3 Risk Factors That Can Damage Concrete Foundations

The main thing a commercial building or home needs to remain structurally sound is a good foundation. Construction professionals painstakingly install concrete foundations to ensure they are solid and damage-free. However, external sources can lead to the foundation under a home or business getting severely damaged. 

Millions of dollars are spent on foundation repairs in the United States annually. If you’re the owner of a home or commercial building, your main goal should be to avoid serious foundation repairs. The only way to accomplish this goal is by learning about the problems that commonly damage concrete foundations. 

The following are some risk factors that can damage concrete foundations. 

1. Drainage Issues Can Damage a Concrete Foundation

Perhaps the most common cause of foundation damage is inadequate drainage. When rain starts to collect around the exterior portion of a home or business, it can cause serious foundation issues. The sad reality is that most buildings don’t have adequate drainage systems attached to them. If a home is without downspouts and gutters, it is only a matter of time before soil oversaturation becomes a problem. 

Ongoing problems will cause soil oversaturation that can lead to the foundation becoming extremely unstable. This instability will usually lead to cracks forming in the foundation. This is why investing in gutter systems and proper landscaping is so important. 

2. Plumbing Leaks Are Common

The plumbing system in a home or commercial building is extremely complex. These systems feature many components that carry water in and out of the structure. If the main line pipes of a home or business have ruptured, they will allow a lot of water to leak into the soil underneath the foundation. Soil that remains saturated with water will allow the foundation to shift. 

This shifting can severely damage a concrete foundation. The main issue that home and business owners face regarding these plumbing leaks is that they are hard to find. There are many instances when main line plumbing leaks go unnoticed for months. 

If there is a main line leak, you will notice things like unpleasant odors, high water bills and unusual sounds. When these issues are discovered, you need to get them repaired immediately to avoid damage to your foundation. ‘

3. Intrusive Tree Roots

Having large and well-manicured trees around a home or business can add a lot of curb appeal. However, if the roots of these trees start to grow underneath the foundation, they can do a lot of damage. This root overgrowth can result in foundation cracks. 

Having the trees on your property inspected routinely can help you stay a step ahead of these problems. Experienced landscapers can detect problematic roots and give you some information on how to address them. The money paid for this professional help is worth it due to the foundation problems it can help you avoid. 

By steering clear of the risk factors covered above, you can keep your concrete foundation damage-free.

Important Information About Concrete Removal and Replacement

Using high-grade materials during a construction project is crucial. When using quality materials, you can avoid short-term repair issues and problems. As time goes by, even the most durable building materials will start to show signs of wear. 

There might come a time when a concrete slab or foundation needs to be removed and replaced due to damage. Every year, over 600 million tons of construction and demolition debris are produced in the United States. A large portion of this debris is concrete. 

If you are looking for more information about the concrete removal and replacement process, you’ve come to the right place. 

What Conditions Call For Concrete Removal?

Most home and commercial building owners are familiar with things like concrete patching compounds and resurfacing products. While these elements can be used to fix minor concrete repair issues, they are ineffective against serious problems. There are many conditions where patches and resurfacing products will act as a short-term solution. 

Rather than spending money on the wrong solutions, you need to remove and replace severely damaged concrete. The most common conditions that have to be fixed with concrete removal and replacement include:

Seeking out the second opinion of a concrete professional is the best way to choose the best method to fix the problems you’re experiencing. 

Methods Used To Demolish Concrete

If you and a concrete professional decide that removing your existing concrete is a good idea, selecting the right method to use is the next step. The methods used to demolish concrete surfaces include:

  • Hydraulic Breakers- Boom-mounted hydraulic breakers are used to demolish things like concrete bridge decks, pavement and structure foundations. 
  • Pressure Bursting- This method provides a dust-free and quiet concrete demolition process. Once the surface is split, mechanical components are used to widen the cracks and break up the concrete. 
  • Dismantling- This process involves cutting the concrete and removing the pieces with a crane. Things like water-jetting and thermic lancing are used to carry out this method of concrete demolition. 

The method used for your concrete demolition project will depend on many factors. By working with a concrete professional, you can assess the best way to accomplish your demolition and removal goals. 

DIY Demolition is a Bad Idea

One of the worst things you can do when confronted with severe concrete problems is handle them on your own. Some people think that a sledgehammer is all they need to remove a concrete surface. In reality, this process requires specialized equipment and in-depth knowledge. Without these two elements, you will be at risk of injury. 

The best thing you can do is to hire a professional to handle this work. They will have the tools and experience needed to get the results you want in no time. 

If you are in need of assistance with your concrete project, the professionals at Griffin Contracting are here to help.

