Wohlwend Concrete Blog

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.

Get Ready for Winter: Repairs to Residential Concrete

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wohlwend concrete residential concrete golden valleyWith winter coming, it is more important than ever to make sure all of the concrete at your home is in a good state of repair. After all, you don’t want someone to fall and hurt themselves because your concrete steps or sidewalk is in bad shape. Not only is it a liability, but it is a preventable accident that doesn’t have to happen. And if your concrete sidewalk is sloping toward your house, that could also give melting snow and ice a clear path to your home’s foundation, which could then lead to problems like flooding and cracks to your home’s foundation. Wohlwend Concrete specializes in residential concrete in Golden Valley and the surrounding areas, and we can think of several types of common repairs we do to residential concrete this time of year.

Repairs to residential concrete this time of year range from smaller ones, like repairing cracks in the concrete using sealer. We can also help with bigger problems, like gaps between where your residential concrete meets brick or a similar type of material. These gaps should be sealed so no one inadvertently steps in them and gets a foot stuck (depending on how big the seam is) or simply trips where the concrete should be but is missing. This is especially important if there is already ice on the concrete, which presents a slipping hazard in and of itself.

If your residential 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 to be walking in or out of your home this winter, step on them and have them give away, especially if the weather outside is particularly snowy and cold. And you definitely don’t want a family member or anyone else to fall and hurt themselves on your concrete steps or sidewalk either.

Even if your residential concrete sidewalks or steps are still in good shape, keep in mind that you should never use de-icer that contains salt on them. A de-icer like that will cause the ice to melt, but the water can get into your concrete seams and then refreeze. The expanding and contracting water will cause your concrete to crack and break, which could then present a new hazard during the winter or the following spring.

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

How to Care For Your Decorative Concrete this Winter

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Winter can really wreak havoc on decorative concrete in Bloomington. Not only is the weather itself a hazard, but harsh chemical de-icers can damage concrete, plants and so much more. If you have decorative concrete at your home, it is important to protect your investment so you and your family can enjoy it for as long as possible. Here are a few suggestions on how to best care for your decorative concrete this winter.

  • Make sure you go out on a weekly basis and sweep and wash off the surface of your decorative concrete. While the sealer we put on the concrete will help prevent stains, an occasional clean-up is beneficial to help avoid dirt build-up.
  • When there is an ice or snow storm, you should avoid using de-icing salts, especially during the first winter after you have had your decorative concrete installed. While de-icer is not detrimental to the sealer on the decorative concrete, the de-icer and the water from the melted ice can get in and around the sealer. The water will continue to expand and contract as it freezes and unfreezes and that can damage your concrete.
  • Make sure your decorative concrete is sealed and resealed on a regular basis. When we come to install decorative concrete, we will definitely seal it. If it needs to be resealed after a few years, give us a call and we can come back out and help with that. Your decorative concrete needs sealer for a few reasons: it helps it continue to look nice and it helps prevent damage from salt, ice and other outdoor elements.
  • After it snows, be sure to shovel the snow off of your decorative concrete as soon as it is safe to do so. As mentioned, if water is continually allowed to thaw and freeze on your concrete, that can damage it. Take some time to shovel your concrete to keep it in good shape for as long as possible. (Not to mention, clearing the concrete around your house makes it safer and easier to get in and out of your home!)

These are just a handful of general guidelines about caring for decorative concrete in the winter. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call.

Would you like more information on having decorative concrete installed at your Bloomington home? Call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610, or you can contact us and get a Free Quote.

Three Benefits of Concrete Driveways

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Concrete is one of the most popular building materials out there: and with good reason! It is incredibly strong and durable and makes an ideal load bearing material. So it stands to reason that concrete driveways will last for quite some time and can withstand a lot of weight and pressure. We specialize in installing concrete driveways in Plymouth and the surrounding areas, and here are a few reasons you should consider concrete when having a new driveway installed at your home.

Enhance your home’s curb appeal

Concrete driveways can now be installed in just about any color. Gone are the days where your only options were gray or white! You can have a driveway of just about any color installed, and that can make your new driveway one of the more eye-catching features of your home.

Concrete driveways also come in a variety of textures and finishes too and that means you have plenty of design options. Your imagination is the limit when it comes to your new driveway, and a professional concrete company like Wohlwend Concrete will work with you to make sure you get the driveway you want.

Long lasting

Concrete driveways can last you for several decades. You will not need to worry about having one put in again for quite some time, even if you use it on a daily basis. Just be sure you care for it, maintain it and use the right type of de-icer during the winter. The de-icer should be one that is safe to use on concrete driveways, so be sure to read the label thoroughly to make sure it is okay to use.

