Concrete Contractor August/September 2019

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The Importance of Moisture Testing Concrete Subfloors

6 August/September 2019



Guards, Gloss and DOI Multi-Color Dye Jobs


›› The Case for



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August/September 2019 | Issue 5, Volume 19

WHAT’S INSIDE Cover Photo Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Departments 4 Editor’s Letter 42 The Last Placement

What’s Online Closing the Maintenance Gap Between Contractor and Custodian Maintenance of polished concrete floors doesn’t have to be difficult, so long as it is approached correctly. Search: 21078815

Cover Story 8 The Case for Concrete Homes Building safer homes is necessary to meet the challenges imposed by our changing world.

26 Tips for Optimal Concrete Stripping

Features 6 Moisture Testing Concrete Subfloors Moisture can affect the RH of a slab long after its been placed.

16 Knox Concrete Finds Its Niche in Curb and Gutter An investment in a curb and gutter machine takes an Idaho-based contractor to the next level.

20 5 Ways Accessories Expand Hydrodemolition Robot Capabilities

New biodegradable solvents offer another solution without the harmful waste, specialized equipment or extended dry times.

Remote Control Enables Faster, Safer Bridge Construction Remote-controlled bridge pavers reduce man hours, increase productivity and enhance safety on the Wekiva Parkway bridge project. Search: 21075560

28 ACI Releases ACI 318-19 Updates to building code requirements for structural concrete.

30 Guard, Gloss and Distinctness of Image


The DOI meter and ASCC Polished Concrete Appearance Chart help define the differences in polished concrete floors.

New add-ons allow both robot and contractor to complete more projects than ever before.

22 Specification Guides: Vibrating Equipment A compilation of technical information when choosing your next concrete vibrator.




34 Best Practices for Multi-Color Dyes How Texas Bomanite tackled the challenges of a four-dye application.

38 Product Showcase: Grinders A compilation of the latest concrete grinders. | August/September 2019 | Concrete Contractor 3

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Sustainability on the Forefront


he concrete industry has long been at the center of the climate change debate. Cement production is one of the primary producers of greenhouse gas, accounting for 7% of global carbon emissions, and is the third largest emitter of CO2 in the world behind aviation and energy production. With 4.1 billion tons of cement produced a year, generating 2.5 billion tons of CO2, big changes would be necessary to reduce those numbers. In recent months, pressures from the public and private investors, however, have renewed the conversation. In July, members of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change and the Climate Action 100+, a coalition of money managers with more than $33 trillion under management, issued a request for European construction-material companies to make a commitment to reduce net CO2 emissions to zero by 2050. The group sent the demands to CRH Plc, LafargeHolcim Ltd, HeidelbergCement AG and Compagnie de Saint-Gobain SA, along with steps on how each company could achieve the goal. These demands are further bolstered by public protests earlier in the summer when hundreds of activists from the climate change group Extinction Rebellion took to UK streets to protest the concrete industry. On Day 1 of the protests, demonstrators surrounded London Concrete, the city’s ConcreteContractor

Advisory Board Kim Basham KB Engineering Cheyenne, Wyo.

Jim Cuviello Cuviello Concrete Polished|Stained|Crafted Stevensville, Md.

Jim Baty Concrete Foundations Association Mt. Vernon, Iowa

Chris Klemaske T.B. Penick & Sons, Inc. San Diego, Calif.

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Amy Wunderlin, Associate Editor

Publisher/Editorial Director


Contributing Writers

largest ready-mix supplier, disrupting concrete production. And these types of actions will only grow from here. The time has come for the industry to find a viable solution to limiting emissions. Some of the most promising suggestions include improved energy efficiency, lower-emission fuels, lower clinker ratios and the use of innovative technologies. Unfortunately, creating change in a centuries old industry will not be simple. Tried-and-true portland cement has been used in construction since the 1800s. And in an industry that takes safety seriously, alternative mixtures and technologies have been met with skepticism due to a lack of long-term field testing. Other obstacles to widespread adoption include the absence of standards and protocols, added costs for equipment and materials, and limited access to raw materials. Addressing these concerns will be key. And while public and private pressures are bringing the conversation to the forefront, without major regulatory intervention, I’m left wondering when the industry will in fact embrace “green” concrete.

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Search: Concrete Polishing

Dennis Purinton Purinton Builders, Inc. East Granby, Conn.

Associate Editor

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Ryan Olson, (800) 538-5544, ext. 1306 Amy Wunderlin, (800) 538-5544, ext. 1267 Kim Basham, Jim Baty, Brad Humphrey, David C. Whitlock, Joe Nasvik, Chad White Cindy Rusch April Van Etten Wendy Chady Angela Franks

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PO Box 3605, Northbrook, IL 60065-3605, Phone: (877) 201-3915 Fax: (847) 291-4816 • REPRINTS Ryan Olson, (800) 538-5544, ext. 1306 , LIST RENTAL Jeff Moriarty, SVP, Business & Media Solutions Infogroup, Phone: (518) 339-4511 Email: AC BUSINESS MEDIA

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Published and copyrighted 2019 by AC Business Media. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage or retrieval system, without written permission from the publisher. CONCRETE CONTRACTOR (USPS 021-799, ISSN 1935-1887 (print); ISSN 2471-2302 (online) is published 7 times a year: January, February/March, April/May, June/July, August/September, October/November and December by AC Business Media, 201 N. Main Street, Fifth Floor, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538. Printed in the U.S.A. Periodicals postage paid at Fort Atkinson, WI, and additional entry offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Concrete Contractor, PO Box 3605 Northbrook, IL 60065-3605 August/September 2019, Issue 5, Volume 19 One year subscription to non-qualified individuals: U.S. 1 year: $35, 2 years: $70. Canada & Mexico 1 year: $60, 2 years: $105. All other countries 1 year: $85, 2 years: $160 (payable in U.S. funds drawn on U.S. banks). Single copies available (prepaid only) $10.00 each (U.S., Canada & Mexico), $15.00 each (International). Printed in the U.S.A.

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Concrete Contractor is the Official Media Sponsor of the CFA Foundation Company Certification Program


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By Jason Spangler

The Importance of Moisture Testing

Groundwater, high humidity and leaky plumbing are the top causes of moisture problems in a concrete slab. Photo Credit: Wagner Meters

Concrete Subfloors

Concrete is a permeable substance capable of absorbing and releasing moisture long after it’s been placed.


any people don’t realize how important moisture testing is with concrete subfloors, especially with old concrete. After all, if the slab was poured 10 years ago, it must be dry, right? And if it had a floor installed all that time, there can’t be a problem, right? Maybe. Maybe not. Here’s a true story from our files. A customer called from the Northwest. They were installing a very expensive wood floor over a concrete slab that was poured in 1952. The area had just experienced historically heavy rainfall in the past few months. The customer performed an in situ relative humidity (RH) test as part of the process, and the readings pegged at 99% RH. That’s more than enough to cause a flooring system to fail horrendously.

So, how is that possible with a slab that’s more than 60 years old? For the answer to that, we need to first look at how moisture gets into concrete.

Today's low VOC flooring is not as moisture-resistant as old flooring systems, which can be disastrous if moisture is present in the subfloor. Photo Credit: Wagner Meters

SOURCES OF MOISTURE IN CONCRETE There are many ways that moisture gets into a concrete slab. Ground moisture can enter either through capillary action or as water vapor. Groundwater might be present due to a high-water table or poor drainage. Other ways include high air humidity, high RH in the environment or leaking plumbing that goes through the slab. The high moisture in our story isn’t surprising given the age of the slab and the recent weather. Older slabs were often constructed without moisture barriers, or the moisture barrier

has degraded over time. Or maybe a plumbing leak has developed. High moisture levels in the concrete could also be hidden by the old flooring system. Older flooring adhesives and sealants were typically more moisture-resistant than today’s lower VOC products. You might remove an older floor that has performed perfectly well for years and find that the slab is too wet for today’s less moisture-resistant flooring systems.

MOISTURE DAMAGE TO FLOORS Installing any type of floor over concrete that isn’t sufficiently dry can be disastrous. For wood floors, slabs with excessive moisture can cause adhesive failure, wood warping or cupping, gaps and creaking. Floor coatings can suffer from blistering and delamination. Sheet vinyl and vinyl tile floors can suffer adhesive failure and blistering. Mold and mildew are also common problems with excessive moisture. Experienced flooring installers know that you can’t look at the surface of a concrete slab and know if it’s dry enough to install a floor. There may be large amounts of moisture hidden deep in the slab. After you install a floor, that hidden moisture can rise to the surface of the slab and cause the floor

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to fail. Over the years, various methods of moisture testing have been developed, but most of them are not scientifically based, accurate and reliable. Only the RH test has been scientifically proven to give reliable and accurate results. Research going back to the 1960s found that a moisture gradient forms within a concrete slab as it dries, so the slab is drier at the surface and wetter deep inside. That’s why surface tests are not a reliable indicator of the slab’s moisture condition. Further research in the 1990s established procedures for testing at specific depths within the slab using an RH probe. In 2002, ASTM International developed the F2170 standard for in situ RH testing based on this research. Today, there are various RH probes on the market to help contractors test moisture levels. Wagner Meters’ Rapid RH L6 system is one of the most cost-effective systems for RH testing of concrete slabs in compliance with ASTM F2170. The system uses


single-use sensors for speed, economy and ease of use. Once the L6 sensors are installed in the slab and equilibrated, there’s no need to move them from location to location and wait for them to equilibrate again. Repeat readings can be taken without additional equilibration time. And unlike reusable probes, the L6 sensors never need calibration because they come calibrated from the factory and include a NISTtraceable certificate of calibration to keep with your records regarding the concrete RH testing. The Rapid RH L6 system’s Total Reader reads, displays and transmits temperature and RH data via Bluetooth to a mobile app, DataMaster L6, with no manual intervention and no need to record readings on paper. The app allows users to store, display and report data on their mobile device. Users can even email PDF format reports to clients and all interested parties. Backup copies of readings are stored in the cloud and in the sensors that are

• Just because a slab is old doesn’t mean it’s dry. • Old floors were more moisture resistant and can hide very high levels of moisture. • Any flooring system can fail when installed over concrete that isn’t sufficiently dry. • Only the RH test has been scientifically proven to give reliable and accurate results. permanently installed in the slab. This unbroken digital path from the sensor to the final report, plus automatic data backup, ensures the highest data integrity, accuracy and peace of mind. Jason Spangler, Wagner Meters’ flooring division manager, has more than 25 years’ experience in sales and management. He is involved with the National Wood Flooring Association, the International Certified Flooring Installers Association and others.




