Futuristic Concretes Aim to Melt Away Snow and Ice at Airports

In the wintertime, it’s important for airports to do whatever they can to keep snow and ice off runways and other concrete surfaces that are used on the perimeter of the property. Snow and ice can cause severe delays and, in some cases, it can even make it impossible for flights to take off and land at airports. It’s why a team of researchers at Iowa State University have come up with a possible solution for clearing snow and ice off concrete surfaces quickly and easily.

Snow Removal at AirportsIowa State professor Halil Ceylon and his team have created a new kind of electrically conductive concrete that is able to melt away snow and ice without any effort on the part of people. As New Atlas reports, Ceylon and his team have installed some of this concrete at Des Moines International Airport in an effort to test it out and see how it works.

The top layer of the concrete includes 1 percent carbon fiber and a mixture of cement, sand and rocks that is designed to house six electrodes that are connected to a power supply located in a hangar at the airport. When the electrodes are turned on through the use of an app, they generate an electrical current which heats the surface of the concrete up and makes it warm enough to melt away any snow or ice on top of it. Ceylon and his team have also tinkered with the concrete to ensure that it doesn’t get too hot and that the electrical current isn’t so high to lead to any electrocution hazard.

While the researchers aren’t yet sure if it would be practical to use their electrically conductive concrete on runways at airports, they are confident that it could be used in congested areas of the airport like aprons and sidewalks. This would help maintain common and high-traffic areas around the facility, reducing maintenance needs and improving overall efficiency and safety.

Ceylon isn’t the only one working on a special concrete that would be able to clear snow and ice, either. University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor Chris Tuan has also created a conductive concrete that has steel shavings and carbon particles in it. This allows it to conduct electricity and get warm enough to melt any snow and ice that lands on top of it. This material was tested last year as part of a series of ongoing testing conducted under an FAA program, reports New Atlas.

With snow now largely out of mind for the season, at Bergen Mobile Concrete, we’re thinking forward to concrete needs for the rest of the year ahead. If you have a project coming up, we can bring an exact amount of concrete to you whenever and wherever you need it. There’s no need to pay for more than you need when you work with us – we’ll arrive and mix on site the exact quantities that you need. Learn more or schedule a delivery today by calling us at 201-797-7550.

Spring Cleaning: Clearing Away Dirt and Stains from Your Patio

It’s March, which means that we’re nearly done with the winter and snow and can look forward to actually spending time outside and enjoying the nice spring weather. A big theme of spring is also spring cleaning, and it’s easy to forget about your concrete patio when it comes to spring cleaning. However, you want your concrete patio to look its best for the season of outdoor enjoyment, so now’s the time to remove any winter debris, clear away any mud or dirt and take care of any caked-on gunk or blemishes. Your patio is a social area, so it is important to make sure these areas are clean and clear of debris. But how should you go about cleaning your concrete patio? Here are two different ideas to consider.

Chemical Cleaner

Concrete CleaningUsing chemical cleaner is a common option for cleaning concrete areas, but there are a few different things to consider when it comes to selecting a solution for cleaning. If you have areas that do not have embedded dirt in them, use a pH-Neutral cleaner, suggests Concrete Network. If you have dirt or other more acidic stains, consider an acidic cleanser.

For grease staining – such as a section of your patio where your grill dripped grease – try using an alkaline cleaner. These types of cleaners essentially loosen the grease, and you should lift the stain off the concrete using rags or a wet-dry shop vacuum. Finally, Concrete Network notes that bacterial or enzymatic cleaners are very good at removing protein stains, like those caused by pet or animal wastes. If your pup has been using the back patio as a bathroom through the winter, this type of cleaner can lift any stains and restore the good look of your concrete.

Power Washer

A cleaner is great for targeting specific areas in need of a deep clean, but a power washer can quickly blast away dirt and mud from your whole patio or any other hard surfaces outside the home. Concrete Network says that you can choose either a cold-water or hot-water power washer. Although for most residential applications, a cold-water washer makes the most sense, hot-water units can help clean more quickly and are much better at rinsing away oil or grease.

