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World of Concrete Show

clock January 23, 2011 17:29 by author blogadmin
The World of Concrete is a convention for contractors that specialize in concrete and foundation repairs.

 

The World of Concrete (WOC) is a convention and expo for concrete and foundation contractors to visit and learn from exhibitors. The 2011 World of Concrete, while less attended due to economic reasons, fulfilled its goals for many specialty contractors from around the country. Weston Opat, National Sales Manager for Earth Contact Products, said "while attendance was down, the quality of visiting contractors was significant".

Earth Contact Products has displayed their foundation repair products and services at the WOC for 11 years. Recent years has seen declining numbers of visiting contractors yet many continue to come and seek out new products, knowledge and procedures. Many exhibitors, like Earth Contact Products fulfill these needs and provide ways for many contractors to diversify and expand their businesses during tough economic times. Weston Opat spoke of contractors that he visited with from Washington, California, Nebraska, Connecticut, Maine and Canada who all are seeking a quality manufacturer of helical anchors, steel push piers and wall anchors. While many of these contractors were able to visit with several manufacturers, "ECP appears to fit our needs in many ways", says Bill Ford (WCM Contractors).



Interior Basement Waterproofing

clock January 10, 2011 14:00 by author blogadmin
Be wary of waterproofing companies that offer interior drainage systems that sit on top of the footing. This placement does not allow proper drainage.

The Correct Way vs. The Easy Way

 

As the economy slowly starts to come back to life, a trend is emerging in the manufacturing and service industries.  That trend is higher quality goods and services, giving your end user more for their money.  That trend is everywhere, and needs to be discussed how it relates to the basement waterproofing business.   Are you offering the best products and systems, or just an easy way to get a job done?  It’s no longer 2007.  The blow-and-go, do whatever it takes to get to the next job attitude has to change as well. 

Let’s look at interior basement waterproofing.  There are many companies out there offering many different waterproofing systems.  A lot of these companies are offering an interior drainage system that sits on top of the footing.  Is a drainage system that sits on top of the footing the correct way to waterproof a basement, or just the easiest?  Simply, it’s the easiest way, not the correct way.  There are too many problems with top of the footing drainage systems.  For example: footings are level, placing a drain system on a flat surface doesn’t allow for proper drainage, hydrostatic pressure build-up under the basement slab will reach the bottom of the slab before a top of footing systems will work causing unnecessary pressure on the floor, top of the footing systems also leave a very thin layer of concrete over the top of the track when the installation is complete, usually less than 2”.  Top of the footing drainage systems only benefit the contractor.

The correct placement of an interior drainage system is next to the footing.  Placed there, you can put the proper amount of fall in your pipe.  The pipe is 4”-6” below the slab, eliminating hydrostatic pressure build-up before it gets to the slab and when the system is installed correctly, concrete can be poured back at the full slab depth.  And most importantly, this type of system is building code approved.  This is the proper placement of a drainage system to give the most benefit to the customer.

Top of the footing track systems look good, but do they function well?  Likely, not well enough.  What are you giving your customer? 



What is a Concrete Crack?

clock January 4, 2011 15:41 by author blogadmin
Foundation experts can visual evaluate foundation and concrete cracks that are formed by settlement, heaving, bowing and other forces.

There are 3 guarantees in the concrete business:

1. It will get hard
2. It will not be stolen once is gets hard
3. It will crack

While there is not a negative in the first two guarantees of concrete, the third often becomes a source of concern and to many contractors, a source of revenue. The evaluation and repair of these cracks is an art and a science. Experience and visual evaluation is the art of crack investigation that guides foundation experts towards a solution to repair. The science of crack evaluation requires proof and documentation to support the art.

Once a foundation crack has been identified to be caused by settlement, heaving, bowing or other force, the next step is to determine whether the crack is getting larger or if it has stopped. The seasons of the year will dictate part of this as will obvious changes in overall moisture content of the surrounding soils. If you are in an extended dry or wet period (over one year) or if an outside influence has changed (water pipe leaking). Determining the progression of the foundation crack is the job of a crack monitor.

Crack monitors are devices that give a recording of movement relative to each side of a visual crack. Crack gauges determine the size of a crack. The evaluation criterion for IBC and IRC is a gap of .064". This means that if the crack is smaller than .064" the crack will not allow water to penetrate and does not cause concern for the overall stability of the structure at the present time. If the crack larger and/or has ruptured the foundation, a cause for concern is viable and the evaluation and monitoring is necessary. Rupture is defined as a crack that has penetrated both sides of a foundation element. Crack monitors evaluate the movement across a crack or rupture over a period of time to help determine the nature of structural problems.

Crack Monitors consist of two overlapping acrylic plates. One plate is marked with a millimeter grid, the other with cross hairs centered over the grid. Once installed, any movement can be easily seen and then recorded on the Crack Progress Chart provided with each monitor. Crack Monitors can be used to determine whether existing cracks are stable or still experiencing movement with a record of this movement to substantiate methods of repairs. The structures owner can be assured, with proof of movement, before repairs or proof of non-movement after a repair has been completed. The proof of non-movement can be critical to dispel visual or mental suspicions that unfounded.



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