If you want a new concrete driveway, you should definitely call in a professional to take care of this for you. When installed properly, concrete driveways can add to a home’s overall look and appeal and, in some cases, it can even add financial value to a home too.

With the proper care and maintenance, concrete driveways are an excellent investment. Just be sure to have it professionally poured and installed, and be sure to give us a call if you have any questions about your new driveway and how to care for it.

If you would like more information on concrete driveways in Plymouth and how to have one installed at your home, call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610, or you can contact us to get a Free Quote.

The Beauty of Decorative Concrete

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Concrete is functional, but did you know it can also be beautiful too? Decorative concrete sidewalks are becoming more and more popular these days as more homeowners realize just how much curb appeal these sidewalks can add. A company like Wohlwend Concrete can install concrete sidewalks at your St Paul home, and we can jazz them up if you want us to. Here are a few ways we can make your concrete sidewalks as lovely as they are practical.

Stamped concrete is a great way to add some beauty to your concrete sidewalks. They can be stamped so they resemble bricks or wood, or they can be stamped with a custom design. Your sidewalks can reflect your own unique personality and they can match the exterior of your home. They are far more interesting to look at than plain concrete, and they can really give your house that added “wow” factor that can set it apart from every other home on the block.

Concrete sidewalks can also be chemically acid stained. This is when water, hydrochloric acid and acid-soluble metallic salts are combined and then applied to the concrete. The mixture reacts with the hydrated lime that is already in the concrete and becomes a permanent part of the concrete. There are also water-based stains that can be used that come in a wide variety of colors. This is a great way to get the exact look and feel you want for your new decorative concrete sidewalks at your home.

These are just a few examples of the type of decorative concrete sidewalks you can have installed at your home. When you hire a professional concrete contractor like Wohlwend Concrete, we can talk to you about the decorative concrete services that we offer. We can advise you on the best type of decorative concrete for your home, your wants and your needs. We can even walk you through the entire process so you know exactly what to expect when we come out to install your new decorative concrete sidewalks.

Get in contact with us to get on our schedule or to learn even more about decorative concrete sidewalks and how to have them installed.

If you are interested in learning more about concrete sidewalks in St Paul and how to get decorative concrete installed too, call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610 or you can contact us to get a Free Estimate.

FAQs about Concrete Steps

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Wohlwend Concrete installs concrete steps in the Minneapolis and St Paul areas, and we are often asked the same questions about them before, during and after the installation process. So we thought we would take the time to go over the ones we hear the most.

Q: How long do concrete steps last?

A: When installed properly and with basic care and maintenance, your concrete steps could last several decades. They will need some regular care and maintenance, but these tasks are generally easy to take care of. Just make sure they are swept on a regular basis. You should also hose them down with water and use a concrete cleaner on them.

Q: How long should I wait to walk on my new concrete steps?

A: The time it takes for your new concrete steps to cure will mostly depend on weather conditions. But most of the time we recommend that you wait at least 24 hours or more before you walk on them. However, we will tell you how long to wait after we are done installing them.

Q: Why should I avoid using de-icers and salt on my concrete steps, and how should I de-ice them instead?

A: The best type of de-icer to use on your concrete steps is calcium chloride. It works quickly to melt the ice off of your concrete steps, but it will not destroy the steps either. Plus, calcium chloride is more eco-friendly than just about any other de-icer on the market today. After the de-icer is on your concrete steps, be sure to remove all of the slushy ice from them. This can help extend the life of your concrete steps. You can also use plain sand to make your concrete steps safe to walk on.

Q: What sets you apart from the competition when it comes to installing concrete steps?

A: We take great care to pay attention to the smallest of details when we install your concrete steps. We keep our prices fair and reasonable, and we treat all of our clients with the utmost respect and courtesy.

We hope you found the answers to the questions you have about concrete steps, but if you have one that wasn’t covered here, please feel free to call us!

For more information on concrete steps in Minneapolis and St Paul, call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610 or you can get a Free Quote.

How to Clean and Care for Concrete

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How often do you clean the concrete at your home? You might spend some time cleaning your decorative concrete by sweeping it every week and removing leaves and other debris, but did you know you should keep your concrete clean no matter what purpose it serves? We are a concrete contractor in Minnetonka and the surrounding areas, and we have a few suggestions on how to keep your concrete looking great!

You can clean standard concrete using a push broom, hose and a cleaner. Clear out the room or area that you are cleaning and sweep all of the dirt and debris off of the floor. Then, using a hose (or a power washer if you so choose), spray the entire floor with water. Start at the rear of the concrete area and work your way forward. Be sure to pay attention to corners, cracks and crevasses. Then spread the cleaner over the concrete. Use the push broom to scrub the cleaner into the floor and then rinse it again with the hose or power washer.

