Wohlwend Concrete Blog

Be Ready for Your Concrete Driveway

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

As 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

With 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

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

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.