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Concrete Casting News from the Hill and Griffith Company

How to prevent precast concrete mold and mildew from growing

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Nov 3, 2017 2:19:06 PM

Ugly black precast concrete mold and mildew can be prevented with a simple spray-on solution.

This week's post comes from Tim Carter and his tips for keeping patio pavers mold and mildew free. The same applies to precast concrete.
 
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Dear Tim: My wife and I have an outdoor patio with colored precast concrete paving blocks. It doesn’t take long each year for black mold and mildew to start growing on it. We also have an issue with moss and algae growing on it. I have to power wash it at least once a year and wonder if there’s a way to prevent the moss, mildew and mold from growing in the first place. Am I damaging my patio with the power washer? Why is it growing on the precast concrete pavers? This problem can’t be that hard to solve. — Loren P., Okatie, S.C

Loren: I used to have the same problem on two massive brick paver patios in the back of the last house I lived in. It was a mind-numbing job that took hours and hours of work to restore the patio to brand-new condition each spring. I hated doing that job.

Let’s talk about why the moss, mold and mildew grow in the first place. Many years ago I couldn’t understand how it could grow on solid rock, precast concrete or brick, but now it’s crystal clear to me.

Moss, mold and mildew need food to survive, just like you and I. The food sources are assorted, just as humans’ diets are. Dust, ultra-fine sugar aerosols from trees and bushes, tree sap, minerals, organic debris, etc., are all food sources for the unsightly things growing on your patio.

You can do a test that produces dramatic results by just pouring out a small amount of carbonated soda that contains sugar or high-fructose corn syrup on your patio. You might have mildew growing on the spill as soon as 48 hours later if you do it in a shaded area of your patio.
Water is the only other missing ingredient needed to fuel the moss, mold and mildew since their spores are constantly falling down on your patio. If you could keep your patio completely dry, you’d not have any growth. But even morning dew is enough to sustain the green and black organisms. They’re tenacious and know how to make a little water go a long way.

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Let’s discuss power washing. There’s a raging debate in the home improvement community about whether power washing can be destructive to concrete, brick, precast pavers and wood. The unequivocal answer is yes — it’s destructive.

The rate of destructive force is directly proportional to the pounds-per-square-inch (psi) power the machine delivers, the angle of the spray-wand tip and the distance the tip is from the surface being cleaned. You just have to look at the Grand Canyon to understand that water flowing over rock can do damage.

Water directed at a surface with 1,500 psi or more can do immense damage on softer surfaces, and it does cumulative damage to harder surfaces with each successive washing.

In your case, power washing will rapidly remove the colored cement paste that covers the small sand and gravel particles in your precast pavers. If you saved a paver in your garage that the installer left behind, one that has never been washed or exposed to the elements, you’d notice that it’s got a uniform color over the entire surface.

After one or more washings, you’ll start to notice the individual colors of the different grains of sand and bits of gravel that was used to make the pavers. The colored cement will still be there between the individual particles of sand and gravel.

The good news is you can prevent the growth of patio moss, mildew and mold. All you have to do is borrow technology developed hundreds of years ago by mariners. Clipper ships and warships that depended on speed to make money and win wars had copper plates on their hulls so barnacles and other marine life would not grow on the wood below the water line.

Mold-Mildew-Precast-3.jpg

Copper is a natural biocide. It’s pure, it’s pretty much harmless to mammals, and it’s found in multivitamins that you might take to stay healthy. Copper in our bodies helps us to retain iron, and it aids in producing the energy we need to get through the day.

You can’t cover your patio with copper sheets, but you can spray on a liquid solution of copper that will soak into the top surface of the concrete pavers. This copper will stop the growth of the pesky green and black organisms in their tracks.

The easiest way to apply the copper is to buy copper sulfate crystals. This is available online, and the blue crystals dissolve readily in warm or hot tap water. I’d mix 1.75 pounds of copper sulfate in each gallon of water. My guess is you’ll discover that two or three gallons of water is plenty to treat the average-size patio.

I’d apply the solution when the patio is dry as a bone. You want the solution to soak into the surface. Concrete is absorbent unless it has a shiny steel-troweled finish. Most exterior concrete is rough, so the solution will soak in. Apply just enough so the pavers get nice and wet but not so much that the solution runs off into surrounding vegetation. You don’t want to poison expensive landscaping nearby.

You’re going to have to periodically reapply the copper sulfate solution, because normal rain water will leach the copper back out of the pavers. I can’t tell you how often because it’s a function of the amount of rainfall where you live. But I do know it’s far easier to apply this solution in minutes rather that bend over for hours and hours using a power washer!

