How to Deice Concrete

March 6th, 2015

Just when you thought we were done, one more big snowstorm set it sights on Baltimore and dropped up to a foot of snow in some areas. If you’re attempting to deice exterior concrete walkways or patios to make them safe to walk on, it pays to know how to do it in a way that is safe for concrete. Learn the best way to deice concrete in this week’s blog.

deice-concrete

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Safety Tips for Drying Out a Flooded Building

February 26th, 2015

Drying out a flooded building is a process that is both labor-intensive and time consuming. However, it’s absolutely necessary to be proactive in this situation. Without decisive action, water damage can ruin a structure.

Before you start, it’s important to take a number of safety concerns into consideration. From the presence of bacteria in the water to potentially dangerous situations involving electricity, you need to be prepared for everything before you begin. In this week’s blog, we’re going to talk about the safety precautions you should take before beginning work on drying out a flooded building.

Safety Tips for Drying Out a Flooded Building

Power

Electricity and water do not mix. Assume all downed power lines are live. Turn off the power to the entire building before you begin work. If you have any doubt about your safety in a situation with regards to electricity, play it safe. Don’t take any unnecessary risks.

Gas Leaks

Gas leaks are another safety hazard in flooded buildings. In this case, the nose knows. Smell for the odor of leaking natural gas before beginning work. If you do detect a gas leak, contact your local utility and do not continue work until the problem has been addressed.

Contamination

Flood waters often bring organic matter into the building. This includes things like animal waste or sewage, which will contaminate the building. Bacteria will rapidly multiply in standing floodwaters. Assume all standing water is contaminated. This means you will need to wear protective gear when working in spaces where there is standing water. This includes protection for the eyes, mouth and hands. It’s also smart to wear a rubber coverall to prevent water from coming into contact with any part of your body.

Structural Damage

Do an assessment of the structural integrity of the building prior to the cleanup process. If it is determined to be structurally unsound, do not proceed.

When in Doubt, Play it Safe

If you have any doubts as to your safety with regard to any of the situations outlined above, play it safe, and don’t take any unnecessary risks.

flood damage

What’s the safety issue in this picture? The lights are on.

About Consolidated Coatings Inc.

Consolidated Coatings is a full service building restoration contractor operating in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Since 1979, we’ve provided professional restoration of commercial, industrial, and historic buildings across a range of disciplines. These include masonry restoration, concrete restoration, decorative concrete, industrial and floor coatings, EIFS, and waterproofing. Follow us on our blog for weekly posts on industry-related topics. If you have any questions, please contact us at 410-574-6504.

Concrete Joint Sealer vs. Concrete Joint Filler

February 20th, 2015

When it comes to concrete joints, is there any difference between sealers and fillers? You might be surprised to learn that yes, there is a difference. These two masonry tools are used for different applications in masonry repair, but they’re both important components of joint repair. This week, we’ll talk about the differences between sealer and filler, and how they’re used in masonry repair.

Concrete Sealer

Concrete sealer is soft. This allows it to expand and contract in the joint as the concrete expands and contracts naturally due to temperature changes. The sealer prevents water, ice, dirt, and other from debris from getting into the joint, where it can cause water damage, or freeze and causing cracking. Sealer also prevents intrusion from under the concrete slab.

The best sealers have the following characteristics:

  • The ability to create a strong bond to the concrete.
  • Impermeability, in order to prevent the ingress of water.
  • The ability to handle repeated expansion and contraction.

 

Sealer should be applied once the concrete slab has undergone its natural shrinkage. Sealers will need to be checked at least once annually and assessed. If the sealer has degraded, it will be necessary to reseal in order to prevent damage.

expansion joint sealant

Concrete Filler

Concrete filler on the other hand is hard. The goal of filler is to support the edge of the joint when it needs to bear a lot of weight. Note that filler is only used with saw-cut joints. Joints with a rounded tooled edge cannot use filler.

Fillers, like sealers, should only be applied after the concrete slab has shrunk. This can take up to a year, but fillers will not be effective if applied before this process is complete. Fillers should also be inspected annually to determine if they need to be reapplied.

