Wohlwend Concrete Blog

Happy Thanksgiving, Minnesotans!

Gobble gobble! Turkey Day is almost here – just one more week until we are eating turkey and all the trimmings until our pants are too tight. After that, some people will retire to the TV room to watch the football games. Others will settle in to watch some holiday-themed movies (Miracle on 34th Street, anyone?). Even your favorite Twin Cities concrete contractor will be enjoying time with friends and family. But if you’re more of the active type and you want to get out and explore the Twin Cities, here are a few suggestions:

  • Como Zoo and Conservatory is open every day, including Thanksgiving. Take your out-of-town guests to this popular zoo that also features a conservatory and other attractions, like visiting exhibits. It is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Head down to The Depot to work off some of that turkey and stuffing! Their indoor skating rink opens on Thanksgiving Day from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The skating rink was named one of the top places in North America to ice skate by MSNBC, Fodor’s Travels and USA Today.
  • Or if you’d prefer a slightly less active activity, try St. Paul’s Phalen Park. It is transformed into a sea of lights and color, featuring more than 50 holiday sculptures and animated displays. Plus the money raised by charging admission ($10/car most nights) goes to charities like Second Harvest Heartland, Union Gospel Mission, St. Paul Parks Conservancy and UnderConstruction.
  • On November 29 and 30, the most famous of all Twin Cities holiday traditions begins: the Holidazzle Parade! These parades will be held Fridays and Saturdays through December 21, starting at 6:30 p.m. between 12th and 4th Streets at the Nicollet Mall.

We here at Wohlwend Concrete wish you and yours a very happy (and filling!) Thanksgiving! While you have some time off work, take a minute to evaluate the concrete and masonry work around your home. Make a list and call us! Schedule an appointment for tuck-pointing or any indoor concrete work you may need completed.

Request a free quote online or give us a call at 651-426-2610 to schedule an appointment with our experienced Twin Cities concrete contractor.


Proper Snow Removal from Concrete: Tips

Like it or not, winter is nearly here. The air is crisp, the temperatures are dropping and it’s getting dark earlier and earlier in the day. Soon enough, the Twin Cities area will be dealing with regular snowfall. Here are a few tips for proper snow removal from your concrete driveway or walkway from us here at Wohlwend Concrete.

Before the snow hits, take the time to mark off where your driveway or walkway ends and your yard or flower beds begin. This will protect your garden and lawn from accidentally getting damaged when you shovel or plow the concrete. Also, be sure to mark off where your propane tank or fire hydrant is (if you have one near your home or driveway/walkway).

Using calcium chloride instead of rock salt to remove ice from your concrete driveway or walkway can save your flower beds or lawn from being damaged or destroyed. Although calcium chloride can be expensive, a little bit goes a long way, so you can use it sparingly and still get the same results as you would with rock salt. Of course, you can also go the cheaper route and use kitty litter or builders’ sand and get the nearly the same result – the ice won’t be melted but it will skid-proof the surface and help with traction. Just be sure to take your shoes off before you go into the house, as these materials are easily tracked into your home! But don’t use any products that contain ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate: these products will break down concrete and other masonry materials.

And, of course, the usual advice also applies: get a good snow shovel and use some elbow grease to get the snow off of your driveway or walkway. This will take care of most of the problem, but de-icing with calcium chloride or rock salt will take care of the worst of the problem and will ensure these surfaces are safe to walk and drive on.

Wohlwend Concrete is here to help with any masonry and concrete needs you may have this winter and any other season of the year. Give us a call at (651) 426-2610 or request a free quote.


Winter is Coming: Are You and Your Home Ready?

Old Man Winter is nearly here, and it’s a good idea to take a few hours and make sure your home is prepared for the upcoming cold months. Plus, with the holiday season fast approaching, you might not have the time to do much more prep work before winter arrives. Get your last minute concrete projects on the schedule now! Wohlwend Concrete has a few tips about one of the most over-looked chores: tuck-pointing.