Cleaning decorative concrete uses a slightly different method. You will need a broom, a dust mop, a wet mop, a bucket, warm water and a mild cleaner. Simply sweep the floor with a broom to remove all of the loose dirt and debris. Using your dust mop, try to remove as many of the finer particles of dirt and dust. Then fill your bucket with warm water and a bit of a mild cleaner, like dish soap. You should not use any cleaners that are ammonia-based or that contain vinegar since these could damage the decorative concrete’s finish.

Make sure you wring out the mop as much as possible. Then use the mop to clean the floor in small sections. Rinse the mop and wring it out thoroughly. Then be sure to fill the bucket again with clean warm water and rinse away the remaining soap residue.

You should try to give your concrete a deep cleaning at least once a year. And, of course, if you have any questions about your concrete, you should call a concrete contractor like us for help! We can answer any questions you have.

Do you want more information about hiring us as your concrete contractor in Minnetonka? Call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610, or you can contact us and get a Free Quote.

Spring Residential Concrete Care Tips

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Now that spring is here, many homeowners are starting their spring to do lists. A sometimes-overlooked chore is concrete care. Residential concrete care in Roseville is a pretty simple process, so we thought we would share some tips on how to make sure your concrete is spring and summer ready!

Concrete is incredibly durable and it is relatively maintenance free. But with the harsh winters that we often experience here in Minnesota, even concrete can take a beating. De-icing agents can harm it, and there are other winter and cold related issues that can come up.

In the winter, you should not use de-icer on any residential concrete surface. If de-icer gets on your concrete, make sure you rinse it off as soon as possible, and make sure you also wash road salt off of your car so it does not drip onto your concrete.

In the spring, make sure lawn fertilizers do not get on your residential concrete. These chemicals can cause damage to your concrete and might require a call to us to get it fixed. Watch out for any furniture you have out too. Uncapped metal chair legs can scrape up against your concrete and damage it.

Your concrete should be resealed by professionals like us. We will seal your concrete during the installation process, but this important chore should be done every year or two to help the concrete last for as long as possible.

If you notice any stains on your residential concrete, do not treat them with harsh chemicals because these can cause more harm than good. You should figure out what caused the stain and then remove it using a cleaner that is specifically designed to remove that particular stain. For example, if your concrete has an oil stain on it, there are oil stain removers available. Test a small and inconspicuous part of the residential concrete before you apply it to the stain to make sure it does not damage the concrete.

Finally, take a walk around your house. Note where you have concrete and note if it is cracked or in need of some repair work. Then give us a call! We can come to your home and perform the necessary repair work so your residential concrete will look as good as the day it was installed.

Are you interested in learning more about residential concrete in Roseville? Call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610 or contact us and get a Free Quote.

How to Hire a Concrete Contractor

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It might be winter, but some of you might already be thinking about your spring home improvement projects and what you’d like to cross off your to do list. New concrete steps might be on your list, so here are a few things to look out for when hiring a concrete contractor in Minnetonka and the surrounding areas.

Ask Around

Do any of your friends or neighbors have concrete steps? Ask them about the concrete contractor they used. Get some word of mouth recommendations, which is almost always the best way to find a service provider like a concrete contractor. And when you contact one to start inquiring about services and prices, ask if the contractor has any testimonials. Wohlwend Concrete has plenty of testimonials from happy customers!

Ask for Samples

Ask the concrete contractor if he has any samples of his work he can show you. Make sure the examples of concrete work he provides match up to what you want and expect. Take the time to ask questions about the contractor’s professional experience too. If you visit Wohlwend Concrete’s gallery, you can see several examples of concrete work we have done for other people in your area.

Ask for an Estimate

Get a written estimate from the concrete contractor. At Wohlwend Concrete, we can give you a free estimate on our masonry and concrete services. That way, you will know how much to budget for, and we will get an idea of what your budget is so we can work with you to stay within your price range but still build you the concrete steps you want and need!

Read References

The Internet is a great place to do some research about your concrete contractor. For example, Wohlwend Concrete has plenty of positive reviews from happy and satisfied customers. Check websites like Yelp, Angie’s List and Google+ Local to see what kind of reviews your concrete contractor got from previous customers. Wohlwend Concrete gets positive reviews online, so you can rest easy knowing we have a great track record!

A good concrete contractor will be happy to answer all of your questions and address any concerns you might have about the entire process. And this is the way we do business here at Wohlwend Concrete. We can answer all of your questions about the concrete steps process so you understand what we do and how we do it.

So if you want to learn more about how to hire us as your concrete contractor in Minnetonka, call us at 651-426-2610 or contact us and get a Free Quote.