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By Joe Nasvik

The Case for


Building safer homes is necessary to meet the challenges imposed by our changing world.


e are at a crossroads in the United States. Since the 1950s, the standard method for home building has been light-frame wood construction. Well-trained work forces have learned how to build these homes at reasonable cost. A movement to build concrete homes, however, started in the early 2000s and gained traction until the start of the recession in December 2007, when it nearly came to an end. But today, the loss of life and damage to property due to extreme

weather events increases every decade, as does the need for more resilient housing. The challenge is to build homes that can remain intact in any severe weather event, be more energy efficient, be reasonably priced, and be reoccupied shortly after a disaster so that life can go on with minimal disruption. Concrete homes can do all of that and more.

EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS We have entered a new phase of life on planet Earth. Increased global heat is raising the temperature of the atmosphere and oceans, which contributes more energy to fuel intense extreme weather events with increasing frequency. “While each region of the U.S. faces a unique combination of weather hazards, every state in the country has been impacted by at

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As extreme weather events become stronger and more frequent, the method for building homes must change too. Building structures must remain intact to provide safety for inhabitants and return to normal life shortly afterwards. Concrete construction can provide this. Photo Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

least one billion-dollar disaster event since 1980," says Adam Smith, an applied climatologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Ashville, N.C., who tracks extreme weather events that cause more than $1 billion in damage. "Over the last four decades (19802019), the U.S. has sustained 250 separate weather and climate disasters where overall damages/costs exceeded $1 billion (including Consumer Price Index adjustment to 2019). The total cost of these 250 events exceeds $1.7 trillion,� he adds.

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[For a deeper discussion, see this new NOAA report: www.climate. gov/news-features/blogs/ beyond-data/2018s-billion-dollar-disasters-context] Here is how hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, straight-line winds, droughts and wildfires are changing our lives and causing us to rethink the way we build our homes and structures. Hurricanes. Patrick Marsh, a warning coordination meteorologist for the NOAA Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., says hurricanes have huge amounts of energy that slowly build and then release over longer periods of time compared to other severe weather events. Their primary energy comes from increased water temperatures and decreased wind shear. Along with wildfires, they cause the most damage to property. Marsh notes that Hurricane Michael, which made landfall on the Florida

Panhandle in October 2018 with category 5 wind speeds as high as 160 miles per hour, approached tornado wind speeds. This single event took 74 lives and caused $25 billion in damage. Tornados. Unlike hurricanes, tornadoes focus tremendous energy on small areas and can ramp up very quickly and with very little warning. Tornadoes produce the highest wind speeds of all extreme weather events; the highest ever recorded being 302 mph in Moore, Okla. in 1999. However, tornado wind speed is usually estimated (not measured) based on the kind of damage it does, and their path of destruction is often total. Marsh says the number of tornadoes we experience is roughly the same year after year, but the number of tornadoes over a short period of time is quickly rising. For example, in May 2019 there were over 500 tornadoes, more than in any May on record in the U.S. (there were only three days in the month


without tornadoes). April 2011 still holds the record for the most tornadoes in any month. This month included the tornado super-outbreak of April 25-28 across much of the Southeast, with damage costs greater than $10 billion in today’s dollars. Rain and flooding. Like tornadoes, the number of days it rains is roughly the same each year, while the number of inches in a single rain event is increasing—particularly true for the central and southern states. Rain frequency escalates with increasing temperatures in the atmosphere, and higher air temperatures make it possible for the air to hold larger amounts of water. Smith says the numbers of days per year that extreme rainfall causes flooding is increasing, and this trend will continue. Unfortunately, a vast number of people in the U.S. don’t have flood insurance because they mistakenly believe floods are covered by standard




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home insurance policies or are cost prohibitive. As a result, an increasing number of people fall into a deep financial hole when their homes are flooded. Flooding is even worse in drought areas where the soil becomes hard and less permeable or in urban areas where less water is absorbed into the ground and runs off. Straight-line winds. In addition to tornadoes, a more common and widespread hazard from severe thunderstorms is straight-line, high winds. NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center collects daily reports of thunderstorm high winds, often 50 knots (58 mph) or greater that cause damage to life or property. Marsh says the damage caused by straightline winds, as well as other extreme weather events, is increasing due to growing population centers. Previously, farmland and open spaces where

Damage in extreme wind events is also the result of flying debris. Shown left, a 10-ft. 2x4 traveling at nearly 100 mph hurricane force easily passes through a wood wall that included siding, 3/4-in. plywood, insulation and drywall, rendering inside rooms unsafe. Photo Credit: Joe Nasvik

damage occurred as the result of extreme weather went unnoticed and unreported, but many of these areas are now residential communities. Fires. Wildfires cause huge amounts of damage for a variety of reasons. The costs of wildfires in western states rose significantly from $18 billion in 2017 to $24 billion in 2018, and they will continue to increase every year. There is no longer a “fire season� in the west; it is now a yearlong continuous event. Most wildfire damage is confined to the arid western states, although they also affect some southern and central states. Marsh says drought and high

temperatures are a key component because they create ideal fire conditions, but there are other contributing factors. The west is affected by insects and beetles that kill trees and leave them standing in a fire-ready condition and, due to the increased number of warmer days per year, their breeding | August/September 2019 | Concrete Contractor 11

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season is extended. Smith adds that in California it is estimated there are more than 100 million standing dead trees, and the state is challenged to deal with the enormity of the situation. Expanding population—commonly known as the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI)—contributes to this problem too. The space between housing and forest growth is becoming non-existent; cities are growing into forests, making it easy for forest fires to burn down communities. Oddly enough, rain can be a cause for increased fires in drought areas too. Increased rain causes brush and combustible material to grow quickly. Then when drought conditions return, the increased fuel supports fast-moving wildfires. Drought conditions can also cause rain to evaporate before it hits the ground, while lightening does make it to the ground.


Evan Reis, a structural engineer and the executive director and co-founder of the U.S. Resiliency Council based in the San Francisco Bay area, argues that it isn’t enough for homes or buildings to be “green,” they should also: • Provide safe haven for occupants during extreme weather events • Be robust enough to survive severe weather events


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• Allow people to move back into their homes shortly after a catastrophic event and go on with their lives • Not be located in marginal areas such as flood plains “It is unfortunate to watch someone’s home completely destroyed by fire or tornado and then see them rebuild using the same material and building practices that got them in trouble the first time,” Reis says. But, he suspects owner decisions aren’t so much the result of structural ignorance as their concern for time and money. “They don’t want to pay more, and they want speed. People think more about architecture and amenities than they do about engineering and structure,” he adds. These days Reis believes that other partners involved in the construction of a house or building are more concerned about resiliency than owners. For instance, bankers and insurance companies share financial risks with owners in the event of an extreme weather event. Reis encourages these other partners to offer financial incentives for resilient construction in order to lower their long-term risks. He is also working on a pilot program with the federal government that will offer a “resilient building” credit that lowers mortgage rates to owners of resilient structures. The U.S. Resiliency Council advocates for well-engineered structures built with resilient materials. Concrete is high on the list because it can withstand all extreme weather events when engineered properly. Reis thinks

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Eric Tabor and his company, The Elm Group, are focusing on constructing the exterior walls of new homes with concrete. His goal is to provide affordable structures that can resist the most violent extreme weather events. Photo Credit: Eric Tabor

the concrete industry should play to its strengths. For one, it is a monolithic material, while wood must depend on hundreds or thousands of connections. Concretes significant mass helps it perform better in hurricanes and tornadoes too. In addition, concrete is naturally fire resistant, rot-proof, insect proof, doesn’t support fungus or algae growth, is structurally strong, is a slow conductor of energy, and can be engineered to meet almost any need. Marketing efforts against concrete point to the amount of CO2 produced in the manufacture of portland cement, claiming that concrete produces more CO2 than any other material. But the National Ready-mix Concrete Association (NRMCA) quotes studies showing the energy needed to produce concrete is less than for wood or steel. Also, portland cement is typically only about 10% of the mass of concrete; large and small aggregate is about 61%, so its carbon footprint is small. It’s also common to replace 20% or more of the portland cement in a mix with pozzolan by-products such as fly ash and slag, which are carbon neutral. Another major advantage that concrete structures have is their thermal efficiency. Air doesn’t move through a concrete wall, heat movement through concrete is slow, and concrete acts like a heat sink, storing energy when temperatures rise and giving it off when temperatures fall. Over time, typical concrete buildings produce less CO2 than those built with other materials such as wood. All of this adds up to the fact that concrete is one of the only building materials that can withstand all extreme weather forces, including the Earth's most powerful wind forces, while providing safety for building occupants.


