Concrete Aprons Protect Your Minnesota Home’s Foundation

Minnesota’s harsh winters can play havoc with many of our outdoor spaces, but one particular space can cause a threat to your home’s foundation. The approach of your driveway to your garage, if it settles or develops pot holes, can allow water and salt to get into your foundation, where freezing and thawing can heavily damage the foundation. Let us explain to you how concrete aprons protect your Minnesota home’s foundation.

A Stronger Landing Spot

If you or the previous homeowner opted for an asphalt driveway to save cost, the wear and tear will become most apparent in the area where driveway meets garage. The short span immediately outside the garage takes an extra pounding as the garage will frequently have a small slope up to keep out water. Soft asphalt also is more susceptible to settling. Also, cars, trucks, RVs, boats or other vehicles left parked outside the garage, particularly during the hot summer months, can cause indentations or pot holes to appear. This also leaves an unsightly area at the entrance of your home.

If this asphalt landing area is suffering damage, for a relatively small extra investment, you can pave a short span, 4 to 10 feet, in front of the garage with concrete. The added strength and durability of concrete over asphalt will eliminate the problems of settling and pot holes that might lead to water and salt draining toward your foundation and causing damage.

This area also is where you are most likely to put salt or other thawing agents during the winter as this is the area where you walk and it gives you a better opportunity to come to a safe stop before entering the garage (or sliding into the garage doors if someone were intending to park outside).

Concrete also gives you the option of adding aesthetic treatments to match more closely to your sidewalks or front patio, enhancing the attractiveness of your home’s entrance and adding curb appeal.

All of these purposes add value to your home, both from a structural and aesthetic point. A concrete apron can provide protection to your foundation for 20 to 30 years or more, particularly when install properly and with a minimum of maintenance.

Consider the Driveway Entrance, Too

Another consideration for a concrete apron would be to pave a portion of your driveway from the street toward the house. Paving a section about 10 feet long from the street can add to the longevity of your driveway because of the frequency of vehicles that use your driveway for turning around. Maybe you only drive a light-weight economy car into you driveway, but you have no control over what types of vehicles use the end of your driveway for turning around. You could have heavy trucks that are working in the neighborhood pulling into your driveway as they move in and out of a neighbor’s project. These heavy vehicles take a huge toll on an asphalt driveway that is not designed to handle that kind of traffic and weight, plus the stopping and starting involved.

Get Started Today to Be Prepared for Next Winter

Summer is the time to install your new concrete apron so your home will be better protected when the harsh winter heads Minnesota’s way. Contact our friendly staff for a free on-site visit and estimate for a new concrete apron (or two). We can explain the particular needs of your home and share more about how a concrete apron can protect and raise the value of your home. Minnesota Concrete crews will work quickly to get your new apron installed and to minimize the time you lack access to your garage.

Minnesota Garage Floor Coatings Will Make Your Home Stand Out

Your garage gets a lot of use, and so does its floor. Whether you use your garage to store your vehicles or as a multipurpose space, garage floor coatings will bring life and longevity to your space. Concrete floors in garages exist and are widespread because of their durability. However overtime, they will deteriorate, in which case you wish you had a new coating layer on them.

Say Goodbye To Old Concrete

Depending on the age of your current garage floor, it might be severely stained and also have cracks. Therefore, you may want to get a brand new floor before you go to the step of having it coated. Especially if your garage floor is old, it has continued to wear down over time and replacement is your best option. As you walk and drive over concrete, it continually flakes off in small amounts. That’s why even if you sweep your garage floor, it seems to continue to produce dust. By investing in a new concrete floor, you’ll ensure that it can withstand all the wear and tear you’ll put on it.

Having the right set of professionals come and do the work is hugely important. When getting new concrete installed, you want to be sure it’s done properly to avoid cracks after it settled. Once the floor has been poured, then it’s ready to get some personality.

Floor Coatings

Floor coatings are a great way to help to keep your concrete garage floor from wearing down. Additionally, it will provide protection to the surface of the floor by preventing it from getting stained by oils, salt debris, and other contaminants. This is especially crucial if you use your garage for more than just parking your vehicles. Perhaps it serves as your workshop for other projects, or maybe you use it as an inclimate weather location for outdoor parties. Regardless of what you do in your garage, a floor coating is beneficial.

Floor coatings are also a great way to add a unique and beautiful look to your garage floor. If you are looking for more than just a gray finish, you are able to get a variety of colors integrated into the materials. Whether the color is mixed into the concrete mixture from the beginning or is added to the floor after it’s been poured, you will be able to get a beautiful floor. Or, if you don’t want a plain color, you can go with metallic finishes or a variety of colors on the floor to give it the desired look of texture without actually including the rough surface. It’s important to know all the options you have, in order to turn your garage floor into exactly the floor you want it to be.

