Leading manufacturer and supplier of ready mix concrete, liquid screed and concrete pumps for the South West

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This document was created using a Contractology template available at http://www.freenetlaw.com

News
How do I clean concrete?
08th June 2018

To keep your concrete floors looking good, you’ll want to keep them clean. Here’s how you can help maximise the lifespan of your concrete floor.

Use a pressure washer

A pressure washer is a great method of cleaning concrete and will deliver noticeable differences from the moment you start using it, removing dirt and stains. However, make sure that you do not exceed a rate of 4 gallons per minute (3000psi) or you risk damaging your concrete floor.

Using the fan setting, move the nozzle from side to side as if you were mopping a floor, whilst keeping the end around a foot from the concrete. When power washing a vertical concrete wall, you don’t have to worry about the dirt you’ve just washed away from settling back onto the concrete. When pressure washing a concrete floor, ensure that you wash towards the edges and not towards the centre.

Which chemicals can I use to clean concrete?

What if you have spotted a particularly tough oil or grease stain? Water alone does wonders when cleaning concrete, however, when you need an extra kick there are plenty of commercial options for you to choose from:

PH neutral concrete cleaning agents

Despite its resilience, concrete can be sensitive to certain acidic and alkaline substances. It is therefore the safest option to go with a PH neutral cleaning agent when cleaning internal, unsealed concrete floors.

Alkaline concrete cleaning agents

What about outdoor areas? Alkaline cleaning agents, also known as “concrete degreasers”, are ideal for use on concrete floors that are stained by grease, car oil and other automotive stains. This is because the high alkaline content breaks down oil and grease, making it easy to remove.

As concrete is naturally alkaline by nature, you can also use concrete degreasers to neutralise a concrete floor that has ben recently cleaned by an acidic cleaning agent first.

Acidic concrete cleaning agents

There are several acidic cleaning agents that help with specific concrete stains. Heavy rust stains on concrete are tough but are most effectively dealt with using a cleaning agent containing oxalic acid.

Acidic concrete cleaning agents are also the most effective way of tackling efflorescence; a situation where crystalline salt residue stains the surface of concrete, especially when it is exposed to hard water, a high salt content and alkaline soil.


We are experts in all things concrete, from the delivery of ready mix concrete and liquid screed, to concrete pumping services, we have you covered. For more information about our ready mix concrete, screed or concrete pumps for hire, contact us today on 0117 958 2090.
 

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A guide to laying concrete yourself
15th May 2018

As we head towards summer, you may be thinking of undertaking some DIY concreting jobs that you’ve been putting off, such as a new concrete shed base or driveway. However, concrete can be difficult to handle if you don’t know what you’re doing, which is why we hope this guide to laying concrete yourself will help you.

Safety is important

Wet concrete is a highly alkaline substance, which means that it can cause nasty burns, irritation or allergic reactions if it comes into contact with your skin or eyes. If you do get concrete on your skin, it’s suggested that you wash the area with plenty of water and see a doctor for severe reactions. To avoid this, you should ensure that you wear long sleeves, waterproof gloves and boots, trousers and eye protection whenever you handle wet concrete mix.

Set out your framework

You’ll need to build a wooden framework to mark out where you want your concrete project to go and also keep it in shape whilst it cures. You can first mark out the area using pegs and string, which will act as a marker whilst you dig down to the correct depth. You should allow at least 100mm depth for the concrete as well as a further 100mm for a hardcore base. The top of your wooden framework should be at the height you want your finished concrete surface to be once laid.

Create your hardcore base

A hardcore base is a mix of hard, low absorbency aggregates that is important for providing a strong foundation for your concrete. It also helps ensure that you have an even surface to work with, as you will need to compact the surface using a tamper before continuing. This should be around 100mm deep.

Measure up and order your concrete

Now is the time to figure out how much ready mix concrete you will need for the job - you can use our handy volume calculator for this. Once you know how much concrete you need, contact a concrete supplier such as ourselves, specify the amount and choose a delivery slot.

Take into consideration any access problems, as concrete mixing trucks are large and sometimes will be unable to deliver directly to your lay site. You can use wheelbarrows to manually transport the ready mix concrete yourself, or consider a concrete pump for larger projects.

Receive the concrete and start pouring

Concrete typically remains workable for a couple of hours before it begins to harden, so you’ll need to be proactive once the concrete arrives. It's best if you have friends and family to help you with this, especially if your job is too big for one person to achieve in this time.