While the argument for building concrete homes is strong, support from the industry is lacking. Concrete industry associations and representative organizations historically have taken positions against marketing concrete as a material because they don’t see marketing as part of their mission. At the same time, the wood industry, raises multi-million dollar funds to market “the natural beauty and warmth of wood,” structural wood highrise buildings, and code changes favoring wood construction. So who should market concrete homes? The list of groups that could market concrete home construction include the Portland Cement Producers, associations and concrete organizations, bodies responsible for building code development, and concrete contractors themselves. Eric Tabor, owner of the Elm

Group, a construction company located in Memphis, Tenn., is one such contractor working to raise awareness. He is especially interested in building more resilient homes. His company is often involved on projects as a general contractor, but they also specialize in concrete construction work, building custom concrete homes and concrete exterior walls for other contractors who then complete the construction of the house. Because the demand for concrete homes in Memphis is low, Tabor has also established an office and secured a contractors license in Florida where hurricanes, floods, termites and fungus that cause wood to rot make the state a thriving market for concrete homes. Building codes in the state also require that structures be able to withstand wind damage from extreme weather events, and these requirements continue to change as storms get stronger.


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Photo Credit: Eric Tabor

Tabor believes that homeowners often don’t understand the need for resilient home construction, but other parties to home ownership such as bankers do because their loans are less risky. At the same time the requirements for wood construction have gone up, making construction more costly. Since opening an office in Florida, Tabor has seen a lot of interest, especially from architects. He says they are very busy now and are moving into the Mexico Beach area where Hurricane Michael did so much damage. Tabor notes that his company’s experience with concrete and building concrete houses has increased his productivity, giving him expertise that has been lost in this market. “I want to build low maintenance homes that don’t cost

WHERE TO GO FROM HERE Albert Einstein is attributed as defining insanity as: “Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results." That has been the pattern in this country with home construction. We rebuild wood homes that have been demolished by hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and fire with wood—the same material that couldn’t resist extreme weather events

the first time. This results in the loss of human life and the destruction of diminishing resources. Building resilient homes is more important than building green or sustainable ones as we head in the direction of even more extreme weather. We must build better homes that protect human life. Change is needed on many fronts: better building codes, restrictions on where homes can be built, helping owners understand structure and materials, increasing contractor productivity to make concrete homes more affordable, and marketing the value of concrete to the public. Tabor’s approach to creating more interest in concrete homes is to continue increasing his productivity, ultimately making homes more affordable. Other resources include the organization Concrete Housing Insight, located in Raleigh, N.C. It was founded by David Pfanmiller after being part of the concrete home building industry for many years to encourage concrete contractors to get involved in concrete home building and be a resource for them. He believes combinations of cast-in-place techniques along with precast concrete offer solutions. But how does one grow an industry? Do you create a market first and then the ability to supply the product? Or is it best to develop a product and train the workforce first? For now, Tabor believes growing the companies and the workforce to build affordable concrete homes is the best approach.






By concentrating on the exterior walls of homes as a subcontractor Tabor hopes to complete work on over 300 homes in the 2019 season.

too much. I’m out to make a difference in quality, and money isn’t the most important thing in my life,” he says. Currently he can build a custom home that includes slab, walls, framing, doors and snap in windows in the same amount of time as wood framers. In addition, the Elm Group has worked out its own concrete mixes, aimed at increased resiliency, reduced honeycombing and speedy installation. They typically build engineered walls in affordable homes 6 in. thick, custom home walls at 8 in. thick, and cold climate sandwich panel walls with insulation in the center at 10-in. thicknesses. “My goal is to build walls that can meet the requirements for the storm that will never happen,” Tabor says. Florida has some of the strongest wind code requirements in the country, and while Tabor says his walls exceed these codes by 70%, "it is often flying debris that does the most damage in extreme wind events."

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By Amy Wunderlin

KNOX CONCRETE Finds Its Niche in Curb and Gutter

After investing in Power Curber’s curb and gutter machine, the Idahobased contractor is taking its business to the next level. Owner Travis Knox places a section of curb. Only himself and another crew member are trained to operate the curb and gutter machine. Photo Credit: Knox Concrete


ompetition in the residential market is fierce, and it can be hard to set yourself apart from the contractor down the road. So as the economy continued on an upward trend, Knox Concrete saw an opportunity to take on more commercial jobs. The challenge with large public infrastructure jobs, however, is they have tight deadlines and strict regulations. To overcome these challenges, the concrete contractor, which employees about 30-35 people, turned to Power Curbers.

Knox Concrete is based out of Lewiston, Idaho and primarily serves the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley, which reaches from Idaho to Washington. They perform all stages of concrete, from structural foundations to site work to decorative. “With the economy being so good, we are pushing toward a lot of big commercial projects like schools, new highways and a lot municipality work. Over the last couple years with the help of Power Curber, we’re able to do thousands of feet per day to tackle these big jobs,” explains Travis Knox, owner of Knox Concrete. “Before you could only do a few hundred feet with a big crew. Now you can do thousands and thousands of feet, which puts us in a whole different category of business. And there is less competition, less people doing that, so that’s really our new niche,” he adds.

FLESHMAN WAY INTERCHANGE PROJECT In 2018, Knox Concrete put their Power Curber through its biggest test rehabilitating a notoriously dangerous and under-designed intersection. The Fleshman Way Interchange in Asotin County, Wash. sees over 25,000 vehicles a day, with many of them crossing the state line into Idaho. The reconstruction of this crossing was a huge undertaking, going from an outdated design with stops and leftturns to a free-flowing system with two

roundabouts to promote safe merges. Using five different molds on a Power Curber 5700-B, Knox Concrete placed over 9,000 linear ft. of roll curb, curb and gutter, and under guardrail curb. Thanks to the 5700-B, Knox says they could easily transition from roll curb on ramps to radius work on roundabouts to tricky curb slipped under guardrail. “With the Power Curber, you could change the curb style in a matter of 15 minutes. It has a quick attachment that allows you to change it in no time,” Knox explains. A highlight of the job was on the two roundabouts. Utilizing the hydraulic adjustable offset on the 5700-B, Knox Concrete was able to place the complete circle of curb until they drove the mold right over where they started. This minimized manual finish work and saved time. Coming in ahead of time and under budget, this was Knox Concrete’s largest job at that time, and without a curbing machine, Knox says they could not have done it. For one thing, the time crunch on this job was a significant challenge. Knox explains that the state only gives you so long to do a job like this because they don’t want to disrupt traffic flow for an extended period. Just one flaw would have put the contractor behind schedule, with the risk of liquidated damages at a cost of about $10,000 a day. “We went into it a little scared, thinking ‘Wow, that doesn’t give us much time to get this project done,’ so we really put that machine to the test,” adds Knox.

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In mid-June, Knox Concrete placed nearly 20,000 ft. of curb, gutter and sidewalk for Lewiston, Idaho's new high school.

this machine, as long as you have a good operator and batch plant, you can make the work almost effortless. It is 80% easier to finish it. Finishers just have to do a little finesse work with a broom and brush,” he adds.

Photo Credit: Knox Concrete

TRI PARTNERSHIP PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT The elimination of manual tasks such as formwork also kept the project on track. Concrete curb work is typically very labor intensive. Knox says the paving machine, however, is formless, therefore eliminating an entire process and labor by 50 percent. While you still need a lot of labor the day of the placement, he adds that typically you can get down in one day what would normally take three weeks. “[With typical curb and gutter jobs] you’re backs hurting, you’re packing really heavy forms every 10 ft. With

The Fleshman Way project allowed Knox Concrete to showoff what they can do and prove they’re ability to tackle big commercial jobs. It was the first job Knox says they felt everything went as planned and proved their hard work had paid off. “It was a big important job; it was 20 years in the making, and we finally got the opportunity to show both Idaho and Washington what we could do. We proved to two states that we can do this,” notes Knox. The biggest challenge Knox Concrete had to overcome to get to that

point was in learning to operate and work with the curbing machine, which Knox compares to flying a helicopter. “It takes a really smart operator who can really finesse the machine. Only a few people in the world can operate them,” he explains. “It’s a challenge to operate, but once you get it dialed in, it works really well.” Only two of Knox Concrete’s 35 employees can operate the machine, which Knox says is standard throughout the industry. Those two operators have gone through extensive training and are required to visit Power Curber’s training facility each year to receive updated training. Besides the operators, Knox adds that it is key to have good personnel overall. While the machine eliminates a lot of manual tasks, working a job is still 50% the machine and 50% the people. “If you’re very organized and structured in business and have a certain

SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE The Curb Fox 5000-T paves the full range of curb, curb & gutter, sidewalk and small barrier applications accurately and efficiently. Backed by over 40 years of worldwide slip forming experience, the Curb Fox pavers always give superior performance. For detailed pricing and information, contact Curb Fox Equipment today!

CURB FOX EQUIPMENT, LLC 925 Confederate Avenue, Salisbury, NC 28144 USA Tel. 704-638-0405, Email: 18 Concrete Contractor | August/September 2019 |

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guy behind that machine, that’s what it takes. You also have to have guys that care. A lot of people in our industry are just there to punch in and out, but you have to have the heart and soul to make the product look good coming out of the machine because the machine doesn’t do everything for you,” he adds. In mid-June, Knox Concrete took on another milestone project, placing its largest stretch of curb and sidewalk ever in its hometown Lewiston, Idaho. The contractor placed nearly 20,000 ft. of curb, gutter and sidewalk for the community’s new high school. Known as the Tri Partnership Public Infrastructure, the project included the installation of public infrastructure related to the development of property owned by Lewiston Independent School District No. 1, Lewis Clark State College and City of Lewiston Parks and Recreation. “Lewiston is building the first new high school they’ve built in 50 years, so it’s a huge thing in our community. It’s

one of the highlight jobs in our area in 20 years, and without [the Power Curber] we couldn’t have even bid on it; we couldn’t have even thought about the job,” Knox says. The half million-dollar job was unique to the contractor in that they used a sidewalk mold with their Power Curber, which allowed them to produce more sidewalk in one day than ever before. The sidewalk mold is similar to a concrete paver that places road. “So instead of a curb, the Power Curber can spit out sidewalk, which we had about 15,000 to 20,000 ft. of,” Knox says.

