April 2018

5 Products That Can Damage Concrete Driveway & Floors

by TRP Ready Mix on April 11, 2018

A car wheel and rim sitting on a concrete floor in a garage, the driveway visible beyond..

Concrete Contractors Offer Advice to Protect Your Concrete Flooring and Driveways

Although concrete is extremely strong and durable, it is not immune to certain products and spills.

When concrete is sealed properly, it’s better protected from the elements and everyday wear and tear, including cleaning products and other substances. But even so, there are some products strong enough to stain or damage a concrete surface permanently.

During home renovations or while working on the car, you may spill some paint or oil. These spills may seem harmless, but you could end up with permanent ugly stains on your garage floor or driveway.

If you want to maintain the appearance of your concrete flooring, then protect your concrete and be cautious when using certain products.

There are concrete-cleaning products available at home repair stores that can help remove some of the culprits. But if these won’t work, contact concrete contractors for help repairing your concrete.

Concrete contractors will grind, seal, and even polish your concrete floors and driveway to make them look new again.

Here are the top five products that can damage concrete and how you can remove their stains.

Tape Adhesives

Tape adhesives are nearly impossible to remove from concrete. And if left on for too long, these adhesives might etch the concrete surface. Most construction-grade tapes use plasticizers, additives that help improve flexibility in the adhesive. Because concrete sealers are often somewhat porous, the plasticizers tend to bond very well to sealed concrete surfaces, creating an extremely strong bond.

What’s more, the similarity between resins in construction tape and concrete sealers creates a further issue. Sealers have a certain drying window – they might look and feel “dry” to the touch after two days, but chemically, they’re still setting. Applying construction tape at this point means you’re creating an incredibly strong bond between the two resins. When you peel back the tape, the adhesive remains (and potentially even some of the non-sticky portions of the tape).

It is possible to repair this damage. Concrete contractors would need to regrind and reseal the concrete surface, a time-consuming (and potentially costly) process. Want to avoid future repairs? Don’t apply tape directly to concrete!

Paint

Paint doesn’t necessarily damage concrete, but unlike so many other surfaces, concrete is incredibly difficult to clean paint from, sealed or unsealed. If you plan to do any painting, cover your concrete flooring first to avoid damage from paint spills. And if paint does spill, don’t allow it to dry. Wipe it immediately with a cloth and warm water. If it sets and dries, then you’re in a similar position to the damage caused by adhesives.

And just like adhesive damage, you’ll need to regrind and reseal the affected concrete to get it back to its original condition.

Drywall Mix

As with painting, always cover your concrete floors before installing drywall. Spilled drywall mix can cause unsightly blotches and patches on concrete products and are almost impossible to remove cleanly after they’ve dried. When it dries, you’ll have to regrind and reseal the affected concrete to get the clean, even look you want.

If you’re fast, though, you can quickly address spills. Using a drop cloth when working with drywall mix, including sheetrock mud, can help prevent any frustrating spills, but accidents do happen. Keep a spray bottle on hand filled with water, a trowel, and a sponge. Scrape off what you can immediately, then start spraying down the remaining mix and dabbing it away with a sponge. If you’re quick and diligent, you can remove most of the mix, or at least mitigate the damage.

Grease and Oil

The best solution for an oil stain is to clean it while it’s fresh. Use a diluted degreaser to remove fresh oil and grease.

Some of these household products might help remove oil and grease, but make sure to test them on a small surface first:

  • Scrub with detergent and warm water;
  • Spray with WD-40, leave overnight, and rinse off the next day; and
  • Apply oven cleaner, wait 15 minutes, and scrub with a hard-bristled brush (repeat if needed).

For older stains that have set deeply in the concrete, grinding and sealing will repair the damage.

To prevent oil stains altogether, place a tray of sawdust or cat litter under your car to catch oil drips.

Water and Moisture

For water spots on concrete, burnishing should do the trick. For acidic food spills like cola, vinegar, wine, and mustard, try to wipe up as soon as possible. If these spills end up leaving stains, then you’ll need to regrind and reseal the concrete surface.

Contact your local concrete contractors for help removing stains from your concrete.

Although concrete driveways and garage floors are not as cherished as hardwood floors, you should still protect them so they will look great for longer. Clean, well-maintained concrete floors and driveways also boost a home’s curb appeal if you ever decide to sell your home.

Working Safely and Responsibly with Concrete

by TRP Ready Mix on April 3, 2018

Ottawa concrete companies and contractors have an obligation to the environment and to their workers' safety.

Tips for Worker Safety and Sourcing Eco-Friendly Concrete Products

Concrete is the most widely used building material in the world. It’s versatile, long-lasting, and easy to work with.

But when working with concrete, you need to be safe and environmentally responsible. You can reduce your environmental footprint and keep workers safe with the right precautions. Where you order your concrete and how well you enforce workplace safety are crucial.

Here are tips for choosing a responsible concrete supplier in Ottawa and ensuring worker safety on the job so you can protect both your environment and your workers.

ECO Certification

We all must do our part to protect the environment. If business activities could potentially impact the environment, then a business needs an Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) from the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) to operate legally in Ontario.

This is why ECO Certification exists for concrete companies.

Concrete companies who are ECO Certified can assure their customers and communities that they, their facilities, and their concrete products are compliant to environmental and sustainable standards.

Certified companies are responsible for following best practices for the communities and environment in which they operate—including the air, water, noise, and waste.

So when choosing a reliable and responsible concrete supplier for your next concrete project, look for local concrete companies who are ECO Certified.

On-Site Safety Tips

When it comes to worker safety, you can never be too cautious. The weight and chemical composition of concrete can harm workers if these safety measures aren’t in place.

Hard Hats

Hard hats are essential safety gear for all construction sites, whether or not you are working with concrete. As a result, head protection is absolutely necessary to ensure optimal worker safety.

Eye Protection

Concrete can pose a threat to the eyes in both its dry and wet forms. To protect workers’ eyes from dust and concrete splatter, workers should wear full-cover goggles or safety glasses with side shields at all times.

Back Safety

Concrete and its separate ingredients—cement, aggregates, sand, water—are heavy. Whether you are mixing concrete on site or having it delivered from a local concrete supplier, make sure your workers follow these instructions for lifting heavy materials:

  • Keep your legs bent and your back straight;
  • Keep the weight between your legs and close to your body;
  • Do not twist your body while lifting or carrying heavy objects;
  • If the materials are too heavy, get others to help you;
  • Use mechanical equipment to bring heavy materials as close as possible to the desired location;
  • Opt to have concrete delivered to a final area with a truck pump or chute;
  • Use a shovel to push—not lift—concrete should into its final position;
  • To spread concrete, use a short-handled, square shovel, a concrete rake, or come-alongs; and,
  • Avoid excessive horizontal movement of the concrete to prevent over-exertion and separation of ingredients.

Skin Protection

Both fresh and dried concrete can irritate skin, so workers should take necessary precautions to avoid prolonged contact with concrete:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and waterproof gloves;
  • Wear high enough rubber boots to prevent contact while standing in fresh concrete;
  • Prevent fresh concrete from saturating clothing with moisture;
  • Rinse saturated clothing with water until clear;
  • Wash hands, arms, and other affected areas with pH-neutral soap and clean water;
  • Use waterproof pads to protect knees, elbows, and hands during concrete placing and finishing; and,
  • If skin becomes irritated, causing persistent or severe discomfort, seek medical attention.

With environmental and safety best practices, you can ensure your concrete projects are safe, sustainable, and responsible. Protect your workers’ health and safety while protecting the environment when working with concrete.