Wohlwend Concrete Blog

Get Ready for Some Spring Concreting! Concrete Construction & Repairs

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With spring finally here, it is more important than ever to make sure all of the concrete at your home is looking and functioning its best. With warmer weather brings increased foot traffic as people start to get out and do the things they’ve been putting off all winter. So, don’t put off concrete construction at your Roseville residence or business any longer! After all, you don’t want someone to fall and hurt themselves because your concrete steps or sidewalk is in less than great shape. Not only is it a liability, but it is a preventable accident that doesn’t have to happen. Now that the harsh winter weather is behind us and all of the harsh salt and destructive ice has gone with it; make spring the time to look into concrete construction.

Whether it’s building concrete steps, a sidewalk or driveway, tackling brickwork or adding stamped concrete to a patio or walkway, we always put our 32+ years of experience to work. Wohlwend Concrete specializes in concrete construction and we can think of several types of construction and repairs we do on concrete this time of year.

Gaps & Cracks

The expanding and contracting water that comes along with winter ice can cause concrete to crack and break, which could then present a hazard this spring. Repairs to concrete this time of year range from smaller ones, like repairing cracks in the concrete using a grinding and calking technique to some larger problems, like gaps that form between where your residential concrete meets brick or a similar type of material.

concrete construction

Sidewalks

If your concrete steps or sidewalk is in really bad shape, you should definitely call us as soon as possible to get them fully replaced. You don’t want anyone to be walking in or out of your home or business, step on them and have them give away.

New Concrete Construction

Concrete is the perfect material for a variety of projects and is especially great for outdoor applications. As the weather warms up, it increasingly becomes a great time of year to install long lasting, beautiful concrete. We offer a variety of concrete construction services including:

  • Patios (Get ready for summer BBQs with a new, beautiful concrete construction patio!)
  • Steps
  • Pool decks (More summer fun!)
  • Driveways
  • Sidewalks
  • Curbs
  • Poured Walls
  • And more!

If you would like more information on concrete construction in Roseville, call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610 or contact us to set up a Free Estimate.

Preparing Concrete Driveways for Winter

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Winter is all but here Minnesotans! With the significant changes that occur in our daily temperatures, these fluctuations can set in motion cracking and splitting of concrete driveways. Orono residents know that once the snow and freezing precipitation begins to fall, water ambles its way into the cracks that have emerged. This water penetration in turn goes through the freeze and thaw process repeatedly throughout the winter season. Having to endure such causes a general expansion within the cracks as ice takes up more space than it does when in its liquid form of water. The end result, once spring rolls around is that people are put in the position of having to call a concrete contractor to have their concrete driveways repaired one way or another.

There are a few things you should look into before the first snow falls this winter. Head out to that concrete driveway and identify cracks or splits. If you are already running into A cracking and splitting driveway, chances are that in spring 2017 you will be faced with needing a new one altogether. Call Wohlwend Concrete once you do find cracking. We can repair the cracks now to save the need for a new driveway altogether in spring.

Be wary of the equipment you use to remove snow and ice from your concrete driveway. If you have a shovel that is in some level of disrepair—especially if it is cracked at the point where the scoop meets driveway surface—just replace it. The precipitation combined with temperature fluctuations make your driveway especially vulnerable to chipping from a busted shovel. If you utilize ice melt and then remove the waste with a damaged implement such as this, concrete driveways are placed at even more risk. Don’t take any chances.

Another important factor in concrete driveways surviving Minnesota winters without blemish involves the drainage set-up of the area. Without proper drainage, precipitation that ultimately melts will pool in your driveway—which of course goes into splits and cracks and creates potential larger problems. If the current drainage set-up is not adequate and you are not able to implement a solution, call us and we can take a look.

A last thing you should be sure to do is to remove any existing debris from your driveway. Something as simple as oil or leaves lingering on the surface of concrete driveways can contribute greatly to breakdown.

Seeking help with concrete driveways in Orono or nearby? Call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610 or you can contact us for a Free Quote.

