Common Concrete Problems

ConcreteAt Bergen Mobile Concrete, we always make sure to get the job done right in order to ensure your concrete surfaces remain crack-free. However, you may already have existing concrete structures or surfaces in and around your property that appear to be falling apart. But just how and why does concrete sometimes crack? We’re here to go over some of the most common reasons!

Keep in mind that even the highest quality concrete has the potential to crack, and just about any concrete surface will likely show some signs of wear after many years. Fortunately, there are several ways that you can prevent any damage from showing throughout your concrete. But, you may still be wondering why it cracked in the first place. Well, one of the most likely reasons is that it has shrunk and expanded over time due to changes in temperature. If you the concrete is in an area with lots of moisture, you can expect it to expand and shrink even more often, potentially leading to cracks.

While this is not typically planned for, some cracks in concrete are natural and should be expected. For example, concrete driveways typically have control joints. These joints work to create weak spots throughout the concrete, but it is for a good purpose. Without them, when concrete shrinks it would split in random directions across the slab, creating unsightly cracks. With a joint, it will typically only crack in that confined area where the joint is located.

Other causes for cracks in concrete include sun exposure, freezing and thawing throughout the winter, and other environmental conditions. Concrete inside a home or other type of building should have far less cracks than something like a driveway or sidewalk outside.

For more details about concrete cracks and how to prevent them, keep reading our blog!

In 2015, Keep Your Concrete Floors in Top Shape

29305947_SConcrete flooring can look great in just about any type of property, especially when you add decorative designs to customize its appearance. However, like any type of flooring material, concrete is susceptible to damage. Fortunately, concrete is much tougher than wood and other types of common materials used for floors, but it is not completely impervious to cracks, scratches, and other blemishes. There are a few simple guidelines you can follow to keep your concrete floors in top shape.

Keeping your floor protected with a high-quality sealer is a must, and is in many ways essential when it comes to making your concrete surfaces last. The best thing about sealers is that they not only keep your floor protected, but often times they can actually make its surface look more attractive.

Paying special attention to areas of your floor that receive a lot of traffic is always a good idea. In areas like an entranceway, it is recommended that you place a few floor mats. While this will cover up any designs you have on your floor, you can easily find a pattern that goes well with the surrounding area.

Finally, regularly apply floor wax to your concrete surfaces in order to protect against stains, dirt buildup, and other common issues. A high-quality concrete floor wax will last long and keep your sealers intact, ensuring that your floors look brand new for a long time.

By following these few simple tips, you can rest easy knowing that your concrete floors will remain in great shape. For more tips and suggestions, keep checking back with the team at Bergen Mobile Concrete!

2015 Will Be the Year of Concrete

New Year 2015There are several different materials that have been popular choices for patios in the past, including everything from wood to stone. However, we’re here to tell you why concrete offers benefits and advantages that outweigh anything these other materials offer. First and foremost, concrete is extremely versatile, making it perfect for just about any type of patio. Concrete can take any shape, and it holds up both in and outdoors. Additionally, concrete can be customized with a range of patterns and designs, allowing you to give your patio a unique look like no other.

Concrete is not only versatile, but very durable as well. It can stand up to just about any type of weather condition, meaning your patio will hold up year after year, even if you live in an area with heavy rain, snow, or wind. Compare this to wood or stone that can crack and degrade over time much more easily.

Using concrete for your patio also holds several additional benefits that may not be blatantly obvious. For one thing, concrete is an environmentally friendly option. It doesn’t require regular maintenance, and it doesn’t use natural materials like the lumber required for wooden patios. Generally, concrete is also cheaper than stone and brick, but it looks just as good. In fact, concrete can even be engraved to resemble other materials for far less than the cost of actually using those materials.

These are just a few of the benefits that concrete offers when it comes to choosing a material for your new deck. If you would like to learn more about why concrete is the perfect choice for your patio, give us a call today!

The Lifespan of Concrete

laying-concretePerhaps the greatest example of concrete architecture in complexity, endurance, and ability to stand without any sort of steel support, is the Roman Pantheon. A gargantuan structure completed in the 2nd century AD, the Pantheon is topped off with a 142-foot dome and has lasted 2,000 years. Contemporary concrete has a warranty tag of only 120 years. And engineers have finally figured out what the key difference between our two recipes is.

One of the key differences between the two recipes is volcanic sand. Rome sits between two volcanic regions, the Alban Hills to the south and Monti Sabatini to the north. Augustus took the title of Emperor in 27 AD and initiated a building campaign that would utilize these readily available resources. Builders began to use Pozzolonic ash from the Alban Hills’ Pozzolone Rosse ash flow in their concrete mix. And the evidence of that choice’s longevity is still one of the great wonders of the world.