Would you like to know more about the products we use for masonry repair in Baltimore? Check out our blog on some of the vendors and products we trust to provide quality repair services. This includes the Sika product line, Loxon concrete and masonry products, and a number of well-known local vendors.

About Consolidated Coatings Inc.

Consolidated Coatings is a full service building restoration contractor operating in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Since 1979, we’ve provided professional restoration of commercial, industrial, and historic buildings across a range of disciplines. These include masonry restoration, concrete restoration, decorative concrete, industrial and floor coatings, EIFS, and waterproofing. Follow us on our blog for weekly posts on industry-related topics. If you have any questions, please contact us at 410-574-6504.

Five Tips for Commercial Building Restoration in Baltimore

February 12th, 2015

If you’re considering commercial building restoration in Baltimore, there are plenty of things to do before the work begins. From researching potential tax credits to finding the right contractor, the work that comes before the restoration is as important as the restoration itself. Learn how to go about planning for a building restoration in Baltimore with these tips.

Five Tips for Commercial Building Restoration in Baltimore

Historical Research

If the building is a historical structure, it’s important to brush up on its history. What did the building look like when it was first built? How did it change over the years? What did the surrounding area look like? What was the original function of the building How can you restore the building to its former glory while updating it with modern features and amenities? These are all good questions to ask.

Building Inspection

A building inspection is critical in determining whether you can restore the building at all. A professional inspector can determine if the building is structurally and foundationally sound. A building that does not have both of these characteristics may be more trouble than it’s worth to restore, or it may be impossible to restore at all. It’s important to temper your expectations for the structure with the reality of its condition. If the structure is too far gone, no amount of building restoration work will bring it back.

Tax Credits

Depending on the nature of the structure and the restoration you plan to undergo, you may be able to receive tax credits for your work at local, state, and federal levels. You can learn about tax credits for commercial historical building restoration in Baltimore in our blog.

Budgeting

Every building restoration project is different, so it’s hard to generalize as far as budgets are concerned. However, if there is one safe bet, it’s to expect the unexpected. Plan for the project to go over budget, and make sure you have the funds to account for this contingency.

Finding a Contractor

A contractor can give you an estimate as to the cost and time frame of the work that needs to be done, and can recommend a strategy for restoration that’s in line with your wants and needs for the building. If you’re looking for a commercial building restoration contractor in Baltimore, contact Consolidated Coatings today!

building-restoration-baltimore

About Consolidated Coatings Inc.

Consolidated Coatings is a full service building restoration contractor operating in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Since 1979, we’ve provided professional restoration of commercial, industrial, and historic buildings across a range of disciplines. These include masonry restoration, concrete restoration, decorative concrete, industrial and floor coatings, EIFS, and waterproofing. Follow us on our blog for weekly posts on industry-related topics. If you have any questions, please contact us at 410-574-6504.

Why is My Brick Wall Spalling?

February 5th, 2015

Spalling can be a big problem with exterior brick surfaces. Not only does it look bad, but it could compromise the integrity of the wall as the spalling gets worse. And because we’re in winter, brick spalling is only going to get worse if it’s already a problem. Learn why spalling is a problem with brick and what can be done about it in this week’s blog.

Brick Spalling

Spalling occurs, like so many other masonry problems, because of water entering the brick. Right off the bat, this shows the importance of choosing high quality bricks, especially for exterior surfaces. Modern brick technology and sealing deters water from entering brick and causing it to spall. However, many buildings have older bricks. These bricks are softer, more porous, and generally just not up to the quality standards of modern brick. Therefore, they’re easily invaded by water.

In the summer, this isn’t a huge problem. The air can absorb the water in the brick and carry it away. In the winter, however, the air can’t absorb this water, so it stays in the brick. The frequent freezing and thawing we experience in the winter in Baltimore causes the water in the brick to expand, taking the brick with it. The brick begins to flake and chip off at the surface. This is what spalling is.