Stamped Concrete That Defies the Rigors of Time

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So you have just had the walkway that surrounds your house redone with concrete. Into this new walkway you have had fancy designs containing an elaborate representation of your family crest imprinted in the form of stamped concrete. The elegance meter of your property has gone from average to high as a result of this effort. Now that that work is done, how do you intend on preserving it so that it lasts for years or decades in relatively the same state that you find it now?

Wohlwend Concrete, contractors expert in all in things stamped concrete to the Edina area, are often asked if sealing stamped concrete is a requirement or if it is even a necessary effort to make. Well, yes is the answer, you will want to have your stamped concrete sealed. Concrete, by nature, is a porous material that without any level of effort brings in and hangs onto water and chemicals. When you seal your concrete, it helps guarantee that it will better handle the elements that a Minnesota winter (among other seasons) will throw at it (them).

Since you hired us to conduct your concrete stamping, the process does not have to stop at the installation of that stamped concrete. We offer a sealing service that will help your stamped concrete maintain its aesthetic for many years. The act of sealing your stamped concrete prevents the penetration of oils, stains, chemicals that de-ice and other similar contaminants.

The greatest enemy of any concrete, especially that chunk which is stamped, are the effects of weathering. Sealing stamped concrete helps to protect it from abrasion and wear, especially important with the winter months that lie immediately ahead. The weather itself breeds the need to remove accumulated precipitation from your stamped concrete. Salt and other de-icers wear down concrete if you do not stay involved in the de-icing after melting occurs. Once the ice turns to slush and salt and other chemical elements are left within in that gloopy mass, you have to shovel it away.

Sealing your stamped concrete also will make it pop. Colors will be intensified and the overall design will be far more pleasing to any eyes laid up it. You can also add sheen to the surface of the concrete. The sheens range from satin to high gloss and everything in between.

Interested in sealing or just adding stamped concrete to your Edina area home? Call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610 or you can contact us for a Free Quote.

Tips from a Concrete Contractor in the Know

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His eminence Old Man Winter nearly upon us, the home need be prepared to face its annual slog versus the elements. If you have any last second concrete projects in mind, now would be the ideal time to pursue them! So, if you are searching for a concrete contractor near Eden Prairie, call Wohlwend Concrete!  In honor of our return to snow and ice, Wohlwend Concrete has a few tips to share on tuck-pointing and the de-icing of your existing concrete.

Tuck-pointing, in a nutshell, is the process of repairing the mortar joints existing within stone or brick walls. An experienced masonry contractor, such as Wohlwend Concrete, can perform this sort of task for you. We will first glance upon the brick and mortar to verify whether tuck-pointing is needed. If so, we will grind or rake out old mortar, refilling it with new mortar. Tuck-pointing is a wise move as you will be effectively keeping moisture out of the walls, preventing moisture problems from developing. The life of your wall or chimney will be extended and this effort will also serve as a means of prevention against costly repairs down the road. Once a mortar dependent wall breaks down the lone way to repair it is to tear it all down and build a new one.

The cold temperatures we love bring with them snow and ice storms that wreak havoc on your walkways and other concrete-based bits. There is an art to the de-icing of concrete steps and walkways, so you should prepare your tearful goodbye to rock salt (aka sodium chloride). Rock salt cannot take the blame for the damage that occurs to your concrete, but the constant tug of temperature extremes (rapid heating and subsequent refreezing) can, will and does.

Rather than the cheaper and more popular choice, look for calcium chloride. This blend will not destroy your concrete but will swiftly melt the ice off of your steps and walkways without providing any level of breakdown. Calcium chloride far exceeds sodium chloride in its overall compatibility with Mother Nature. Another blend every bit as efficient and ecological is magnesium chloride. It is an additional environmentally friendly option but is does come with a higher price tag than calcium chloride.

The most important thing to remember when de-icing your concrete steps is that once you put the de-icer on, there is still work to do. You must take the time to remove all of the slushy ice. Taking just a few minutes to shovel clear the steps and walkways of slush and ice will help prevent the destruction of your concrete.