HIGH RISK, HIGH REWARD Purchasing a curb and gutter machine is not for everyone, but for Knox Concrete, the high-risk investment has more than paid for itself. After purchasing a Power Curber, Knox says his business went from a $2 million company to a $5 million company,

and profit margins increased 20%. “[The Power Curber] has changed everything about our business. It’s such a good money maker and machine that puts us in another category. These big commercial jobs that are high risk but high reward, we love them,” he says. “It just puts you in a league of your own, in a different category,” Knox continues. “With so many other people doing just residential concrete work, it is really hard to compete. There are so many people who can go to Home Depot, grab a wheelbarrow and start a concrete finishing business. But if you have to buy a half a million-dollar machine, it’s a different kind of business.”

Curb machines eliminate much of the manual finishing work, so that the crew just has to do a little finessing with a broom and brush. Photo Credit: Knox Concrete | August/September 2019 | Concrete Contractor 19

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By Patrik Andersson, sales director, Aquajet Systems AB

Ways Accessories Expand Hydrodemolition Robot Capabilities New add-ons open doors and allow contractors to maximize the value of existing equipment.


s concrete structures age, contractors must have the tools to remove the deteriorated material quickly and efficiently. Hydrodemolition robots offer an innovative solution, precisely removing the concrete without damaging the underlying rebar. The machine’s success in traditional, flat areas has led to demand for more challenging applications. To meet that demand, hydrodemolition robot manufacturers developed a variety of add-ons and accessories to allow the robots to reach new heights and contractors to complete more specialty applications than before. Here’s how hydrodemolition robot accessories can help: 1. Get a Spine: Contractors can take on concrete at any angle by bolting steel frames or spines to the demolition surface and attaching a hydrodemolition robot cutting head. The head moves across the spine to remove material in the desired area to a preset depth. These mechanical steel structures expand a machine’s capabilities far beyond the original design, allowing contractors to quickly

and easily remove concrete in large or difficult-to-reach sections. 2. Rock Around the Concrete: Circular supports allow hydrodemolition robots to remove concrete from pillars or piles, including those underwater. The cutting head moves at a preset distance around the pillar, moving up or down until it reaches the required depth. 3. Blast Off Light Material: Some hydrodemolition manufacturers offer cutting heads specifically for removing light surface materials, including paint, rust or rubber. That same “light touch” also works well for scarifying surfaces to allow for better concrete bonding. While hand lances have traditionally handled these tasks, robotic hydrodemolition tools offer increased operator safety while maintaining a consistent distance and quality—something difficult to achieve with hand lances. 4. Get Indoors: Hydrodemolition jobs aren’t exclusively outdoors. For projects in enclosed areas, conversion kits allow diesel-powered robots to operate on electricity, eliminating the risk of fumes. 5. Reach Out for Success: Accessories that extend a hydrodemolition robot’s reach make fast work of bridge and pier work. An extension

Redi Services uses three robots simultaneously to efficiently remove bridge deck concrete. Photo Credit: Redi Services

accessory can reach wherever concrete needs to be removed, such as over a railing to concrete on the edge of a bridge without having to dismantle the railing. 6. Get Tunnel Vision: Tunnel kits for hydrodemolition robots clean or remove material from tunnel walls in less time than hand lances because the equipment can handle larger volumes of water. The operator programs a set distance from the tunnel wall, and the robot’s cutting head moves along the surface, using its computerized control system to maintain a consistent distance. With attachments, hydrodemolition machines become an entirely new tool that can remove concrete formerly out of reach. They offer a versatile way to expand the capabilities of a business. And since accessories and add-ons are often a fraction of the cost of the whole good, contractors typically find them a very profitable investment. They open doors to new types of work, allowing contractors to maximize the value of their existing equipment.

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Vibrating Equipment A compilation of technical information when choosing your next concrete vibrator. 1. ALLEN POWER VIBE-PRO These concrete vibrators are the ultimate in hand-held gasoline powered vibrators.. Both are Lightweight, but powerful and provide excellent consolidation of concrete. • • • • •

Engine: Honda GX35 (35 cc) Horsepower class: 1.5 hp (1.1 kW) Shaft Lengths: 1 ft. flexible shaft with rigid shaft extension Steel Vibrator Head Size: 2 in. (5.1 cm) Rubber Vibrator Head Size: 2 in. (5.1 cm)


Product Size (LxWxH)


Vibrations (rpm)

Power (hp)

Flexible Shafts (Length)

Flexible Shafts (weight – lbs.)

Head Diameter (inches)

Head configuration: Round or Square (hybrid)

Power (electric or gas)

Power Vibe- Pro



9,000 vpm

1.5 hp

1’ flexible staff with rigid shaft extension


1”- 2”




Product Size (LxWxH)


Vibrations (rpm)

Power (hp)

Flexible Shafts (Length - inches)

Flexible Shafts (weight – lbs.)

Head Diameter (inches)

Head configuration: Round or Square (hybrid)

Power (electric or gas)

AHFV22 High Frequency Vibrator


35 lbs.

12,000 vpm

1.57 hp







Product Size (LxWxH)


Vibrations (rpm)

Power (hp)

Flexible Shafts (Length - inches)

Flexible Shafts (weight – lbs.)

Head Diameter (inches)

Head configuration: Round or Square (hybrid)

Power (electric or gas)

Power Vibe



9,000 vpm

1.5 hp

2’ - 10’


1”- 2”



2. MINNICH STINGER FLEX SHAFT VIBRATOR The Stinger is a 14.5-lb. double-insulated universal motor that can drive the full line of Minnich vibrator shafts and heads from 3/4 to 2 1/2 in. • Available in 15 amp (115V) • Offers a more speed range of 11,000 to 13,000 vpm • Standard quick disconnect adapts to the vibrator shafts and heads of many other manufacturers • Double-insulated motor runs safely when grounded systems are compromised • Durable protective frame extends vibrator life with urethane end caps that absorb shock while supporting easy to grip handles • Provides quiet operation meeting OSHA A 29 CFR 1910.95 standardslowering


Minnich Stinger Flex Shaft Vibrator

Product Size (LxWxH)



13.8 lbs.

Vibrations (rpm)


Power (hp)

2.5 hp

Flexible Shafts (Length - inches)

Flexible Shafts (weight – lbs.)

Head Diameter (inches)

Head configuration: Round or Square (hybrid)

Power (electric or gas)

84”; 120”; 168”

2’ core & casing 5’ core & casing 7’ core & casing: 7 lbs.; 10’ core & casing: 9 lbs.; 14’ core & casing: 11 lbs.; 21’ core & casing

3/4”; 1”; 1-3/8”; 1-3/4”; 2”; 2-3/8”



22 Concrete Contractor | August/September 2019 |

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*Financing offers valid from June 1, 2019 to September 30, 2019. 0% for 60 months finance rate available only on the following new machines manufactured by Caterpillar Inc.: Cat mini excavators, compact track loaders, multi terrain loaders, skid steer loaders and compact wheel loaders (903- 908 models only). To be eligible for an Equipment Protection Plan offer (where applicable), the machine must be financed with Cat Financial. Financing and published rate terms are subject to credit approval through Cat Financial for customers who qualify. Buyers are not guaranteed to qualify. Higher rates may apply for buyers with lower credit rating or qualifications. Flexible payment terms available to those who qualify. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Offer subject to machine availability. Offer may change without prior notice and additional terms and conditions may apply. **The 2-year standard warranty (2,000 hours or 24 months, whichever occurs first) applies only to new Cat mini excavators, compact track loaders, multi terrain loaders and skid steer loaders. © 2019 Caterpillar. All Rights Reserved. CAT, CATERPILLAR, LET’S DO THE WORK, their respective logos, “Caterpillar Yellow”, the “Power Edge” and Cat “Modern Hex” trade dress as well as corporate and product identity used herein, are trademarks of Caterpillar and may not be used without permission. /

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SPECIFICATION GUIDE: VIBRATING EQUIPMENT 3. OZTEC BP-50A BACKPACK The BP50a backpack concrete vibrator now has CE Mark approval certifying it has met EU consumer safety requirements. The vibrator features a totally enclosed rotary throttle that prevents wet concrete from entering and clogging the throttle mechanism. • Will run steel and rubber vibrator heads up to 2 1/2 in. • Vibrator heads develop 12,000 vpm and never drop below 10,000 vpm • Standard Quick Disconnect “QD” system, Honda gasoline engines and “speed-up” transmission Model

Product Size (LxWxH)


Vibrations (rpm)

Power (hp)

Flexible Shafts (Length)

Flexible Shafts (weight – lbs.)

Head Diameter (inches)

Head configuration: Round or Square (hybrid)

Power (electric or gas)


15” x 18” x 23”

29 lbs.


2.5 hp

7’ - 21’

8 lbs. - 21 lbs.

1” - 2.5”

Round or Rubber Coated



Product Size (LxWxH)


Vibrations (rpm)

Power (hp)

Flexible Shafts (Length)

Flexible Shafts (weight – lbs.)

Head Diameter (inches)

Head configuration: Round or Square (hybrid)

Power (electric or gas)

Oztec RubberHead

1 7/8”dia x 14” / 2 1/2”dia x 15” / 2 3/4” dia x 15” / 2 3/4” dia x 6”

4.75 lbs. / 8 lbs. / 10 lbs. / 6 lbs.



2’ - 21’

2 lbs. - 21 lbs.

3/4” - 2-3/4”

Rubber Coated

Gas or Electric

4. WACKER NEUSON IRFUFLEX This is a robust modular high-frequency, high-cycle system that contains one frequency converter power unit combined with several interchangeable vibrator head and hose length options. This flexible system will offer the ideal head size and hose length to tackle most jobs and provide complete concrete consolidation. The system allows contractors or dealers to save money and storage space by stocking one converter and multiple head/hose combinations. Model

Product Size (LxWxH)


Vibrations (rpm)

Power (hp)

Flexible Shafts (Length - inches)

Flexible Shafts (weight – lbs.)