A New Apron

If you are getting a new garage floor and a coat, you may also want to consider getting a concrete apron. This is the section from your garage floor out onto the driveway. An apron will allow for a seamless transition from your garage floor to your driveway, and can be very beneficial both functionally and aesthetically.

Lastly, when you are thinking about changing your garage floor, be sure to work with professionals. When you rely on professionals, you can be assured that you’ll be getting quality work, especially if you need an old garage floor to be removed. By getting your garage floor coated, you will not only be making your garage floor more robust and strong, but also more attractive.

Your garage is an important part of your home. Because it gets used every day, it’s important to keep it in good shape. By having the floor coated, you will increase its durability and lifespan. To learn more about how we can help you, please contact us.

Don’t Like the Gray Slab? Upgrade the Look of Minnesota Concrete Driveways, Sidewalks, and Patios

If you polled homeowners, and asked what’s the one thing they don’t like about concrete, most of them would say the appearance. Let’s face it, when you see that big truck out on the road, you know it’s going to dump a load of gray substance that isn’t too pretty. And even when it’s smoothed out and finished, many people prefer the look of another product. But those who need to replace or install a Minnesota concrete driveway, patio, or sidewalk need to know they have options when it comes to concrete.

There are several ways to upgrade the look of concrete. In many cases, you won’t even be able to tell it’s concrete, but you will get the benefit of a long-lasting, strong product. Many homeowners choose one of the following upgrades to give their patio, sidewalk, driveway, or garage floor a special look.

  1. Adding color. If the gray tone bothers you, then there are many ways to get a different color. Sometimes the color is mixed right in, which is called integral coloring. With this process the entire depth of the slab is colored. Other times, color is added after the concrete is poured, using a powder that is broadcast across it while it is still wet. Acid stains or dyes are also options when it comes to achieving a certain pigment. Experienced installers know a variety of techniques to get the desired color.
  2. Stamping. Through this process, you can really get creative and give your concrete your own personal design. The concrete is textured, cut, or embossed to give it an entirely different look. Through stamping, concrete can be made to look like brick, wood, stone, tile, slate, flagstone, or a variety of other surfaces. If you already have existing concrete that is in good condition, you can even use this process on it without having to pour a whole new product.
  3. Coatings. Many homeowners choose to finish their project with a coating. These products are often epoxies, or fast-setting polyaspartics, which not only provide a finished look to the concrete but provide some protection as well. This is an especially good choice for areas that might come in contact with automobiles, because it can protect against salt, sand, oil, and other automotive products which could damage the surface of the concrete.
  4. Overlays. This is another final product that can be used to transform boring concrete into a phenomenal, aesthetically eye-popping product. This thin layer added on top of the concrete will not only add durability to the product, but can give it the appearance you’re looking for. If you want a glossy finish, a colorful design, or a metallic sheen, an overlay can provide the look you want.

When most people think of concrete, they think of durability. When properly mixed and installed, it will last for years with little wear, so it’s a great choice for garages, driveways, sidewalks, patios, steps, and around pools. But the gray slab often turns people off and pushes them into choosing a sub-par product. Thankfully, with the innovation of concrete installation, you can now choose from a variety of looks, and most people will be surprised to learn you achieved it with concrete. Whether you want a slate patio, a tile pool surround, a paver sidewalk, or a shiny, metallic garage floor, you can do it all with concrete.

Concrete installation is not just a job, but more of an art form. When you need a job done right, you want to make sure you hire a company with plenty of experience. Minnesota Concrete serves the greater Twin Cities area, and would like to talk to you about your next project. For more information, contact us.

Why Concrete Grinding Is Beneficial to Flooring

One of the best and easiest ways to level and restore a concrete surface is by using concrete grinding. An increasing number of Minnesota homeowners and business owners are discovering the various benefits of using this process for improving their concrete flooring. If you have a concrete floor that needs restoring, here are some reasons to consider concrete grinding, along with the types of grinders that are used.

Benefits of Concrete Grinding

Easy upkeep is one of the main perks of concrete grinding. Because concrete grinding recreates a nonstick surface, you don?t have to worry about dirt and dust particles sticking to a floor, making it easy to sweep away debris.

What?s more, your floors won?t be stained from oils and lubricants that can be easily washed off with a detergent. Once your floors have been wiped down, the shiny, polished look returns. This saves you money on maintenance.

Affordability is huge benefit. Because you don?t have to replace an existing floor, you can save on demolition and floor removal costs. When you choose concrete grinding, you won?t need to buy expensive chemicals or use hazardous chemicals for cleaning and maintaining your floor.

Durability is another reason for using concrete cutting. In addition to resisting wear and tear, polished concrete floors can withstand any type of climate, regardless of weather conditions either on the interior or exterior of a home or building. For example, extreme cold temperatures or wind damage won?t crack the surface of a floor. Besides compromising the efficiency of flooring, cracked floors are ugly, reducing the value of your home.

Types of Concrete Grinders

There are three main types of concrete grinders.