Need an answer? All of Tim’s past columns are archived free at www.AsktheBuilder.com. You can also watch hundreds of videos, download Quick Start Guides and more.



Precast Concrete in Google News

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Hill and Griffith Customer Service

We're known for our hands on approach. Let us visit your plant and recommend concrete release agents, packerhead concrete form releases, concrete form seasoning, potable water concrete form release, non-petroleum concrete form release, biodegradable concrete form release, rust inhibitors and concrete dissolver products that suit your needs.

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We are pleased to provide samples in quantities large enough to allow you to "try before you buy."
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On-site casting defect investigations, product testing, machine start-ups and much more. Also, lab facilities are available to provide testing upon request.
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 Bulletins and Technical Papers for Concrete Casting Products

Tags: Concrete Casting Supplies, Concrete Release Agents, Grifcote, Precast Concrete Form Release, Concrete Form Release Application, Form Release Application, Water Based Concrete Form Release, Precast Concrete Buildings, Concrete Casting Technical Support, Precast Concrete Careers

12 Advantages of Precast Concrete for Large Scale Construction

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Oct 27, 2017 9:50:38 AM

 

Large-scale construction is a beast in a class of its own, and precast concrete is able to slay almost all of the worries it conjures up. Traditional concrete building construction is fading away as more construction crews, planners and architects discover the precast concrete advantages.

Here are just 12 of the advantages of precast concrete strength and uniformity. They touch every aspect of building construction from how high you can go to making the final installation of plumbing, electrical, HVAC and other elements significantly easier.

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1. STRUCTURALLY SECURE AND EFFICIENT
Traditional concrete building construction just can’t stand up to the precast concrete advantages and strength, especially when looking at large projects.

This post is from Nitterhouse Concrete Products2655 Molly Pitcher Hwy., Chambersburg, PA 17202


Precast concrete is specifically designed and constructed to have a significantly high span-to-depth ratio that allows it to bear loads better, reducing the need for additional columns and supports within the internal structure of the building. Its lighter weight can also reduce the size of needed structural material and overall foundational depth.

Precast concrete strength isn’t sacrificed by its lightweight construction, though, which means it’ll stay secure and even be put under reduced dead loads when properly installed. All of that weight savings paired with high strength means buildings can use precast concrete to reach heights of up to 80 stories.

Precast concrete strength isn’t sacrificed by its lightweight construction, though, which means it’ll stay secure and even be put under reduced dead loads when properly installed. All of that weight savings paired with high strength means buildings can use precast concrete to reach heights of up to 80 stories.

The NCPA’s guide to precast concrete says that, compared to traditional concrete building construction, precast concrete can reduce floor depths by up to four inches. So, this savings on a 60-story building will reduce the overall height by an average of two stories’ worth, or 20 feet.

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All of that precast concrete uniformity means it is a denser construction that can reduce vibrations that move throughout the building. So for large-scale projects, especially those with open areas like concert halls, vibration in seats and stands is reduced to help increase enjoyment and minimize the risk of structural damage from large crowds.

These elements combine to make precast concrete an extremely safe building material that can help your construction crew meet the safety requirements for projects of almost any size and shape.

2. PREFABRICATED AND PREINSTALLED
Tilt-up concrete construction requires pouring and molding onsite limits what you can use it for when it comes to internal structures and foundations, as well as when your job requires significant utility access. For example, an airport has a vast array of technology that must always be operable, but it can’t have wires or other overhangs that move across its yard. This means everything possible runs through the foundation and base of the buildings.

Precast concrete allows construction teams to preinstall utility access, fixtures and other elements. Some of the more common inclusions are plumbing and communication lines, though the NPCA notes that preinstalled elements can even include windows.

During and after the precast concrete is made and molded, different utility panels can be added and installed. This allows construction crews to ensure there is access to utilities and other elements right away, so there’s less need for revisions or alteration of the concrete.

Larger elements can also be checked by electricians, plumbers and other specialized professionals before those blocks and units are installed. Crews only need to worry about connecting each unit and then performing a final test because each piece will be operational as it arrives.

Pre-installation of elements is a top way that precast concrete can save construction companies money and help them deliver projects on time, or even early — which is a significant way to boost a reputation.

3. WEATHER AND LARGE-SCALE PRECAST CONCRETE
Precast concrete is able to withstand flood damage, wind-blown debris, rain penetration and the methods we use to protect buildings and roads from these dangers. Studies have found that it can withstand many freeze-thaw cycles even better than other construction and building materials, so it won’t decay or crumble as it expands and contracts.