Tuck-pointing is the process of repairing mortar joints in stone or brick walls.  An experienced masonry contractor, like Wohlwend Concrete, can do this task for you. First, we will determine if tuck-pointing is needed. And then we will grind or rake out the old mortar and refill it with new mortar. Why is this a good idea? Tuck-pointing can keep moisture out of the wall and keep moisture problems from developing. It can extend the life of the wall and possibly keep you from having to deal with more costly repairs later on down the road because if the wall deteriorates, the only way to fix it is to tear it down and build a new one.

So be sure to look at any brick or stone work you have at your house. And then be sure to give us here at Wohlwend Concrete at call at (651) 426-2610 or visit our website and get a free quote.


The Basics About Concrete

Today, we’re going to take a step back, and provide you with some basic information about concrete. How much do you really know about the finest building material on the market? If you live anywhere around the Twin Cities, like Minneapolis, concrete driveways are a solid choice for your home improvement project. Due to its ability to stand up to fluctuating temperatures and unmatched lifespan, it will be the perfect addition to your property.

What’s the Difference Between Cement & Concrete?

Many people use the terms “cement” and “concrete” interchangeably. You may be surprised to find out cement is actually an ingredient in concrete. Cement is a binding substance that can harden independently or be used to join other materials together. Some cement will harden underwater, while others react with the carbon dioxide in the air. It is an incredibly strong substance, which makes it good for mortar in masonry projects and as a key ingredient in concrete. Many construction projects today benefit greatly from the use of cement.

What is Concrete Made Of?

Concrete is a mixture of products. The two main components of concrete are aggregates and a binding substance. Some examples of aggregates include sand, crushed stone, gravel and other ground up materials. This mixed with cement, which binds the aggregates together, results in a sturdy building material that has been used since primitive times. Other admixtures can be added throughout the process to affect color, hydration time and shrink rate. When expertly blended, concrete makes the ideal building material.

What is Concrete Used For?

Concrete has many modern functions. It is used for everything from concrete driveways to the Hoover Dam. At Wohlwend Concrete, we use concrete for the following applications:

  • Concrete Steps
  • Concrete Driveways
  • Concrete Sidewalks
  • Concrete Walkways
  • Concrete Patios

Need concrete installed on your Minneapolis property? Give us a call today at 651-426-2610 or request a free quote online.


Fall Concrete Projects

We know it’s hard to believe with all the hot weather recently, but fall is quickly approaching. If you still have things leftover on your summer home improvement list, we don’t blame you. Summer always passes in the blink of an eye. If you need to install concrete this year, it’s important you get the project started soon. If you live anywhere around the Twin Cities, concrete steps, sidewalks and driveways can add curb appeal to your home. We can understand the desire for concrete elements; we just need to get started on your project before it’s too late!

Concrete at Low Temperatures

It is important to have your concrete projects completed while temperatures are still moderate. We recommend you schedule an appointment as soon as possible to have your concrete laid before fall ends. Cold temperatures have a variety of negative effects on a mixture of concrete.

It is possible, if you lay concrete when the temperature is too cold, for the mixture to freeze. This will cause the concrete to not set properly, thus weakening it. Overall, cold weather causes the concrete to harden slower and leaves it in a weakened state.

It is impossible to install concrete when the ground is frozen. When concrete is poured onto a frozen patch of earth, the earth it will eventually thaw and settle. This causes the concrete to shift and it will most likely crack. For guaranteed results, it’s best to wait until the ground is thawed.

Install Concrete Now

Concrete is a beautiful addition to any Twin Cities homes. It’s durable and long lasting. If you’ve been thinking about installing concrete at your home, now is the time. If you want your home in pristine condition for the holiday season, call today. You can wow the family with a whole new stairs, sidewalks and a drive way. Your home’s exterior will never look better.

Ready to install concrete stairs at your Twin Cities home? Give us a call today at 651-426-2610 or request a free quote online.