What To Know About Pile Driving

To a lot of people, especially those in younger generations or with less experience in building, it just sounds like some old-school activity that’s fairly ambiguous. But in the heavy construction and excavation industries, pile driving is a useful part of foundational work.

 

We accomplish these kinds of tough jobs, in partnership with stakeholders like big companies and municipal offices. But why do people need to take on pile driving projects?

 

What is Pile Driving?

 

Pile driving is essentially an age-old process that involves pounding heavy materials into soil, in order to create structural foundations.

 

This technique is as old as the Roman society where ancient bridges were built using pile driving techniques. Some common foundational materials included wood and stone, where now, more modern types of materials are often used, like pre-formed concrete or metal/alloy installations with other materials added. 

 

Examples of Pile Driving Projects

 

Pile driving is useful for various kinds of construction projects.

 

For instance, modern companies might use pile driving to set up foundation components for a bridge.

 

In other cases, the pile driving is being done to create foundations for solar mounting projects. As solar energy offers more and more of a viable energy alternative for residential and commercial properties, experts are finding that pile driving is a way to set up the infrastructure to mount solar panels locally. That’s important for the safety and long term use of these excellent energy provisions. 

 

Pile driving can also be useful for some kind of high-density building projects, according to the specifications of new subdivisions and housing projects. 

 

Techniques for Pile Driving

 

Techniques for pile driving include the basic process of hammering structural elements into excavated soil, as well as the use of Kelly rods and tubes. We can consult on the best pile driving techniques for a particular project, from a position of experience and knowledge of how the industry has evolved these types of building and maintenance processes. 

 

Considerations with Pile Driving

 

In pile driving, you have to consider how to shore up various amounts of poundage according to project requirements.

 

Metrics like load ratings may be important in planning these projects and implementing them well. Safe foundations are built on specific calculations and precise excavating and other work.

 

For example, many pile driving projects require driving the piles into contact with a hard soil layer. That means professionals have to pay attention to the termination level and how that depth is achieved.

 

That’s a little bit about this type of service, which is one of our types of foundation work that we do frequently with businesses and other parties.

 

Take a look at the website for more on our implementations and our search for local businesses and economic partners in the Georgia, Florida and Carolina regions.

 

 

4 Types Of Concrete Cracks and What They Mean

One of the main concerns you should have when building a new structure or adding onto an existing structure is using high-quality materials. While high-quality materials tend to cost more, they are worth the investment. Concrete is one of the most popular building materials in the world

Correctly pouring and finishing a concrete surface can be incredibly difficult. One of the worst things that can happen to a concrete surface is the formation of cracks. Knowing the cause of these cracks is the only way to develop a plan to fix them. 

Read below for more information on the types of concrete cracks and what they mean. 

1. Cracks Caused By Concrete Settling

In some cases, outside forces will lead to cracks forming in a concrete surface. The ground located under a concrete surface can start to settle and shift over time. If there is a void between the concrete surface and the ground underneath, settling cracks are bound to happen.

Dirt that isn’t compacted before a concrete surface is laid on top of it will definitely shift. Rather than dealing with the damage these cracks can cause, you need to work with professionals to prep your site before the concrete is poured. DIY concrete pouring is usually the main cause of imperfections and cracks in a concrete surface. This is why hiring professionals to perform this difficult job is so important. 

2. Concrete Cracks Caused By Plastic Shrinkage

Before concrete begins to harden, it will be in a plastic state. The concrete is filled with water in this state. As the water dissipates during the hardening process, big voids will form between solid particles. These voids will make certain parts of the concrete surface weaker and prone to cracking. 

If the concrete mix being used is excessively wet, lots of plastic shrinkage cracks will begin to form. Inexperienced concrete mixers have a tendency to use too much water in their mix. If you want to keep these types of cracks out of your concrete surface, you have to work with seasoned concrete mixing and installation professionals. 

3. Premature Drying Cracks

If you notice cracks on your concrete surface that resemble spiderwebs, this is a result of premature drying. When concrete loses moisture too quickly, these types of cracks will start to form. These types of cracks are unappealing but pose little to no threat to the structural integrity of the surface. A quality mix and proper site preparation are effective ways to avoid drying cracks. 

4. Expansion Concrete Cracks

Expansion cracks are very common in concrete surfaces. Over time, concrete will expand and crack if expansion joints aren’t installed. These joints are made from things like rubber or asphalt and act as shock absorbers. Taking the time to install these expansion joints can help you avoid damage to the concrete surface in the future.

Are you trying to get a concrete surface constructed the right way? If so, the team at Griffin Contracting Inc. is here to help.

