Wohlwend Concrete Blog

Pros and Cons of Concrete Stairs

Concrete stairs have long been a popular choice for outdoor staircases, and for good reason. They offer several advantages, but like any building material, they also come with their drawbacks. If you’re considering installing outdoor concrete stairs in Roseville, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons to make an informed decision. At Wohlwend Concrete, we have decades of experience working with concrete in the Twin Cities area, and have used our experience to highlight just some of the many pros and cons.

concrete stairs leading to brick home

Pros of Using Concrete for Outdoor Stairs:

  • Durability: Concrete is renowned for its strength and durability. It can withstand harsh weather conditions, including rain, snow and intense sunlight, without deteriorating or rotting. This makes it an excellent choice for outdoor stairs that are exposed to the elements.
  • Low Maintenance: Once properly installed, concrete stairs require minimal maintenance. Occasional cleaning and sealing can keep them looking great for years. They are also resistant to pests, such as termites, which can be a problem with wooden stairs.
  • Customization: Concrete can be molded into various shapes and sizes, allowing for customization to match your specific design preferences. You can choose from a variety of finishes and colors to complement your home’s aesthetics.
  • Longevity: With proper care, concrete stairs can last for decades, often outlasting other materials like wood or metal. This longevity can provide a good return on investment over time.
  • Fire Resistance: Concrete is inherently fire-resistant, which is crucial for outdoor stairs that may be exposed to wildfire risks or nearby open flames.

Cons of Using Concrete for Outdoor Stairs:

  • Cost: Concrete stairs can be more expensive to install compared to some other materials, such as wood. The cost can vary depending on factors like design complexity and location.
  • Cracking: While concrete is durable, it can develop cracks over time due to settling, freeze-thaw cycles or shifting in the ground. Proper construction techniques and reinforcement can mitigate this issue.
  • Slipperiness: Concrete stairs can become slippery when wet, which can be a safety concern. To address this, non-slip additives or textured finishes can be applied.
  • Installation Time: Concrete stair construction can take longer compared to some other materials. It often involves setting up forms, allowing for curing time and finishing work, which can extend the project timeline.

Concrete stairs offer durability, low maintenance and customization options that make them an excellent choice for outdoor applications. However, they do come with some drawbacks, including cost and potential cracking. To decide if concrete stairs are right for your project, consider your budget, aesthetic preferences and the climate in your area. Additionally, working with experienced contractors, like those at Wohlwend Concrete, who specialize in concrete stair construction can help ensure a successful and long-lasting installation.

Are you ready to have concrete stairs installed at your home or business in Roseville? Call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610 or contact us to get your project scheduled or to ask any questions you may have about concrete steps.

6 Signs that It’s Time for Concrete Step Replacement

As a business or homeowner, are you wondering how to tell when your concrete is in need of repairs or replacement? Telling the difference can be difficult, and while you can also rely on the contractor you hire to tell you which is necessary, it can be nice to have a better idea of what to expect before giving them a call. As the experts in concrete step replacement in Vadnais Heights and the surrounding Twin Cities area, Wohlwend Concrete has compiled a list of 6 signs that it’s likely time for replacement, rather than simply repairs.

new steps after concrete step replacement was performed by Wohlwend Concrete in Vadnais Heights

1. Extensive Cracks

While some cracks are good candidates for repairs, deep cracks that run the length of your steps are likely a sign that replacement is required.

2. Multiple Repairs Already Performed

Have you already had repairs performed on your concrete steps multiple times? At some point, there comes a time when there have simply been too many repairs and it is time for new concrete steps altogether. In this case, it is beneficial to continue to work with one contractor for each batch of repairs, so they have a better understanding of when it’s time to recommend replacement.

3. Aesthetic Changes

Have you updated the aesthetic of your home or business since your concrete steps were installed? If you want to change the color, stamp design or style of your concrete steps then it’s time for a replacement! While this is the least urgent of all the signs, having steps that match the aesthetic can provide a cohesive look.

4. Settling or Unevenness

Are your concrete steps significantly uneven? Over time, your concrete steps will slowly start to settle, but when they are noticeably uneven throughout, it is likely time to consider replacement over repairs.

5. Spalling or Chipping

Are your concrete steps experiencing severe spalling or chipping? Whole chunks of step falling off or widespread chipping throughout your steps is a good indication that the time for repair has passed and you need new concrete steps.

6. Crumbling Edges

Finally, if all of the edges of your steps are crumbling, you should probably consider concrete step replacement. Crumbling edges can weaken the structural integrity of your steps, meaning that they are less safe and likely going to be difficult to repair.

If you still aren’t sure if you need concrete step replacement at your home or business in Vadnais Heights, we can help! Call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610 or contact us to get your project scheduled or to ask any questions you may have about concrete steps.

Common Questions about Concrete Construction

When looking at a new hardscaping project or concrete construction in the Twin Cities area, there are many questions that may come to mind. Some may be specific to the job at hand, while others may be about concrete more generally. At Wohlwend Concrete, we are happy to answer any questions you may have, but in the meantime – check out some of our more commonly asked questions!

What are the benefits of using concrete in construction?

When looking for hardscaping, concrete offers a lot of benefits compared to other building materials. Concrete is:

  • Durable and resilient
  • Low maintenance
  • Versatile
  • Cost-effective
  • Easily cured
  • Energy-efficient
  • And more!