Looking for a concrete contractor in the Eden Prairie area? Be sure to give us here at Wohlwend Concrete at call at (651) 426-2610 or visit our website and get a free quote.

Create a Sound and Solid Structure Via Masonry Construction

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While the idea of earthquakes are not a huge concern and tend to operate as an afterthought for Minnesotans, they are a worthy concern when building an addition or new home. Making a home “earthquake proof” is another means of ensuring that your home is structurally sound overall. Houses and buildings shift over time, movements within their framing and overall structure can lead towards general deterioration of the home, without sound reinforcement.

A simple approach is called for in masonry construction for your Minneapolis or greater Twin Cities area home. The behavior of any building during an earthquake or its general existence over time depends critically on its overall shape, size and geometry. The way an earthquake’s forces are dispersed across and underground will also play into how well your home withstands its rigors. By existing as a built structure with an in-ground foundation, your home is already doing battle against forces underground, shifting over the years. The main objective is to utilize masonry construction as a reinforcement or extra layer of protection that helps further work towards making sure that a structure does not collapse during earthquakes.

An earthquake, of course, is a naturally occurring phenomenon that unfolds frequently with minimal warning, if any at all. Amongst all of its land-based counterparts in the naturally occurring disasters game, earthquakes are the most devastating. Ground motions unfold randomly, in all directions, radiating from the epicenter. Structures in the way of these forces have to deal with the heavy blows thrown at them. All structures in such locations should be designed to ensure stability (earthquake or general functionality).

Masonry consists of assembling a building by laying individual masonry units (brick, concrete, stone, etc). These units are typically laid with mortar, binding them to create the structure. Masonry construction, in addition to helping structurally, can add aesthetic appeal to a home at reasonable prices. Not dissimilar to concrete, masonry tends towards being high in compressive (a material’s resistance to breaking under compression) but is low in tensile strength (a material’s resistance to breaking under tension).

Masonry construction as a means of further solidifying a structure should follow the general rules below:

  • Building configuration should be simple.
  • Formation should be based on solid, steady ground.
  • Structure should be easy and definite.
  • Frame of the building structure should have adequate ductility as well as required strength capacity.
  • Deformations produced in a building should be held to values, which will not provide obstacles to safety use of building.

For more information on masonry construction in Minneapolis and the greater Twin Cities area, call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610 or you can get a Free Quote.

Repair or Replace Your Damaged Concrete Sidewalks

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Your concrete sidewalks and walkways throughout your property are in disrepair. Chipped, sunken or uneven, these eye sores will continue their general deterioration until something is done to change the path that they are on. Wohlwend Concrete, specialists in all matters concrete, can fix your St Paul concrete sidewalks either through repair or an all-out replacement.

Enduring the wide array of temperatures and precipitation types that come with being a Minnesota resident often leaves concrete sidewalks in a bad way. Sometimes they may be uneven or sunken. Often, in these cases, you may not have to have your sidewalks completely dug up and replaced altogether. Another option—especially with sunken concrete sidewalks—is to simply have the concrete leveled. Sunken concrete sidewalks will continue to sink over time as each season the sunken concrete sidewalks will collect more and more moisture, adding weight. The moisture stays put as a result of soil erosion occurring beneath and between the concrete slab.

Uneven concrete sidewalks create a particularly difficult situation as they pose immediate issues and safety hazards. They also create an eye-sore, doing great damage to the visual appeal of your property.

Both sunken and uneven concrete sidewalks can be repaired swiftly and without costing too much. It is a rare thing—the concrete sidewalk needing to be torn up and replaced. Wohlwend Concrete generally has these types of jobs completed within two days.

Sure, you may have urges to run out to the local hardware or box store to pick up some quick fix concrete to conduct these repairs yourself—this is not recommended. Trusting in and hiring professionals to repair or replace your concrete sidewalks provides a number of benefits. It is estimated by many within the industry that you can save as much as 50% in cost when hiring a professional over carrying out the project yourself.

Wohlwend Concrete can see to it that your sidewalks are available immediately for use after their installation and subsequent drying. Our work is guaranteed—if there are problems with the work we have done, we will fix them. We possess a broad range of methodology and tech that allows us to repair or replace your concrete sidewalks in a fast and efficient manner—all at reasonable prices. You will save time, money and stress.