In terms of water power, most power washers contain a fan-like nozzle, although there is also a rotary nozzle that can be used to increase pressure. The rotary nozzle forces the water out of the hose faster than a standard fan nozzle, says Concrete Network, so if you’re working with a heavy-duty stain, using the rotary nozzle can help clear away dirt, debris and stains much faster and more effectively.

This spring is the perfect time to get your patio ready for the warmer weather ahead, and that includes planning any new projects. Whether you’re building your first patio, adding on to extend your space or doing any other concrete pour, Bergen Mobile Concrete in New Jersey offers concrete delivery with mobile concrete mixer trucks available to come to your home that can mix exactly what you need. Check out the concrete calculator to determine exactly how much concrete you need or call us at 201-797-7550 today to learn more or to schedule a delivery.

Preparing the Patio: Getting Ready for a Concrete Patio Pour

Are you thinking about adding a patio to your backyard this spring? Now is the perfect time to start preparing for it so that you can get your concrete poured as soon as it starts to get a little bit warmer outside. By taking the right steps to prepare now, you can make sure your patio construction goes smoothly so that you can start enjoying your patio as soon as the springtime rolls around.

Concrete PatioThe first thing you’ll need to do when prepping for a patio, as Concrete Network points out, is determine exactly where you want to put it. The size of your patio will ultimately determine how much concrete you will need, so you are going to want to come up with some dimensions for it. You are also going to want to find out if there are any local codes that will prevent you from making your patio the size you want it. It’s always good to find that out before you get too deep into planning, since you might have to start from scratch if you wait until the end to learn about the codes and find out there are limitations to how large your patio can be.

Once you have settled on exactly where to put your patio and how large you want it to be, you should rope off the area with stakes and string and remove all of the weeds, roots and topsoil from the patio area. Make sure you check to see if there are any underground utility lines or septic tanks located in the area, since that could affect how deep you can dig and where you may be able to pour.

After that is finished, you should lay down a base by compacting the earth and adding a layer of either gravel or crushed rock on top of it. You should also cut wood to make a frame that will go around the perimeter of where your patio will go. This frame will be used to contain the concrete once it is poured.

At that point, you will be just about ready to complete your concrete patio pour – except having concrete, of course! Bergen Mobile Concrete can deliver the exact amount of concrete that you need to your home. We can handle night time and weekend deliveries, as well, and get you set up with the concrete you’ll need to finish off your patio project in time for the spring. Call us at 201-797-7550 today to schedule a delivery.

Concrete: From Antiquity to Today

Home and business owners rely on concrete for all different kinds of things these days. Whether they are building a patio in a backyard or laying the foundation for a large building, concrete is a cost-effective material that can stand the test of time and provide strength and stability for a number of structures. But concrete is not some modern invention that people just discovered within the last century or so. It actually has a very long history and has been in use for more than 5,000 years.

History of ConcreteAccording to Concrete Network, the earliest forms of concrete date back to 3,000 B.C. when the Egyptians mixed mud and straw to create bricks and combined gypsum and lime to make mortar. They used them to build the pyramids, which as you know, are still standing at this time, as strong as ever. Roman architecture spanning from 300 B.C. through 476 A.D. relied on concrete as well that contained animal products to serve as admixtures to make it more versatile in specific applications.

Modern cement that is made using limestone and clay and that hardens when you add water to it was invented in the early 1800s, and by the end of the 1800s, bridges and streets were first built using concrete. By the turn of the century, those living in the early 20th century were ready to experiment with concrete further by using it to erect buildings and build houses. That led to the development of ready mix concrete in 1913, which was concrete that could be mixed at a central plant and then delivered wherever it needed to go.