Head Diameter (inches)

Head configuration: Round or Square (hybrid)

Power (electric or gas)

Wacker Neuson IRFUflex

Variable sizes available

20.7 lbs. with power unit


4 amp/120 volt frequency converter

20” - 590”


1.48”, 1.75”, 2.2”, 2.6”





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5. SUPER SNAKE RATTLE STICK KIT The Rattle Stick adds vibration to any tool you click a handle into, and the Snake Bite Bracket will clamp it on anything. Vibrate a 20-ft. mag screed or a 6-in. walking edge tool and anything in between. Model

Product Size (LxWxH)


Vibrations (rpm)

Power (hp)

Flexible Shafts (Length - inches)

Flexible Shafts (weight – lbs.)

Head Diameter (inches)

Head configuration: Round or Square (hybrid)

Power (electric or gas)

Rattle Stick Slump Buster

32” x 2” x 2”

4.5 lbs.







Electric/Battery/ Rechargeable

6. DENVER CONCRETE GBPH25 BACKPACK VIBRATOR A Honda approved application, Denver’s GBPH25 backpack vibrator is ideal for general construction projects such as footings and stem walls, decks, driveways, and stairways • Capable of powering a flex shaft in excess of 20 ft. but is typically used with shafts in the 6 ft. to 10 ft. range • Lightweight fiberglass frame with multi-point adjustment straps for maximum comfort • Vented padding to keep the user cool • All metal parts used on high-stress transmission components • Throttle actuated kill switch so the engine can be shut off without removing the backpack • Flex shaft quick disconnect comes standard • Weighs only 29 lbs. Model

Product Size (LxWxH)


Vibrations (rpm)

Power (hp)

Flexible Shafts (Length - inches)

Flexible Shafts (weight – lbs.)

Head Diameter (inches)

Head configuration: Round or Square (hybrid)

Power (electric or gas)



29 lbs.


2.5 hp

5’ - 20’

5 lbs. - 62 lbs.

13/16”, 1.25”, 1.5”, 1.75”, 2”, 2.5”


Gas | August/September 2019 | Concrete Contractor 25

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By Marty O’Mara, marketing manager, Nox-Crete


for Optimal Concrete Stripping


Biodegradable solvents offer another solution without the harmful waste, specialized equipment or extended dry times.


he dog days of summer are back, blessing us with ample sunlight hours. If your concrete patio has seen better days, now is the perfect time to give it a makeover. Sealers past their prime can show up as chalky, cloudy or blistered. If you’re hoping for a quick facelift, the temptation might be to simply reapply a sealer. However, for the best, longest-lasting results, you need to strip the old, wornout sealer and start fresh.

OLD SCHOOL METHODS Three of the most common methods for stripping old sealer include solvents, stripping gels and hot water pressure washing. Solvent removal involves mopping xylene onto the surface, allowing it to

soak into and dissolve the old sealer, and then mopping it up. While this method is effective at removing old sealers, the practice has not stood the test of time. Xylene is flammable, has been identified as a potential carcinogen, and poses a danger to pregnant women. In addition to these risks, spent solvents used to remove old sealers are considered hazardous waste by the EPA and must be disposed of by a licensed hazardous waste disposal company. Another established technique for taking off worn sealers is achieved by applying a coating stripper with gel-like consistency and distributing it with a mop or squeegee. Once the substance is allowed to settle in, it will soften the aged coating. If your surface is smooth, you may be able to use a tile scraper to remove the softened coating. However, if the concrete surface is stamped, textured or exposed aggregate, you’ll likely have to use a scrub brush and a decent amount of elbow grease for successful removal. Hot water pressure washing from a wand or orbital walk-behind pressure washer has also been a reliable method for some looking to lift off their old concrete sealers. However, this method may not guarantee that the old sealer is removed in its entirety. In addition, unless you have access to a hot water pressure washer, it may require costly equipment rental fees. This method also puts water back into the concrete surface, which is not ideal if you’re looking for a quick turnaround to begin resealing.

BIODEGRADABLE SOLVENTS While these “old school” options are still viable, two new methods have recently been developed using biodegradable solvents that do not create harmful

waste or require scrubbing, specialized equipment or extended dry times. The first method uses slower-drying biodegradable solvents that soften worn-out acrylic sealers so they can be easily removed with a standard pressure washer. This method is straightforward and doesn’t require special equipment other than a pressure washer. The second method, known as the “blanket method,” incorporates a cellulose blanket that is laid out on top of the worn-out acrylic sealer. This is followed by the application of a blend of fast-drying, biodegradable solvents that quickly dissolve the acrylic sealer, allowing it to be absorbed into the blanket for quick and easy removal.

WATER- VS. SOLVENTBASED SEALERS Narrowing down your sealer selection involves choosing between wateror solvent-based versions. Water-based versions are a better fit for indoor projects because they are less odorous than their solvent-based counterparts, require less drying and clean-up time, and are not as flammable. Solvent-based sealers offer the ideal durability and appearance requirements for outdoor projects. Keep a Foothold: One downside of acrylic sealers is their tendency to become slippery when wet. An “antiskid” additive in the form of polypropylene, which floats in the surface mixture, can be applied to your sealer to counteract this effect. Adequate mixing is required to ensure proper dispersing. A second anti-slip option is aluminum oxide, which is broadcast across the sealed surface and then back-rolled for adequate surface coverage. Due Diligence: Acrylic sealers vary widely depending on how they are

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formulated. Differences in the acrylic resin, molecular weight and solvent composition can impact penetration, adhesion and breathability. The amount of solids present will vary from sealer to sealer, as well—and more does not always mean the product is better. It’s also important to be aware of the acrylic sealer’s resistance to yellowing and chalking, which can vary widely between products. To ensure you’ve got the best sealer for your project, combine references on the product’s performance and manufacturer’s reputation in the field with advice from a sales technician. Avoid the urge to buy solely based on the price point; you can’t be sure what the manufacturer might be sacrificing to offer bottom-dollar pricing.

time for two thinner applications is a much better alternative, allowing for maximum breathability. Expert Advice: It’s important to invest the time and attention to reading the application methods the manufacturer of your sealer suggests. Following these steps correctly ensures that you’ve got the know-how to maximize the

M m

appearance of your concrete surface and protect it from elements of weather, surface staining from oil, grease and other substances. With these helpful hints at your disposal, stripping off your old sealer can be quick and effective—and adding a fresh replacement can provide long-lasting protection for years.

c t w c

TOP APPLICANT Make the most out of the time and energy you’ve invested in stripping off your old sealer by applying the new coating in a technically precise manner. Here are a couple suggestions:

Old sealer can be removed using a pressure washer with a floor stripper product. Photo Credit: Nox-Crete

Don’t Cloud Over: Moisture vapor transmission (MVT) refers to the breathability through a coat of sealer. Poor MVT can result in cloudiness or fogging between your concrete and sealer, commonly referred to as “whiting.” When it comes to sealer application, less is truly more. While it might be tempting to apply one thick coat and have the job finished, taking the


Appl blank



DITEQ Channel

9876 Pflumm Rd  Lenexa, KS 66215  Toll Free Tel: 866-688-1032  Tel: 816-246-5515 | August/September 2019 | Concrete Contractor 27

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The on


By Jack Moehle

ACI Releases ACI 318-19: Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete


he American Concrete Institute (ACI) published ACI 318-19: “Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete” in July 2019, in response to new engineering practices and industry changes. ACI 318 presents requirements for design and construction of structural concrete that are necessary to ensure public health and safety. The document is intended for engineers and building officials, but because it addresses materials advancements and applications, it is expected to have an impact on jobsite procedures.

NEW ENGINEERING PRACTICES TRANSLATE TO CHANGES IN THE FIELD Changes to the way architects and engineers work—notably, their use of computers to perform extensive design and analysis—prompted some changes within the code. Other industry changes, such as the increasing construction of tall buildings and new requirements for seismic resistance, led to further code updates. These will translate to new detailing and construction methods commonly seen on the jobsite. To prevent punching failure in two-way slabs, there is a new requirement for minimum reinforcement on interior column-to-slab connections. Similarly, there are new requirements for bar extensions. Previous versions of ACI 318 established minimum lengths

and extensions of bars in relatively thin, two-way slabs supporting typical roof or floor loads. Thicker two-way slabs, such as transfer slabs, podium slabs and mat foundations, were determined to need greater bar lengths and extensions to ensure that bars extend past projections of potential shear cracks. Additional transverse reinforcement, commonly referred to as hanger reinforcement, is now suggested for some reinforced concrete beams. This change is in response to the determination that beams cast monolithically with a supporting beam, and intersecting one or both side faces of the supporting beam could potentially cause the supporting-beam soffit to fail under some conditions. There are also new code provisions for precast concrete bearing connections. Prior editions of ACI 318 contained specific provisions for restraint forces only for corbels and brackets; 318-19 includes consideration of restraint forces at all bearing connections. An ACI 318-19 update that was eagerly anticipated across the industry was the expansion of permissible applications of high-strength reinforcement. Higher-grade reinforcement is now allowed, with bars up to Grade 100 permitted for resisting moments and axial forces from gravity, wind and some earthquake load combinations. Grade 100 reinforcement is most likely to be used for vertical bars of shear walls and columns, though it might also be used for heavily loaded floor systems. Due to concerns related to the use of higher-strength bars—namely, that they may lack benchmark properties of weaker

steels, such as minimum strain-hardening and elongation—318-19 includes new requirements for material properties of high-strength steels. ACI 318-19 now permits special moment frames with A706 Grade 80 reinforcement and special structural walls with A706 Grade 80 and A706equivalent Grade 100 reinforcement. The provisions allow the use of the higher grades to resist moments, axial forces and shear. Additional restrictions on hoop spacing, beam-column joint dimensions and lap splice locations have been added that will contribute to more reliable performance of special structural systems. The new standard no longer allows Grade 40 rebar to be used in seismic applications. The many updates addressing highstrength rebar are expected to support adoption of these bars, which will in turn reduce congestion in heavily reinforced members, improve concrete placement, and save time and labor. Several changes were made related to the strut-and-tie method (STM) for design of discontinuity regions. The requirements for distributed reinforcement in deep beams were expanded to include most other discontinuity regions, although distributed reinforcement is not required where it is impractical and unnecessary, such as in pile caps. The terminology “bottle-shaped strut” was removed from the code based on recent research showing inclined struts are weakened by diagonal tension rather than bottle-shape behavior. There are new requirements for ties extending from bend regions of reinforcing bars (curved-bar nodes) and for knee joints.

