Wohlwend Concrete Blog

Preparing Concrete Driveways for Winter

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 aFree Quote.


Stamped Concrete That Defies the Rigors of Time

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 aFree Quote.


Tips from a Concrete Contractor in the Know

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 orvisit our website and get a free quote.


Create a Sound and Solid Structure Via Masonry Construction

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 onmasonry construction in Minneapolis and the greater Twin Cities area, call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610 or you can get aFree Quote.


Repair or Replace Your Damaged Concrete Sidewalks

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 aFree Quote.