These are 5 Things you Should Look for in a Minnesota Driveway Contractor

Upgrading your home or outdoor living space is a great investment and one that should not be taken lightly. When you hire a contractor to do work on your home or property, it is essential you get the right company. Minnesota Concrete Driveway prides themselves on delivering trusted and outstanding contractors. When hiring a contractor for driveway installation, you want a company that is not only honest but has a reliable and credible history in business. Here are 5 qualities to look for in a Minnesota concrete driveway Contractor.

Experience

Your home and property exemplify you, so when contracting someone to pour your driveway, you need experience. A resume or portfolio of completed work reflects the experience the company has. In most instances, a contractor with several years of experience also has a wealth of diversified experience. In driveway construction, experiences range from pouring concrete sidewalks, patios, steps, stoops, aprons, driveways, and garage floors — just to name a few. In addition, contractors with years of driveway installation experience work with a variety of materials, as well.

Testimonials/Credibility

Companies that have engaged in business for a while and are known for their good service, will have credibility with those they serviced. Previous customers are willing to give testimonials that the contractors did great work. This word of mouth advertising reflects the workmanship, skill, and quality that goes into the work they do. The more customers tout their skills, the greater credibility a prospective client has. Past customers must be satisfied customers in order to receive credible testimonials.

Trust

When you take the step to have a beautiful new driveway installed, whether it be asphalt, concrete, or interlocking pavers, you must have a sense of trust that the contracting company will do an honest job. When a company has been in the industry for several years and has testimonials, then it has built up a reputation of trust. The history of trust and honest practice cannot be emphasized enough. How many people have had bad experiences with contractors not fulfilling or delivering on their promise? A recent survey found 50 % of homeowners said they were not satisfied with the contractor they hired, and 30 % of these homeowners wanted to fire the contractor and many of them did.

Insured

Each state is different in its requirement for insurance, but for the homeowner having a contractor who is insured is best. For one thing, contracting businesses who are insured and bonded are more professional. Secondly, in the event something would go wrong, you are protected.

Documented History

A well-documented history, which is evidenced through testimonials and customer reviews, is an important piece of the package for the homeowner seeking the right contractor. Each year tells a story of successful installations. Without that knowledge, you really do not know what you are getting. You may be getting misled, and a lot of people do. When a homeowner finds a history of integrity and excellence in a company, then they know they will get the best work done for their home.

If you are a homeowner thinking about beautifying your home with new outdoor concrete work, it?s important to assess the company and contractors you are considering. Do they meet the standards of excellence you want for your investment? When the job is done properly, your home investment increases.

Minnesota Concrete is a locally-established business that is both friendly and professional. With many years of experience installing driveways, sidewalks, aprons, stoops, porches, and more, we have built a reputation of trust and integrity. We offer a free, no-obligation estimate. Get to know our friendly contractors and find out what materials work best for the job. If you would like more information about this topic, please contact us today!

Deciding Between A Minnesota Concrete Driveway Vs. An Asphalt Driveway

If you’re trying to decide between a Minnesota concrete driveway versus asphalt driveway, you should educate yourself on these materials to make an informed decision. Asphalt driveways consist of a mixture of stones and sand, which make for a rough texture. Concrete driveways are smoother being made from sand and gravel. Here’s some more basic information about concrete and gravel driveways to help you make the right choice.

Minnesota Asphalt Driveways

Asphalt is a common material for driveways. Leftover materials from diesel, gasoline, and kerosene production bind together the stones and sand in asphalt. Often referred to as blacktops, these driveways don’t usually show oil stains because they’re dark in color. They’re also easy to repair when it comes to filling cracks and holes. Unlike concrete, asphalt performs well in cold and snowy weather, and removing snow from asphalt is a simpler task than keeping it off of concrete. In addition, concrete driveways require replacement when they become full of cracks, but professionals can just re-layer asphalt driveways. Asphalt is also less expensive than concrete, being almost half the price in certain cases.