28 Concrete Contractor | August/September 2019 |

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ACI 318-19 has extended provisions for development length for deformed bars, standard hooks and headed deformed bars in tension based on higher concrete compressive strengths and higher-strength reinforcement. The provisions are similar to those in past codes but have a requirement for transverse reinforcement when higher grades of reinforcement are used. The provisions for standard hooks and headed deformed bars are substantially different from those of past codes and better represent the effects of bar diameter, concrete compressive strength, spacing between reinforcement and level of confining reinforcement on required lengths. Anchorage-zone reinforcement is clarified in ACI 318-19 for unbonded monostrand tendon anchorages in slab edges, including slabs of varying thickness. Test data have shown that for slab edge anchors to perform reliably, horizontal bars (known as “back-up bars�) must be provided, positioned parallel

to the slab edge and in proximity to the anchorage devices.

NEW MATERIALS ADDRESSED Many IBC shotcrete provisions were incorporated into 318-19 and, working with the American Shotcrete Association and ACI Committee 506, were updated to reflect current practice. The unification is expected to clarify both the design process and construction requirements for the use of shotcrete. Post-installed concrete screw anchors have also seen increased use and are now recognized in ACI 318-19. The document also introduces provisions for shear lugs comprising a steel element welded to a base plate.

ALTERNATIVE CEMENTS AND AGGREGATES ACI 318-19 chapters covering concrete materials and mixtures now

include provisions for alternative cements as well as alternative aggregates. This reflects an ongoing effort in the industry to improve the sustainability of concrete. The code does not, however, cover specifications for design criteria and performance for these alternative materials because not enough industry testing has been done. The solution, for now, is to rely on the design team, materials suppliers and concrete producers to identify criteria, perform testing and provide data on the expected performance of products. It is hoped that once data for a given product or process have been generated, they should have applicability for many projects.

Find Prin 318 Vers unit ava ACI Spe ally, in-h to A loca

Dr. Jack P. Moehle is chair of the ACI 318 Building Code Committee and the Ed and Diane Wilson Professor of Structural in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley.

Come see us at the 2019 ICRI Fall Convention November 11-13 in Philadelphia

Distributed by:

Brokk Inc. | Monroe WA | 1-360-794-1277 | | | August/September 2019 | Concrete Contractor 29

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Guard, Gloss and Distinctness of Image The DOI meter and ASCC’s Polished Concrete Appearance Chart help define the differences in polished concrete floors.


by CT “Chip” Marshall


oncrete has been widely used as a building material for centuries, but in relative terms, modern polished concrete is barely out of diapers. Polished concrete, as a finished floor system, burst onto the scene as the latest and greatest in sustainable decorative floors in the early 2000s, and the polished concrete industry—from tooling to chemicals and grinders to means and methods—has evolved at a breakneck pace over the last two decades. In the beginning, the polished concrete world consisted of a handful of specialty contractors, and concrete was ground systematically. Contractors started with low grit metal bonded diamond tooling and brought the floor up through consecutive steps to the desired finish. If the initial cut required was based on a 40-grit metal bonded diamond and the final desired finish was a distinctive high shine floor, which called

for a 3000-grit resin bonded diamond, that floor would be touched with a grinder throughout a ninestep process. Quality contractors didn’t skip steps, and discussions revolved around honing the floor as if it was high-end furniture requiring systematic grits of sandpaper. A quality floor took experience—and most importantly time. Those first floors were beautiful and sparked by a natural glow from within. The floors had all the resiliency and sustainability of concrete and an unheard-of life and maintenance cycle as compared with other commercial floor finishes. And then big box retail took notice. When big box retail entered the polished concrete world, the industry had to respond. While an amazing opportunity for polished concrete to become a benchmark finished floor system, big box retail was a different animal. The time

Haze is a common problem associated with coatings and polished materials. Rhopoint Instruments' Concrete Clarity Meter (CCM) digitally reads the concrete surface profile, the sharpness of the reflected image, and the haze resulting from concrete imperfections, which gives a true representation of the finished floor. Text and images reproduced with the permission of Rhopoint Instruments Ltd.

required in the traditional honing methods would not work in the retail world. Time means money, and polished concrete had to fall within the constraints of tight budgets and tighter build schedules. The polished concrete industry had a dilemma if the industry was to be recognized as the flooring of choice throughout the big box world.

PENTRA-GUARD REVOLUTIONIZES POLISHED CONCRETE Convergent Technologies launched Pentra-Guard in 2003 and changed polished concrete forever.

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The Honda EB2200i Industrial Series Inverter Generator. It’s Trusted Jobsite Power. Now packed with more features and 10% more power.*

It’s time to get more work done, when you want, where you want, with the EB2200i generator from Honda. It’s easily portable and now packed with 200 more watts* of stable power and all-new features. With a GFCI 120 volt duplex receptacle, OSHA compliance, and the same reliability you expect from Honda, it’s trusted jobsite power. Learn more at

*10% more power at max load than the EB2000i Honda generator. Please read the owner’s manual before operating your Honda Power Equipment and never use in a closed or partly enclosed area where you could be exposed to odorless, poisonous carbon monoxide. Connection of a generator to house power requires a transfer device to avoid possible injury to power company personnel. Consult a qualified electrician. © 2019 American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

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Silicate-based concrete sealers had been adopted by the polished concrete industry in the early days. Silicate-based sealers were designed to penetrate the concrete surface, react with the limestone and calcium in the concrete mix, and develop a dustproof concrete floor that gets harder and denser with age.

Though silicate-based sealers were still a part of the initial grind system, Pentra-Guard was designed to be applied to a finished polished floor. The revolutionary guard product formed a micro-thin film on top of the finished floor, which both increased shine and created a barrier to retard stains and abrasions to the concrete

floor surface. Other manufacturers quickly followed suit and soon, guard products were being produced by several chemical manufacturers. Many of these new products suggested heat activation through high speed burnishing to create a high shine. These guard products solved several of the big box problems. High shine floors were now possible without the extensive polishing steps previously required. A contractor could cut down to 4-6 steps of diamonds, apply guard and burnish to completion. The resulting floor had the look of traditional polished concrete with the guard products creating high shine and hiding minor scratches or abrasions. Eventually, the architects and engineers affiliated with big box retail developed a measurable and quantifiable level of shine in requiring a specific gloss level for the finished floor. Using guard products, contractors were able to meet the required surface gloss specification.


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Guard products launched polished concrete into the mainstream. Polished concrete was now more affordable, with manufacturers producing great products to meet the demands of end users. Contractors were able to produce high shine floors in far less time and at far less expense. But, there’s always a catch, and herein lies the rub. Guard products create a topical wear surface on the concrete floor. Over time, that wear surface will require re-application, whereas traditional polished concrete had no wear surface. Gloss meters only measure the light reflectivity on that same wear surface, and as the surface dulls with use, so does the shine. Overuse and misuse of guard products became rampant in the industry, and contractors leaned on guard as a crutch to create shine. Less and less attention was paid to the mechanical

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concrete polish as long as the shine at project completion met the required gloss meter reading. The Concrete Polishing Association of America (now the Concrete Polishing Council of the American Society of Concrete Contractors) quickly recognized that a traditional polished concrete floor was a different animal than a polished floor that relies on guard products to produce shine. While both fill specific needs in the marketplace, a quantifiable and measurable scale was needed to establish a benchmark for the world at large. As a result of an extended search, the CPAA discovered the Distinctness of Image (DOI) meter, which was used widely in the automotive paint industry. In contrast with just reading surface light reflectivity in the form of gloss, the DOI scale combines readings that are a true representation of the entire surface. DOI not only looks at a concrete surface but defines the characteristics of looking into a concrete surface. DOI meters and the DOI scale define DOI gloss as the sharpness of objects as a reflected image and consider haze as a quantifiable measurement. Furthermore, Rhopoint Instruments has developed the Concrete Clarity Meter (CCM), which digitally reads the concrete surface profile, the sharpness of the reflected image, and the haze resulting from concrete imperfections, which gives a true representation of the finished floor. And in 2017, the Concrete Polishing Council produced the Polished Concrete Appearance Chart, which in concert with a DOI meter, gives a true representation of the quality of a polished concrete floor. As polished concrete stabilizes in the marketplace as a widely recognized finished floor system, more end users will continue to recognize that a given polished concrete floor may not be the same as another

polished concrete floor—just as a VCT tile floor is not the same as quarry tile floor. A four-step polished concrete floor system with a topical guard and burnish is not the same as a nine-step mechanically polished floor system and should not be viewed as such, however there is room for both floors in

today’s construction. The DOI meter and the ASCC’s Polished Concrete Appearance Chart are a significant step in defining the difference. C.T. “Chip” Marshall is the executive vice president of Industrial Caulk and Seal Inc., an award-winning, large scale decorative concrete and concrete repair contractor.

BSD DRY RESIN Made with Blue Star Diamond Technology™, the BSD Dry Resin line is the latest technology in the Blue Star Diamond family. Designed to follow the BSD Ceramics, contractors to complete their the BSD Dry Resins allow con polishing concrete and terrazzo polish hing process.