Since that time, concrete has continued to develop and evolve, and people have found new ways to use it. They’ve found ways to stamp it and turn it decorative. They’ve used it to build countertops inside of homes. They’ve even discovered ways to polish it, which has made it popular in retail stores and some homes due to its durability and aesthetic appeal. Concrete has certainly come a long way over the years and will likely continue to change and evolve as we find new and exciting uses for it.

If you are planning a project that requires concrete, Bergen Mobile Concrete offers on-site mix and delivery services. Evening and weekend deliveries are always available through us, as well, and we can also often accommodate last-minute delivery requests. Call us at 201-797-7550 today to schedule a concrete delivery for your next home renovation or construction project.

Temperature and Concrete: Know How Weather Affects Your Pour

Concrete is such a common material for foundations, slabs, sidewalks and other construction projects that it is easy to forget it needs to be poured under the right circumstances. The weather, and particularly the temperature, plays a significant role in allowing concrete to set properly. Here’s how the weather affects your pour.

Cold weather presents a number of challenges to pouring concrete. Freezing temperatures, heat loss between the time the concrete is mixed and when it is poured, and snow or ice can wreak havoc on your concrete installation.

Concrete Pouring in Cold WeatherFreezing temperatures are a significant problem when pouring concrete. The concrete must harden to a strength of at least 500 psi before freezing, notes America’s Cement Manufacturers. Newly poured concrete that freezes before it has adequately hardened may be irreparably damaged as a result. In fact, concrete that freezes can lose as much as half of its intended strength.

Frozen ground is also a problem when pouring concrete. Even if the air temperatures are above freezing, ground that is frozen will likely cause trouble. Frozen ground can increase the time needed for the concrete to set. Further, the ground may also settle and reposition after a thaw, causing the concrete to shift and crack. Pouring concrete onto frozen ground requires first taking steps to thaw the ground.

Snow, ice or standing water are also common at construction sites during the cold weather. Pouring concrete on top of this moisture can lead to problems, as it may affect the rate at which the concrete sets or introduce too much moisture into the concrete mixture, impacting the cured concrete’s final strength.

Concrete that is mixed at a plant and then transported to a job site will lose heat during transport in cold weather. A general rule is that the concrete temperature will decrease by about one-fourth the difference between the mix temperature and air temperature for every hour of transport. During winter weather this could easily amount to 5 or more degrees per hour. Fortunately, at Bergen Mobile Concrete, we use a fleet of state-of-the-art, metered mobile concrete mixer trucks to deliver concrete throughout northern New Jersey. With our ability to mix on-site, you can get exactly the volume you need and without the risk of temperature loss.

We aim to provide dependable, reliable service on every delivery, regardless of how much concrete you need. To learn more, call us today at 201-797-7550 and request a quote for your next project.

Our Concrete Delivery is Flexible, But Not Like this Flexible Concrete

Here at Bergen Mobile Concrete, we are all about flexibility. After all, that is the backbone of our business – the ability to deliver concrete to your project during days, nights and even on the weekends.

But what if you could not only get flexibility with your delivery service but also with your concrete as well? A new material out of Singapore might just be the answer.

Named ConFlexPave, this new form of concrete was developed at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore where researchers were trying to create a concrete that was not only stronger than your traditional mix but also more flexible than what we are used to.

Curved ConcreteA long time in the making, this ConFlexPave was first dreamed up when the inventors decided to try and understand how the components of concrete interact with each other at the microscopic level, reports Archinect. Taking a look at these interactions helped them to create this new blend of concrete.

In a nutshell, the concrete utilizes a polymer microfiber to allow the material to bend under extreme pressure while also improving skid resistance. With these new implementations, the concrete has the potential cut down on construction time and on-site work. Plus, despite being flexible, this new concrete is actually stronger than traditional mixes, making it all the more useful for a wide range of potential applications if it becomes available for mass use.

