made to go green but they’re not quite there, yet, although they’re making an impact.

If you’re looking for ways to save the environment and go green, it’s important to ask the companies you work with on construction projects, like asphalt, what they’re doing to cut back on their carbon footprint. While they may not use asphalt green technologies, they may be cutting back in other ways that matter, too. Only by inquiring and seeing what they can do will you know for sure.

Going green will get better as we move into the future. As technology and construction methods change and develop, asphalt green technologies will evolve and become commonplace. Until then, it’s important to recognize that the industry is doing what it can when it can to ensure they’re safely creating, laying and utilizing asphalt. While the technologies might not be in place now to get the job done, they will in the future.