Once the problem starts, the speed at which it progresses increases. This is because the spalled brick presents a larger surface area for water to penetrate. It freezes, the brick spalls more, and all of a sudden that brick wall is not only looking bad, it’s looking like it might not be structurally sound.

Repairing Spalled Brick

The best way to repair spalled brick is usually to just replace it with completely new brick. New bricks are much more resistant to the influx of moisture and are better suited to withstand the elements, especially in a northern climate like Baltimore’s. If your exterior brick in Baltimore is spalling, contact Consolidated Coatings today for more information about repair options.

masonry repair contractor Baltimore

About Consolidated Coatings Inc.

Consolidated Coatings is a full service building restoration contractor operating in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Since 1979, we’ve provided professional restoration of commercial, industrial, and historic buildings across a range of disciplines. These include masonry restoration, concrete restoration, decorative concrete, industrial and floor coatings, EIFS, and waterproofing. Follow us on our blog for weekly posts on industry-related topics. If you have any questions, please contact us at 410-574-6504.

Taking Care of Concrete in the Winter

January 28th, 2015

Winter weather is here in Baltimore, which means rain, snow, ice, wind, and general poor weather. This weather can damage concrete due to the freeze thaw cycle and expansion and contraction. Learn more about the effects of winter weather on concrete, and how to protect your concrete in Baltimore.

Concrete Problems in the Winter

Freeze Thaw Cycle

The freeze thaw cycle occurs continuously as water freezes and melts. When water freezes, it expands, and when it melts, it contracts. This means that if there are any cracks in the concrete, water in them will expand when it freezes, making the crack bigger. The bigger crack lets more water in, this water freezes, and the crack gets bigger and bigger all winter. The greater the number of freeze thaw cycles, the worse this problem becomes.

Salt

Salt is not kind to concrete. There are several things that salt does to concrete.

  • Salt is slightly acidic. This lowers the pH in concrete, which increases the size of the pores in concrete. This lets water into the pores, the water freezes, and cracks develop.
  • Salt attracts and retains water in the pores of concrete because it is hygroscopic. This creates another problem known as slapping, where the surface of the concrete chips and flakes.
  • Salt accelerates carbonation of concrete, which reduces its pH.
  • Salt introduces chlorides into concrete, which corrodes steel reinforcements in the concrete.

How to Take Care of Concrete in the Winter

Seal It

This tip is technically for before winter, but using a protective coat of sealant on concrete will actively protect it from salt and ice in the winter. Seal concrete in the fall before winter weather for best results.

Remove Snow and Ice

When it snows, remove snow and ice from concrete surfaces as soon as possible.

Use Sand, Not Salt

Lay down sand on snowy walkways, not salt. Sand won’t help melt the ice, but it will give you traction, and it won’t hurt the concrete.

Avoid Deicers

Deicing chemicals are sometimes used to melt snow and ice. While they can do a good job, they’re harmful to concrete. If you do use deicers, use them only according to the manufacturer’s directions.

concrete-care

Are you in need of concrete repair in Baltimore? Contact Consolidated Coatings today!

About Consolidated Coatings Inc.

Consolidated Coatings is a full service building restoration contractor operating in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Since 1979, we’ve provided professional restoration of commercial, industrial, and historic buildings across a range of disciplines. These include masonry restoration, concrete restoration, decorative concrete, industrial and floor coatings, EIFS, and waterproofing. Follow us on our blog for weekly posts on industry-related topics. If you have any questions, please contact us at 410-574-6504.

How To Remove Graffiti in Baltimore

January 23rd, 2015

Graffiti is an unfortunate reality for owners of commercial structures in Baltimore. So how do you get rid of it? Different approaches need to be taken for different surfaces. Learn more about how to remove graffiti in Baltimore in this week’s blog.

Masonry

If it’s a masonry surface such as concrete, pressure washing with a 3000psi pressure washer is the ideal solution. Make sure the tip of the pressure wand is not too narrow, as this will basically leave an outline of the graffiti you just cleaned. Sand-blasting can also be used to remove graffiti from masonry surfaces, again, making sure the tip is not too narrow. With both pressure washing and sand blasting, remember to keep the tip of the wand moving continuously.