The Top Considerations When Pouring Concrete in Cold Weather

When it is cold outside, you may dread the thought of a concrete project. After all, you know cold weather makes this job harder and takes longer. While that’s true, you shouldn’t be deterred. There is some information that may help. 

Concrete and Curing Time

If you have worked with concrete before, you know it takes time to cure. On the micro-level, the cement’s hydration increases the mix resistance. When cold weather moves in, the cement paste will take longer to reach the level of strength needed and may cost you time. You must wait long enough to ensure it is safe to remove the formwork and move forward with your project. 

If you aren’t prepared, the internal temperature may reach critical limits, which can cause irreversible structural damage. The worst-case scenario is that you must demolish and repour. 

While monitoring the air temperature is important, keep an eye on the wind speed and humidity. These can also impact the internal temperature and evaporation rates of concrete. 

Dangers of Frozen Concrete 

If plastic concrete is exposed to sub-freezing temperatures, the final strength may be reduced by up to 50%. Damage can occur when the water freezes and expands. This creates ice crystals and a porous microstructure. Because of this, you must keep the concrete warm until it reaches the resistance level of 500 psi. However, excessive heat can compromise the ultimate level of resistance. You must find the right balance. 

Reaching the proper strength is a part of the goal; however, it’s also important to avoid damage to the concrete. Cold weather and frozen concrete increase the risks of shrinkage and thermal cracking

Equip Yourself to Ensure Your Construction Project Keeps Moving

Investing in concrete protections, specialty admixtures, and technology to monitor the concrete remotely in cold weather is recommended. Stopping your operations is expensive, even if you are waiting for better conditions. 

To avoid this, make sure you are prepared and have what you need on hand to combat the elements

One way to reduce damage and other issues is by controlling the concrete temperature. This can also help you save time and money. You can warm up the aggregates or water or use accelerating admixtures to do this. With this in place, you may be able to avoid cases of cold weather concrete damage. 

When pouring the concrete, be sure it isn’t placed on frozen ground. If this happens, it will likely freeze and crack before it is fully cured. There may also be a void under it once the soil thaws and recedes, which can cause cracking. If necessary, warm the ground before pouring the concrete. 

Ensuring Success with Winter Concrete Projects

As you can see, there’s a lot that can go wrong when it comes to pouring concrete in the winter. Because of this, you need to take steps to ensure your project is successful. The tips here will help; however, hiring a professional service is also wise. This will ensure that no serious issues arise.

The Impact of Rain on Asphalt Parking Lots and How to Prevent Issues

One of the best ways to prevent issues with your commercial parking lot is by investing in preventative asphalt maintenance. When you take steps to prevent issues, rain won’t cause as many issues. 

Unfortunately, if you wait to invest in maintenance or skip it completely, small cracks, potholes, and depressions can occur. 

Why Does Rain Damage Asphalt Parking Lots?

Water will weaken the bond between the asphalt binder and aggregates in the parking lot. When the asphalt cracks, it is vulnerable to the elements – especially water. As time passes, the water can begin to erode unprotected asphalt and weaken the structural and supportive layers present. 

Excess water in your parking lot isn’t unlikely in areas susceptible to drastic weather fluctuations. Unfortunately, standing water is susceptible to the freeze and thaw cycle, which will shrink and expand the water molecules. When this happens, stripping occurs, which is when the aggregate and binder debond. When this happens, the binder will deteriorate and weaken the pavement, which makes it more vulnerable to damage in the future. 

If you don’t treat a small crack quickly, it will get bigger and cause even more damage. Over time, the entire parking lot will be covered with alligator cracks, which are unappealing and unsafe.  

Solutions for Ensuring Asphalt Surfaces Aren’t Damaged by Rain

There are a few options to help ensure your asphalt parking lot isn’t damaged by rain. These include:

Sealcoating

It’s possible to protect asphalt surfaces from water penetration with sealcoating. This process adds a thin layer of liquid over the surface to protect it from damage caused by vehicle fluids, snow, rain, and UV rays. Adding sealcoating will prevent cracks from forming, to begin with, and extend the asphalt’s lifespan. 

It’s smart to invest in sealcoating once every three to five years to protect the investment you make. 

Drainage 

Proper water drainage is essential when the asphalt is installed. When constructing a parking lot, the contractor must take advantage of any grassy areas and inlets where water is easily directed with curbing and slopes. 

Porous pavement lets rain drain through the surface into the stone recharge bed. It’s then filtered into the soil below. This is an effective way to manage water drainage and may even result in tax cuts for your business. 