Engineers replicated a recipe recorded by Roman architect, Vitruvius, and allowed it to harden for six months. What they found was that the volcanic sand reacted with limestone to create stratlingite crystals, which prevent cracks from forming in finished structures. Another key element to this mix is that it is heated at 900 degrees Celsius rather than 1,450 degrees Celsius, as is the process today. This breakthrough will not only ensure longevity of a structure, but will also significantly decrease the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere during the mixing process.

For more updates on what’s cooking in the concrete world, follow Bergen Mobile Concrete’s blog. And for all of your own concrete needs, contact us today!

Source: http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/researchers-discover-secret-recipe-roman-concrete-020141

Concrete Is One of the Most Affordable Resources

laying-concreteThere’s a reason that concrete has been used in creating structures since the Romans poured the first aqueduct. Concrete is one of the strongest and most affordable resources available for buildings of all types – residential, public, and business. However, when it comes to architectural creativity, concrete usually has a pitfall. Complex structures are difficult with concrete, because an exact mold with a non-stick mold medium and a cleaning agent must be used. And one-of-a-kind, twisted pieces that require mold after mold to assemble can get expensive.

A group of graduate students from London’s Bartlett School of Architecture may have come up with a solution. The team has come up with a technique for pouring concrete that they’re calling “Augmented Skin.” It’s a fairly simple idea. The students are using sticks like cake dowels to hold the structures in place and then pouring concrete into fabric around them. The finished prototypes are skeletal in nature – knobby, twisted, and almost fragile. But these are concrete pieces, so the hypothesis is that the structures would not only survive harsh weather conditions, but also the test of time.

The fabric mold doesn’t require any scaffolding and the entire process happens rather quickly. This means that one of the major applications, beyond testing the boundaries of what is architecturally and artistically possible with concrete, is in relief housing after major catastrophes. The project harkens back to Binishells, invented in the 1960s by Dr. Dante N. Bini. Binishells were also supposed to be used as relief housing. They were produced by pouring concrete directly over an inflatable air bladder.

Bergen Mobile Concrete is always looking for new applications and innovations in the concrete world. Contact us today for your own concrete needs!

Source: http://www.wired.com/2014/12/experimental-building-technique-makes-concrete-look-like-skeletons/#slide-id-1667103

Nuclear Concrete

We love discussing the many modern applications that our society has found for concrete here on the Bergen Mobile Concrete blog. More than just a footpath surface, concrete technologies have the potential to help us live in an even more sustainable world. In the not-so-distant future, we may even be hailing concrete as a modern marvel capable of helping the world enjoy safer nuclear energy.

Across the world in Poland, researchers are busy developing a technology that can create concrete capable of providing better shields against ionizing radiation produced in nuclear power plants. As this article published by Product Design & Development describes, the technology could also help in oncology hospital, nuclear chemistry lab and radioactive waste repository applications.

The research into more protective concrete compositions is in part urged on by recent discoveries of concrete issues at other nuclear facilities. Nuclear power plants in Canada and Finland were found to have either damaged concrete components or defective ones that increased safety risks at those plants.

The testing process for the final product will be rigorous, so an effective solution likely won’t be developed for a couple of years yet. But this is just one more example of the many unexpected impacts concrete has had on our society. Just browse through our blog and you’ll find plenty of interesting stories about electric sidewalks, home furnishings and even audio speakers composed of concrete.

The concrete shields for nuclear radiation protection project will likely continue through 2016, plenty of time to implement these products safely in nuclear facilities. This could help unlock a completely new future for energy. Although nuclear energy has it’s risks, this kind of shielding technology can help towards ensuring that devastating events don’t happen.

Bergen Mobile Technology wants to be the first to stay on top of developing concrete technologies as they’re created. We hope you enjoy being surprised by the ever-growing world of concrete.

New Concrete Laying Technique

In Arizona, the new East Wetlands multiuse pathway has been surprising locals, visitors and just about anyone who has taken a stroll down it. Beginning under the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway Bridge, this 1.5 mile path extends to the Avenue 2E trailhead. Whether you choose to bilk, walk or jog down the path, you can expect to see more than 400 acres of the surrounding wetland, offering a great view of the area. Whether you are looking for a relaxing place to jog or you want to bird watch, this path is the ideal spot for both.

One of the main things that visitors have been noticing is how smooth the path is to walk on. This smooth surface is due to new technology that was used to lay concrete along the path. Although this technology has been used in other places, this is the first place in Yuma that has benefited from this new concrete laying technique. Specifically, the path makes use of roller-compacted concrete. This is a special mix of concrete applied using a standard asphalt paving device. Afterwards, it is smoothed out by running rollers over it.

The technique used to create the path also makes the cement laying process easier because there is no preparation required when it comes to the surface. It also takes a significantly shorter time to dry than standard cement. This technology combined with the sights and sounds offered on the path make for one of the best additions to the Yuma area in recent years!

Concrete makes the world a better place. For more information about all things cement, get in touch with the team at Bergen Mobile Concrete!