For more information on concrete sidewalks in St Paul and the greater Twin Cities area, call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610 or you can get a Free Quote.

Add Some Decorative Concrete To Make Your Home Pop

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One way to spice up the look of your property is to add some decorative concrete. It is an inexpensive and durable means of enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your home and all that immediately surrounds it. Adding decorative concrete to your Edina (or areas nearby) home with fanciful designs will add to the eye-pops that occur from those who pass by your house.

Decorative concrete is perfect for all of your outdoor areas in leading to decks and patios. Below, we offer just a few of the many reasons why adding decorative concrete can be a source of joy at house:

  • Maintenance: A great reason to go with decorative concrete is its durability and low maintenance. A wooden deck will last roughly 15 years, with the proper care which includes annual waterproofing and supporting structure checks to ensure stability. Another common problem with the wooden deck is that it attracts insects like ants, bees and termites. If you were to opt for a decorative concrete deck, all you need is to perform water sealing application every couple of years. Otherwise, routine clean-up will keep your decorative concrete looking great!
  • Price: Concrete, being cheap as compared to other building materials, will last for multiple generations with only simple routine care. If you are pondering the addition of a new deck, walkway, or porch, consider decorative concrete.
  • Stability: Concrete is can handle a lot of weight (think a hot tub). Wooden decks will splinter and get hot. Decorative concrete patios will stay cool and will not burn your bare feet. Another great thing about decorative concrete is that it does not get slippery when wet.
  • Versatility: Concrete is a very malleable, thus it is ideal for stamping decorative designs. Its malleability also means that it can be used in many ways around the home. Stamped decorative concrete can be used for decks, driveways, patios, porches and sidewalks. Designs stamped into concrete will improve the look of your house and add your own sense of style. From short walkways to large pool decks and patios, stamped decorative concrete can reflect your own personal taste that runs through how you decorate your own home.
  • Heat: Decorative concrete does get hot, being exposed to the sun all day. Just how hot depends on the colors involved. You do not have to worry about burning your feet though. Just another bonus of the aesthetic wonderment that will be adding decorative concrete to your home.

If you would like more information on decorative concrete in Edina or surrounding environs, call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610, or you can contact us and set up a Free Estimate.

Resurface Your Residential Concrete

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Your lower level has probably seen better days. They do tend to get worn and beaten up over time, especially if water in the basement is an issue. Your residential concrete lower level surface will be in need of a revamp or two over time. The professionals at Wohlwend Concrete of greater Minneapolis can certainly help with a residential concrete resurfacing of your basement.

Going the concrete resurfacing route will place a narrow layer of cement strewn superimposition containing bonding agents over your existing concrete. The job can be tedious, something of a headache. Call Wohlwend Concrete to see the job through!

Please enjoy the benefits of concrete resurfacing below:

  • Affordability-
    Residential concrete resurfacing is a very affordable means of fixing that lower level floor. It is cheaper in every way over alternatives—labor and material notably—all adding up to an attractive residential concrete resurfacing. The same goes for any concrete that you would need to resurface be it a patio, a driveway, you name it.
  • A Timesaver
    A resurfacing carried out by a professional tends towards leveling out on its own. Smoothing the surface is done with relative ease and in short order. An even distribution covering the entire surface area will solve all issues.
  • Eye-opening

You can do a lot with a fresh layer of concrete. If you want to get all fancy, you certainly implement some level of design into your new residential concrete surface. You can do all sorts of things with it, put patterns in, stamping, even adding color.

  • Prevention
    Current residential concrete resurfacing is done with a blend that is substantially more resistant to breakdown than the blends of the past—certainly more so than the era in which your lower level was laid out.
  • Boost Resale Potential
    A residential concrete resurfacing is a wise choice to make for your home. Should you choose to sell it one day, a nice new surface in your lower level not only passes the test of interested eyes, it adds value—future resurfacing would not have to happen any day soon.