Invest in Preventative Maintenance 

Rain and standing water can cause weaknesses in an asphalt surface. Fixing small cracks is much easier to manage and repair than larger ones, so you must get them fixed right away. 

Hiring professionals to help with this will pay off in the long run. Make sure you put time and effort into preventative maintenance to minimize issues and ensure your asphalt surface doesn’t cause liabilities for your business. Making sure that your parking lot remains in good condition may not seem like a big deal, but failure to do this will cost you a lot of money and frustration in the future.

Why You Should Avoid DIY Concrete Pouring

Before you can construct a new commercial building, you will need a strong foundation. When building a foundation, you will need to use durable materials to ensure it lasts the test of time. Concrete is one of the most used materials during the foundation construction process. 

Over 101,000 metric tons of concrete are used in the United States every year. Mixing and pouring concrete is not nearly as easy as most people think. One of the worst mistakes a home or business owner can make is attempting to pour concrete without the help of professionals. 

Below are some reasons why DIY concrete pouring is always a horrible idea. 

Mixing Concrete is Very Difficult

If you want concrete to last, then you need to make sure it is properly mixed. One of the main things you need when mixing concrete is the right amount of water. Using improper amounts of water in the concrete mixing process is one of the main mistakes amateurs make. This usually results in the concrete mix becoming either extremely chunky or runny. Ideally, you want your mix to be malleable and smooth. 

Getting the concrete mixture process wrong will only lead to ongoing durability and appearance issues in the future. Most people try to take on their own concrete pouring because they have a desire to save money. In reality, you will waste more money in the long run by taking a DIY approach to concrete mixing and pouring. 

This is why working with a reputable company like Griffin Contracting Inc. is so important. With this professional help, you can rest assured that your concrete is properly mixed before it is poured. 

Failure to Create a Solid Base

When trying to get a strong and long-lasting concrete surface, you will need to establish a solid base. The construction of a solid base will start with the compacting of the soil. If the soil under the concrete isn’t properly packed, it is only a matter of time before it starts to shift. This shifting process will result in the concrete getting cracked. 

Not only does the soil need to be packed, it also needs to be leveled. The average home or business owner doesn’t have the knowledge needed to do this type of work. Instead of dealing with cracking and crumbling concrete, you need to leave the site preparation work to the professionals. 

DIYers Don’t Have The Right Tools

One of the main things you need to have a successful concrete pouring experience is the right tools. Most DIYers don’t have the tools needed to pull this job. Trying to use sub-par tools to perform this job can lead to long-term damage. Professionals have access to things like concrete mixing, concrete groovers and a variety of other tools needed to properly pour concrete. This is why paying them to perform this type of work is a great idea. 

As you can see, DIY concrete pouring is something you need to avoid at all costs.

Big Jobs, And Bigger Equipment

Kids love big construction equipment – that’s one thing that we’ve found over the years. If we can make your little one smile, that makes our day. But at the same time, we’re hard at work doing the heavy projects for our municipal partners and other stakeholders.

Here’s some of what we’re doing in your community on a regular basis. Our experience allows us to be a thought leader in this type of work, and consult with our customers to find the best efficiencies and approaches for the right results. 

Pouring Concrete

In this stage of the game, it’s all about getting the raw materials to the site and mixing them well, along with having a good framing and pouring plan that will guarantee the integrity of results. There is also the need to watch out for certain conditions that can compromise curing, and professional expertise is a must. 

Buying the equipment and training staff is an investment in a business that will continue to grow and develop over time. Rely on us for the results that you need. 

Paving

Then there’s the process of putting down asphalt, which is often a significant investment for customers. New development requires a lot of heavy work, and this is another area where we’re active in many local communities.

Demolition

Another service that takes quite a bit of big equipment is demolition. In this case, we’re not bringing new materials onto a site – we’re disassembling old structures and taking old materials away. Nevertheless, some of the same project logistics do apply. There’s also a good bit of proprietary safety work involved in demolition, which we can explain as we go on site and bid the job. 

Utility Digging

We’re also active in digging sewer and water lines for new communities and developments.

When people say this is heavy work, they’re not kidding. Industry standards require some pretty particular kinds of work in developing these underground utilities for future use.

Excavating Roadbeds

This is another type of special project that we tackle for municipal and private sector customers. Succeeding in these kinds of projects means taking into account various things like weather, timelines, and materials costs to make everything come together well in the end. Talk to Griffin about work in the Carolinas, in Georgia and Northern Florida, where we are active partners in maintaining modern conditions for roads,  utilities and much more. 