Hand-held grinders are made to grind smaller floors and to polish concrete countertops. They?re usually used in soothing rough patches on concrete floors, as well as for preparing surfaces for coatings such as epoxy. The two most common sizes include 4-5? and 7-9?.

Walk-behind-concrete floor grinders, which are the most popular type, are intended for larger floors and are able to quickly remove paint, epoxy, tile glue and other coatings. They can be used for polishing concrete surfaces in residential and commercial buildings, besides warehouses.

Ride-on floor grinders are for grinding and polishing commercial floors, showrooms, warehouses, retail outlets and shopping centers. These concrete grinders produce exceptionally high-gloss floors and can grind and polish an a width of five feet in a single pass.

Why It?s a Good Idea to Hire a Professional Flooring Contractor

Concrete grinding can be challenging for most people. That?s why it makes sense to let a specialist do the job. A professional concrete grinder knows the best way to treat your floor by using diamond grinding and polishing, as well as other treatments.

These flooring specialists are highly trained and experienced to provide you with several stain applications. Most contractors use a concrete hardener that?s usually mixed with high-luster stain and protracting stain to give a floor it?s exceptional, elegant, finished look.

A professional flooring contractor knows how to handle the complexity of the several stages involved in the polishing processes that entail using specialized equipment that consist of diamond-impregnated discs. Also, a professional flooring contractor can do the job considerably faster than the average homeowner or someone who doesn?t specialize in this type of service.

Considerations and Warnings

  • Electricity, gas or propane is used to power concrete grinders. The electric grinders are available in 100v or 220v models.
  • Once concrete floors have been installed, often people add materials, such as stone tiles to make them look even more attractive. Even though it can be hard to properly maintain stone tiles, when floors have undergone concrete grinding, long-term maintenance is considerably easier.
  • You can choose from several options in finishing glosses.
  • When you hire a highly reputable professional contractor your polished floor will not suffer from tire marks or be slippery.
  • You won?t have to strip or wax your floor.

Questions? Don?t hesitate to call Minnesota Concrete. Please contact us and learn more about out wide range of services.

Benefits Of Minnesota Concrete Sidewalks

Sidewalks are an important part of your home. They not only provide a path for you to get to your front or back door, but also make walking by your home safe throughout the seasons. And when you are thinking about what type of sidewalk would work best for your needs, Minnesota Concrete sidewalks are your best bet. Consider these X benefits:

1) Curb Appeal

Concrete sidewalks are a great way to add curb appeal to your home. They not only allow you to easily maneuver from a front door or porch to a driveway or to a backdoor, but they simply look good. Concrete offers you a clean style for your home, but also adds functionality that both neighbors and potential buyers (should you be looking to sell) will be sure to appreciate.

Especially if your home is currently without a sidewalk, adding one is a great decision. And even if you are simply thinking about adding additional sidewalk to your home, concrete sidewalks are a great choice. Finished traditionally, they will add a clean look to your home. But the concrete materials also allow you to add a bit of personal style and flair, if you so choose.

2) Ease of Cleaning

In addition, concrete sidewalks are easy to clean, a benefit you may not immediately think of when considering your options. If you or someone else drops something on the sidewalk, you can easily clean up the mess with an outdoor cleaner and a brush.

3) Safer Walkways

If you have brick walkways, the bricks can settle, weeds can grow up in between them, and they can become a tripping hazard due to potential unevenness. Especially if elderly people live or regularly visit your home, these uneven surfaces can be dangerous either for their feet, or a potential walker, but if they use a walker or can there is a possibility of getting caught up and falling. A concrete sidewalk, on the other hand, gives you a more even surface that is safer to walk on.

4) Withstanding Minnesota’s Weather

Lastly, properly installed concrete will lead to a very robust sidewalk that is able to remain functional and in place even during winter. We don’t have to tell you about the highs and lows of Minnesota weather, which this material is perfect for. From ease of shoveling to lack of cracking, it can withstand even extreme colds.

Professional Installation

When you are thinking about getting a new sidewalk, it’s important to use a company that will not only help you to get it installed, but also help to remove your old one. In addition, a trustworthy sidewalk partner might also be able to give you advice on what size would work best for the space. This could be particularly useful if you are adding new sidewalk that you want to blend with the existing one, or if are looking to change the shape or layout of the sidewalk.

If you try to pour your own sidewalk, you will probably find that it will crack over time. Cracking occurs due to an inadequate foundation, and will cancel out many of the above benefits. Professionals, on the other hand, know how to set a foundation and pour a sidewalk that prevents cracking and ensures the surface will remain in good shape for years to come. Professionals also know exactly what thickness of concrete is required, and will always use the right mixture.

Concrete sidewalks are not only beautiful, but they add a much-needed walkway around your home. Especially if you have loved ones with mobility issues, a concrete sidewalk offer a degree of safety that you can’t get with other materials. To learn more about how a professionally installed concrete sidewalk can help your home prepare for the Minnesota weather, please contact us.