6 000-8 000 sq ft average llife 6,000-8,000 Superior performance on soft to very hard concrete Available in 400, 800 and 1500 grits Available in 3” and 2” (special order) Polishing Step




400 Resin

11 - 23

2 - 12


800 Resin

32 - 48

47 - 65


1500 Resin

46 - 56

74 - 88


Guard + Burnish

68 - 74

93 - 96


Results subject to quality of concrete

800.662.0336 • TRAVERSE CITY, MI BSD products are proudly Made in the USA | August/September 2019 | Concrete Contractor 33

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Best Practices for Multi-ColorDyes Texas Bomanite tackled the challenges of a fourdye application with decorative saw cuts and a one-color-atat-time application approach.

by Amy Wunderlin


taining or dyeing polished concrete floors is certainly not a new concept. But as technologies have evolved, so too have the limitations with which you can apply color. “Not too long ago there wasn’t an option to color your concrete safely, but now you can do so much with dyes. And it’s not just spraying a floor one color; people are saying,

‘Let’s do several different colors, and make a neat design,’” says Greg Cabot, digital marketing manager for Ameripolish, a manufacturer of architectural concrete products. “When you get designers involved, you can have a really exceptional and unique finish. You can come up with whatever you want,” he adds. Texas Bomanite is one such contractor that specializes in these


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34 Concrete Contractor | August/September 2019 |

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The use of solvent-based dyes produced more vibrant colors. Photo Credit: Texas Bomanite

unique types of polished floors. On a recent $16.8 million elementary school project, the contractor was asked to apply four different colors of dye across 52,000 sq. ft. of corridors and classrooms. The project completed in Spring 2019 took three months to complete. School officials at Charter Oak Elementary School in Belton, Texas, which is set to open in Fall 2019, chose polished concrete floors for their easy maintenance and pleasing appearance. “We originally bid the corridors, but they liked the mock-up so much that they added the classrooms,” says Tyler Balch, vice president and principal at Texas Bomanite.

On this project, Texas Bomanite provided a 100 sq. ft. mock-up using a few colors the architect said they would like to see. After installing those dyes in the mock-up, the architect then chose the final colors. The contractor chose Ameripolish’s solvent-based dyes for the floors, including the manufacturer’s 3D HS Densifier and 3D SP Stain Protector as the guard or sealer on top. There are many colors and manufacturers of dyes and stains to choose from. Acid-based stains have been around longer than dyes, but their popularity is waning due to their unpredictability. Stains work by reacting chemically with the concrete and can create a somewhat unpredictable color. “Some people still like the acidstain look, but the industry has really turned toward dyes in the last 10 years,” says Cabot. “A stain has a color it thinks it’s going to be, and

its reacting with the concrete itself, so a lot of times it can be unpredictable, which is why Ameripolish originally invented the dye. We wanted something that we would know the color of before it was going down.” Ameripolish has played an active role in popularizing dyes with the introduction of solvent-based concrete penetrating dyes in 2005. Dyes are either water- or solvent-based and work by penetrating the concrete surface. Water-based dyes typically produce softer colors, whereas solvent-based products offer more vibrant colors and tend to penetrate better. “Dyes are better than stains because we are not waiting around for a chemical reaction. A dye is a dye; it’s a predictable color. If we give you slate blue, it’s going to be some variation of slate blue based on the canvas or concrete you’re putting it on,” adds Cabot.

grinders | vacuums | diamond tools Performance above the rest. Visit to learn more about our products. | August/September 2019 | Concrete Contractor 35

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Dyes also make multiple color changes like those designed at Charter Oak Elementary School possible. These color changes, however, still pose challenges, which Texas Bomanite addressed with decorative saw cuts and a one-color-at-at-time application approach. “There were a lot of different color changes on this project, and it’s different to see a project with this many,” notes Balch.

DECORATIVE SAW CUTS The more color changes, the more bands and cuts required to create a clean line. This project involved about 3,000 to 4,000 lineal ft. of decorative saw cuts—most of which were angled, wavy and circular. Decorative saw cuts 1/8-in. wide by 1/8-in. deep were made between each color transition to keep the colors from bleeding. Any controlled

joints or cracks that formed were filled with polyurea joint filler. While Balch acknowledges that not every contractor believes in decorative saw cuts, Texas Bomanite believes they make a big difference. “If you just tape these lines out and simply shoot the die, sometimes you’re going to get bleed. You’re not going to have a nice crisp line,” he explains.

DYE APPLICATION As far as actually applying the dye, Texas Bomanite takes a special approach there too. The contractor shot the dye one color at a time in order to best handle the color transitions. They taped off one color area, applied the dye, let it dry (which typically takes about 30-40 minutes), and moved onto the next color. “It’s a lot of taping off, but we would shoot just one color at a time to make sure everything was

Lythic Polished Concrete Products offer a complete flooring solution with unique colloidal silica technology. 100% reactive silica ensures the concrete is chemically hardened prior to mechanical polishing. Use Lythic Densifiers, Protectors, and Cleaners for long lasting performance. For more information, visit

taped off correctly and the dye was applied uniformly,” Balch explains. The crew also employs a two-application method to ensure the color is perfect and to capitalize on the right window of opportunity. “The thing about dyes is you can’t apply the dye too early,” adds Balch, “because the pore of the slabs are still open, the dye will soak in, and when you run your next step of diamonds, it will cut some of the dye out. But on the back end of that, you can’t apply it too late because then you’ve already closed up the pores of the slab, and all that dye is going to sit on top of the concrete and not soak in.” He adds that Texas Bomanite chooses to apply the dye after 200grit resins and then again after 400grit resins to ensure coverage. “We do two coats of dye to make sure the dye is good and soaked

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into the concrete, and you have a good clean crisp application over the entire thing and no bald spots that didn’t take dye,” he says.

MANAGING EXPECTATIONS In addition to the multiple colors and unique saw cuts, the project’s Class A finish was another challenge as the contract had to work through unavoidable imperfections in the slab. On this project, the owner wanted a Level 1 400-grit finish, with a Class A no-aggregate exposure, which Balch says means “you’re simply polishing what’s there.” Because of this, the crew had to work through imperfections such as chattermarks left from the finishing blades of the concrete contractor. “When you’re doing these types of polishes, you have to set the expectations of what they could possibly see. A good pre-construction meeting

explaining the Class A and showing a mock-up up of a good Class A finish can set the expectations where they need to be,” Balch says. There were also a few high and low spots that with a Class B finish (typically the most popular finish) could have been cut out to get a smooth slab. While choosing a Class A finish can be about the budget, Balch notes that some architects simply like to see movement in the concrete. “When you’re doing a Class A, you’re going to have a few waves in the floor, which goes back to making sure the owner and the architect know exactly what to expect,” Balch adds.

About 3,000 to 4,000 lineal ft. of decorative saw cuts helped the contractor keep the color changes from bleeding. Photo Credit: Texas Bomanite

Balch further emphasizes the importance of the pre-construction meeting and mock-up to ensure all parties are on the same page. “We always like to have a pre-construction meeting with the general contractor and the concrete contractor to let them know that this concrete is going to be exposed, so they know they’ve got to give a really good quality finish on this floor,” he concludes.

GREEN ENGINEERED TM | August/September 2019 | Concrete Contractor 37

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The Lavina Elite Series from Superabrasive includes a complete range of electric and propanepowered grinders from 13 in. to 32 in. The new models also include two new remote-controlled grinders—25 in. and 32 in. They feature HMI touch screens that provide essential operating information, such as power consumption, machine load, hours worked, tool holder rpm, and an option to choose rpm setting with tool input, water supply and lights activation, maintenance reminders, password lock, etc. Additional Elite grinder features include: • Redesigned frame for superior maneuverability and easy tool changes • Dust-proof grinding head for increased life of internal components • Integrated weights for adjusting the grinding pressure • Fine misting system for dust suppression • Upgraded water pump

Rotating Ring Squeezes Allen PRO430E Trowel Close to Hard Edges

The PRO430E Edger Walk-Behind Trowel features a unique rotating edge ring ideal for troweling along the edges of walls or around protruding pipe and conduit. The PRO430E Edger fits between Allen’s 24-in. VP424 Edger and the 36-in PRO436E. This in-between size allows the machine to easily fit through standard doorways. PRO430E standard features include: • CH270 7hp Kohler gasoline engine • Unique spinning edge ring allows finishing within 5/16 in. of walls or pipes • Choice of Fine Pitch or Rapid Pitch handles accommodate varying blade adjustments • Two-year warranty • Heavy-duty lifting hook for convenient placing

General Equipment’s SG12/E Single-Head Surface Grinder

Designed for smaller-scale surface preparation projects, GE’s SG12/E single-head surface grinder offers high performance, durability and ease-of-use. Powered by an enclosed, fan-cooled 1.5 hp electric motor, the SG12/E features a single rotating disc with a 12 in. working width. Applications for the SG12/E include grinding concrete surfaces, removing mastics, adhesives, epoxies and urethanes, breaking up deposits of grease and dirt, removing rubber carpet backing and industrial residues, and polishing more delicate terrazzo and marble floor surfaces. • Top disc rotation speed of 250 rpm • Foldable handle for easy portability • Removable safety and dust shield • Quik-Stop deadman motor switch

Terrco Model 3100LP-K

The Terrco Model 3100LP-K features a 40 hp Kubota LP gas, four head (12 stones) floor grinder.