Concrete boasts a number of benefits that are unmatched by other common building materials.

Concrete sidewalk recently poured in Twin Cities area

What does it mean to cure concrete?

Curing is the process of hardening. The hardening of concrete occurs due to a chemical reaction between the cement and water, called hydration. This process is essential to achieving the known strength and durability of concrete.

Will concrete cure in the rain?

Technically, yes, concrete will cure in the rain. However, a good concrete contractor will know better than to pour concrete in the rain. The concrete will take longer to cure and can mess with the cement to water ratio required of your concrete.

If your concrete was poured and it has since started to rain, prior to the concrete being cured, you may want to try to cover the concrete using a tarp or call your concrete construction company for their advice.

Can stains be removed from concrete?

Yes! Stains on your concrete from spills or other accidents can often be removed by a variety of methods. There are dry methods (sandblasting, scabbing, shot blasting, grinding or scouring) and wet methods (including the use of water and chemicals specific to the stain). Your concrete construction company can provide more specific advice on stain removal to avoid any potential damage due to using the wrong technique.

Who should I hire for concrete construction?

The simplest answer of all – Wohlwend Concrete! We have decades of experience and can complete any concrete construction project you want. We proudly serve the whole Twin Cities area and are locally owned and operated.

Are you ready for your concrete construction project in the Twin Cities area to begin? Call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610 or contact us to get your project scheduled!

5 Ways to Spruce Up Your Concrete Patio Steps

Concrete is anything but boring, however, people still think that concrete patio steps are stuck looking gray and dull. Luckily, at Wohlwend Concrete we are experts in concrete patio steps in Minneapolis and we can help you spruce up your concrete patio steps to make them match your aesthetic!

Whether you choose to spruce up your current concrete patio steps or desire to replace them to better fit your dream patio, we are here to help!

1. Incorporate Stonework

Did you know that we work with more than just concrete? We also do masonry and stonework projects. That means that you can combine our two specialties to have a completely unique set of concrete patio stairs! If you want to change things up and add varying textures, we can incorporate stonework into your steps!

concrete patio steps incorporating stonework in Minneapolis

2. Add Color

When you think of concrete, are you one of many who pictures a dull, gray slab? Instead – try imagining stained concrete! While sealing your concrete patio steps, we can also stain it, brightening up the space to match your home and desired patio vibes!

3. Stamp in Patterns

Not only can we incorporate color and stones, but we can also add texture and patterns to the concrete itself! With everything from random cobblestone to English Yorkstone and a variety of patterns in between, we can make your concrete steps stand out and complement the rest of your patio design.

4. Decorate with Flower Pots

Once your concrete patio steps are installed, you can still find new ways to spruce them up! From spring through fall, you can add pops of color with flower pots. With endless possibilities for flowers and pots, you can truly customize the décor style of your concrete patio steps! Just be sure to avoid vining plants and to place the flower pots in a location on the step where they don’t add a fall hazard!

5. Light Them Up

Finally, if you plan on enjoying summer evenings out on your patio, consider sprucing up your patio steps with lights! Not only does it increase the ambience, but it also promotes safety as guests and residents alike can easily see as they walk up or down the steps at night!

Are you ready to see how we can help you spruce up your concrete patio steps in Minneapolis and the surrounding Twin Cities area? Call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610 or contact us to get your project scheduled! k

Spring 2023 Concrete Step Repair

With spring in full swing and summer on the horizon, now is the perfect time to start looking at outside projects around the home. Specifically, now is a great time to take a look at your concrete steps for these 4 common signs that they are in need of repair. Especially with the harsh winters that we endure here in MN, concrete step repair in Golden Valley is a task you don’t want to ignore.

At Wohlwend Concrete, we are experts in concrete steps – from installation to repair to replacement – we can do it all! Our years of experience allow us to provide you with the best advice to prolong the life of your concrete. If at all possible, we will opt to repair your concrete steps, however, if they are too far damaged, replacement may be the only option to ensure the long-term safety of those in your household.

Damaged concrete steps can range in severity from mostly cosmetic issues to cracked or crumbling stairs. The extent of risk associated with each type of damage ranges as well, but any damage is likely to get worse without repairs performed by a trusted concrete step repair professional.

stairs after concrete step repair from Wohlwend Concrete in Golden Valley

So, this spring, don’t delay in scheduling repairs for your concrete steps! Whether you are simply looking to increase the safety of your surroundings or you are trying to increase the curb appeal of your home in preparation for putting it on the market – you can’t go wrong with concrete step repair!

As a potential seller, damage such as crumbling steps are likely to scare off any interested buyers, because if there is visible damage, what issues may be lurking unseen? Or, simply as a homeowner, damaged steps can lead to increased fall risk for yourself and all who visit your home. With spring and summer gatherings on the immediate horizon, now is the time to ensure you are completing all necessary repairs to protect the health and safety of your loved ones!

If your concrete steps are in need of repair, it’s best to handle the problem as soon as possible. The longer you delay, the worse the damage is likely to become. In some cases, if you ignore repairs for too long, you may require new concrete steps altogether.

Are you ready to schedule concrete step repair for your Golden Valley home? Call Wohlwend Concrete at 651-426-2610 or contact us to get your project scheduled!