Although fiber reinforced concrete has been around for some time now, these new developments will certainly be a big help to a number of projects. These advancements are just another step forward and a good prediction of how much easier major projects could be in the future.

While we’re still several years from flexible concrete availability, we at Bergen Mobile Concrete are the delivery service that you can depend on to be flexible to meet your needs and your schedule. We can deliver anywhere in Bergen County at just about any time, and you can count on quick and dependable service with every delivery. Plus, with our metered mobile mixers, we can make just the amount of concrete you need, eliminating overbuying and waste.

When you need concrete delivery for your project in the greater Northern New Jersey area, give us a call at 201-797-7550 and get your concrete fast.

Different Projects, Different Concrete: Part 2

Most mixes of Portland cement are very similar, but there are many differences that builders should know about before picking what type of use. The type of cement that you should use changes dramatically based on the job, as well as the physical and chemical requirements for specific applications.

In total, there are eight different types of Portland cement. Let’s look at the differences and the types of jobs each should be used for with information from the Portland Cement Association.

Type I is used for general projects and is suitable for almost all day-to-day concrete applications.

Type II concrete is used for structures in water or soil that contain moderate amounts of sulfate. This type of cement is also commonly selected for use in locations there heat build-up is a concern.

Type III cement provides a great deal of strength and resistance even in its early state – as little as one week. This makes it desirable for quick-moving projects.

Type IV moderates heat generated from hydration, which makes it ideal for use in heavy-saturation scenarios and massive concrete structures like dams.

Type V cement is resistant to chemicals, such as high-sulfate soil or water, meaning that it can be used in harsh environments with ease.

Air-Entrained ConcreteFinally, there are three mixes used to make air-entrained concrete: IA, IIA and IIIA. They have the same properties as types I, II and III, but have small quantities of air-entrained materials combined with them.

Knowing which type is right for your job site can make a big difference in the success of your project. Builders should also look at some other characteristics of concrete before picking one. Some of the top considerations include slump – the measure of plasticity of the concrete when it is being poured – and fly ash content, which reduces cost while slowing the setting time, giving you more time to place and shape the poured concrete while working.

Finally, there are chemical admixtures put into concrete that can enhance certain performance characteristics of concrete, notes wikiHow. This can range from making more fluid concrete to pour in confined spaces to water reduced mixes that minimize the need to include construction joints where using them may not be possible.

There is a lot of consider when selecting your concrete, so if you have any questions, just give us a call at Bergen Mobile Concrete. We work with different types of concrete all the time, so we can answer any questions you have. To learn more or to schedule a concrete delivery, call us today at 201-797-7550.

Different Projects, Different Concrete: Part 1

All concrete is not made the same.

There are a wide range of different types, strengths and compositions of concrete, based on what the material will be used for. Concrete strength is measured in pounds per square inch or PSI. Normal mixes range from 2,500 to 5,000 PSI, with some specially designed mixes capable of more than 10,000 PSI.

Let’s look, though, at the common range and what different strengths of concrete are used for with help from wikiHow.

2,500 PSI

Used primarily in driveways, walkways and floors slabs, this concrete tends to be the cheapest. It’s used also as fill material and performs satisfactory for these types of projects.

3,000 PSI

Used in general construction, this mix is durable and has good finishing characteristics. It can be placed fairly wet without sacrificing quality.

Concrete Grades3,500 PSI

Perfect for areas where significant loading is expected, such as for paving curbs. Other uses include building footings, bond beams, grade beams and floor slabs.

4,000 PSI

This concrete is used for heavy traffic payment and heavy-use floor slabs, like those in shops or warehouses. This mix is made to handle a great deal of weight for a long period of time.

5,000 PSI

Incredibly strong, 5,000 PSI concrete and higher PSI-rated concrete mixes are used for special construction projects where high-impact resistance and low wear rates are expected.