The Best Ways to Prepare Your Asphalt Surface for Summer

It doesn’t matter if you have a parking lot, driveway, or road; any asphalt surface will take a lot of abuse during the colder months of the year. In fact, the frequent storms and cooler temperatures will impact even the best-constructed asphalt surfaces. If you want to ensure a high level of durability and safety to your asphalt, you need to make sure it is prepared and protected. 

As warmer weather moves in, it’s a good time to look at your surfaces and see what can be done to improve them. Some tips to help can be found here. 

Inspect the Asphalt to Assess Its Current Condition

Many people choose asphalt because of how resilient and durable it is. However, there are several ways it can fail. Because of this, you need to inspect your asphalt regularly to see if there are any issues. 

If you are in an area that experiences frequent inclement or heavy weather, or if you see signs of a problem, it’s a good idea to call for service sooner than later. 

Address Cracks Immediately 

If there are surface cracks on your asphalt, it is an indication the subgrade under the surface has begun to fail. It’s also going to let water begin to penetrate the subgrade. In these situations, based on how severe the issue is, the issues like alligatoring, potholes, or other problems need to be repaired. 

It’s No Longer Black

Does your asphalt look more gray than black? Does it have a pitted look, or are there deep cracks where water may start to infiltrate the subbase? If so, now is a good time to invest in filling the cracks and having sealcoating applied. These services will help to protect and preserve the asphalt from any further damage. 

Look for Signs of Standing Water

Cases of standing water could be a sign of issues with the subsurface in part of your asphalt. This usually results from compaction failure in the subbase. There are several issues presented by standing water. For example, it can erode the surface and undermine the integrity of other parts of the asphalt if water is moved to other locations. 

The Presence of Rainbows 

Are there rainbow-colored or iridescent patches on the surface of your asphalt? If so, they should be cleaned right away. Fuel and oil spills may degrade your asphalt surface and cause imperfections. As time passes, these can become complete failures and reduce the lifespan and performance of your asphalt. 

Ensuring Your Asphalt Is Ready for Warmer Weather 

Just like cold weather can take a toll on asphalt surfaces, so can hot weather. Because of this, you must take steps to ensure there are no serious issues with your asphalt surfaces now and have them repaired if there are. This is going to protect the integrity of your surfaces and minimize the need for complete resurfacing. Keep this in mind and call the professionals when any services are needed.

Common Problems That Can Cause Asphalt Damage and How To Avoid Them

One of the most used construction materials on the planet is asphalt. In fact, over 500 million tons of new asphalt are used in the United States every year. This asphalt is used to pave parking lots, driveways and tons of other surfaces. If you are in charge of maintaining an asphalt paved surface, then your main goal should be to keep this material damage-free. 

If you want to stay a step ahead of asphalt repair issues, you need to educate yourself about the common causes of asphalt damage. Below is informant about the most common problems that cause asphalt damage and how you can avoid them. 

Water Can Cause Severe Asphalt Damage

Over 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered with water. One place that excess amounts of water don’t belong is on a driveway or parking lot covered in asphalt. The water your asphalt paved surface is exposed to can come in many forms. Stagnant water, rain and melted snow can do a number on your parking lot if they are not removed quickly. An asphalt surface that was properly installed should drain water with ease. 

However, as an asphalt paved surface ages, problems with water drainage can arise. Checking your parking lot or driveway routinely to ensure water is draining properly is important. If water drainage is becoming a problem, you need to call in professionals. 

The longer you allow water to sit on your asphalt paved surface, the more damage you will ultimately have to contend with. Professionals can fix your drainage issues and apply sealcoating substances. These substances not only extend the life of your asphalt paved surface, they can also prevent water damage. 

Problems Caused By Sunlight

The typical asphalt paved surface is exposed to direct sunlight for multiple hours every day. Over time, the direct sunlight these surfaces are exposed to will start to burn through and weaken them. The best way to keep your asphalt protected from sun damage is by investing in professional sealcoating. Typically, professionally applied sealcoating will last around four years. Not only will this substance protect your asphalt from the sun, it will also make it look new again. 

Fuel and Oil Spills

The vehicles that park on asphalt-covered driveways and parking lots can leak some dangerous substances. The most dangerous of these substances are oil and fuel. If your asphalt is exposed to these substances, damage is soon to follow. When left in place, fuel and oil will make your asphalt soft and pliable. 

Instead of dealing with this damage, you need to inspect your asphalt paved surface regularly and clean any oil/fuel spills you find. Luckily, there are many substances designed to remove these liquids from asphalt surfaces. With the help of the right products, you can keep your asphalt surface clean and damage-free. 

Maintaining an asphalt paved surface is no easy job. By using the great tips in this article, you can keep your driveway or parking lot looking new for years to come.