Pour the concrete into your framework, ensuring an even distribution with spades or shovels. Once the framework is full completely, use a tamping beam to compress the concrete into place before using a straight beam to even out the surface.

Finishing up

Once you’ve laid your concrete mix, then you’ll need to cover the area using a polythene sheet to make sure that it does not cure too quickly, as this can cause cracking. Allow at least a week for the concrete to cure enough to carry significant weight.


Do you require ready mix concrete for your DIY concreting project? We can help! We deliver the exact amount of concrete you need and endeavour to offer same-day delivery wherever possible across the South West and Wales. Contact us on 0117 9582090.

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What makes concrete the world’s most used construction material?
09th May 2018

Concrete is by far the most used building material in the world. All you have to do is look around you and you’re likely guaranteed to see at least one thing made of it and for good reason. Not only is it incredibly strong, it is also surprisingly versatile, which makes it ideal for various construction requirements. We break down how concrete cemented itself as the most-use construction material in the world.

Are you looking for ready mix concrete or screed for your own construction project, either domestic or commercial? Whatever your concreting requirements, we can supply you with a quality product. Contact us on 0117 958 2090 for more information.

Strength

Concrete’s main benefit lies in the fact that it is incredibly strong and can withstand huge amounts of pressure, which makes it ideal for use in building foundations, roads and pavements. The fact that it generally provides minimal maintenance and repair issues whilst boasting a potential life-span of 100 years or more is what has made concrete the go-to building material since ancient Rome. In fact, the Colosseum built around 2000 years ago was made using Roman Concrete, a mixture very similar to what is used today and is living proof of concrete’s potential durability.

Versatility

Not only is concrete strong, it is also surprisingly versatile. The strength of concrete is not something that is set; rather, different concrete mixes can be created to prioritise different aspects, such as strength, cure-time and workability. This means that you can get the ideal concrete mix for your project requirements. You only need to compare the difference between ready mix concrete and liquid screed to see how versatile in consistency and use concrete can be.

More Environmentally Friendly

Concrete is also one of the more environmentally friendly construction materials available. This is because the resources used to make it, namely water, sand and aggregates, are often readily available resources that are sourced locally and therefore require minimal transport to get them to a plant. In fact, limestone, the main component in cement is limestone, the most readily available mineral on the planet. Ready mix concrete can also make use of many ‘waste’ products, such as slag cement and fly ash, which are by-products of power and manufacturing plants.


For more information about our ready mix concrete, concrete pumping services and liquid screed, contact our team today on 0117 958 2090.
 

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Biochar makes concrete stronger and more watertight
16th April 2018

Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) are developing a new concrete mixture, that’s made with recycled wood waste to achieve a stronger and more watertight consistency. Currently Singapore produces more than 500,000 million tonnes of wood waste that’s mostly sawdust, which can be turned into biochar. Biochar is charcoal that’s used in soil, it’s rich in the nutrient carbon and has the potential to reduce climate change for our planet. 

In 2010, a scientific study explored the world’s current sources of biomass that aren't being consumed by humans as food. They found that increasing the production of the biochar material could reduce over 10% of the planet’s current greenhouse gas emissions. It also can improve soil fertility, and increase agricultural growth - perfect for garden enthusiasts! 

A researcher from the NUS project, Kua Harn Wei explains, “Close to 50 kilograms (110 lb) of wood waste can be utilized for every tonne of concrete fabricated. We typically require 0.5 cubic meter of concrete for every square meter of floor area (17.6 cu ft per 10.7 sq ft) built in Singapore. This translates to around six tonnes of wood waste being recycled to build a typical four room HDB unit with floor area of 100 square meters (1,076 sq ft).” So not only would incorporating recycled wood waste improve the strength of concrete, it’s better for our environment. 

Most biomass breaks down after 10 or 20 years, and then eventually breaking down and releasing carbon into the environment. Whereas biochar is different, it’s able to hold its carbon properties for thousands of years, making it incredibly environmentally friendly. This is great for concrete as it’s a very long-lasting mixture, and it can last for more than 60 years without any issues, so the added recycled wood waste would only improve its durableness. 


Are you interested in ready mix concrete for your residential or commercial outside space? We can supply you with quality ready mix concrete and liquid screed tailored to suit your requirements. Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your project with us 0117 9582090

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