Metal

Mineral spirits, lacquer thinner, acetone, and any paint thinner can be used to remove graffiti, as can products with a light penetrating oil such as WD-40. If this doesn’t do the trick, try using steel wool, bronze wool, or sandpaper. Still not doing the job? Power-washing with a 3000psi pressure washer may be enough to remove the graffiti.

Wood

If the graffiti is on treated/sealed wood and the wood is not weathered, mineral spirits can be used to wipe the paint away. Do not do this on weathered and/or untreated wood, because this will just make the paint harder to remove. Power washing is another option, but this can also just push the paint further into the wood. Sanding and repainting is a sure way to remove graffiti from wood in any circumstance.

Plastic

A light penetrating oil like WD-40 can be used to wipe graffiti off of plastic. You can also try a very fine grain steel or bronze wool.

Glass

Using a razor blade held at a 30-degree angle to the glass, scrape the paint off. This method is highly effective. Make sure to use a holder for the blade and to use extreme caution when scraping. Do not force it if the paint won’t come off. Fine grain bronze wool with water can be used to remove remaining paint.

In all cases, if the methods above don’t work, as a last effort you can simply paint over the graffiti, being careful to match the paint color with the current color of the wall. Or, save yourself the trouble and contact Consolidated Coatings. We offer graffiti removal in Baltimore for any structure or material. Contact us today to learn more.

graffiti removal Baltimore

About Consolidated Coatings Inc.

Consolidated Coatings is a full service building restoration contractor operating in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Since 1979, we’ve provided professional restoration of commercial, industrial, and historic buildings across a range of disciplines. These include masonry restoration, concrete restoration, decorative concrete, industrial and floor coatings, EIFS, and waterproofing. Follow us on our blog for weekly posts on industry-related topics. If you have any questions, please contact us at 410-574-6504.

Source

https://bloomington.in.gov/sections/viewSection.php?section_id=552

The Benefits of EIFS Building Exterior Cladding

January 15th, 2015

EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems) is an exterior cladding used on both residential and commercial structures. EIFS is very common on commercial structures in the United States. In fact, one out of every 11 buildings in the U.S. has EIFS on it, according to DryVit. This week, we’ll talk about the benefits of using EIFS on structures, and why you should always enlist the services of a professional contractor in Baltimore for EIFS installation and repair.

The Benefits of EIFS

EIFS actually got its start in the days after World War II. Countless structures in Europe had been damaged by the war and needed repair. EIFS was developed as an efficient repair method for exteriors, and eventually was brought over the the U.S. in the 1960s.

There are a number of benefits that come with using EIFS:

  • The insular properties of EIFS result in energy savings for the facility. “According to Oak Ridge National Laboratory, structures with EIFS can save between 20 percent and 30 percent on energy bills.
  • EIFS installation takes place completely on the outside of the facility. This means it won’t reduce interior square footage”This alone can be a significant incentive for projects on a high-value land or historical sites – areas where square footage is at a premium.”
  • EIFS installation is flexible and can be done at any time of year. Panels can be assembled with adhesive in a temperature controlled warehouse to allow adhesive to dry, and then transported to the site for installation.
  • EIFS offers a lot of creative opportunities. Aesthetic touches like window details, arches, columns, facades, soffits, and other architectural designs are all possible with EIFS.

 

Why You Should Use a Professional Contractor in Baltimore for EIFS

EIFS installation and repair needs to be exact. If not done properly, EIFS work can result in a number of problems. For example, EIFS is waterproof, but if not correctly installed it can allow water to penetrate to the exterior wall, where it can’t find a way out. This results in water damage, which will need extensive repairs to correct. Choosing a professional EIFS contractor in Baltimore such as Consolidated Coatings ensures that your installation and repairs will be completed correctly.

EIFS-contractor-Baltimore

About Consolidated Coatings Inc.