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Precast concrete’s strength and uniformity allow it to withstand these elemental changes more successfully than traditional concrete building construction.

4. THERMAL FRIENDLY
Large-scale infrastructure requirements create unique weather and element demands, including the ability to keep heat in during the cold months and keep heat out in the summer. When you’re not using the right materials, you’re looking at a significantly increased cost all year long.

Precast concrete advantages for the building owners are big, but many believe it’s thermal efficiency that’s among the most cost advantageous. Precast concrete is denser and less of a thermal conductor, so it doesn’t move heat around your building. That means you’ll reduce peak heating and cooling loads — this type of concrete is slow to react and easier to heat or cool relative to external and temperatures.

5. FIRE TOUGH
Precast concrete is fireproof when properly constructed and combined with the right insulation and paneling on walls and ceilings — it can limit a fire’s ability to spread between rooms.

Precast concrete itself also doesn’t catch fire, won’t burn and typically does not drip or melt unless there is a special additive layered on top or introduced into its construction.

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Using precast concrete for all of the walls in a stairwell means the people inside will be protected, and the construction of your building can limit any harm or loss of life in the event of a future emergency.

And if there is a fire, the precast concrete strength and uniformity prevent it from major damage. In most cases, the building owner will need to replace paneling but not the concrete underneath. The damage would be mostly cosmetic, not foundational, and in areas like floors or ceilings, there may only be the need to perform a little cleaning and apply a new coat of pain.

6. RESISTANT TO CHEMICALS AND RUST
Rounding out the elemental protections of precast concrete is a high resistance to chemical exposures and rust. It has become a common material for docks, bridges, overpasses and more because interlocked precast concrete blocks maintain their resistance to oil and fuel spills. They don’t suffer significant harm and if a panel is damaged due to a chemical spill. It’s also much easier to replace with minimal impact to the overall structural integrity.

Precast concrete that’s exposed to rain and water is also less likely to rust than traditional concrete building construction as well. Internal rebar isn’t exposed as often due to the high strength of precast concrete, so it is a top choice for marinas and other locations on the water. Precast concrete is also resistant to many of the microbes common in our waterways, so there’s less decay that could possibly wind up exposing the internal steel.

7. TOUGH JOBS EVERY SINGLE DAY
Precast concrete’s chief advantage is that it can withstand the daily tasks of use without problem for years and years. Precast concrete’s strength allows it to support buildings, parking structures and other elements where there is significant everyday wear and tear. Its internal structure is resistant to dents, dings, chips and other damage that can come from slight bumps.

Precast concrete doesn’t bruise or wilt when it comes to a little punishment.

8. REDUCE NOISE INSIDE AND OUT
Precast concrete is incredibly dense, and the process used to create it makes it denser and more resilient than other concrete options. This density is why it is used in many walls and privacy construction elements for large-scale construction as well as sound walls around communities that may face a highway.

Precast concrete’s density effectively reduces sound and creates a privacy zone when it is used as a barrier in large-scale construction projects. This makes it a perfect option for both residential and commercial jobs.

The ability to deflect or absorb sound also makes precast concrete a smart acoustic material. For example, bounce away the road noise outside, while reflecting internal noise back toward the project’s center so your customers enjoy things like conversation and music inside their homes.

9. WI-FI FRIENDLY
Even the largest industrial construction project needs to account for the Wi-Fi and RF demands of the end customer. The great news is that precast concrete is actually relatively Wi-Fi friendly and may be more compatible with the wireless networking than other types of concrete — or other building materials.

Precast concrete allows more radio signals, Wi-Fi and other Internet networks to pass through more floors or walls, expanding support and limiting the cost the building owner or renter will need to expend to connect their entire office or store.

This is one of the chief reasons precast concrete has started to show up in schools, homes, office parks, hotels, restaurants and small stores.

10. KEEP PESTS OUT
Another reason you’ll see precast concrete in all of those locations is because it can be a deterrent to pests like rats, mice and termites. The precast concrete density is a big boost for keeping these nuisances away.

The precast concrete advantages extend to pest control because it is not an organic building material. Organics such as wood are able to be chewed through by most vermin — and are the food itself for some bugs — which makes a building the perfect spot for the animals to live.

Your standard construction that uses organic materials ends up being a shelter from the elements for the pests as well as the people, which ruins the atmosphere and sometimes the safety of that location.

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11. SAFETY AND LARGE-SCALE INFRASTRUCTURE DEMANDS
In today’s world, we need to protect against a wide variety of threats, both from nature and from people. Precast concrete can assist in both of those areas.