T C C a

Husqvarna PG 820 with patented Dual Drive Technology

A new remote-controlled floor grinder from Husqvarna makes its first appearance on the market. The PG 820 RC offers high productivity, powerful performance, and outstanding ergonomics. It is easy to transport to and from the jobsite thanks to its long battery life. The remote control allows the operator freedom to move around the job site along with full maneuverability of the machine. In turn, this leads to increased productivity. • More grinding hours per day since one person can operate and prepare the next steps simultaneously • Consistent and better grinding performance with parameter settings • Ergonomic operation • User-friendly, intuitive display allows two-way communication with the machine • Effortless transportation and loading/unloading with integrated battery pack • Charges batteries from 1- or 3-phase ForConstructionPros. com/12028632

Magna-Trap Grinders & Tooling from EDCO

EDCO introduces Magna-Trap Systems, opening a new era in concrete grinding surface preparation equipment and tooling specifically designed for the rental industry. With both rental and retail opportunities, EDCO’s Magna-Trap System solves virtually every concrete grinder surface preparation application. The combined capabilities of the four core Magna-Trap tools, (Dyma-Dots, Dyma-Segs, DymaPCD w/ Backing Segment, Strip-Serts) are designed to solve most surface preparation applications. • Same surface preparation tooling across EDCO Floor Grinders and Turbo Grinder product lines • 90% improvement in tooling changeover times compared to existing tooling systems • Increased application solutions through new tooling selections • Consistency and simplicity in approaching surface preparation tasks and rentals • Decreased risk of lost rental revenues due to tooling burn out • Opportunity to increase ROI by up to six-times over existing systems and grinding machine

38 Concrete Contractor | August/September 2019 |

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P t 1 e a l A a a

l G c a

W r g c

The Contractor’s Guide to Quality Concrete Construction The fourth edition of the best-selling Contractor’s Guide to Quality Concrete Construction is now available in printed and digital formats.

Published jointly by ACI and ASCC, this guide is now 262 pages—over 100 pages longer than the previous edition—and includes full-color photos and illustrations, a new, easier-to-read layout, and substantial content updates. A summary, review questions, and an additional recommended reading list accompany each of the 12 chapters. To learn more about the new Contractor’s Guide to Quality Concrete Construction, contact ACI at, or ASCC at

Written by and for contractors, and referenced by many licensing authorities, this guide details proven practices to produce quality concrete construction.

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GRINDER SHOWCASE Dickson DG-10-115 Concrete Grinder/ Polisher The DG-10-115 concrete grinder/polisher is built for constant commercial and rental markets. • Narrow enough to fit through a standard 36-in. door • Ideal for grinding/ polishing residential kitchens, bathrooms, and utility rooms • 115 VAC or 230 VAC single phase • Fully adjustable handle bars fold down for easy loading in pickups, SUV, and even station wagons

Concrete Polishing Solutions G-320D and G-320D PRO Grinders

With more than seven years in production, the G-320D and G-320D PRO set the standard in polished concrete equipment. With powerful motors, upgraded slip-clutches, and flex head technology, these machines not only have more than enough torque to grind through heavy mastics and coatings, but also make excellent polishing machines.

Aztec UltraGrind

The award winning UltraGrind is Aztec’s propane-powered, planetary head, gear driven, concrete grinding and polishing machine. The UltraGrind is designed for the more aggressive concrete floor grinding and polishing applications, where the goal is to both remove material and highly polish concrete floors. • Industry-standard 2-in. exhaust ports for concrete dust vacuums • Powered by the new 20 hp Kawasaki 603cc engine, featuring a heavy duty canister air filter • CE, EPA/CARB, LEED and GS-42 certified.

16 New Stamps & Textures; Exposed Aggregate; Broom Finish

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40 Concrete Contractor | August/September 2019 |

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The Prep/Master Jr. Grinder by STI

SASE PDG 5000P 20” Planetary Floor Grinder

The Prep/Master Jr. grinder by STI works extremely well in small, hard-to-reach areas that requires a more compact design—perfect for residential garage floors. This grinder is very

The PDG 9000P features a 20-in. grinding width. According to the company, this machine is perfectly balanced and is built for low maintenance. It includes a powerful Gx390 Honda Engine and connects to the SASE BULL dust extractors for dust-free operation. Other features include: • Operator-friendly control panel • Flexible grinding heads • Includes both metal bond QCS and resin bond flex plates

ASL Machines USA RT1-RC Grinder

aggressive, yet extremely easy to operate due to the smooth operation of the STI rotary gear system. In addition, the low price of the Prep/ Master Jr. is very affordable and fits any project budget.

The RT1 is a versatile grinding machine that can be used as a walk behind machine or controlled through the wireless remote control. The remote control can be a useful asset that will save contractors time and money and will be less fatiguing on their body. With a remote control, the machine can be easily maneuvered and set to auto while the operator prepares the next set of tooling or completes other tasks. With 15 hp and a 30-in. grinding width, the RT1 is perfect for large jobs and big box retail stores.

INDEX ADVERTISER .............................. PAGE Aaron Hilbert LLC ...............................................................18 Advance Metalworking Company .....................................10 American Concrete Institute ..............................................39 American Honda Motor Co. ..............................................31 ASL Machines USA .............................................................10 BackSaver ............................................................................11 Bloom Manufacturing Inc...................................................24 BORIDE Engineered Abrasives .........................................33 Brickform - A Division of Solomon Colors, Inc. ................40 Brokk Inc. .............................................................................29 Caterpillar Dealer Network ................................................23 Curb Fox Equipment ..........................................................18 Curb Roller Mfg. LLC ..........................................................41 Denver Concrete Vibrator ..................................................19 Diteq Corp. .........................................................................27 EZ Polish System ...................................................................7 EZ Screed Tools ..................................................................24 GelMAXX .............................................................................34 Gomaco Corporation ...........................................................2 Ignite Construction Summit ...............................................43 Jlin Corp. .............................................................................17 Kingdom Products ..............................................................40 Minnich Manufacturing ........................................................9 Multiquip Incorporated ......................................................44 Neuvokas Corporation .......................................................34 Niagara Machine Inc. .........................................................36 Nox Crete Products Group ................................................37 Pecora Corporation ............................................................13 Power Curbers Inc. .............................................................15 Reef Industries, Inc. ............................................................14 Simpson Strong-Tie Co., Inc. ...............................................5 Solomon Colors, Inc. ..........................................................36 Somero Enterprises ............................................................21 Superabrasive Inc ...............................................................35 Transhield ............................................................................12 Vacuworx Global .................................................................32 Wagman Metal Products Inc..............................................25 Wagner Meters .....................................................................7

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Website: Phone: 785-467-3132 | August/September 2019 | Concrete Contractor 41

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By Brad Humphrey

What a Community Swim Meet Taught Me About Project Scheduling


ver a recent weekend, I received much more from a community swim meet than I thought I might. First of all, let me set the stage. First, a small, 25-meter-long pool with only four swimming lanes. Second, more than 150 swimmers five to 18 years old. Third, both boys and girls individual races along with a slew of relays. This San Antonio community meet started promptly at 8 a.m. with 72 racing events, some with five to seven “heats,” ending promptly at 11 a.m. What was so impressive was how fast the meet was conducted. The host swimming team made it possible to run smoothly—everything from the individual races, to the handing out of ribbons and the sales at the concession stand. Everything was planned like it was the Olympics. For those kids swimming, this was their “Olympics.” I was able to have a chat with one of the individuals who had organized the swim meet, and she shared with me a few of her team’s secrets. She opened up by saying, “Mr. Humphrey, we want to run a meet that wastes very little time, keeps all the kids organized and moving in the right direction, and provides a reasonable time frame that parents don’t feel like they have to take the entire day to attend.” Here are some specifics she shared with me: • The “Wranglers” keep the kids organized and are charged with keeping the kids in order of their races. • Equipment needed for the race

(lane buoys, life-saving equipment, etc.) was organized and set in order to expedite the speed of each race and to provide for speedier safety responses if necessary. • The swim meet’s schedule was made available to all the coaches and volunteers so they were all aware of the order. • Parents served as race timers who were trained on how to utilize the timer buttons, the requirements for touching the wall, and when it is ok for the child to begin their swim. • There was an abundance of parents who consistently walked around picking up trash, goggles, etc. She concluded our conversation by saying that, “In the end, we want to ensure that the swim meet is moving forward. Time is precious to parents on the weekends, so the more organized we are and the smoother our schedule is executed, we keep both our children focused and busy and our parents more than happy to have their kids compete in such a great sport as swimming.” Wow, the lessons kept coming at me. She emphasized how important it was to have a pre-meet discussion with all volunteers to ensure that everyone knew what to expect and could ask questions about anything. She also added that the biggest thing for all volunteers, and parents, was to keep in mind that all that they were to do was all for the kids. No bad language, no mad responses, no arguing, etc. The swim meet was about supporting and encouraging the children. I witnessed not one angry, impatient or verbally hostile parent.

Ok, you’re probably beginning to see where I’m heading with this story. If you can train five-year-old kids and their parents to run a community swim meet without any hitches, we can rethink how we prepare for every project we take on—no matter how big or small the job. I saw a lesson in “lean construction” play out for three hours before my eyes. But the planning and scheduling before the swim meet is what gave such energy and efficiency to the execution of a successful event. Most construction companies hit planning and organizing of their projects hard as part of their goals to execute flawlessly, safely and profitably. Why? Because this is how they keep the “meet moving forward.” Sure, I realize there are a lot of other issues we must contend with, but can we agree that some of the spirit of scheduling a kid’s community swim meet might share some of the same principles for us in planning our projects—no matter if we are a GC, specialty subcontractor, CM, supplier or manufacturer? We really can learn a lot from other industries—even a community swim meet run by volunteers with one objective in mind: provide the best time possible for children learning how to compete fairly, treat their rival with respect, and enjoy the spirit of competition. Next time you go to your kid’s soccer or baseball or basketball game, take notice of how organized the event is. Can you learn from it? If so, share this with others. It might just be the angle to win someone’s interest at becoming better at scheduling and organizing. Think lean!

42 Concrete Contractor | August/September 2019 |

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