As you can see, concrete comes in many different forms. The final decision comes down to the type of job being done. If you are about to start a job and want to know what concrete you should use, call us at Bergen Mobile Concrete. We have worked with a wide-range of concrete projects and can help you determine the right pressure and mix for the type of project you want to complete. Picking the wrong type of concrete can be detrimental to your project, so make sure you have the right one before you start.

To learn more or to schedule a concrete delivery, call us today at 201-797-7550.

Maximizing the Strength and Durability of Your Pour

Concrete Pouring Concrete is one of the most used substances in the world, but there are still questions about how to get the most out of the material. When it comes to getting the best out of concrete, the secret is in the pour. Follow these instructions to improve how you pour concrete that will better help your concrete throughout its life.

Most people think concrete should be poured on a sunny or hot day, but that’s incorrect. In fact, concrete is best poured on overcast damp days where the temperate is about 55 degrees. While it may be hard to time your pour to optimal weather conditions, try to keep it in mind when scheduling a pour as extreme temperatures can be detrimental to concrete’s longevity. Look for days where the temperate is more mild or at least not as extreme as others. If you have to pour on a bad day, there are still ways to improve your site conditions.

Windy days cause too much water to evaporate from the surface and shrinkage cracks often develop. If you pour on a hot day, as is sometimes inevitable during the summer, put a tent over the surface or a screen to block the sun a little and alleviate some of the heating impact of the sun.

As for cold weather, make sure the concrete is covered with insulating blankets, straw or plastic as soon as it’s finished and keep the cover on for at least 72 hours. As concrete hardens, it releases heat through internal chemical process, and you want to store this heat to stop the concrete from drying out or freezing, leading to the possibility of cracking.

At Bergen Mobile Concrete, we’ve poured concrete in all types of conditions. If you have any questions about how or when to pour, please give us a call. We specialize in concrete delivery services throughout the region and have worked in all sorts of climates and conditions. We’re happy to help you out. Give us a call today at 201-797-7550.

Pour Perfectly With These Seasonal Pouring Tips

Concrete can be poured at almost any point in the year, but the different seasons bring with them both positives and negatives that need to be considered. This is especially true for those of us in the Northeast United States where we tend to get a little bit of each season, even though both spring and fall seem too short. Here are a few things that ConcreteNetwork.com suggests you keep in mind when pouring new concrete during each of the four seasons.

Winter Concrete PourWinter

Because of the cold weather, the ground tends to freeze the farther north you go. Since this is the case, use a cold-weather concrete mix for all exterior concrete placed in the winter months. These specially formulated mixed include set accelerators that help the concrete cure faster, as well as air-entrainment admixtures that can help with frozen conditions. It also may seem obvious, but be sure to use hot water when mixing concrete this time of year.

Spring

With wet and sometimes windy weather, think about placing plastic sheeting over poured concrete to keep moisture at bay. Surface evaporative control agents can also be added to help cure the concrete quickly and completely when the weather is wetter. Be sure to also consider the frost in the ground when pouring concrete at this time of year to ensure that your foundations set properly.

Summer

While in the winter, we want to shorten the set time, in summer we want to extend it. Hydration stabilizers and water reducers are commonly used to allow concrete more time to set in humid conditions. Using the proper amount of water, along with allowing the extra time for finishing, are highly recommended. Fortunately, summer soils are generally free of frost, which means that there’s less risk of instability or uneven pours following any frost heaving.

Fall

Due to freeze-thaw conditions, the Northeast is prone to spalling and scaling of concrete, so spend extra time again on finishing. Air-entrainment additives should be mandatory on all jobs done in the fall, and hydration stabilizers and water reducers frequently used to extend the working life of concrete without weakening it.

If you have any questions, reach out to us at Bergen Mobile Concrete anytime. We’re happy to help you with your next project and can deliver concrete wherever it’s needed. We know all the tips and tricks to make sure your concrete looks and performs the best it can, no matter what season you’re pouring in. Call us at 201-797-7550 to schedule a concrete delivery today.