Precast concrete strength adds a level of security that can prevent both break-ins and break-outs if your construction project is a high-value target from a corporate headquarters to a facility like a prison. Precast concrete resists most impacts and penetration attempts.

Attacks have happened at locations of all sorts, and precast concrete may add an extra layer of security to prevent collateral damage, harm from stray bullets and other manmade concerns.

On the natural side of things, precast concrete has become a default material for creating storm shelters, whether you’re trying to resist a tornado or a hurricane. Some precast concrete solutions on the market — typically small and made for residences — are even rated to survive F-5 tornadoes.

For your larger construction project, that means precast concrete will deliver a safer product that can withstand the rains and wind that are common all across the United States. You might not be able to ensure safety during the strongest of winds based solely on the use of precast concrete, but you can ensure employees sheltering in place have all the added protection that could be provided.

12. CUSTOMIZABLE FOR YOUR JOB
Large-scale infrastructure demands usually include a unique look and feel for the building in order for it to stand out and fit the nature of the company paying for its construction. This allows precast concrete to shine, from small unique locations to custom large-scale construction because it can be made into nearly any shape.

Precast construction is built with molds and forms, which are manufactured in all kinds of curves, bends, angles and odd designs. By working with a manufacturer during the planning stage, a construction project can turn to precast concrete for every aspect of a building, from core and foundational elements to the sound barriers, bridges and other secondary structures.

Custom molds allow even the largest-scale construction projects to have a custom element, and the use of master molds can allow for variance so a project has an appealing design that moves with the land. It’s not limited by curves or straight lines, and it can be designed and molded to match existing infrastructure. The molding process allows precast concrete to have the same shapes and patterns as any nearby location — even historical stone buildings or famous bricks.

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Those are just twelve of the many major precast concrete advantages. They may not all apply to your large-scale construction project, but we encourage you to reach out and contact us or ask your questions below to see what benefits you can achieve.

Precast concrete can meet many other large-scale infrastructure demands better than traditional concrete building construction. Our experts are on hand to help you discover what precast concrete products can deliver for your next project no matter what building type you’re working on, or how large of a project your plans are becoming.

 


Hill and Griffith Customer Service

We're known for our hands on approach. Let us visit your plant and recommend concrete release agents, packerhead concrete form releases, concrete form seasoning, potable water concrete form release, non-petroleum concrete form release, biodegradable concrete form release, rust inhibitors and concrete dissolver products that suit your needs.

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We are pleased to provide samples in quantities large enough to allow you to "try before you buy."
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On-site casting defect investigations, product testing, machine start-ups and much more. Also, lab facilities are available to provide testing upon request.
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 Bulletins and Technical Papers for Concrete Casting Products

Tags: Concrete Casting Supplies, Concrete Release Agents, Grifcote, Precast Concrete Form Release, Concrete Form Release Application, Form Release Application, Water Based Concrete Form Release, Precast Concrete Buildings, Concrete Casting Technical Support, Precast Concrete Careers

Concrete Release Agent Comparison Chart

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Oct 19, 2017 4:34:53 PM

 
 

This post is a review of a Concrete Construction Magazine article titled, "Contractors’ guide to form-release agents." 

Form-release agents or form oils cost but a small fraction of the cost of the formwork itself, but they have a big influence on the quality and success of the concrete surface.

Though no American Concrete Institute or ASTM standards define these products, common usage suggests that form oils are petroleum compounds originally designed for other applications (such as diesel fuel, heating oil, and lubricating oils), and release agents are materials containing proprietary reactive ingredients specifically formulated for use on concrete forms. ACI 301-96, “Standard Specification for Structural Concrete,” does, however, give performance-based requirements for release agents. Section 2.2.1.30 says to use “commercially manufactured form-release agents that will prevent formwork absorption of moisture, prevent bond with concrete, and not stain concrete surfaces.”

Today, contractors can choose from among hundreds of form-release products, and new ones are still being developed. Many changes have been introduced as manufacturers have scrambled to meet federal and state environmental regulations, particularly concerning volatile organic compounds (VOCs). With the myriad form-release products available, how do you select the best one for a particular application? Here are a few of the fundamental questions you should ask:

  • On what form surfaces can it be used?
  • Will it provide clean, easy release without damage to either the concrete or the form?
  • Will it produce a stain- and blemish-free concrete surface?
  • Is it compatible with admixtures in the fresh concrete and with surface coatings that may be applied later to the hardened concrete?
  • Is it ready for use without site mixing, and is it easy to apply at anticipated job site temperatures?
  • Is it user-friendly and compliant with environmental regulations?

Concrete release agent comparison chart section of Hill and Griffith Products

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To read the entire article go here.