If you would like to hire a residential concrete specialist in the Minneapolis area, call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610, or you can contact us and set up a Free Estimate.

Be Ready for Your Concrete Driveway

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A concrete driveway is strong and lasting at a more than reasonable price. Concrete driveways can be customized also, far exceeding the decorative capabilities of your standard blacktop driveway. Follow these steps to make sure your future driveway is ready for its concretion. Be sure to allow ample time for the curing process. Wohlwend Concrete can handle all of these tasks and more for you!

Advantages of a Concrete Driveway
Low-maintenance, concrete driveways offer a lot less in the way of hassle and difficulty. Calling for an occasional hard wash and an annual resealing (preventing stains and increasing overall weather resistance) concrete driveways, if installed and maintained correctly, will last 25-50 years.

Cost
Concrete driveways are less costly—both at install and in maintenance—than a standard blacktop drive.
A rough estimate places your cost from $4-10 per square foot (depending on a few factors; complexity of the job, special decorative concrete finish, &tc.).

Technical Specs
Look into local code requirements regarding measurements and minimum compressive strength, have your contractor pull any necessary permits before you build a concrete driveway. Typical width for a one-car drive is eight to nine feet, 15-18 feet for a two-car driveway. The concrete and its base should be at least four inches thick. Make sure the drive slope toward the street is ¼ inch per running foot for necessary drainage.

Site Prep
Preparation is necessary for a concrete driveway. Once cleared of vegetation, wooden forms will be placed along the edges of the site. Followed by a base of compacted gravel, the reason for this effort is to ensure that your driveway will be level and well-drained.

Concrete Mix
The amount of concrete required is determined not only by the length and width you require, but the girth of your slab as well. A crew of experienced concrete workers will spread the mix, reinforce with steel bars or mesh, and finish the surface.

Curing Process
Your concrete driveway will need to go through its curing process (setting up) prior to intended usage. Allow for one week to pass in advance of your driving on the fresh surface. Seal the driveway after one month passes and do not park any immense vehicles on it for the same timeframe. During warm weather, spritz the concrete driveway lightly with a hose occasionally to keep it moist.

If you would like to learm more about concrete driveways in St Paul and the surrounding areas, call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610, or you can contact us and set up a Free Estimate.

Common Masonry Contractor Terms

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wohlwend concrete masonry contractor bloomingtonAs a masonry contractor serving Bloomington and the surrounding areas, we are often called to homes or businesses that are experiencing problems with some type of brick or stone work or they want a new patio, walkway or retaining wall installed. No matter what kind of masonry work you need done, we can help.

In this line of business, there are certain words we often use that you might not understand. In order to clarify, here are some of the masonry terms we use the most and what they mean.

Anchor

A metal piece that is used to attach building parts to masonry or masonry materials.

Bat

Another name for a piece of brick.

Bed joint

This is a horizontal layer of mortar that a masonry unit is laid upon.

Buttering

The method of placing mortar on a masonry unit using a trowel.

Flashing

A thin and waterproof metal material used to prevent water damage, to offer water drainage and to help prevent other water-related issues. The flashing is placed in mortar joints and through air spaces in masonry.

Pointing

The method of troweling mortar into a joint after the masonry unit is laid.

Tuck pointing

Defective mortar is pulled from in between the masonry and then refilled with fresh mortar.

Waterproofing

The prevention of water and moisture flow through a masonry material.

Weep holes

These are openings that we place at the level of flashing in facing material in order to help moisture escape.

While these are just a handful of the terms you might hear our masonry contractor use, we will gladly explain what needs to be done in plain words when you call us for assistance. We realize that not everyone is familiar with masonry and all it entails, so we will take the time to talk to you about what is going on with your particular project. Our owner will personally inspect all job sites, so you also get that additional peace of mind.

Masonry and what goes into it can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be, especially when you hire a masonry contractor from Wohlwend Concrete. Contact us today to learn more about masonry and all we can do for you and your home or business.

If you would like to hire a masonry contractor serving Bloomington and the surrounding areas, call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610, or you can contact us and set up a Free Estimate.