Consolidated Coatings is a full service building restoration contractor operating in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Since 1979, we’ve provided professional restoration of commercial, industrial, and historic buildings across a range of disciplines. These include masonry restoration, concrete restoration, decorative concrete, industrial and floor coatings, EIFS, and waterproofing. Follow us on our blog for weekly posts on industry-related topics. If you have any questions, please contact us at 410-574-6504.

Source

http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/heating-and-cooling/exterior-insulation.htm

Commercial Waterproofing in Baltimore

January 7th, 2015

Winter is here, is your commercial or industrial facility waterproofed? Melting snow can cause significant structural damage if it infiltrates the structure. Structural damage means repairs, and repairs aren’t cheap. To keep your commercial or industrial structure protected from water damage, you need commercial waterproofing in Baltimore. Learn more about how Consolidated Coatings can help keep you dry this winter and beyond in our blog.

Commercial Waterproofing in Baltimore

Waterproofing is absolutely essential for any commercial or industrial facility. Water damage can cripple a structure if it goes undetected. Water damage is especially concerning in the winter, when freeze thaw cycles can make damage even worse. Commercial waterproofing is the best solution for preventing water damage.

Waterproofing Systems

Consolidated Coatings offers a number of commercial waterproofing solutions.

  • Leak inspection and detection
  • Above and below grade waterproofing
  • Breathable masonry sealers
  • Waterproof decorate coatings
  • Complete membrane system installation
  • Waterplugging
  • Positive and negative side waterproofing
  • Building facades
  • Clear penetrating sealants
  • Underground parking garages
  • Elevator pits
  • Manufacturer’s warranty up to 10 years

 

Don’t let water damage your structure and leave you with a bill for tens of thousands of dollars in repairs. Protect your structure from water damage now and in the future with a comprehensive waterproofing solution. To learn more about commercial waterproofing in Baltimore, contact Consolidated Coatings today.

commercial waterproofing Baltimore

About Consolidated Coatings Inc.

Consolidated Coatings is a full service building restoration contractor operating in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Since 1979, we’ve provided professional restoration of commercial, industrial, and historic buildings across a range of disciplines. These include masonry restoration, concrete restoration, decorative concrete, industrial and floor coatings, EIFS, and waterproofing. Follow us on our blog for weekly posts on industry-related topics. If you have any questions, please contact us at 410-574-6504.

Decorative Concrete in Baltimore from Consolidated Coatings

December 31st, 2014

For building owners looking for great value in flooring, decorative concrete is the ideal flooring solution. Concrete’s durability means it will last for many years, but just because the floor is concrete doesn’t mean it has to be plain. With custom coatings, polishing and coloring, you can get an attractive concrete floor at a reasonable price. Learn more about decorative concrete in Baltimore below!

Decorative Concrete in Baltimore from Consolidated Coatings

Concrete is an ideal flooring solution for a number of reasons. Concrete can last for a very long time and requires little maintenance. Its durability makes it highly practical, even in environments with a large amount of foot traffic. Concrete is ideal for everything from small retail shops and showrooms to large commercial warehouses and storage spaces. For flooring that lasts, you really can’t beat concrete.

But just because the floor is concrete, doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Concrete is usually thought of as utilitarian, but with decorative concrete, you also get the aesthetic appeal of nicely polished and stained concrete. We offer concrete polishing, acid staining, decorative overlays, and high performance coatings to give your concrete a smooth, ornate look.

Consolidated Coatings also offers the following decorative concrete services in Baltimore.

  • Surface prep
  • Mastic removal
  • Concrete resurfacing
  • Warehouse sealers and joint fillers
  • Shot blasting
  • Moisture mitigation

For more information on decorative concrete in Baltimore, please contact us today.

decorative concrete Baltimore

About Consolidated Coatings Inc.

Consolidated Coatings is a full service building restoration contractor operating in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Since 1979, we’ve provided professional restoration of commercial, industrial, and historic buildings across a range of disciplines. These include masonry restoration, concrete restoration, decorative concrete, industrial and floor coatings, EIFS, and waterproofing. Follow us on our blog for weekly posts on industry-related topics. If you have any questions, please contact us at 410-574-6504.