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Hill and Griffith Customer Service

We're known for our hands on approach. Let us visit your plant and recommend concrete release agents, packerhead concrete form releases, concrete form seasoning, potable water concrete form release, non-petroleum concrete form release, biodegradable concrete form release, rust inhibitors and concrete dissolver products that suit your needs.

Hill and Griffith Samples

Product Samples

We are pleased to provide samples in quantities large enough to allow you to "try before you buy."
Contact Us »

 

Hill and Griffith Customer Service

Technical Services & Support

On-site casting defect investigations, product testing, machine start-ups and much more. Also, lab facilities are available to provide testing upon request.
Contact Us »

 

 Bulletins and Technical Papers for Concrete Casting Products

Tags: Concrete Casting Supplies, Concrete Release Agents, Grifcote, Precast Concrete Form Release, Concrete Form Release Application, Form Release Application, Water Based Concrete Form Release, Precast Concrete Buildings, Concrete Casting Technical Support, Precast Concrete Careers

Building the Future, Precast Concrete Careers

Posted by Hill and Griffith Company on Oct 15, 2017 2:35:58 PM

From the NPCA, "For more than two decades, the National Precast Concrete Association Foundation has provided educational scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in civil engineering, architectural and construction-related curricula, for Precast Concrete Careers.

Our Foundation’s mission is to support the growth and enhance the development of the precast concrete industry by providing opportunities using educational initiatives and incentives. Download the Foundation’s scholarship poster to learn more or to spread the word about the program.

Precast Concrete Careers -1.jpg

Transcript of the video:

Kirby: Precast concrete is a very unique product. Concrete is the most used material in the world.

Moffette: Precast is characterized by a company that pours concrete in a controlled environment.

Mimi: The world is full of precast concrete. Everywhere that you look.

Mark: Whether it's municipal, commercial, residential, agricultural, the funeral industry, the military market, it's just amazing the things that are going on.

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Mimi: It's everywhere around us and it certainly is a very important product.

Jim: Precast Concrete is an amazing industry in that first of all we're working with a very unique material, a material that lasts for centuries.

Aaron: The industry in itself is endless. I mean there are so many new products that are coming out.

Joan: It is an industry that is strong with relationships that offers excellent opportunities.

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Randy: I think one of the really unique things about the precast concrete industry is the community of precasters that exist throughout North America.

Barry:The type of individual that we look for is someone who has a desire to not only achieve but wants to work and be able to produce.

Greg: So we're very proud that as an industry, we've taken it upon ourselves to provide learning opportunities to really get the deeper learning that is required to really excel at this thing called precast concrete manufacturing.

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Dan: One of the neat things about the foundation is it supplies scholarships to people who may want to do something that has an impact on our industry.

Jim: If you want to be involved in something that will live throughout your lifetime and have a piece of that I think the industry's definitely for you.

Mark: There's always going to be a need and in that respect I think the future is extremely bright.
Aaron:

Tie that into the fact that this is one of most diverse industries in the world and you have something that's just absolutely limitless. You can go anywhere with it.

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Joan: You don't get up and do the same job everyday. I never had two identical days in almost 30 years in the industry and that's part of the fun.

Greg: I am very proud when I play a role in something that I can drive by and say, "You know, I had something to do with building that." And I know being made out of precast concrete, 100 years from now, it's likely still to be there.

Ty: That is a lasting legacy that not anybody in just any industry can do. I mean you're making a difference in the lives of people in the world when you work in concrete.

Speaker 13: For those interested in career opportunities as well as scholarships, please visit the National Precast Concrete Associations Educational Foundation web site.

 


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Hill and Griffith Customer Service

We're known for our hands on approach. Let us visit your plant and recommend concrete release agents, packerhead concrete form releases, concrete form seasoning, potable water concrete form release, non-petroleum concrete form release, biodegradable concrete form release, rust inhibitors and concrete dissolver products that suit your needs.

Hill and Griffith Samples

Product Samples

We are pleased to provide samples in quantities large enough to allow you to "try before you buy."
Contact Us »

 

Hill and Griffith Customer Service

Technical Services & Support

On-site casting defect investigations, product testing, machine start-ups and much more. Also, lab facilities are available to provide testing upon request.
Contact Us »

 

 Bulletins and Technical Papers for Concrete Casting Products

Tags: Concrete Casting Supplies, Concrete Release Agents, Grifcote, Precast Concrete Form Release, Concrete Form Release Application, Form Release Application, Water Based Concrete Form Release, Precast Concrete Buildings, Concrete Casting Technical Support, Precast Concrete Careers

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