Source: http://www.yumasun.com/business/cemented-with-technology-company-brings-new-concrete-product-to-yuma/article_7b9e8f96-74d4-11e3-a80f-0019bb30f31a.html

Concrete Barrels Full of Wine

Here at the Bergen Mobile Concrete blog, we love sharing new and interesting ways of looking at concrete, a subject many people would think is pretty dull. However, a quick scroll through our various posts here will show you that nothing could be further from the truth. Today, we’re taking a quick look at a new way concrete is being used in winemaking to make the process much closer to historic traditions.

Stainless steel, and not oak barrels, has been the container of choice for winemakers that make large quantities of wine for commercial sale. Aging containers made of steel are cleaner and predictable to use, but many business are interested in returning to more time-honored traditions. For these companies, concrete makes a much more suitable holding tank material.

Ancient techniques of winemaking would rely on clay or stone containers for the fermentation of wine. Like clay and stone, concrete is not an inert material and can actually house an ecosystem of tiny living organisms within its many tiny nooks and crannies. This is actually beneficial for the wine and can create wines that more closely resemble those from the Mediterranean, according to this article published by CBC News.

Yeast is one substance that can build up in the sides of the unlined concrete containers between batches of wine. This yeast can enhance the wine that ages within the container as it builds up, improving the fermentation process. For smaller winemakers, that means making a brand of wine that has more of a unique taste, helping set it apart from all the other wines that taste the same coming from stainless steel.

Using concrete to craft wines that closely resemble the vineyard classics of ancient Greece or Italy is a very intriguing new use for this material. The growing applications for concrete never fail to astound us here at Bergen Mobile Concrete. Make sure to visit back often for more intriguing news from the industry.

Creative Uses of Concrete

Concrete is an amazingly useful construction material that can be fabricated into many facades and fixtures. Some of these creations even have practical applications, while others are stunning works of art that belies the usual industrial nature of this material. A quick browse around the Internet can help anyone find interesting ideas for concrete renovations that can add elegance and even color to any space.

Bookcases, audio speakers and board games are just a few of the examples of innovative concrete designs collected in this article found on ConcreteNetwork.com. Israeli designer Shmuel Linski is responsible for a pair of 123-pound speakers formed entirely out of concrete. These speakers get their acoustic quality from a forced air driver that sends sound through a concrete pipe and out from a horn-shaped opening.

One French concrete company even got the unique idea to fashion business cards composed out of concrete. Murmure’s business cards come with an embossed logo on one side and typed contact information on the other side. The result may not be convenient for wallets, but certainly leaves an impression on anyone.

Homeowners can also use concrete as a great canvas for chalks, paints and other applications that can create a vibrant burst of color in a space. Concrete floor tiles can provide superior protection as well as a bright rainbow splash to any room. In the spirit of the season, another article from ConcreteNetwork.com provides a number of interesting Halloween designs made from concrete etchings, stainings and more.

Concrete can be a lot more than just a simple heavy surface for basements and walls. The application of this construction material can lead any homeowner or business down an exciting new path in aesthetic design. Bergen Mobile Concrete is always staying aware of exciting new developments in the field of concrete. Follow our blog to find out more about concrete’s growing applications in our sustainable world.

*Image courtesy of Rawan Hussein

Hearing a Heartbeat through the Concrete

In a natural or manmade disaster, the collapse of buildings can often lead to numerous casualties by trapping innocent bystanders underneath. One of the first jobs of emergency responders is to search the wreckage and look for any survivors that may be found.

Even with specialized equipment, it’s a very difficult job to locate survivors perfectly. Radar equipment and other tools that search for signs of life often have their signals blocked or scattered by the piles of concrete and steel between those who are trapped and their rescuers. One new technology is currently being developed, however, that promises to give emergency responders a greater ability to detect life underneath rubble.

FINDER, which stands for Finding Individuals for Disaster Emergency Response, is a radar-based technology that is being jointly developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and NASA. This radar system is capable of detecting a human heartbeat behind 20 feet of solid concrete, or 30 feet of crushed material. In an open field, this system can detect a heartbeat 100 feet away.

A human heartbeat provides an incredibly weak signal when compared to other electrical network that could obscure other emergency response technology signals. However, FINDER is capable of being able to not only detect the electric signal given off by a heartbeat, but also can discern between human and animal heartbeats. The microwave-based radar technology would give emergency personnel a much quicker response time for locating survivors, which will go a long way in reducing death tolls in these tragedies.

As our society continues to look for sustainable methods of building construction that are structurally sound, concrete will likely have a growing role in our world. No one can predict a tragedy, but being better protected against one can help us go about our lives a little easier. Bergen Mobile Concrete is always staying on top of innovations related to concrete to bring the best available technology to each of our jobs.

*Image courtesy of Golkin Oleg