Although asphalt driveways have their advantages, there are also many downsides to them. They require a lot of maintenance to stay free of potholes, and for best performance, property owners should have them re-sealed every three to five years. Property owners who aren’t prepared to deal with this maintenance should go with a concrete driveway. Asphalt also has an oily texture in warm sunlight, and sometimes the material sticks to shoes. It’s also hard to get a straight, clean edge with asphalt due to its rocky nature. Its dark black color also lightens over the years, which some property owners might find undesirable. If you choose asphalt, you should wait eight months to seal it because sealer locks in the softer nature of new asphalt, making the driveway more vulnerable to damage.

Minnesota Concrete Driveways

Concrete is stronger and more durable than asphalt, and it can last 30-40 years when properly maintained. It requires less maintenance than asphalt though, which many property owners find desirable. It’s also available in more decorative options than asphalt, including stamped designs. Concrete works well in warm climates because it doesn’t soften, and it won’t leave residue on shoes. Although it’s pricey compared to asphalt, its low-maintenance requirement saves property owners money in the long run.

The main downside to concrete driveways is that they’re susceptible to problems in the wintertime, including cracks and freeze-thaw damage. Freeze-thaw damage happens when water penetrates concrete’s porous surface and freezes and expands, which leads to chips and cracks. Tires also drag in salt and de-icers on driveways during wintertime, which are damaging to concrete. Repairing cracks and damage in concrete is a more difficult and costly process than fixing asphalt, which is why preventing these problems is important.

Fortunately, property owners can prevent all these wintertime problems with a good concrete sealer. Concrete sealers preserve concrete driveways in a near-perfect condition even in the face of erosive de-icers and freezing temperatures. Sealers also prevent concrete stains, which is important due to the light color of concrete. Spills sit at the surface of concrete instead of penetrating down into it, and you can easily wipe or hose them off. Sealers also stop mold and bacteria growth, and they serve as a buffer against wear and tear from traffic.

Minnesota Concrete installs concrete driveways throughout the Twin Cities. We’re a locally owned and operated company that provides quality work and punctual service, and we’re accredited by the Better Business Bureau. To speak with one of our highly trained professionals, please contact us.

How to Maintain Minnesota Concrete Garage Floors

If you have a nice garage floor, perhaps you’re wondering how to make it last as long as possible. Well-maintained Minnesota concrete garage floors paint a positive picture of properties, especially when it comes to selling and marketing. If you ever plan to sell, a damage-free garage floor will increase your property’s value. Here are a few suggestions for keeping your garage floor in good condition over many years.

Avoid Harsh Cleaning Products

Garage floors often come into contact with oil, grease, chemicals, dirt, paint, and insecticides, and you’ll want to keep them clean to minimize staining. You should clean spills right away with nonabrasive cleaning products. Certain cleaning products contain chemicals that can disintegrate concrete. Research products before you use them to make sure they’re safe to use on concrete. Don’t forget to read the package label as well.

Avoid Contact With De-Icing Agents

You shouldn’t use de-icers on your driveway because they harm concrete, and your car will track them into your garage. Even if you don’t use de-icers, your car likely will still track them on your driveway and into your garage from other places. You should hose off rock salt and calcium from your driveway and garage after cars pull in. De-icers with ammonium sulfate or ammonium nitrate are even more harmful than rock salt and calcium.

Repair Cracks Promptly

If you see cracks, you should contact a professional concrete service to have them repaired as soon as possible. Cracks just become worse with more wear and tear over time, and you’ll want to fix them in the early stages. They serve as breeding grounds for mold and bacteria because they trap water and organic particles. Insects, rodents, and other pests also use cracks as points of entry into your home.

Seal Your Garage Floor

Concrete garage floor sealing is the most protective measure you can take for your floor. Sealer covers the porous surface of concrete, preventing spills from penetrating the floor and causing stains and damage. Sealed concrete floors are also a lot easier to clean because debris comes right off the sealer’s surface. If you work with heavy machinery in your garage, you definitely should apply sealer. The sealer acts as a buffer to absorb some mechanical energy from heavy equipment, which helps prevent stress cracks. It also helps prevent chips, freeze-thaw damage, dust formation, and mold and bacteria growth. Although applying a coat of sealer may not sound like hard work, it’s actually a tricky task. You should hire a professional concrete company to ensure a proper job.

