Archive for February, 2015

Safety Tips for Drying Out a Flooded Building

Thursday, 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

Friday, 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

Thursday, 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?

Thursday, 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.