Re-seal Your Garage Floor Regularly

After your first coat of sealer, apply another coat before your sealed concrete garage floor goes through its second winter. The floor then needs re-sealing every other year or more often with heavy wear and tear.

Make Sure Vulnerable Spots Get Extra Sealing

The place where the garage floor meets the driveway needs extra sealing. This is because more ice and water hit this area, making it vulnerable to freeze-thaw damage. If you’re sealing your driveway along with your garage, you should also apply extra sealer at the spot where the driveway meets the public street. This area often gets hit with de-icers that the city applies to public streets. Make sure to ask your concrete professional about these vulnerable places to see that they receive adequate sealer.

At Minnesota Concrete, we have the tools, skills, and experience to seal your concrete garage floor the right way. We’ll help you keep your garage floor in good shape for as long as you own your property. To find out more about concrete sealing for garage floors, please contact us.

Three Reasons Why Minnesotans’ Use Garage Floor Coatings

For many, the garage serves as a place to protect the car from the elements, and as a place to keep lawn maintenance equipment, tools, bicycles, and other odds and ends. Because of this, its floor can turn into a gray cracked slab of oil stained concrete.

However, your garage floor doesn’t have to look this way. Now we aren’t suggesting that you store your equipment elsewhere, or that you park the cars outside. After all, that defeats the garage’s main purpose, which is protecting your cars. We are suggesting the use of garage floor coatings. They benefit your garage in a number of ways, as described next:

Protects the Floor from Cars and Lawn Maintenance Equipment

Cars contain a number of fluids such as oil, antifreeze, wiper fluid, brake fluid, and transmission fluid. While you can try to prevent these substances from getting on the floor, it becomes a losing battle over time, especially when your children get their own cars. Years of filling lawnmowers with gas and oil can also cause inevitable spills.

Concrete has pores that absorb these fluids and cause stains that aren’t easily removed. A garage floor coating has a tough yet smooth finish that doesn’t absorb spills. This makes cleanup easy because there are no pores for stains to take hold. A secondary benefit is that your clean garage floor prevents people from tracking these fluids onto the floors and carpeting of the rest of your home.

Winterizes the Garage Floor

Although road salt saves lives by making winter travel safer, it doesn’t save concrete garage floors. Winter commutes in your car guarantee that road salt will find its way onto the garage floor from wet slushy tires and dripping salt water from the car’s underside. Salt affects concrete in three ways. First, it chemically reacts with it and slowly breaks it down over time. Second, if salt and moisture finds its way to the steel rebar inside the concrete, the rebar corrodes and produces an expanding layer of rust that cracks the concrete.

Finally, the salt water absorbed by the concrete’s pores undergo freeze/thaw cycling that causes spalling. Minnesota winters get cold enough for this salt water to freeze. Freezing water expands, which damages the concrete. Temperatures cycle up and down throughout the winter causing the entrapped water to continually expand and contract as it freezes and thaws. This cycling in turn increases the spalling.

Salt also increases the amount of water absorbed by the pores, and more water means more expansion damage. A garage floor coating provides a protective layer that prevents salt and moisture from penetrating the concrete.

Improves the Appearance and Brightness of Your Garage

The gloss of a floor coating reflects more light than bare concrete. This reflected light increases the overall brightness of your garage. More light enhances the safety of your garage, which means fewer falls or accidents while using tools.

Garage floor coatings don’t have to be transparent. They come in a variety of colors as well as numerous chip patterns that make your floor look positively elegant. If you have thoughts of using your garage as a kind of extension of your home, the right floor coating makes this possible. People have converted their garages into man caves, game rooms, home gyms, and home offices. If there is plenty of space, you need not evict your car to the driveway, because the elegance of the floor coating does not diminish its ability to protect the floor.

Improve the appearance and increase the life of your concrete garage floor with the right protective coating. Your cars and equipment in the garage need not turn the floor into a stained gray, and damaged concrete floor. Contact us today to speak with a member from our team about choosing the floor coating that works best for you.